Upgrade to remove ads
Important Conflicts in American History
Terms in this set (15)
Woodrow Wilson v. Henry Cabot Lodge
President Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign relations Committee, battled over ratification of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. At issue, in particular, was U.S. entry into the League of Nations, which was part of Wilson's Fourteen Points peace proposal that he managed to salvage at the Versailles negotiations. Lodge was angry with Wilson for not consulting him or other key Republicans during the negotiations and sought to add al list of "reservations" to the League of Nations. Wilson, who was unwilling to compromise, was adamant about retaining Article X in its original form, which called for member nations to go to the assistance of any nation that suffered acts of aggression. Lodge's protests and stalling, coupled with Wilson's intransigence and crippling stroke at the height of the battle, led to the defeat of the Treaty and blocked U.S. membership in the League. In retreating from the obligations of world leadership, the U.S. may have crippled the League and doomed it to ineffectiveness (maybe it would have been ineffective anyway, witness the UN?)
Alexander Hamilton v. Thomas Jefferson
Hamilton, Secretary of Treasury in Washington's cabinet, and Jefferson, Secretary of State, clashed over Hamilton's proposed domestic program and Jefferson's support for France in foreign relations. Jefferson disagreed with Hamilton's plans to fund the public debt, to create a national bank, to impose a whiskey excise tax, and to impose a protective tariff to encourage manufacturing. Representing different constituencies, the two soon headed different factions with Hamilton representing the business elite and Jefferson representing the agrarian element in society (these factions would shortly coalesce into our first political parties, the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans). Congressional acceptance of Hamilton's funding plans, national bank, and whiskey excise tax put the country on a firm foundation financially and set a precedent for a strong national government and a loose interpretation of the Constitution, but it was Jefferson's less aristocratic faction which in the end garnered greater political and public support and set the country on a path toward democracy.
Richard Nixon v. the Supreme Court
President Nixon clashed with the Supreme Court in July, 1974, over his claim of executive privilege in objecting to release of critical portions of the Watergate tapes. Special prosecutor Leon Jaworski obtained a court order directing Nixon to turn over the tapes. Nixon's appeal to the Supreme Court seeking support for his claim of executive privilege resulted in an 8-0 decision against him (the Court agreed there is such a thing as executive privilege but found that it is not absolute and does not protect a sitting president from all judicial process). The release of the tapes, which contained damaging evidence that the president had lied about his knowledge of the Watergate cover up, was a key factor in forcing Nixon's resignation in August.
Franklin D. Roosevelt v. the Supreme Court
In 1937, FDR, frustrated by the Supreme Court's invalidation of key New Deal legislation (e.g., Schecter and NIRA, and Butler and AAA), sought the right to add six new justices to the Court to "assist" the older judges over 70 years old. (Remember, Constitution does not set the number of justices; Congress is free to change the number by adding or subtracting). Even though Congress was controlled by the Democrats, it refused to allow this "packing of the Court" because it would have upset the balance of power among the three branches of government.
Rutherford B. Hayes v. Samuel Tilden
Hayes, a Republican, and Tilden, a Democrat, clashed in the very close presidential election of 1876. Voters, apparently tired of the corruption of the Grant administration, voted in large numbers for Tilden. Election results hinged on twenty key electoral votes in states submitting disputed returns (primarily from Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana - the only three southern states still controlled by Republicans and not yet "redeemed" and returned to white Democratic control). Tilden needed only one of the disputed votes; Hayes needed all twenty to win. An electoral commission, which was created with seven members of each party and one "independent," a Supreme Court justice, was ultimately configured in favor of the Republicans after the independent member resigned (President Grant, a Republican, made the final appointment in favor of the Republicans).The commission of course gave the disputed votes to Hayes. Democratic claims that the election was stolen were quieted when Hayes agreed to remove federal troops from the South and officially end Reconstruction in return for a Democratic "promise" that southern states would recognize and protect the civil and political rights of black Americans. This "Compromise of 1877" allowed Democrats to regain control of the last remaining Republican-controlled southern states and left African Americans at the mercy of white Democrats bent on retaliation. Jim Crow, disfranchisement (poll taxes, literacy tests, etc.), and lynchings will follow.
Gloria Steinem v. Phyllis Schlafly
Steinem, feminist founder of Ms. magazine, and Schlafly, leader of a nationwide movement in opposition to the women's rights movement, clashed in the 1970s over the Equal Rights Amendment and a variety of other feminist issues. Steinem argued the necessity of reform to gain equal rights while Schlafly countered that these moves would deprive women of separate restrooms, exemption from the draft, alimony, and the right to attend single-sex colleges. Divisions within American women may have doomed the ERA to defeat.
Harry S Truman v. Douglas MacArthur
During the Korean Conflict, President Truman, the Commander-in-Chief, and MacArthur, the general in charge of the UN's operation in Korea, argued over the goals of American/UN involvement: Truman was willing to use military force not just to push the North Koreans out of South Korea but also to push communism out of North Korea and to seek the reunion of the two Koreas under a pro-western government, but after the Chinese sent troops into North Korea to push the UN forces back below the 38th parallel Truman seemed to settle for the limited goal of keeping communism out of South Korea (he feared an all-out war with China). MacArthur, on the other hand, chafed at the idea of "limited war" and called for expanding the conflict by bombing and invading China - MacArthur urged that the conflict be broadened into an effort to eliminate communism from Asia generally. When MacArthur's public statements in support of a more vigorous policy in Korea became too loud, Truman fired him. Many Americans found Truman's limited approach to the conflict frustrating, and MacArthur was quite popular. However, removal of MacArthur preserved the constitutional power of the president as Commander-in-Chief with final authority over the military, emphasizing that ultimate control of the American military lies in civilian hands.
William Jennings Bryan v. William McKinley
In 1896, Bryan, representing both the Populist and Democratic parties, lost to McKinley, the Republican. The election dealt largely with the silver issue and Bryan's determination to support inflation beneficial to farmers. Results of the election made clear the waning influence of farmers and the rising control of American business interests.
Abraham Lincoln v. Stephen Douglas
Lincoln and Douglas first clashed in the Senate race in Illinois in 1858. The Lincoln-Douglas debates focused on the slavery issue and served as a prelude to the 1860 presidential election. Lincoln's question asking Douglas how he reconciled his support for popular sovereignty with the then-recent Dred Scott decision turned out to be critical. In making his response, Douglas alienated both the proslavery advocates and the antislavery interests. By trying to take a neutral stand on the issue, Douglas hoped to preserve the Union. Lincoln's strong stand in opposition to the spread of slavery cost him all hope of gaining southern support but gained him solid support in the North. Although Douglas won the Senate seat, he lost the bigger election for the presidency in 1860. Lincoln's election was of course totally unacceptable to slave interests and led to southern secession.
Tories v. Patriots
In the American Revolution, Tories questioned giving up the stable government and protection of the British in return for an unknown American government ("Better a tyrant 3000 miles away than 1000 tyrants 3 miles away" or something like that). Fears of a possible move to remove the elite from positions of power further disquieted them. Patriots, on the other hand, approved the reasoning of Thomas Paine in Common Sense and Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence and supported war with Britain in an ultimately successful effort to gain independence.
Federalists v. Anti-Federalists
Federalists and Anti-Federalists argued over ratification of the Constitution of 1787. Anti-Federalists feared a strong central government physically far removed from them. Federalists saw a need for a stronger central government that could resolve the pressing problems, such as trade wars, financial problems, threats to private property, and difficulties with Indians and other nations that had popped up during our experience under the Articles of Confederation. (The Federalist Papers, a collection of newspaper editorials arguing the Federalist position during the ratification debate in New York, are a great source of insight into the Federalist position.) The Federalists ultimately prevailed and the Constitution of 1787 was ratified and replaced the Articles of Confederation. The conventional interpretation is that replacement of the Articles by the Constitution set our country on a firm foundation for progress into the future.
Andrew Jackson v. Nicholas Biddle
President Jackson and Nicholas Biddle, president of the Second Bank of the U.S., argued over the re-chartering of the Bank. Jackson argued that it was an institution of the rich and was both undemocratic and unconstitutional. Biddle argued that it had served a critical role in preserving the stability of money. In the presidential election of 1832, in which the Bank was the key issue, Jackson, the popular war hero and incumbent, won over Henry Clay, who supported the bank (remember his "American System"?). Killing the bank meant that the national government lost control of the money supply.
Herbert Hoover v. Franklin D. Roosevelt
In 1932, Hoover, the incumbent Republican president, and Roosevelt, the Democratic governor of New York, faced each other in the presidential election. Hoover was convinced that the country could ride out the deepening depression without significant changes in government responsibilities. Roosevelt, unsure exactly how to proceed, promised bold experimentation to bring the country back to prosperity. Roosevelt's victory in the election (and the three that followed it) set the nation on the path to becoming a welfare state with broad federal obligations to those unable to help themselves.
Martin Luther King, Jr. v. Malcolm X
In the mid-1960s, King, who preached and practiced nonviolence and cooperation with whites in his successful campaign to gain civil rights legislation, clashed with Malcolm X, the radical and articulate spokesman for "any means necessary to fight racism." Malcolm X spoke for the needs of the urban poor in particular and insisted that violence would gain attention and help the cause. Although he was assassinated in 1965, his thinking dominated the Civil Rights Movement for the next several years (see the transformation worked on the Civil Rights Movement by the Black Power movement).
W.E.B. DuBois v. Booker T. Washington
DuBois, founder of the NAACP, took issue with Washington's strategy of gradualism and accommodation with whites to prepare African Americans for eventual equality and social acceptance by whites. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, suggested that blacks start at the bottom and gain economic strength before insisting on equality. DuBois insisted that voting, and end to segregation, and advanced education for the "Talented Tenth" were reasonable requests in the early 1900s and that adherence to Washington's philosophy would put the Civil Rights Movement back decades.
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
Turning Points in American History
APUSH turning point years
Remembering Your Ps and Qs
Turning Points in American History
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...
APUSH Ch. 30
APUSH Ch. 30
APUSH CH 37
Unit 8 APUSH IDs
OTHER SETS BY THIS CREATOR
The Most Important Verbs
Kiswahili: Somo la Kwanza
Basic Portuguese - Chapter 10
Basic Portuguese - Chapter 9