AP US: John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson (1825-1837)

Leaving the Era of Good Feelings: The Election of 1824

  • a shift away from the "good feelings" begins about 1824
  • Monroe has served two terms as President
  • begin to see a breakdown in the Republican Party
    • the election of 1824 has four candidates, all Republicans
    • begin to see the rise of "favourite son" candidates, who are favoured by a particular state or region; they don't win nominations, but rather are recognised for their contributions
  • in 1824, there are 4 "favourite sons"
    • John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, represents New England
    • William Crawford represents the South
    • Henry Clay represents the West
    • Andrew Jackson, Senator from Tennessee, also represents the West
    • all run as Republicans, representing their different areas
    • the "wild card", Jackson, wins the popular vote
    • but, Jackson doesn't have enough electoral votes, so the election goes to the House
      • the second election to do so, first was 1800
      • Jackson, Adams, and Crawford are sent to the House
      • Clay loses his first try for President, but he is Speaker of the House, and will wield large influence in the election
      • Crawford has a severe health problem, so he's not really in the race
      • Jackson is considered "rough around the edges"
      • Henry Clay uses his influence to convince the House to elect JQ Adams, even though Jackson had more of the popular vote
  • this becomes known as the "Corrupt Bargain"
    • Jacksonites believe that Adams promised Clay the Secretary of State position in return for the election
    • Secretary of State was a stepping-stone to the Presidency
    • however, Adams was a strict, moral, man and Clay was a qualified choice; only Jacksonites really believe the "corrupt bargain" story
    • this will be known as the "Era of Bad Feelings", started by a corrupt bargain
  • Jackson and his followers immediately being to plan for the Election of 1828; they break off and become "Democrats"

Revival of the Two Party System: The Election of 1828

Parties

  • National Republicans
    • leaders include Clay, Adams, and (later) Webster
    • similar to the Hamiltonian Federalists
    • favour the rich, industry, the North
    • fear excesses of democracy
  • Democrats
    • led by Jackson and Van Buren
    • similar to the Jeffersonian Democrat-Republicans
    • strict constructionists
    • favour common man, agriculture, the South, and the West

Revolution of 1828

  • the political climate goes from being very nationalistic to very political
  • an ugly election - mudslinging, slander, etc.
  • shows a shift of power to the South and West
  • Jackson is the first President to be born of poor immigrant parents
    • however, he has become rich and gentlemanly by the time of his election
    • "only in America" can a poor man rise to become President
    • favours the common man, and says that the real power of government lies with the people
    • he declares himself to be a tribune of the people
    • he's viewed as "Everyman" by the people, and his simple roots resonate with the "common folk"
    • business owners respect his defence of their commerce in the Battle of New Orleans
    • helps the US to become more democratic

Types of Democracy

  • Jeffersonian
    • capable, well-educated leaders should govern in the people's interest
    • reflects an agricultural society
    • limited the idea of "democracy" chiefly to its political aspects
  • Jacksonian
    • the people themselves should manage the government
    • reflects agriculture as well as rising industry
    • expands democracy from its political aspects to social/economic aspects - will end debtors' prison, cause economic reforms, etc.

Political Aspects of the Jacksonian Era

  • Democracy in the States
    • states and the citizens have a bigger voice in government
    • however, they are still subject to the federal government
  • Democracy of Presidential Elections
    • nominating conventions begin to be seen, giving the people a voice in presidential candidate selection
    • the people write political platforms
    • every party will eventually turn to this system
  • Democratic View of the Presidency
    • Jackson sees himself as the servant of the people - he works for them
    • the President should try to do what the people want, not what his party or other influences want
  • Spoils System
    • Jackson gives federal jobs to his supporters
    • in theory, the goal is to have more of "the people" be involved in government
    • if the people have jobs, they will learn about and appreciate the government
    • this system often leads to corruption; however, it does give a reason for voters to choose a political party and stick with it

Economic Aspects of the Jacksonian Era

  • cheap land allows people to travel west, to develop, build, trade, and grow crops
  • Trade Unions begin to develop, but any gains are matched by setbacks

Social Aspects of the Jacksonian Era

  • Humanitarianism and Social Reform
    • some people begin prison and mental hospital reform
    • prior to reforms, mental patients were treated like criminals
    • reformers such as Dorothea Dix work to bring change
    • the abolitionist movement also grows
    • movements to ban the "evil" alcohol grow as well
  • the shift to democracy and the growth of the nation had started before the Election of 1828, but Jackson iconifies it
  • an American identity begins to be created

Tariff Issues

  • Tariff levels will move from those of 1816 to 1824, to 1828, to 1832, to the Tariff of 1833 which gradually lowers the rates back to those of 1816
    • this whole process is started by Southern and Western leaders in order to attack Adams
  • After Adams' election, Jackson supporters work to sabotage his administration
    • Jacksonites (Southerners and Westerners for the large part) push a proposal to raise tariffs through Congress
    • Adams was a New Englander, so he supports the tariff
    • Jacksonians hope to portray Adams as someone who doesn't support the South and the West by having him pass a high tariff
    • they hope for a backlash that will embarrass Adams and help Jackson's election
      • Jackson doesn't actually need this help to be elected
      • they want to do political damage
  • Tariff of 1828
    • doesn't get through Congress until just before Jackson steps in to office
    • becomes known as the "Tariff of Abominations", and wreaks havoc for Jackson
    • the idea was that it wouldn't actually get through Congress, but would just harm Adams
    • Northern manufacturing is booming, and exports internally
    • the West also exports crops internally
    • the South relies on exports, so the tariff harms them the most
    • but, the tariff had been pushed by Southern and Western leaders
  • Nullification Crisis
    • South Carolina campaigns against the Tariff and Jackson
    • they object along the lines of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions
    • South Carolina Exposition and Protest
      • argues for nullification of the Tariff of 1828
      • this document was written, secretly, by John C. Calhoun, Jackson's Vice President
      • Calhoun was raised in South Carolina, and is a leader of the South
      • he's a Southerner first - shows sectional divides
    • supporters of nullification become known as "nullies"
      • try to pass nullification through the South Carolina legislature
      • opposed by the Unionists, who don't think that states have the authority to nullify laws
    • other Southern states don't support this move
    • South Carolina would have benefited from Calhoun's leadership, but there was a precarious situation between him and Jackson
      • Jackson didn't like Calhoun
      • Martin Van Buren also fought against Calhoun
        • during the election with mudslinging, scandals, etc.
        • one scandal during the election involved Jackson's wife, and he blamed stress from this incident, in part, for her death
        • another scandal involves Cabinet members' wives
      • The Peggy Eaton Affair
        • Peggy is the wife of Secretary of War Eaton, and is accused of an adulterous affair
        • Jackson demands that the Cabinet wives treat her equally, as he didn't want her to suffer his wife's fate
        • however, Calhoun's wife snubs her, and he follows suit
        • Van Buren, a widower, lavished Peggy with attention, gaining Jackson's support while Calhoun's behaviour causes him to lose favour
      • Van Buren will also make sure to point out the numerous occasions when Calhoun disagrees with Jackson's views
      • Congress proposed a road in Kentucky in 1830
        • Calhoun supports it
        • Jackson vetoes it
          • dislikes Henry Clay, as he had put Adams in office in the "corrupt bargain"
          • providing federal aid for a single state was unconstitutional in his view
          • Calhoun is "dismayed", as he favoured state roads with federal money and considered himself Jackson's political successor - an idea which this incident contradicts
      • "Jefferson Day" Dinner in 1830
        • Jackson's toast: "Our Union, it must be preserved!"
        • all the others, including Calhoun, support state's rights
        • Calhoun realises he's not Jackson's political successor, so he decides to become a champion for the South
  • Hayne - Webster Debate
    • Sen. Hayne is prominent in South Carolina
    • the debate was supposed to be over the sale of Western land owned by the federal government
    • the debate moves from Western land to a debate over states' rights
    • Hayne discusses states' rights in favour of nullification
    • Webster, the "Great Orator" from Massachusetts, responds to Hayne's rant by defining the National Theory
      • defines what nationalism is
      • declares that the nation would be destroyed if one state nullified any federal law
      • he is pictured as a unifier, whereas Hayne is a divider
  • South Carolina's rebellion continues, with small things such as lowering flags, etc.
  • Calhoun still has some influence, and he gets the Tariff of 1832 passed
    • lowers tariff rates slightly
    • but to the South, the rates of 1828 were exorbitant, so these are still too high
    • nullies still seek nullification, and they win
  • Nullification Act
    • the South Carolina legislature passes the Nullfication Act, nullifying the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 within the state
    • elevate Sen. Hayne to be Governor
    • name Calhoun to fill Hayne's Senate seat
    • threaten to secede if tariffs aren't reduced
    • Jackson is tired of the political game, so he sends the army to South Carolina shortly after his re-election
      • in his 4 December, 1832, annual message, he states his intention to enforce the tariff, while suggesting that rates be lowered
      • Nullification Proclamation - an executive order which denounces South Carolina's actions
      • Force Bill - Congress authorises use of force to collect federal taxes, even though this was already legal

*Compromise Tariff of 1833
* Calhoun asks Clay, the "Great Compromiser" for a solution, so that South Carolina isn't destroyed
* the tariff lowers rates by 10% per year for 8 years, back to the 1816 level of tariffs
* the South Carolina legislature votes to rescind nullification of the Tariffs
* also vote to nullify Force Bill, which is no longer needed; this is a face-saving measure
* reinforces the power of the federal government
* the issues are put to rest for the moment, but will lead to the outbreak of the Civil War

Banking and the Economy

  • the US government didn't print paper money
    • minted gold and silver coins, called specie
    • their value was determined by the value of the metal in the coins
    • store the specie in banks to keep it safe
      • people who deposited money received a banknote validating the deposit, and could trade with this banknote instead of with the actual specie
    • banks would often accumulate large amounts of gold and silver, and because most of it never left the bank, they could loan it out at interest
    • banking will develop problems as it evolves
  • The Second Bank of the United States
    • chartered in 1816
    • private, profit-making corporation
    • 4/5 held privately, 1/5 held by the government
    • by 1830, the bank had 29 branches throughout the US
    • there are 25 directors, but Biddle is the most famous and helps the Bank to prosper
    • the Bank (is supposed to):
      • serve as official depository of government funds
      • sell government bonds
      • hold private money
      • give out loans
      • restrain state banks from over-issuing banknotes in relation to specie reserves
      • have its own banknote to creates a sound nationwide currency
  • Jackson doesn't support the 2nd Bank of the United States
    • he also doesn't like Nicholas Biddle, the president of the Bank, blaming him for his loss in 1824 by funding Jackson's opponents
  • Problems with the Bank
    • the Bank isn't very flexible; standards differ throughout the nation
      • the concept of loans with collateral doesn't work very well
      • the bank is developing, and that makes it weak
    • the managers of the Bank don't understand their role
      • overextend credit
      • are willing to loan to Northern industry, with concrete collateral, but not to the South, as crops are not considered useful collateral
    • no regulation - state banks can mint money on their own and lose stability
    • in McCulloch v. Maryland, Marshall had legitimised the Bank and the loose construction ideas, but that doesn't matter to Jackson
  • the Second Bank under Biddle
    • weathers the Panic of 1819
    • it's an integral part of Clay's American System, which Jackson didn't like
    • it was felt that the Bank had too much power
    • it could be too restrictive when dealing with smaller banks
    • the West thought the bank was suppressing entrepreneurs in the West, and didn't allow competition with Northern industry
    • Jackson didn't believe that the government, or any institution of government, should have as much power as the Bank did
    • the Bank isn't a real issue so much as a political tool, a "wedge issue"
  • Northeastern manufacturing approves of the bank
    • paid dividends on bank stock
    • gives businesses loans, creates a sound currency, holds their money for them
  • in the West and South, small banks, farmers, small businesses, etc. oppose the Bank
    • prevented the state banks from issuing large numbers of banknotes, which would inflate prices of crops and help to pay debts
    • refused loans to farmers and small business for lack of adequate collateral
    • by paying dividends, the Bank had enriched a few wealthy northeastern and foreign stockholders; this augmented the rich-poor class conflict
    • claimed that the Bank was illegal, unconstitutional
    • they saw a conflict in interests, as the Bank engaged in politics and hired Webster as legal counsel
    • enable a few private individuals (the board of directors) to monopolise the nation's currency and credit
    • they refer to it as the "monster" or the "octopus"
  • Biddle, aware of the hostility, was convinced to seek renewal four years before expiration in 1836
    • this was also pushed as a political manoeuvre by Clay and the Whig Party
    • the recharter passes through Congress easily, but Jackson vetoes it
      • this becomes the Whigs' campaign issue in 1832
      • but, Jackson in the era of the "common man" will campaign against the "octopus"
      • Clay loses terribly - he chose the wrong issue (219-49 electoral vote)
      • Jackson views this as a mandate from the people to kill the Bank
        • so, he decides to cripple the Bank by withdrawing all government funds from it, but needs the support of the Secretary of the Treasury
  • Roger Taney
    • he was a member of the Maryland legislature, and was involved in finance and banking
    • represented rural tendencies
    • mistrusted monopolistic Bank
    • he was Attorney General from 1831-1833
    • a Jacksonian: viewed monied interests as a threat to economic democracy
    • helped to draft Jackson's bank veto message
    • in 1833, Jackson shifts him to become Secretary of the Treasury
      • the current Secretary refused to shift the funds and kill the bank, as it would destroy the economy
      • the assistant Secretary also refuses
      • so, Jackson takes Taney and makes a recess appointment
        • appointed to a position that requires Senate approval while Congress isn't in session, allowing him to serve without the approval of the Senate until they next meet
        • Taney does Jackson's bidding so he's hated by all
        • however, he will end up on the Supreme Court
      • Taney withdraws the money
        • the National Bank calls in loans from reckless, "wildcat", state banks who had unwise, unsecured loans and printed more money than justified by specie reserves; in part, this may have been to destabilise them in order to cause a panic
  • Specie Circular
    • 1836 Jackson executive order (orders from President that have the force of law)
    • instructs federal land agents to accept payment for public lands only in gold or silver
  • the negative impact on the economy won't affect Jackson, as he's leaving office - he gets to leave office as "everyman", while his successor deals with all his problems

Indian Relations

  • by 1830, most of the territory east of the Mississippi had been divided into states
    • the Democratic Party and Jackson were committed to economic progress in the states and the development of the West
    • this puts them in conflict with the 25,000 Indians east of the Mississippi
      • many had given up nomadic lives and were more settled
      • the Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw were known as the "Five Civilised Tribes"
    • conflict is over land given to the Indians by the government's "legal" treaties
    • pioneers are frustrated by lack of access to new, valuable lands
  • Treaty of 1791 had recognised the Cherokee's right to part of Georgia
    • Cherokee were successful at adapting, growing crops, raising cattle, growing cotton, owning slaves
    • missionaries set up schools and helped the Cherokee
    • the Cherokee develop an alphabet, language, newspaper, governing body, legal system, constitution, etc.
    • did everything their "white neighbours" said they couldn't do - the whites said they were ruthless, uncivilised, etc.
  • economic pressure increases, wanting the opening of Cherokee lands to settlers
  • the population of the state increases, and demand for land is high
    • rumours of gold, etc.
  • mounting opposition to federal protection of Indians - however, the Indians want to keep their land, and will fight for it, as they have a contract giving them a right to live there
  • Indian Removal Bill (1830)
    • Jackson asks Congress to pass the bill to move the Indians west of the Mississippi
    • Webster, Clay oppose it
    • Davy Crockett is most opposed to it
      • he's a Jacksonian Democrat, but parts ways over the treatment of Indians
      • he opposed Jackson, and was voted out in the next election; Jackson was very popular
    • Congress passes the bill
    • the bill plans to move all Indians that are east of the Mississippi to a newly defined "Indian Territory" (Oklahoma)
      • Oklahoma is a wasteland
      • the Indians will, in theory, be left free to pursue their lives without interference
      • intended to be a voluntary move, but groups were strongly pressured to go
    • includes the 25,000 in Georgia and 100,000 elsewhere, including the "Five Civilised Tribes"
    • ignores the fact that many Indians in the east aren't familiar with the west, and that tribes with ancient hostilities will be forced together
    • several groups gave up and left
    • the Cherokee, in 1831, turned to the courts to protest - they're civilised and will use the system
      • Cherokee Nation v. Georgia
        • Marshall ruled that the Cherokee had an unquestionable right to use their land, but they were not a foreign state, but rather a domestic dependent nation, so they did have standing to sue in a the US court
          • "standing" is the ability to use the court system; authorisation to sue; in the federal system, foreign states have standing to sue the US if the US consents to being sued
        • Worchester v. Georgia (1832)
          • the Court said that Georgia cannot control the Cherokee within their territory - they had a "legal, binding agreement"
        • Jackson doesn't like being told what to do, and he hates Marshall for the Bank decision and the Cherokee decision: "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!"
  • the Cherokee (and other tribes) are forced to move
    • plan of terrorising
    • when any Indian does something wrong, settlers invade and do violence to scare them out
    • Trail of Tears - many Indians die as they're moved west, but Jackson doesn't care

Sectionalism Replaces Nationalism

  • notable examples include the Election of 1824 and the Missouri Compromise (1819-1820)
  • loyalty goes to the state or section rather than the nation
  • consider problems from a sectional standpoint rather than a national viewpoint
  • the South wants to protect state rights and act against federal authority
  • the North and the West believe that what's good for them is good for the nation, and use federal power to strengthen their own interests
  • the South focusses on plantations and slavery
  • the North focusses on industry
  • the West focusses on small farms and cheap land
  • begin to see the growing pains of the West, as it starts to balance power in the nation

Sectional Issues

Issue North South West
Protective Tariffs favour; protect factories from foreign competition oppose; would increase cost of goods and they fear retaliating tariffs favour; not enthusiastic, but believe long-term benefits to gain from prosperity in North
Second Bank favour; manufacturing and commercial interests want a stable currency oppose; planters, farmers, debtors find it easier to obtain loans without; state banks create high prices for crops
Internal Improvements with Federal Money favour; easier and cheaper to transport goods; trade with West is easier; larger market oppose; they ship overseas, so they don't benefit; federal government is supporting North and West, not South favour; like the North, their trade is internal
Cheap Land oppose; will lose workers who go West both; favour cheap land in the cotton belt; fear land being taken by Western (non-cotton) farmers; fear land speculators that would create competition for plantation land favour; get more land, grow more crops; want to expand
Territorial Expansion oppose; fear more slave states and loss of power in government favour; want to annex Texas (slave state); want more slave states; need to replace land destroyed by cotton favour; want more land to expand into; not all of them want to expand slavery
Slavery oppose favour no opinion
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