Nearly twenty years after the revolutionary War began, the United States government faced a small-scale revolution by some of its own citizens. As in the previous war, taxes were a central issue. And Alexander Hamilton understood that putting down this rebellion was critical to the life of the nation.
In order to create a self-supporting and effective government, Treasury Secretary Hamilton knew he needed to find a steady source of revenue. He proposed an excise tax on whiskey produced in the United States, and Congress instituted the levy in 1791. In general, the citizens of that time felt negatively toward the idea of taxation. The farmers of western Pennsylvania, many of whom distilled whiskey and profited from its sale, proved outright hostile to the idea.
In July of 1794, a force of disaffected whiskey rebels attacked and destroyed the home of a tax inspector. The rebellion grew in numbers, if not in actions, and threatened to spread to other states. Hamilton knew that the presence of a large and potentially hostile force in Pennsylvania could not be tolerated. If the government were to survive, it would have to show itself capable of keeping control.
Hamilton advocated the use of military force; President George Washington instead put state militias on the ready and sent in negotiators. When talks proved fruitless, Washington acquiesced to Hamilton's view. A force of 13,000 militia troops, led by Hamilton and Virginia governor Henry Lee, marched into western Pennsylvania.
By the time the federal force arrived, the rebellion had collapsed and most of the rebels had fled. Two men were convicted of treason and later pardoned by Washington. Alexander Hamilton was elated. The fledgling federal government had proven it could keep order -- a necessity if the U.S. was to avoid instability. But many, in particular Thomas Jefferson, thought that this resort to military force was a dangerous mistake. It convinced them that Hamilton was a dangerous man.
In an effort to resolve differences with France that had accumulated between the two nations since the Treaty of Alliance of 1778, President John Adams dispatched a commission of three men to meet with French Minister of Foreign Affairs Talleyrand in 1797. After many delays the American commissioners were approached by three intermediaries of Talleyrand, who demanded apologies for allusions critical of France made by President Adams and payment of a bribe of several million dollars before official negotiations could proceed. Convinced that further negotiations were hopeless the three commissioners returned to the United States, and President Adams released their dispatches to Congress, substituting X, Y, and Z for the names of Talleyrand's agents. "I will never send another minister to France without assurances that he will be received, respected, and honored, as the representative of a great, free, powerful, and independent nation," Adams declared. The American public was outraged at publication of the dispatches, and Congress enacted a series of measures to raise an army and authorize a Navy Department. It also unilaterally abrogated treaties with France, authorizing privateers and public vessels to attack French ships found competing with American commerce. Between 1798 and 1800 the U.S. Navy captured more than 80 French ships, although neither country officially declared war.
The British delighted in the anti-French uproar in America and moved to assist the United States against a common foe, revolutionary France. President Adams wanted to avoid a major war, confident that had France wanted war it would have responded to American attacks on French ships. Talleyrand feared that limited hostilities with the United States might escalate into a fullscale war and let it be known that he would accept a new American diplomatic representative. Adams nominated a new representative to France despite public and Federalist disappointment that there would be no war, but conceded to Federalist demands and expanded the single nomination into a commission of three. Although the Franco-American negotiations were initially deadlocked, France finally agreed to cancel the Treaty of Alliance of 1778 if the United States dropped financial claims resulting from recent seizures of American merchant shipping. The resulting Convention of 1800 terminated the only formal treaty of alliance of the United States. It would be nearly a century and a half before the United States entered into another formal alliance.
The XYZ Affair was a diplomatic incident that almost led to war between the United States and France. The scandal inflamed U.S. public opinion and led to the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 (1 Stat. 570, 596). Though the affair caused an unofficial naval war, the two countries were able to negotiate their differences and end their conflict in 1800.
The affair took place during one of the Napoleonic wars between France and Great Britain. The French regarded the United States as a hostile nation, particularly after the signing of Jay's Treaty in 1794. This treaty settled some of the problems that continued to cause friction between the United States and Great Britain after the peace treaty of 1783 that granted the colonies independence. Consequently, President John Adams appointed Charles Pinckney minister to France in 1796 in an attempt to ease French-U.S. relations.
After Charles Talleyrand, the French foreign minister, refused to recognize Pinckney, Adams appointed a commission to France, consisting of Pinckney, John Marshall, and Elbridge Gerry. Before official negotiations on a treaty to establish peaceful relations and normalize trade could occur, Talleyrand sent three French agents to meet with the commission members. The agents suggested that Talleyrand would agree to the treaty if he received from the United States a $250,000 bribe and France received a $10 million loan. The commission refused, with Pinckney quoted as saying, "No! No! Not a sixpence!"
Outraged, the commission sent a report to Adams, who inserted the letters X, Y, and Z in place of the agents' names and forwarded the report to Congress. Congress and the public were angered at the attempted blackmail. An undeclared naval war took place between the two nations between 1798 and 1800. Anticipating a declared war with France, Congress enacted the Alien and Sedition Acts. These internal security laws were aimed at French and Irish immigrants, who were thought to be supportive of France. The acts lengthened the period of naturalization for Aliens, authorized the president to expel any alien considered dangerous, permitted the detention of subjects of an enemy nation, and limited Freedom of the Press.
Talleyrand, unwilling to risk a declared war with the United States, sought an end to the dispute. The next U.S. delegation sent to France was treated with appropriate respect, and the Treaty of Morfontaine, which restored normal relations between France and the United States, was signed in 1800.
After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician. He was elected twice to the New York State Assembly (1784-1785, 1798-1799), was appointed New York State Attorney General (1789-1791), was chosen as a United States Senator (1791-1797) from the state of New York, and reached the apex of his career as Vice President of the United States (1801-1805).
The highlight of Burr's tenure as President of the Senate (one of his few official duties as Vice President) was the Senate's first impeachment trial, of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. In 1804, the last full year of his single term as Vice President, Burr killed his political rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Burr was never tried for the illegal duel, and all charges against him were eventually dropped. The death of Hamilton, however, ended Burr's political career. President Jefferson dropped him from the ticket for the 1804 presidential election, and he never held office again.
After leaving Washington, Burr traveled west seeking new opportunities, both economic and political. His activities eventually led to his arrest on charges of treason in 1807. Although the subsequent trial resulted in acquittal, Burr's western schemes left him with large debts and few influential friends. In a final quest for grand opportunities, he left the United States for Europe. He remained overseas until 1812, when he returned to the United States to practice law in New York City. There he spent the remainder of his long life in relative obscurity.
The Louisiana Purchase (French: Vente de la Louisiane "Sale of Louisiana") was the acquisition by the United States of America in 1803 of 828,000 square miles (2,140,000 km2) of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana. The U.S. paid 50 million francs ($11,250,000) plus cancellation of debts worth 18 million francs ($3,750,000), for a total sum of 15 million dollars (less than 3 cents per acre) for the Louisiana territory ($233 million in 2011 dollars, less than 42 cents per acre).
The Louisiana territory encompassed all or part of 15 current U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The land purchased contained all of present-day Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska; parts of Minnesota that were west of the Mississippi River; most of North Dakota; most of South Dakota; northeastern New Mexico; northern Texas; the portions of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado east of the Continental Divide; Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, including the city of New Orleans; and small portions of land that would eventually become part of the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.
France controlled this vast area from 1699 until 1762, the year it gave the territory to its ally Spain. Under Napoleon Bonaparte, France took back the territory in 1800 in the hope of building an empire in North America. A slave revolt in Haiti and an impending war with Britain, however, led France to abandon these plans and sell the entire territory to the United States, who had originally intended only to seek the purchase of New Orleans and its adjacent lands.
The purchase of the territory of Louisiana took place during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. At the time, the purchase faced domestic opposition because it was thought to be unconstitutional. Although he agreed that the U.S. Constitution did not contain provisions for acquiring territory, Jefferson decided to go ahead with the purchase anyway in order to remove France's presence in the region and to protect both U.S. trade access to the port of New Orleans and free passage on the Mississippi River.
A legislative measure enacted by Congress in 1807 at the behest of President Thomas Jefferson that banned trade between U.S. ports and foreign nations.
The Embargo Act was intended to use economic pressure to compel England and France to remove restrictions on commercial trading with neutral nations that they imposed in their warfare with each other. Napoleon decreed under his Continental system that no ally of France or any neutral nation could trade with Great Britain, in order to destroy the English economy. In retaliation, England caused a blockade of the northern European coastline, affecting nations that had remained neutral in the dispute between France and England. These vindictive measures hurt neutral American traders, prompting Congress to take action to safeguard the economic interests of the United States. The first enactment was the Nonimportation Act of 1806 (2 Stat. 379), which prohibited the import of designated English goods to stop the harsh treatment of American ships caught running the blockade. The Embargo Act of 1807 (2 Stat. 451) superseded this enactment and expanded the prohibition against international trade to all nations. A later amendment in 1809 (2 Stat. 506) extended the ban from American ports to inland waters and overland transactions, thereby stopping trade with Canada, and mandated strict enforcement of its provisions.
The American public opposed the act, particularly those segments dependent upon international trade for their livelihoods. This opposition eventually led to the enactment of the Non-Intercourse Act (2 Stat. 528 ), which superseded the stringent provisions of the Embargo Act. Under that act, only trade with England and France was proscribed, but the measure was ineffectual.
Subsequently, in 1810, Nathaniel Macon proposed a measure, called Macon's Bill No. 2, which Congress enacted despite solid Federalist opposition, that empowered the president to resume commerce with the warring nation that lifts its restrictions on neutral trade.
The War of 1812 was a military conflict fought between the forces of the United States and those of the British Empire. The United States declared war in 1812 for several reasons, including trade restrictions brought about by Britain's ongoing war with France, the impressment of American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support of American Indian tribes against American expansion, outrage over insults to national honour after humiliations on the high seas, and possible American desire to annex Canada. Tied down in Europe until 1814, the British at first used defensive strategy, repelling multiple American invasions of the provinces of Upper and Lower Canada. However, the Americans gained control over Lake Erie in 1813, seized parts of western Ontario, and ended the prospect of an Indian confederacy and an independent Indian state in the Midwest under British sponsorship. In the Southwest, General Andrew Jackson destroyed the military strength of the Creek nation at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. With the defeat of Napoleon in 1814 on April 6, the British adopted a more aggressive strategy, sending in three large invasion armies. The British victory at the Battle of Bladensburg in August 1814 allowed them to capture and burn Washington, D.C. American victories in September 1814 and January 1815 repulsed all three British invasions in New York, Baltimore and New Orleans.
The war was fought in three principal theatres. Firstly, at sea, warships and privateers of both sides attacked each other's merchant ships, while the British blockaded the Atlantic coast of the U.S. and mounted large-scale raids in the later stages of the war. Secondly, both land and naval battles were fought on the American-Canadian frontier, which ran along the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River. Thirdly, the American South and Gulf Coast also saw major land battles in which the American forces defeated Britain's Indian allies and repulsed a British invasion force at New Orleans.
Both sides invaded each other's territory, but these invasions were unsuccessful or temporary. At the end of the war, both sides occupied parts of the other's land, but these areas were restored by the Treaty of Ghent.
In the United States, victories at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 and in the Battle of Baltimore of 1814 (which inspired the lyrics of the United States national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner") produced a sense of euphoria over a "second war of independence" against Britain. Peace brought an "Era of Good Feelings" in which partisan animosity nearly vanished. Canada also emerged from the war with a heightened sense of national feeling and solidarity, having repelled multiple American invasions. Battles such as the Battle of Queenston Heights and the Battle of Crysler's Farm became iconic for English-speaking Canadians. In Canada, especially Ontario, memory of the war retains national significance, as the invasions were largely perceived by Canadians as an annexation attempt by America seeking to expand US territory. In Canada, numerous ceremonies are scheduled in 2012 to commemorate a Canadian victory. The war is scarcely remembered in Britain today; as it regarded the conflict as sideshow to the much larger Napoleonic Wars raging in Europe. As such it welcomed an era of peaceful relations and trade with the United States.
John Quincy Adams(July 11, 1767 - February 23, 1848) was the sixth president of the United States (1825-1829). He served as American diplomat, Senator, and Congressional representative. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of former President John Adams and Abigail Adams. As a diplomat, Adams played an important role in negotiating many international treaties, most notably the Treaty of Ghent, which ended the War of 1812. As Secretary of State, he negotiated with the United Kingdom over America's northern border with Canada, negotiated with Spain the annexation of Florida, and authored the Monroe Doctrine. Historians agree he was one of the greatest diplomats and secretaries of state in American history.
As president, he sought to modernize the American economy and promoted education. Adams enacted a part of his agenda and paid off much of the national debt. He was stymied by a Congress controlled by his enemies, and his lack of patronage networks helped politicians eager to undercut him. He lost his 1828 bid for re-election to Andrew Jackson. In doing so, he became the first president since his father to serve a single term.
Adams is best known as a diplomat who shaped America's foreign policy in line with his ardently nationalist commitment to America's republican values. More recently Howe (2007) portrayed Adams as the exemplar and moral leader in an era of modernization. During Adams' lifetime, technological innovations and new means of communication spread messages of religious revival, social reform, and party politics. Goods, money, and people traveled more rapidly and efficiently than ever before.
Adams was elected a U.S. Representative from Massachusetts after leaving office, serving for the last 17 years of his life with far greater acclamation than he had achieved as president. He is, so far, the only president later elected to the United States House of Representatives (though John Tyler was elected to the House of Representatives of the Confederate States just before his death in 1862). Animated by his growing revulsion against slavery, Adams became a leading opponent of the Slave Power. He predicted that if a civil war were to break out, the president could abolish slavery by using his war powers. Adams also predicted the Union's dissolution over the slavery issue, but said that if the South became independent there would be a series of bloody slave revolts.
A plan to strengthen and unify the nation, the American System was advanced by the Whig Party and a number of leading politicians including Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun and John Quincy Adams. The System was a new form of federalism that included:
Support for a high tariff to protect American industries and generate revenue for the federal government
Maintenance of high public land prices to generate federal revenue
Preservation of the Bank of the United States to stabilize the currency and rein in risky state and local banks
Development of a system of internal improvements (such as roads and canals) which would knit the nation together and be financed by the tariff and land sales revenues.
Clay argued that the West, which opposed the tariff, should support it since urban factory workers would be consumers of western foods. In Clay's view, the South (which also opposed high tariffs) should support them because of the ready market for cotton in northern mills. This last argument was the weak link. The South was never really on board with the American System and had access to plenty of markets for its cotton exports.
Clay first used the term "American System" in 1824, although he had been working for its specifics for many years previously.
Portions of the American System were enacted by Congress. The Second Bank of the United States was rechartered in 1816 for 20 years. High tariffs were maintained from the days of Hamilton until 1832. However, the national system of internal improvements was never adequately funded; the failure to do so was due in part to sectional jealousies and constitutional scruples about such expenditures.
Despite his uneven success in gaining passage of all aspects of the American System, Henry Clay was proud of the plan. In a speech in Cincinnati in 1830, he declared:
That system has had a wonderful success. It has more than realized all the hopes of its founders. It has completely falsified all the predictions of its opponents. It has increased the wealth, and power, and population of the nation. It has diminished the price of articles of consumption and has placed them within the reach of a far greater number of our people than could have found means to command them if they had been manufactured abroad instead of at home.
The term Corrupt Bargain refers to three historic incidents in American history in which political agreement was determined by congressional or presidential actions that many viewed to be corrupt from different standpoints. Two of these involved resolution of indeterminate or disputed electoral votes from the United States presidential election process, and the third involved the disputed use of a presidential pardon. In all three cases, the president so elevated served a single term, or singular vacancy, and either did not run again, or was not reelected when he ran.
In the 1824 election, no outright majority was attained and the process required resolution in the House of Representative, whose Speaker and candidate in his own right, Henry Clay, gave his support to John Quincy Adams, and was then selected to be his Secretary of State.
Martin Van Buren (December 5, 1782 - July 24, 1862) was the eighth President of the United States (1837-1841). Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President (1833-1837) and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson (1829-1831).
Van Buren was a key organizer of the Democratic Party, a dominant figure in the Second Party System, and the first president not of British or Irish descent—his family was Dutch. He was the first president to be born a United States citizen, his predecessors having been born British subjects before the American Revolution. He is also the only president not to have spoken English as his first language, having grown up speaking Dutch, and the first president from New York.
As Andrew Jackson's Secretary of State and then Vice President, Van Buren was a key figure in building the organizational structure for Jacksonian democracy, particularly in New York State. As president, he did not want the United States to annex Texas, an act which John Tyler would achieve eight years after Van Buren's initial rejection. Between the bloodless Aroostook War and the Caroline Affair, relations with Britain and its colonies in Canada also proved to be strained.
His administration was largely characterized by the economic hardship of his time, the Panic of 1837. He was scapegoated for the depression and called "Martin Van Ruin" by his political opponents. Van Buren was voted out of office after four years, losing to Whig candidate William Henry Harrison.
In the 1848 election Van Buren ran unsuccessfully for president on a third-party ticket, the Free Soil Party.
Henry Clay, Sr. (April 12, 1777 - June 29, 1852), was a lawyer, politician and skilled orator who represented Kentucky separately in both the Senate and in the House of Representatives. He served three different terms as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and was also Secretary of State from 1825 to 1829.
Clay was a dominant figure in both the First and Second Party systems. As a leading war hawk, he favored war with Britain and played a significant role in leading the nation to war in 1812. Later he was involved in the "Corrupt Bargain" of 1824, after which he was appointed Secretary of State by newly elected President John Quincy Adams, earning the scorn of Andrew Jackson. He was the foremost proponent of the American System, fighting for an increase in tariffs to foster industry in the United States, the use of federal funding to build and maintain infrastructure, and a strong national bank. He opposed the annexation of Texas, fearing it would inject the slavery issue into politics. Clay also opposed the Mexican-American War and the "Manifest Destiny" policy of Democrats, which cost him votes in the close 1844 election. Clay made numerous attempts at becoming president, making five serious runs. He secured a major party nomination three of those times and lost all three elections.
Dubbed the "Great Pacificator," Clay brokered important compromises during the Nullification Crisis and on the slavery issue. As part of the "Great Triumvirate" or "Immortal Trio," along with his colleagues Daniel Webster and John C. Calhoun, he was instrumental in formulating the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and the Compromise of 1850. He was viewed as the primary representative of Western interests in this group, and was given the names "Henry of the West" and "The Western Star." A plantation owner, Clay held slaves during his lifetime but freed them in his Will.
Abraham Lincoln, the Whig leader in Illinois, was a great admirer of Clay, saying he was "my ideal of a great man." Lincoln wholeheartedly supported Clay's economic programs. In 1957, a Senate Committee selected Clay as one of the five greatest U.S. Senators, along with Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Robert La Follette, and Robert Taft.[5
The Democratic-Republican Party, is the political party organized by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison in 1791. It stood in oposition to the Federalist Party and dominated American politics from 1800 to the 1820s, during the First Party System.
Contemporary and historical sources call it the Republican Party, while political scientists use the hyphenated version. Historians also refer to the party as the Jeffersonian republicans, to distinguish it from the modern Republican Party, which was founded in 1854.
The organization formed first as an "Anti-Administration" secret meeting in the national capital (Philadelphia) to oppose the programs of Secretary for the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to counteract the Federalists, a nationwide party organized by Hamilton. Foreign affairs took a leading role in 1794-95 as the Republicans vigorously opposed the Jay Treaty with Britain, which was then at war with France. Republicans saw France as more democratic after its revolution, while Britain represented the hated monarchy. The party denounced many of Hamilton's measures (especially the national bank) as unconstitutional.
The party was strongest in the South and weakest in the Northeast; it favored states' rights and the primacy of the yeoman farmers. Republicans were deeply committed to the principles of republicanism, which they feared were threatened by the supposed monarchical tendencies of the Hamiltonians/Federalists. The party came to power with the election of Jefferson in 1801. The Federalists—too elitist to appeal to most people—faded away, and totally collapsed after 1815. The Republicans, despite internal divisions, dominated the First Party System until partisanship itself withered away during the Era of Good Feelings after 1816.
The party selected its presidential candidates in a caucus of members of Congress. They included Thomas Jefferson (nominated 1796; elected 1800-1, 1804), James Madison (1808, 1812), James Monroe (1816, 1820). By 1824 the caucus system practically collapsed. After 1800, the party dominated Congress and most state governments outside New England. By 1824 the party was split 4 ways and lacked a center. One remnant followed Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren into the new Democratic Party by 1828. That party still exists. Another remnant led by John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay formed the National Republicans in 1828; It held its first convention in late 1831 in Baltimore. It morphed into the Whig Party by 1835. The Whig Party fell apart in the mid-1850s because it could not bridge North-South differences on slavery, while the Democrats held together by taking positions favored by the South.
The Whig Party was a political party of the United States during the era of Jacksonian democracy. Considered integral to the Second Party System and operating from the early 1830s to the mid-1850s, the party was formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party. In particular, the Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism. This name was chosen to echo the American Whigs of 1776, who fought for independence, and because "Whig" was then a widely recognized label of choice for people who identified as opposing tyranny. The Whig Party counted among its members such national political luminaries as Daniel Webster, William Henry Harrison, and their preeminent leader, Henry Clay of Kentucky. In addition to Harrison, the Whig Party also nominated war hero generals Zachary Taylor and Winfield Scott. Abraham Lincoln was the chief Whig leader in frontier Illinois.
In its two decades of existence, the Whig Party had two of its candidates, William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor, elected president. Both died in office. John Tyler succeeded to the presidency after Harrison's death but was expelled from the party. Millard Fillmore, who became president after Taylor's death, was the last Whig to hold the nation's highest office.
The party was ultimately destroyed by the question of whether to allow the expansion of slavery to the territories. With deep fissures in the party on this question, the anti-slavery faction prevented the re-nomination of its own incumbent President Fillmore in the 1852 presidential election; instead, the party nominated General Winfield Scott. Most Whig party leaders thereupon quit politics (as Lincoln did temporarily) or changed parties. The northern voter base mostly joined the new Republican Party. By the 1856 presidential election, the party was virtually defunct. In the South, the party vanished, but as Thomas Alexander has shown, Whiggery as a policy orientation persisted for decades and played a major role in shaping the modernizing policies of the state governments during Reconstruction after 1865.
The Panic of 1819 was the first major financial crisis in the United States, and occurred during the political calm of the Era of Good Feelings. The new nation previously had faced a depression in the late 1780s, following the war of independence, which had led directly to the establishment of the dollar and, perhaps indirectly, to the calls for a Constitutional Convention. It had also experienced another severe economic downturn in the late 1790s, following the Panic of 1797. In the earlier crises however, the primary cause of economic turmoil originated in foreign trade and the broader Atlantic economy. These crises and others had resulted from international conflicts such as the Embargo Act of 1807 and the War of 1812, and had caused widespread domestic foreclosures, bank failures, unemployment, and a slump in agriculture and manufacturing. However, things would change for the US economy after the Second Bank of the United States was founded in 1816, in response to the spread of banknotes issued by private banks, due to inflation brought on by the debt following the war. In contrast, the causes of the Panic of 1819 largely originated within the U.S. economy. The panic marked the end of the economic expansion that had followed the war and ushered in new financial policies that would shape economic development. William Henry Harrison (February 9, 1773 - April 4, 1841) was the ninth President of the United States (1841), an American military officer and politician, and the first president to die in office. He was 68 years, 23 days old when inaugurated, the oldest president to take office until Ronald Reagan in 1981, and last President to be born before the United States Declaration of Independence. Harrison died on his 32nd day in office[a] of complications from pneumonia, serving the shortest tenure in United States presidential history. His death sparked a brief constitutional crisis, but that crisis ultimately resolved many questions about presidential succession left unanswered by the Constitution until passage of the 25th Amendment.
Before election as president, Harrison served as the first territorial congressional delegate from the Northwest Territory, governor of the Indiana Territory and later as a U.S. representative and senator from Ohio. He originally gained national fame for leading U.S. forces against American Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811, where he earned the nickname "Tippecanoe" (or "Old Tippecanoe"). As a general in the subsequent War of 1812, his most notable contribution was a victory at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, which brought an end to hostilities in his region.
After the war, Harrison moved to Ohio, where he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, and in 1824 he became a member of the Senate. There he served a truncated term before being appointed as Minister Plenipotentiary to Colombia in May 1828. In Colombia, he spoke with Simón Bolívar urging his nation to adopt American-style democracy, before returning to his farm in Ohio, where he lived in relative retirement until he was nominated for the presidency in 1836. Defeated, he retired again to his farm before being elected president in 1840, and died of pneumonia in April 1841, a month after taking office.
John Tyler (29 March 1790 - 18 January 1862) was the tenth President of the United States (1841-1845), after being the tenth Vice President of the United States (1841). A native of Virginia, Tyler served as a state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator before being elected Vice President in 1840. He was the first to succeed to the office of President on the death of the incumbent, succeeding William Henry Harrison. Tyler's opposition to nationalism and emphatic support of states' rights endeared him to his fellow Virginians but alienated him from most of the political allies that brought him to power in Washington. His presidency was crippled by opposition from both parties. Near the end of his life, he supported the secession movement in the southern states, and was elected to the Congress of the Confederate States of America.
Tyler was born to an aristocratic Virginia family of English descent, and came to national prominence at a time of political upheaval. In the 1820s, the nation's only political party, the Democratic-Republicans, split into factions, most of which did not share Tyler's strict constructionist ideals. Though initially a Democrat, his opposition to Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren led him to alliance with the Whig Party; he was elected Vice President In 1840 on the Whig ticket. Upon the death of President William Henry Harrison on 4 April 1841, only a month after his inauguration, a short Constitutional crisis arose over the succession process. Tyler immediately moved into the White House, took the oath of office, and assumed full presidential powers, a precedent that would govern future successions and eventually be codified in the Twenty-fifth Amendment.
As President, Tyler opposed the Whig platform and vetoed several of their proposals. As a result, most of his cabinet resigned, and the Whigs, dubbing him His Accidency, expelled him from the party. While he faced a stalemate on domestic policy, he still had several foreign policy achievements, including the Webster-Ashburton Treaty with Britain and the Treaty of Wanghia with Qing China. Tyler dedicated his last two years in office to the annexation of Texas. He sought re-election to a full term, but he had alienated Whigs and the Democrats wouldn't have him back. His efforts to form a new party came to nothing. However, in the last days of his term, Congress passed the resolution authorizing annexation, which was carried out by Tyler's successor as President, James K. Polk.
Tyler essentially retired from electoral politics until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. He sided with the Confederate government, and won election to the Confederate House of Representatives shortly before his death. Although some have praised Tyler's political resolve, his presidency is generally held in low esteem by historians; today he is considered an obscure president, with little presence in the American cultural memory.
The factory system was a method of manufacturing first adopted in England at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the 1750s and later spread abroad. This system replaced the putting-out system. The main characteristic of the factory system was the use of machinery, usually powered by water or steam. Other characteristics of the system mostly derive from the use of machinery or economies of scale. These characteristics are:
Change from craftsman labor: Before factories many products such as shoes and muskets were made by skilled craftsmen who usually made an entire article, often custom and almost always unique. Factories practiced division of labor, in which most workers were either low skilled laborers who tended or operated machinery and unskilled laborers who moved materials, semi-finished and finished goods. There were a few skilled mechanics. Division of labor was also practiced by the putting out system in which, for example, pieces of leather were cut off site and brought to a central shop to be made into shoes or other articles.
Economies of scale: Factories produced product on a much larger scale than the putting out or crafts systems. Because factories could over supply local markets, access to transportation was important.
Factories used far less manpower per unit of production and therefore lowered product cost.
Location: Before the widespread use of steam power and railroads, most factories were located at water power sites and near water transportation. After the widespread introduction of railroads, which coincided with more efficient and affordable steam engines, factories could be located away from water power sites but tended to be located along railroads or with access to water transportation.
Building design: Workers and machines were brought together in a central factory building or buildings specially designed to handle the machinery and flow of materials. Although all work was usually done under one roof in the earliest factories, in multi-story buildings, different operations were done on different floors. (Multiple story buildings were common because they facilitated transmission of power from a water wheel, turbine or steam engine through line shafts.) In large factories, such as locomotive works, different processes were performed in different buildings. Foundry and blacksmith operations were normally kept in a separate building for reasons of safety, cleanliness and health.
Product uniformity, including any components, such as soles, heels and uppers for shoes and shoes made to uniform sizes, although in the early years a given size from different manufacturers had different dimensions. Uniformity was mainly due to the precision possible from machinery, but also, quality was overseen by management. The quality of many machine operations such as sewing was superior to hand methods. Near the end of the 19th century the capability of making interchangeable parts from metal was in widespread use.
Factories were able to produce a steady supply of goods.
Workers were paid either daily wages or for piece work, either in the form of money or some combination of money, housing, meals or goods from a company store. See: Truck system
The cost and complexity of machinery, especially that powered water or steam, was more than cottage industry workers could afford or had the skills to maintain. The exception was the sewing machine, which allowed putting out of sewing to continue for decades after the rise of factories. Home spinning and weaving were displaced after in the years following the introduction of factory production, especially where transportation facilitated distribution.
Because the efficiency of steam engines decreased with decreasing size and because cost per horsepower went up as size went down, the smallest steam engines were about 2 horsepower. This was a larger size than needed by most workshops and consequently most workshops relied on manual power until electrification in the 1910s and 1920s. To overcome this limitation many workshops rented space in power buildings which provided a take off from a line shaft powered by a central steam engine.
The Cumberland Road (National Road) was the first major improved highway in the United States to be built by the federal government. The approximately 620-mile (1,000 km) long National Road provided a connection between the Potomac and Ohio Rivers and a gateway to the West for thousands of settlers. When rebuilt in the 1830s, the Cumberland Road became the first road in the U.S. to use the new macadam road surfacing.
Construction began heading west in 1811 at Cumberland, Maryland, on the Potomac River. It crossed the Allegheny Mountains and southwestern Pennsylvania, reaching Wheeling, Virginia (now West Virginia), on the Ohio River in 1818. Plans were made to continue through St. Louis, at confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, and to Jefferson City upstream on the Missouri. Following the panic of 1837, however, funding ran dry and construction was stopped at Vandalia, Illinois, after crossing the states of Ohio and Indiana.
The Erie Canal greatly lowered the cost of shipping between the Mid-west and the Northeast, bringing much lower food costs to Eastern cities and allowing the East to economically ship machinery and manufactured goods to the Mid-west. The canal also made an immense contribution to the wealth and importance of New York City, Buffalo, and New York State. Its impact went much further, increasing trade throughout the nation by opening eastern and overseas markets to Midwestern farm products and by enabling migration to the West.
New ethnic Irish communities formed in some towns along its route after completion, as Irish immigrants were a large portion of the construction labor force. Earth extracted from the canal was transported to the New York city area and used as landfill in New York and New Jersey. A plaque honoring the canal's construction is located in Battery Park in southern Manhattan.
Because so many immigrants traveled on the canal, many genealogists have sought copies of canal passenger lists. Apart from the years 1827-1829, canal boat operators were not required to record or report passenger names to the government, which, in this case, was the state of New York. Those 1827-1829 passenger lists survive today in the New York State Archives, and other sources of traveler information are sometimes available.
The Canal also helped bind the still-new nation closer to Britain and Europe. British repeal of the Corn Law resulted in a huge increase in exports of Midwestern wheat to Britain. Trade between the United States and Canada also increased as a result of the Corn Law and a reciprocity (free-trade) agreement signed in 1854; much of this trade flowed along the Erie.
Its success also prompted imitation: a rash of canal-building followed. Also, the many technical hurdles that had to be overcome made heroes of those whose innovations made the canal possible. This led to an increased public esteem for practical education. Chicago, among other Great Lakes cities, recognized the commercial importance of the canal to its economy, and two West Loop streets are named Canal and Clinton (for canal proponent DeWitt Clinton).
Concern that erosion caused by logging in the Adirondacks could silt up the canal contributed to the creation of another New York National Historic Landmark, the Adirondack Park, in 1885.
Two "low" lift bridges in Lockport, New York July 2010.
Many notable authors wrote about the canal, including Herman Melville, Frances Trollope, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, Samuel Hopkins Adams and the Marquis de Lafayette, and many tales and songs were written about life on the canal. The popular song "Low Bridge" by Thomas S. Allen was written in 1905 to memorialize the canal's early heyday, when barges were pulled by mules rather than engines.
American Colonization Society, organized Dec., 1816-Jan., 1817, at Washington, D.C., to transport free blacks from the United States and settle them in Africa. The freeing of many slaves, principally by idealists, created a serious problem in that no sound provisions were made for establishing them in society on an equal basis with white Americans anywhere in the United States. Robert Finley, principal founder of the colonization society, found much support among prominent men, notably Henry Clay. Money was raised—with some indirect help from the federal government when (1819) Congress appropriated $100,000 for returning to Africa blacks illegally brought to the United States. In 1821 an agent, Eli Ayres, and Lt. R. F. Stockton of the U.S. Navy purchased land in Africa, where subsequently Jehudi Ashmun and Ralph R. Gurley laid the foundations of Liberia. The colonization movement came under the bitter attack of the abolitionists, who charged that in the South it strengthened slavery by removing the free blacks. The blacks themselves were not enthusiastic about abandoning their native land for the African coast. The colonization society, with its associated state organizations, declined after 1840. More than 11,000 blacks were transported to Liberia before 1860. From 1865 until its dissolution in 1912, the society was a sort of trustee for Liberia.