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In western Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida lived what were known as the "Five Civilized Tribes"-the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw-most of whom had established settled agricultural societies with successful economies. These tribes were sedentary, had an agricultural economy, and had towns, villages, and wooden homes. They also adopted white culture. The Cherokees in Georgia had formed a particularly stable and sophisticated culture, with their own written language, and a formal constitution that created an independent Cherokee Nation. Even some whites argued that the Cherokees, unlike other tribes, should be allowed to retain their eastern lands, since they had become such a "civilized" society and had, under pressure from missionaries and government agents, given up many of their traditional ways. Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi began passing laws to regulate the tribes remaining in their states. They received assistance in these efforts from Congress, which in 1830 passed the Removal Act to appropriate money to finance federal negotiations with the southern tribes aimed at relocating them to the West. In Georgia, the Cherokees tried to stop the white encroachments by appealing to the Supreme Court. The Court's decisions in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia and Worcester v. Georgia seemed at least partially to vindicate the tribe. Jackson's longtime hostility toward Native Americans left him with little sympathy for the Cherokees and little patience with the Court. He sent an army of 7,000 under General Winfield Scott to round them up and drive them westward at bayonet point. The basis of the Seminole War was the Seminole Indians resisting relocation. Though many died in the process, some managed to resist the pressures to relocate.
Opposition to the Bank came from two very different groups: the "soft-money" faction and the "hard money" faction. Advocates of the soft money-people who wanted more currency in circulation and believed that issuing bank notes unsupported by gold and silber was the best way to circulate more currency-consisted largely of state bankers and their allies. The hard-money people believed that gold and silver were the only basis for money. The soft-money advocates were believers in rapid economic growth and speculation; the hard-money forces embraced older ideas of "public virtue" and looked with suspicion on expansion and speculation. Jackson supported the hard-money position. He made it clear that he would not favor renewing the charter of the Bank of the United States, which was due to expire in 1836. Congress passed the recharter bill; Jackson, predictably, vetoed it; and the Bank's supporters in Congress failed to override the veto. He decided to remove the government's deposits from the Bank. Jackson's secretary of the Treasury believed that such an action would destabilize the financial system and refused to give the order. Jackson fired him and appointed a new one. When the new secretary similarly balked, Jackson fired him too and named a third, more compliant secretary: Attorney General Roger B. Taney, his close friend and loyal ally. Taney began placing the government's deposits not in the Bank of the United States, as it had in the past, but in a number of state banks. When the Bank of the United States died in 1836, the country lost a valuable, albeit flawed, financial institution and was left with a fragmented and chronically unstable banking system that would plague the economy for more than a century.
The national culture in America developed through economic, cultural, social, and political factors. Before 1800, most of the literature in America was heavily influenced by the British. Noah Webster argued that American students should be educated as patriots, their minds filled with nationalistic, American thoughts. To encourage a distinctive American culture and help unify the new nation, Webster insisted on a simplified and Americanized system of spelling. His American Spelling Book, first published in 1783 and commonly known as the "blue-backed speller", eventually sold over 100 million copies. In addition, his school dictionary, issued in 1806, was republished in many editions and was eventually enlarged to become An American Dictionary of the English Language. His speller and his dictionary established a national standard of words and usages. But there were few opportunities for would-be American authors to get their work before the public. Printers preferred to publish popular works by English writers; magazine publishers filled their pages largely with items clipped from British periodicals. Only those American writers willing to pay the cost and bear the risk of publishing their own works could compete for public attention. Barlow published an epic poem, The Columbiad, in 1807, in an effort to convey the special character of American civilization. The acclaim it received helped to encourage other native writers. Among the most ambitious was the Philadelphian Charles Brockden Brown. Like many Americans, he was attracted to the relatively new literary form of the novel, had become popular in England in the late eighteenth century and had been successfully imported to America. His obsession with originality led him to produce a body of work characterized by a fascination with horror and deviant behavior. Perhaps as a result, his novels failed to develop a large people following. Washington Irving won wide acclaim for his satirical histories of early American life and his powerful fables of society in the New World. His popular folktales including the Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle made him the widely acknowledged leader of American literary life in his era. Perhaps the most influential works by American authors in the early republic were not poems, novels, or stories, but works of history that glorified the nation's past. Mercy Otis Warren published History of the Revolution, which emphasized the heroism of the American struggle. Mason Weems published Life of Washington. Weems had little interest in historical accuracy. He portrayed the aristocratic former president as a homespun man possessing simple republican virtues.