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The Age of Jackson

A US History lesson on Jacksonian America
by

Drew Feille

on 10 March 2011

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Transcript of The Age of Jackson

The Age of Jackson The Rise of the Common Man or the Reign of King Andrew? Chapter 13 Percent of eligible voters who cast ballots: 1824 1828 1840 25% 50% 78% U.S. Population Density 1810 1820 Presidential Pretenders Four men sought the White House in 1824: Henry Clay William H. Crawford Andrew Jackson John Quincy Adams The Great Compromiser of The American System and the Missouri Compromise Senator from Georgia Indian fighter, hero of New Orleans, and invader of Florida Son of the former President, and old-school politician
They all ran as "Republicans". Andrew Jackson Candidate Popular Vote Electoral Vote John Q. Adams William Crawford Henry Clay 43% 99 84 31% 11% 13% 41 37 Problem: No one secured a majority of the electoral votes. Under the 12th Amendment to the Constitution, the House voted for president. Crawford had a paralytic stroke and dropped out. Clay was clearly out, but he still had his position as speaker of the House. He could throw support to the candidate of his choice House Vote: Adams is the man, Jackson is out. Jackson was the popular choice by far, but he did not get to be president. Jackson supporters outraged – call the election a “corrupt bargain,” a fixed political maneuver of elite political hacks. The Failed Adams Administration Adams' time was marked by political stasis.
He was an “old puritan” who could not shake the “corrupt bargain” from his record.
He was out of touch. Sponsored a national university and a new planetary observatory!
Pioneer farmers could care less.
What about landless famers?
Debt?
Land settlement in the west?
Adams tried to deal fairly with Indians in Georgia, but the settlers want them out!
"I am a man of reserved, cold, austere, and forbidding manners: my political adversaries say, a gloomy misanthrope, and my personal enemies an unsocial savage." The campaign of 1828 begins immediately.
Jackson is furious and begins to press flesh. Mudslinging in 1828 The Adams crowd painted Jackson as a backwoods hay-seed; a redneck, white trash.
He was not a Washington insider; he was not even from Virginia!
They reserved their most devilish attacks for Jackson’s poor wife, Rachel. Rachel had married an abusive man from whom she was rescued and married by Jackson.
When it was discovered that the divorce was never finalized, she was painted as a whore. “General Jackson’s mother was a common prostitute, brought to this country by British soldiers! She afterwards married a mulatto man with whom she had several children, of which number General Jackson is one.”
Old Hickory Elected in '28 Adams held on to the old Federalist states.
Jackson’s inauguration was a flood of “common” people, trashing the White House lawn.
Jacksonian vulgarity replaced Jeffersonian austerity.
The “inaugural brawl” featured bowls of spiked punch served to the masses
The masses poured inside, wrecking the presidential china soiling the furniture
So begins the tyrannical reign of “King Mob”

Jackson! Jackson! How many marriages does it take to make a woman a wife? How many men have you killed in your life? To the Victor go the Spoils!
Jackson introduced “good ol’ boy” politics – awarding his friends and supporters with political office, called the spoils system Jackson said it was better to bring new blood into Washington than the same old aristocrats.
Men who bought office through campaign contribution, illiterates, crooks, criminals – all ascended the Jacksonian ladder Offices to the highest bidder?
Tariff of Abominations Good for the North and Middle states – protect manufacturing commerce, but raises prices. Bad for the South – they rely on imported manufactured goods; they hate tariffs! Jackson supported a high tariff in 1928 – he distrusted Europeans and wanted their influence limited Southerners scream about the Tariff of Abominations – “Let New England beware how she imitates the Old.” John C. Calhoun , Senator from S. Carolina dusted off the VA and KY Resolutions, declaring the tariff to be unconstitutional and unjust! “Nullies” Talk Secession Calhoun did not back down. He called on S. Carolina Congress to pass the Ordinance of Nullification, declaring the tariff unconstitutional. Delegates declared they would leave the US if Washington attempted to enforce the tariff in S. Carolina
Congress passed the weaker Tariff of 1832, but it fell short of appeasing S. Carolina Jackson threatened to invade S. Carolina and force compliance.
Calhoun said, “Bring it” “I’ll hang the first man who speaks of secession from this Union from the first tree I can find!” The Great Compromiser to the Rescue Henry Clay had the solution: The Tariff Bill of 1833 – a reduction of the tariff by 10% each year for 8 years. That would put it back to 1816 levels. Calhoun holstered his gun.
Jackson put up his rope. Congress also passed the saying that force could be used to make states comply with federal law. “Force Bill,” The Civil War had been averted for now. The nation was still one.
We have not seen the last of Calhoun.
I never use the word “nation” when speaking of the United States. I always use the word “union” or “confederacy.” We are not a nation, but a union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign states. Jacksonian Democrats were committed to westward expansion.
More than 125,000 Native Americans lived east of the Mississippi River The Cherokee had made great strides to integrate into white society – taking up European clothing, and settling to become farmers.
Sequoia came up with the first Cherokee alphabet. Cherokees converted to Christianity,
wrote a constitution,
developed a government with three branches,
and took 1,300 blacks as slaves,
They really tried to fit in! They established a separate nation inside what is Georgia, NC. AL, and TN – the Cherokee Nation.
They claimed boundaries and expected the US to respect them.
Indians are essentially inferior to the Anglo-Saxon race… and their disappearance from the human family will be no great loss to the world.
Jackson Loves Indians Jackson claimed to love the Indians and to want to help the “much injured race”.
He proposed they be “protected” by a bodily removal to the west, in what is today Oklahoma .
He pushed Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act in 1830.
100,000 Indians were forcibly removed from the south. John Marshall Rules: Cherokee v. Georgia Worcester v. Georgia (1831) – the Cherokee Nation is a “domestic, dependent nation” with rights that must be respected (1832) – the Cherokees are entitled to federal protection should anyone attempt to threaten their sovereignty
John Marshall has made his decision; now let him come and enforce it! Resistance Cherokees Black Hawk and his son Whirling Thunder tried to fight in 1832. They were crushed, in part, by a young Illinois Captain named Abraham Lincoln. Other Indians in Florida tried to fight, but failed. End Result was – the forced removal of 200,000 Native peoples from their homes in the south to “reservations” in the West The Trail of Tears Bank Battles
“Soft” (paper) $ “Hard” (specie) $ State bankers felt it restrained their banks from issuing bank notes freely.
Supported rapid economic growth & speculation.
Felt that coin was the only safe currency.
Didn’t like any bank that issued banknotes.
Suspicious of expansion and speculation. I Will Kill It Charter for 2nd Bank of the US was up for renewal in 1832.

Westerners HATE the Bank because it controlled ALL the nations’ gold and silver, not paper.

Jackson vowed to KILL the bank, the “hydra of corruption”. The Bank’ existence was Constitutional ( , 1819), but Jackson swore he would not let it survive.
He vetoed the bill and won reelection in 1832. McCullough v. Maryland King Andrew I Jackson had flouted the Supreme Court twice, without consequence!

Jackson did what Jackson wanted.

The bank’s charter was to expire in 1836.

King Andrew (unconstitutionally) denied the bank any more deposits and redistributed them to state banks, his “pet banks” Battles With Biddle Bank president Nicholas Biddle tried to call in all debts to create crisis.
Jackson answered by diverting more the bank’s money.
Jackson’s “wildcat banks” flooded the country with paper money.
The bank finally collapsed in 1841. It would never return. The result was financial chaos – states issuing and printing money like mad, and no federal standard by which to measure it.
Boom and bust for years to come
Gone to Texas Jackson urged a rebellion in Mexico.
Supported General Sam Houston in an uprising against Mexican rule in 1836, hoping the create a state out of Texas.

After three battles, Houston led the Texian settlers to independence.
Texas became a republic in 1836.
The slavery issue stalled Texas annexation. I am in possession of some information that will doubtless be interesting to you, and may be calculated to forward your views, if you should entertain any, touching the acquisition of Texas by the United States
- Houston to Jackson, 1833
One-Term Van Buren Democrats nominated Martin Van Buren, a lackey of Jackson.
He was smart and capable, but not a politician.
He won because he was a Democrat. New Party Politics The death of the Federalists left a power vacuum.
Mid 1830s – the emerged, championing high tariffs, a national bank, subsidies for internal improvements, and free soil (the containment of slavery) – the Anti-Jackson Party? Whig Party Martin Van Ruin Jackson’s destruction of the Bank brought on the – runaway inflation, high prices, foreclosures, etc. Van Buren had to take the heat. He called for the – getting government out of the banking business for good Panic of 1837 Divorce Bill Wanted an Independent Treasury – lock up the government funds and not mix them with the private banks Whigs called for an active government in the economy:
Protective tariff
Subsidies
National Bank to regulate commerce
The Whigs nominated William Henry Harrison, a “common man” from a “log cabin.” Van Buren was portrayed as the opposite – an aristocratic blueblood, out of touch the farmers
Whig Strategy Recalls Jackson Van Buren could not even hold his own when tasting “hard cider” – the working man’s brew "A Beautiful goblet of White House Champagne" "An ugly mug of Log Cabin Hard Cider" Harrison’s campaign slogan: “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” "Harrison & Reform" "Thames" and "Tippecanoe" An oceanic life preserver A log cabin “The poor man's friend” Harrison says nothing substantive - all imagery!
1840 cartoon – Jackson urges Van Buren away from his home in Kinderbrook and toward the White House over a road littered with log cabins and hard city. Poor Van Buren is lugging his sub treasury policies with him.
Harrison took enough of the Democratic West to win.

How did he win? Image over issues.

Thank you, Andrew Jackson.
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