AP US: James Monroe as President (1817-1825)

Nationalism and the "Era of Good Feelings"

  • Monroe walks in to a period of devotion to the interests of the nation as a whole, as the changes had begun under Madison
  • ascent of Democrat-Republican Party - becomes the only party in national politics
  • election of James Monroe to succeed Madison in 1817
    • last of the "Virginia Dynasty" (Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe)
    • last of the Revolutionary generation
    • almost unanimously elected to his second term
    • yet, not among the "great" Presidents
  • D-R Party changes
    • abandons states' rights and strict interpretation ideas, shifts away from original ideas
    • the shift is especially noticeable at the end of the Madison administration
    • begin to support measures that strengthen the central government
    • leaders (D-R) in Congress propose laws:
      • to increase the strength of the army and navy
      • to create protective tariffs for manufacturing
      • to build a national system of roads and canals
      • to create a vigorous foreign policy that will settle disputes
    • charters the Second Bank of the US - signed into law by James Madison before he leaves office, and he had been strongly against the First Bank

Economy: The American System

  • best shows the new spirit of cooperation and unity
  • program for economic development proposed by Henry Clay
    • Henry Clay, the "Great Compromiser" becomes one of the new statesmen of the era
  • Three Parts
    • Protective Tariff
      • allow American manufacturers, especially in the north, to develop and prosper
      • will be passed by Congress in 1816 to protect New England and the Middle States from British goods that flood the market after the War of 1812
      • supported by Calhoun, a leader of the South, because he believes that the South will ultimately benefit if the North industrialises
      • the West also thinks it will help their growth (this era sees the rise of the West as a part of national politics; there are now three factions, N, W, and S)
    • National Bank
      • stabilise economy
      • unite county economically
      • leading into the War of 1812, they had discovered that the economy had been destablised by the lack of a national bank, so they acknowledge that some kind of a banking system is needed
      • charter the Second Bank of the US
        • gets a 20-year charter in 1816
        • government owns 20% of the stock
        • signed into law by James Madison
    • Internal Transportation Improvements
      • use revenue from the tariffs for internal improvements
      • build roads, canals, etc. - with federal money
      • however, very little of this plan will actually be accomplished
      • the National Road, or the Cumberland Road, is extended to Wheeling, VA along the Ohio River
      • Bonus Bill of 1816
        • $1.5 million of invested money in the National Bank is to be used to fund internal improvements
        • backed by Calhoun
        • passed by Congress, vetoed by Madison - he couldn't justify using federal funds to build roads, he didn't believe that Congress had that power
        • liked by the West - wanted roads to transport goods, as easier transport lowers prices
        • individual states began to grant money to private companies to build roads and canals
          • often build toll roads to help offset the cost

Foreign Policy

  • shows the emerging nationalistic spirit
  • protect frontier and US interests in the Western Hemisphere
  • the national government attempts to safeguard settles in new states
    • sign treaties or fight Indians
    • move Indians to reservations
  • British begin to adopt a more friendly attitude towards the US, as demonstrated by two treaties that show a desire to talk rather than fight
  • Rush-Bagot Agreement on 1817
    • armament reduction treaty
    • reduces armaments along the Great Lakes
    • total disarmament will occur with the 1871 Treaty of Washington
  • Treaty of 1818
    • sets the 49th Parallel as the Northern boundary between the US and Canada, from Lake-in-the-Woods, Minnesota, to the Rocky Mountains
    • creates joint US-British occupation fo the Oregon Territory for 10 years; this is renewable
    • settles question of offshore fishing rights in Newfoundland
  • by 1819, the US has decided that they want to "round out" the borders by obtaining Florida from Spain
    • Spain wasn't happy about the idea, but the western part of Florida had already been annexed by the US as part of the Louisiana Purchase
  • Seminole War
    • Gen. Jackson begins to fight the Indians of the SE, but they flee to the protection of Spanish Florida
    • at one point, he decides to chase them into Florida, violating the Spanish boundary
      • he routs the Indians
      • executes 2 British traders who he believed had incited the raids
      • captured several Spanish forts
    • John Quincy Adams is Secretary of State
      • negotiates with Spain, and convinces them that they have no power and will lose Florida soon anyway
      • Adams - Onis Treaty (1819)
        • US obtains Florida from Spain
        • Spain gives up claims to the Oregon Territory, leaving only the US, Britain, and Russia with claims
        • US gives Spain $5 million
        • US gives up land claims to Texas

The Monroe Doctrine (1823)

  • this document was prepared by John Quincy Adams, the Secretary of State
  • this will become the cornerstone of American foreign policy
  • while Europe is involved in the Napoleonic Wars, Spain loses their Latin American colonies as they declare independence
  • Russia, Austria, Prussia and France (the Quadruple Alliance) are feared by the US, as they might attempt to regain Latin America
  • fear of disruption of trade and security
  • Russia's Edict of 1821
    • extended Alaska south to the 51st Parallel - into the Oregon Territory
    • they claim the Oregon Territory as an open field of colonisation
    • this disturbs the US, who also has claims to the Oregon region
  • Britain shares US fear of the Quadruple Alliance
    • wants an alliance with the US
    • but JQ Adams remembered that Washington had warned against entangling alliances that would force the young nation into costly wars
    • suggests to Monroe that something needs to be done, but not necessarily with Britain
  • statement of US nationalism - the US believes that it is a significant nation, and can make demands such as this; however, they will have to rely on the military power of another nation to defend this idea
  • Monroe declares the doctrine in four parts:
    • the Western Hemisphere is no longer open for European exploration, and they may no longer colonise
    • any attempt on the part of any European power to interfere in the Western Hemisphere would be considered dangerous to the peace and safety of the US; the US will take action as necessary to protect national security
    • the US will not interfere with European colonies that have already been established
    • the US will not interfere with the internal affairs of European nations
  • this becomes the cornerstone of US foreign policy
    • but, sometimes the US will find excuses to not completely adhere to the Doctrine
    • it's a presidential statement/philosophy - doesn't have the power of law
    • it will be hard to back up this kind of statement without military force, and the US has no military to compete with those of Europe
      • however, the Doctrine will be respected by the European powers - for fear of Great Britain, not fear of the US
      • Great Britain wants to protect the lucrative markets that an independent Latin America provides, and will support the Monroe Doctrine
      • other nations also fear forcing Britain into an alliance with the US
  • in 1824, a year after the Doctrine is stated, Russia signs a treaty to give up land claims in the Oregon Territory, leaving only the US and Britain there
  • this non-colonisation, non-intervention policy is a logical extension of the isolationist policies of Washington's Farewell Address, allowing the US to worry about its own future, not that of other nations
  • the US will remain aloof from European affairs
  • the US becomes a watchman for Latin America, as they don't want other nations interfering with their strategic Caribbean possessions
  • this will also be used as an excuse for US imperialism in the early 20th century

Westward Movement

  • nationalism causes the nation to expand
    • the West will grow and become part of national politics
    • one historian, Turner, says that the frontier is the key to the development and history of the US
      • according to this theory, the challenges of the frontier made America strong, and they fear that the loss of a frontier will result in the loss of American strength
  • adventure and cheap land fuel Westward expansion during the "Era of Good Feelings"

Challenges to Good Feelings

  • Panic of 1819
    • the economy slowed down and caused a panic
    • there were no real controls over economic policy
    • the economy has many booms and busts, and isn't very stable
      • over-land speculation
      • manufacturing peaks
      • supply/demand changes
      • they will try to solve this with a national banking system in 1913, but will fail, as indicated by the Great Depression
    • the economy collapse is short-lived, and the nation survives; Monroe stays in office, becoming one of the only Presidents to survive an economic collapse
  • Slavery
    • Congress abolishes the African slave trade in 1808 with little resistance
    • in 1819, there are 11 free states and 11 slave states
      • begin to see a North-South, free-slave divide
      • the West also plays a role, and they mostly support slavery, because most of the pioneers were from slave states such as Virginia and Kentucky
    • in 1812, Louisiana had entered the Union, and the balance of the Louisiana Territory was organised into the Missouri Territory
    • in 1819, Missouri petitions for entrance as a slave state, supported by the South
      • the anti-slavery provision of the Northwest Ordinance is ignored by this point
      • provisions to be a state are to have 60,000 people, which Missouri has
      • Missouri is the first area west of the Mississippi River to apply for statehood
      • this is converted into a sectional issue, indicating the short-lived-ness of the Era of Good Feelings
      • each section is concerned that the other groups will become more powerful
      • the North opposes this, as it would upset the North-South balance
      • Talmadge, a New York Congressman, introduces an amendment stating that no slaves may be brought into Missouri, and that slaves born in Missouri must be freed at the age of 25
        • this is also known as the "Missouri Emancipation Amendment"
        • the South objects, fearing a precedent for all land west of the Mississippi River, and the possible interference of Congress with slavery in the other slave states
        • because of population growth, the North controlled the House, so it passed easily, but trouble arose in the equally free-slave Senate
        • the primary issue at stake was economic/political, the moral question was a far second
        • the amendment becomes trapped in the Senate
      • The Missouri Compromise (1820)
        • prepared by Henry Clay, the "Great Compromiser"
        • Missouri is admitted as a slave state, and Maine is separated from Massachusetts to be admitted as a free state (with approval of Massachusetts legislature as required by the Constitution)
        • Congress prohibited slavery in all other parts of the Louisiana Purchase north of the 36° 30' Parallel; Missouri will be the only state north of the Parallel to have slavery
        • maintains the balance of power in the Senate
        • the compromise will last for 34 years, but it's only putting off the issue - it will have to be confronted later
        • both sides gave something up to make a gain, and both are happy
          • the North preserved the balance in the Senate
          • the South got to expand slavery, and most didn't think the rest of the Louisiana Purchase would be colonised anyway
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