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The Jackson Era (1824-1845)
Transcript of The Jackson Era (1824-1845)
War Against the Bank
Moving Native Americans
By the 1830's the nation had expanded westward while many Native Americans still lived in the eastern part of the country.
The "Five Civilized Tribes"- (Cherokee/ Creek/ Seminole/ Chickasaw/ Choctaw)- lived in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.
Conflicts Over Land
1. Elections of 1824-1828
2. Jackson as President
3. The Tariff Debate
Section 1- Jacksonian Democracy
Section 2- Conflicts over Land
Section 3- Jackson and the Bank
The Jackson Era
The Jackson Era (1824-1845)
From 1816 o 1824 the U.S. had one political party- The Jeffersonian Republicans.
In 1824 when Monroe declined to run for a 3rd term 4 candidates from the party emerged.
Each candidates views differed reflecting the growing sense of sectionalism.
Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay came from the West. (Tennessee & Kentucky respectively) thus representing the West.
William H. Crawford came from Georgia and so represented the South.
John Quincy Adams came from Massachusetts and so represented the North.
Striking a Bargain
In the election of 1824 Andrew Jackson received the highest number of popular votes however, no one was able to win a majority of the electoral votes.
B/c of this the election was handed over to the House of Representatives to decide.
Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House, met w/ John Quincy Adams in secret and promised to use his influence as the House leader to help Adams defeat Jackson in return for the position of Sec. of State.
As a result Adams won the election and Clay was quickly named the Sec. of State (viewed by many to be the stepping stone to Presidency)
Jackson's followers accused Clay and Adams of making a "Corrupt Bargain" and stealing the election.
The Adams Presidency
Adams announced an ambitious program for internal improvements and the construction of a National University.
Horrified his opponents who wanted to limit the power of the government.
In the end Adams was allowed by congress to improve existing rivers, harbors, and roads but nothing else.
The Election of 1828
By 1828 the Republican Party had split into two separate parties:
National Republicans who supported Adams.
Democratic Republicans (Democrats) who supported Jackson.
National Republicans wanted a strong central government and they supported federal measures, such as road building and the national bank.
Democrats were people who lived on the frontier, immigrants, and workers in the big cities.
Both parties conducted extensive mudslinging campaigns, or attempts to ruin their opponents reputation w/ insults.
Adams betrayed the people.
National Republicans fought back:
They created a song that to play up embarrassing moments of Jackson's life.
Election buttons, slogans, and rallies also became popular to stir up enthusiasm.
In 1828, Jackson received the majority of his votes cast in the frontier states as well as the south.
Calhoun who had been Adams's VP switched allegiances to run with Jackson and won the VP race in a landslide.
Jackson as President
Thousands of Americans flocked to Jackson's inauguration and crashed the inaugural reception at the white house in hopes of celebrating with a man that seemed to be just like them.
Nickname given to Jackson by his troops because he was as tough as a hickory stick.
During Jackson's 1st term as President, a spirit of equality spread throughout American politics.
People who previously had not been allowed to vote were obtaining the right to vote as property requirements loosened.
White Male Sharecroppers
& Others participated, or took part, in the political process.
By 1822 22/24 States had amended their State Constitutions to allow the people, rather than the state legislatures, to choose presidential electors.
The Spoils System
President Jackson fired many federal workers and replaced them with his supporters.
"To the victors belong the spoils."
Jackson supporters abandoned the unpopular caucus system, in which major candidates were chosen by member of Congress.
The caucuses were replaced by nominating conventions in which delegates from the state chose the party's presidential candidate.
The Tariff Debate
John C. Calhoun used the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions to argue that a State had the authority and ability to nullify, or cancel, a federal law if it was considered to be against state interests.
At a dinner Jackson made is opinion clear:
"Our Federal Union...must be preserved!"
"The Union- next to our liberty, most dear."
In 1832 Congress enacted a lower tariff, but it did not cool the protest.
South Carolina passed the Nullification Act declaring it would not pay the "illegal" tariffs of 1828 and 1832.
The state threatened to secede, or break away from the Union.
These tribes had established farming societies with successful economies.
Because the area west of the Mississippi was dry and seemed unsuitable for farming, few white Americans lived there.
Many settlers wanted the federal government to relocate Native Americans living in the Southeast to this area.
President Jackson, a man of the frontier himself, supported the settlers' demand for Native American land.
In his Inaugural Address, he stated that he intended to move all Native Americans to the Great Plains..
The Great Plains was viewed by many as a wasteland and if the government could move Native Americans there then their conflict with them would be over.
Indian Removal Act
In 1830 President Jackson pushed the Indian Removal Act through Congress.
The act allowed the federal government to pay Native Americans to move west.
Jackson sent officials to make treaties with the Native Americans in the Southeast.
Most Native American leaders felt forced to accept payment for their lands.
In 1834 Congress created the Indian Territory located in present-day Oklahoma.
The Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee refused to give up their land.
In treaties from the 1790's the federal government recognized the Cherokee in Georgia as a separate nation.
The state of Georgia however, refuse to recognize Cherokee laws.
As pressure to leave their land mounted the Cherokee appealed to the people of the United States.
The Cherokee sued the state of Georgia and eventually took their case to the Supreme Court.
Worcester v. Georgia
(1832), Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that Georgia had no right to interfere with the Cherokee.
Only the federal government had power in Cherokee matters.
Jackson supported Georgia's efforts to remove the Cherokee .
He declared that he would ignore the Supreme Court saying, "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it."
The Trail of Tears
By 1835, the Cherokee were divided and feeling hopeless.
The federal government even persuaded some 500 Cherokee to sign the Treaty of New Echota, giving up their people's land.
The treaty gave Jackson the legal document he needed to remove Native Americans.
Approval of the treaty by the U.S. Senate sealed the fate of the Cherokee.
Among the few who spoke out against approving the treaty were Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, but the treaty passed by a single vote.
Most of the 17,000 Cherokee, however, refused to honor the treaty.
Cherokee Chief John Ross wrote a letter to the United States government explaining that the Cherokee that signed the original treaty did not represent the Cherokee Nation.
He asked that the government not to enforce the treaty but to no avail as Jackson and white settlers refused to soften their resolve.
The Cherokee resisted the government's offer of western lands until 1838 when Jackson's successor, Martin Van Buren began their removal.
General Winfield Scott arrived at New Echota, the Cherokee Capital, with 7,000 troops.
Scott threatened to use force if the Cherokee did not leave forcing the Cherokee leaders to give in.
Around 2,000 Cherokee die in camps waiting for the move to begin.
Another 2,000 Cherokee died along the way from starvation, disease, and exposure to brutal weather.
Their forced journey west became known to the Cherokee people as the Trail Where They Cried aka the Trail of Tears.
Native American Resistance
In 1832 the Sauk Chieftain, Black Hawk, led a group of Sauk and Fox people back to Illinois, their homeland.
They wanted to recapture this area, which had been given up in a treaty.
The Illinois state militia and federal troops responded with force, gathering nearly 4,500 soldiers chasing the Fox and Sauk to the Mississippi River slaughtering most of them as they tried to flee into present day Iowa.
The Seminole people of Florida were the only Native Americans who successfully resisted their removal despite having signed treaties in the early 1830's giving up land.
The Seminole Chief, Osceola, and some of his people refused to leave Florida and decided to go to war against the United States.
In 1835 the Seminoles joined forces with a group of African Americans who had run away to escape slavery.
Together they attacked white settlements along the Florida coast using guerrilla tactics, making surprise attacks quickly and then retreating back into forests and swamps.
In December 1835 the Seminoles ambushed soldiers under the command of Major Francis Dade leaving only a few alive the event became known as the Dade Massacre.
This led the U.S. to commit more troops to fight the Seminole.
By 1842 more than 1,500 Americans had died from the Seminole Wars.
The government gave up and allowed some Seminole to stay in Florida.
Many however, died fighting, and many more were caught and forced to move west.
After 1842, only a few scattered groups of Native Americans lived east of the Mississippi.
Native Americans lost more than a 100 million acres of eastern land to the federal government.
They received in return 68 million dollars and 32 million acres of land west of the Mississippi.
For years Jackson attacked the Bank of the United States as being an organization of wealthy easterners that ordinary citizens could not control.
The Bank was powerful and held the federal government's money while also controlling much of the nation's money supply.
Many western settlers, who borrowed money to run their farms, were unhappy with the Bank's strict lending policies.
The Bank itself was run by private bankers rather than elected officials despite the fact that the Bank was chartered by Congress.
The Bank's President was Nicolas Biddle, a man that represented everything that Jackson disliked.
The Bank as an Election Issue
In 1832 Jackson's opponents gave him the chance take action against the Bank.
Senators Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, friends of Biddle, planned to use the bank to defeat Jackson in the 1832 presidential election.
They persuaded Biddle to apply early for a new CHARTER-
A government permit to operate the bank.
Clay and Webster believed that the bank had popular support and thought that an attempt by Jackson to veto the charter would lead to his defeat and allow Clay to be elected President.
Jackson vetoed the bill to renew the charter and vowed to kill the bank.
Election of 1832
The Bank did play a large part in the election of 1832.
The strategy for gaining support for Clay as president, however, backfired.
Most people supported Jackson's veto and Jackson was reelected.
Jackson then decided upon a plan to "kill" the bank.
He ordered the withdrawal of all government deposits from the Bank and placed the funds in smaller state banks.
In 1836 he refused to sign a new charter for the Bank, and it closed.
Panic of 1837
When Jackson decided not to run for a third term in 1836, the Democrats chose Martin Van Buren, Jackson's friend and Vice President.
Van Buren faced opposition from the Whigs, a new party that included former National Republicans and other anti-Jackson forces.
The Whigs nominated three different candidates, each of whom had a following in a different part of the nation.
Jackson's popularity and his personal support helped Van Buren win easily.
Soon after the election, the country entered a severe economic depression, a period in which business and employment fall to a very low level.
The depression began with the Panic of 1837 when land values dropped sharply, investments declined, and banks failed.
Thousands of businesses closed and many people lost their jobs.
President Van Buren believed in the principle of LAISSEZ-FAIRE-
That government should interfere as little as possible in the nation's economy.
Van Buren persuaded Congress to establish an independent treasury in 1840.
The government would no longer use private banks instead, the government would store their money in the new treasury.
The private banks had used government funds to back their banknotes.
The new treasury system would keep banks from using government funds in this way and help prevent further bank crises.
Many Democrats and Whigs criticized the act however.
The Democrats had been in control of the presidency for 12 years.
The Whigs believed they had a shot to end the Democratic domination of the white house due to the ongoing depression.
The Log Cabin Campaign
The Whigs nominated William Henry Harrison, a hero of the War of 1812 to run against the incumbent Martin Van Buren.
They also chose John Tyler, a planter from Virginia as Harrison's running mate.
Their campaign slogan became "Tippecanoe and Tyler too!"
To win the election, Harrison had to gain the support of the laborers and farmers who had voted for Jackson.
The Whigs adopted a log cabin as their symbol.
The Whigs wanted to show that Harrison, a wealthy man from Virginia, was a "man of the people".
The Whigs also ridiculed Martin Van Buren as "King Martin".
The Log Campaign worked and Harrison went on to defeat Martin Van Buren.
Harrison went onto to serve the shortest term of any U.S. President dying from complications of pneumonia 32 days after his Inauguration making John Tyler the next President.
Tyler, a former Democrat, routinely vetoed Whig sponsored bills including one to recharter the Bank of the United States.
His lack of party loyalty outraged the Whigs in Congress causing them to expel Tyler from the party.
It seemed that Whigs could not agree on their party's goals and increasingly voted along sectional ties- North, South, and West- not party ties.
This division may explain why the Whig candidate, Henry Clay, lost the election of 1844 to the Democratic candidate James Polk.
After only 4 years, the Whigs were out of power again.