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Chapter 10: Republicans in Power, 1800-1824

Lecture to accompany the text The American Promise: A History of the United States Volume 1 to 1877
by

Jason Holloway

on 1 December 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 10: Republicans in Power, 1800-1824

1. Jefferson's Presidency
Jefferson wins in 1800 after a complex election.
His Jeffersonian Revolution, repudiates many of the Federalists main principles.
New presidential role forces larger government decisions though than expected.
2. Opportunities and Challenges in the West
Jefferson quickly learns that sometimes federal power is necessary and needs to be exercised.
Case in point will be the Louisiana Purchase.
3. Jefferson, the Madisons and the War of 1812.
Jefferson easily wins the presidency again in 1804.
The rest of his presidency is plagued by diplomatic tensions and the embargo.
Madison will follow Jefferson in 1808 with different domestic politics.
He will lead the U.S. into the War of 1812 with Britain and its' Native American allies.
This war will be costly with an ultimately debatable conclusion.
4. Women's Status in the Early Republic.
Dolley Madison is a great example of the power and influence that women can have in politics at this time.
All the same this power is mostly to advance her husband's career and there is still little talk of women's individual rights.
Most state institutions are resistant to change and still foster the dependent role of women.
The biggest aspect of change will be the arrival of private academies fostering female education under the aegis of intelligent motherhood.
During this period the increase of educated women leads many to begin thinking of lives beyond the kitchen and the nursery.
5. Monroe and Adams
In 1816 and 1820, James Monroe from Virginia wins the presidency.
The Federalist Party completely collapses leading to what is essentially one party rule.
Disputes over the Missouri Compromise, foreign affairs in Latin America, and the backroom election of John Quincy Adams in 1824 will fracture the one party system shortly after it is established though.
Chapter 10: Republicans in Power, 1800-1824
Professor Holloway
The Election results of 1800 remain uncertain until the House votes in February.
By this time, Adams is no longer even considered and the issue of single balloting takes precedence.
Aaron Burr is kept out by Hamilton's influence, even though they are from the same party.
Eventually Jefferson wins and shows that the new country can change leadership through ballots not bullets.
Gabriel's Rebellion occurs in Virginia and is inspired by Haiti which is subsequently put down very harshly.
Turbulent Times: Election and Rebellion
Jefferson tries to keep things simple at inauguration and scales back plans in the new capital.
Jefferson consistently neglects the social functions of prior presidents.
Jefferson is no anti-federalists but is distrustful of the commercial sectors backed by the Federalists.
He believes that government is not authorized by the constitution to support these groups.
His idea is that the country should view the small, independent farmer as the foundation of the nation.
He cuts the army by 1/3 and the navy back to just six ships.
He abolishes all federal taxes with the government to get its revenue through custom duties and western land sales.
These policies favor the Southern states.
He nearly pays off the federal debt.
The Jefferson Vision of Republican Simplicity
Jefferson's view is of an extremely limited federal government.
He believes it should be responsible solely for the postal service, the federal courts, lighthouses, custom duties, and a census every ten years.
During his administration he has only one secretary and he pays him from his pocket.
The Department of State has only eight employees.
The entire executive branch employs just 130 people.
In terms of judges, Jefferson refuses to acknowledge Adams' midnight judges.
The lawsuit Marbury vs. Madison in 1803 is a landmark one in that it establishes judicial power to judge constitutionality.
Jefferson's ideas to keep government small experience problems in the western Mediterranean.
Trade in this region is made difficult by North African states exhorting tribute for safe passage.
In the 1790s the US government pays $50,000 annually for protection.
The Pasha of Tripoli demands more in 1801 and declares war when it is not agreed upon.
Jefferson sends four frigates to engage the pirates.
One U.S. ship runs aground near Tripoli and the crew is captured.
In response another vessel storms Tripoli harbor and burns the ship.
Another U.S. officer musters a military force that takes over the second city of Tripoli and forces the Pasha's capitulation.
In the new treaty, tribute is no longer required.
By 1812 the other Barbary states have likewise signed agreements with the U.S.
The Barbary Wars of 1801-1805 cost more money than the tribute required but had at stake national honor.
Dangers Overseas: The Barbary War
The Louisiana Purchase
After the Seven Years War, Spain is given a vast western territory by France.
Spain never truly controls the Great Plains though.
Spain does control New Orleans, which is increasingly important as the major port for western agriculture of the U.S.
The Spanish are concerned over a lack of population in this region which is insufficient to keep back the Americans.
They attempt to recruit greater immigration as well as accept refugees and alliance offers from Native American tribes.
The attempt to maintain a river border is impossible, "you can't put doors on open country."
In 1800, Spain plans to return the land back to France as a buffer between Mexico and the U.S.
The French agree not to sell the land in the future without Spanish approval.
The Americans preferred a weak Spain to a stronger France and are unhappy with the transfer.
Jefferson appoints Livingston to negotiate the purchase of New Orleans from the French.
After short negotiations the French surprisingly offer to sell the entire territory for $15 million dollars.
Why do the French offer to sell all of the Louisiana territory so readily to the Americans?
Spain protests that the sell is illegal but they are ignored.
There is no clear western border of the territory and the French offer no clarification on it when asked.
Jefferson and Congress are thrilled with the sell which doubles U.S. territory on paper.
The Lewis and Clarke Expedition
Jefferson quickly appoints expeditions to scout the new territory.
The goals are to explore the main routes west, the river systems, the Native American tribes there, etc.
The most famous trip is that sent under Meriweather Lewis and William Clark.
Together they lead a group of 45 from St. Louis in 1804 up the Missouri River.
Sacajawea is eventually encountered, how did she substantially assist in the trip's success?
The Lewis and Clarke expedition reaches the mouth of the Columbia River and the Pacific in late 1805.
Their trip established many important precedents for future settlers.
Osage and Comanche Indians
Other expeditions are lead into the Southwest, one of which is even arrested by the Spanish.
Two powerful and aggressive Native American tribes inhabit this region, the Osage and the Comanche.
Both groups have militarily held back the Spanish in the region.
The Osage are closer to the U.S. mainland and are prioritized for negotiations.
The American government desires trading relations with this tribe in order to domesticate the Osage.
Eventually this trade will undermine traditional gender roles, how?
The Osage alliance is very expensive for Jefferson's government.
As his presidency winds down, the treaty is likewise neglected and the Osage are pushed out of their lands.
By the 1860s they will be forced completely out and onto reservations in present-day Oklahoma.
The Comanche by contrast are more successful.
They historically have completely keep the Spanish out of most of their territory.
They benefit as well from quick demographic growth and assimilation.
The U.S. negotiates with them and offers peaceful trading relations.
The Comanche are strong enough to keep the American government and settlers out of their territory until the late 19th century.
6. Conclusion: Republican Simplicity becomes Complex
Impressment and Embargo
In 1803, Britain and France are at war again and both warn the U.S. not to trade with the other.
Starting in 1806, Britain starts stopping U.S. ships, searching their cargo and impressing sailors.
What was impressment?
In retaliation the U.S. begins to limit British imports.
In one instance, the British fire on an American ship in the Chesapeake killing three U.S. citizens.
The Embargo Act of 1807 is passed in response and all British goods are banned.
The purpose is to prevent war and make Britain suffer.
All trade in foreign ports is stopped to prevent smuggling.
How well did this act work and what happened?
Jefferson ultimately decides not to run again and Madison wins though there is a lot of dissent in New England.
Dolley Madison and Social Politics
Even before her husband won the presidency, Dolley Madison is essentially the first lady.
Women are very influential during this period but in discreet behind the scene ways.
When Madison was elected, Dolley takes the social scene to new levels and uses it to firmly establish political relationships.
James Madison was shy so his wife's personality is an enormous advantage to his presidency.
Between 1810 and 1811 the term White House develops.
Tecumseh and Tippecanoe
Problems begin to mount for Madison overseas with the British, the French, and the Northwestern Native Americans.
Tecumseh is strengthening his Native American confederacy with active support from the British in Canada.
There is a demographic explosion that is destroying the Native American base in the region as there are now 270,000 Americans in the region and less than 70,000 Native Americans.
William Henry Harrison leads efforts to divide and conquer by cheaply buying land but has ever increasing problems with Tecumseh.
While Tecumseh is gone to the south furthering alliances, Harrison's forces attack Prophetstown and force its inhabitants to flee.
The Battle of Tippecanoe is a victory but it causes Tecumseh to further wish to fight the Americans.
The War of 1812
The conflict with the Native Americans is soon part of the greater struggle.
Congress issues the Non-Intercourse Act in 1809 replacing the full embargo and limiting trade solely with Britain and France.
Many younger Congressmen such as Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun lead a group known as the war hawks eager for way with Britain to avenge the many perceived insults to national honor.
This very influential group is also deeply interested in future U.S. expansion.
In June of 1812 war is declared on the British after an extremely sectional vote.
Ironically Britain has just agreed to end impressment but war is unstoppable due to the issues of insult and honor.
The war quickly does not go at all as expected and will last for two and one half years, much longer than thought.
Canada never falls to U.S. forces and in fact much of the Northwest falls into British hands.
Many of the difficulties in the war come from severe mismanagement.
During the war New England is deeply unhappy with the conflict and in fact many openly continue trade with the British.
In later 1812 and early 1813 there are some limited American victories, namely the defeat of the British fleet in the Great Lakes, the destruction of York/Toronto, and the defeat of the Native American confederacy at the Battle of the Thames.
In the South, the Creek War is also ongoing at the same time in 1813 and 1814.
This part of the war ends quickly when Andrew Jackson completely defeats the Creek army at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.
Washington City Burns: The British Offensive
In August of 1814 the British suddenly arrive and land outside Washington with 5,000 and the capital is defenseless.
They quickly occupy D.C. which they then proceed to burn to the ground.
The President and most politicians barely escape before their arrival.
The British continue their march onward to Baltimore but are stopped at Fort McHenry.
At the same time the British also attempt a land invasion from Canada but this is also prevented.
Finally the British land outside of New Orleans but in early 1815 are crushingly defeated by Andrew Jackson.
There is 2,000 to 3,000 casualties compared to less than 80.
This is the biggest victory of the war and leads to claims that a Second War of Independence has been won.
The Treaty of Ghent is signed in late 1814 ending the war, two weeks before the Battle of New Orleans.
The Treaty recognizes no winner, no territory changes hands and only certain demands are met.
New England in late 1814 has the Hartford Convention that discusses changes to the constitution to limit the South's power in the union and break Virginia's hold on the presidency.
The Conference also discusses secession from the union.
The Hartford Convention looked very unpatriotic, even treasonous, in the aftermath of the war.
The Federalist party is completely destroyed in relation to its sponsorship of the convention.
Ultimately the U.S. doesn't win the war but act like they do as they fought Britain to a standstill.
Shortly after the war's end new treaties with Britain essentially disarm the border and contribute to an improving relationship.
The biggest winners in the war are the war hawks who will dominate politics for the next half century.
The biggest losers are the Native Americans whose confederacy is crushed, most of their land is gone, and now no longer have British allies.
Women and the Law
Anglo-American common law does not recognize married women as a separate person.
The idea of feme covert is that men completely cover women's civic needs.
Women are bound to their men, they are legally his.
Women can't keep their wages, make contracts, sue or be sued.
None, neither lawyers nor politicians, pause to attack this status-quo.
One thing changing is a growth in limited divorce rights.
By 1820 most states have these rights but they are difficult to obtain.
There are still unofficial ways to obtain a divorce but all these actions are severely socially stigmatized.
Marriage helps to maintain and perpetuate these social inequalities.
Other civil standings are limited, single women can manage property and pay taxes but can not vote, serve on juries and have limited job opportunities.
Slaves of course are denied all these particularities of marriage and as a result it does not reinforce unequal relationships in their communities.
Women and Church Governance
In 1800, most church members are women but the leadership is mostly male with few exceptions.
During this period small groups of traveling women ministers exist such as Jemima Wilkinson.
In general though during this period most church institutions began to re-entrench ideas of masculine supremacy throughout their institutional structures.
Female Education
Some schools are established during this time allowing girls six to eleven to attend.
Gradually literacy rates for females begin to approach those of men.
By 1830 female academies are widely available for the children of the upper classes.
Some of these schools are shown to be equal in academic rigor to the Ivy League schools.
Many in these institutions begin to gravitate toward teaching which is increasingly viewed as a female profession.
Female education ultimately improves the confidence of women and will inspire future generations.
By the 1820s as many women as men are in higher education which is still limited one percent of the population.
Men in these schools largely become doctors, lawyers, ministers, and politicians; women become teachers, authors, etc.
From Property to Democracy
Increasing pressure exists to reform voting in the presidential system.
Originally most states have property qualifications but more are gradually moving to greater suffrage based on all tax payers or universal male voting.
The newer western states in particular adopt looser qualifications based on the smaller numbers of large property owners.
Large debates and fierce rivalries exist in the older states where more voters favor the status-quo.
In most discussions those excluded include felons and paupers, women and potentially illiterates and those under a certain age.
There are disputes over the potential of black voters but in most states are eventually excluded.
The Missouri Compromise
Between 1800 and 1820 several new states have joined the union.
Most are out of the old Northwest territory where slavery was banned.
Missouri is a huge issue though as it is the same latitude as Illinois but has a large number of slaves.
Amendments are proposed for Missouri to be admitted under a gradual emancipation plan but the South objects to these.
This plan would eventually take Missouri out of the Southern camp and would immediately prevent the slaves from counting in terms of representation.
In 1820 the House has seventeen slave seats.
The House eventually pushes this bill through in an extremely sectional vote that causes some to wonder of potential civil war.
The Senate however has even numbers of slave to free states and prevents its passage.
Eventually a compromise emerges under Henry Clay's guidance which will admit Maine as a free state and Missouri as a slave one.
The Southern border of Missouri, would from then on be the northern limit of slavery in the union.
Many leaders as a result wondered if the sectional divides would become emblematic of political parties but take care to have national foundations regardless.
The slavery issue is ultimately a difficult one to deal with that will continue to plague the union.
We have got "the wolf by the ears."
The Monroe Doctrine
Important foreign concerns with Spain begin to appear during this period.
In 1816, Andrew Jackson invades and occupies most of northern Spanish Florida.
President Monroe can do little as Jackson is enormously popular.
Monroe later sends Quincy Adams to negotiate with Spain and he signs the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819.
In the treaty, Spain concedes Florida and agrees on a western border with the U.S. in exchange for the Americans abandoning claims on Texas and Cuba.
Spain is deeply distracted during this period due to its colonies' wars of independence.
Monroe eventually issues the Monroe Doctrine stating that any attempt to recolonize the Americas will be meet by force from the U.S.
In return the U.S. will stay out of European affairs.
The Doctrine is not enforceable but is very influential in later U.S. history.
The Election of 1824
During Monroe's presidency he is essentially a man of the 18th century and his administration is sharply divided.
Many politicians and their wives begin maneuvering for the election of 1824.
John Quincy Adams benefits from his wife's social affairs and is quickly a major candidate.
Several others exist but Andrew Jackson is ultimately the main competitor, he is the political outsider.
The election of 1824 is the first where the popular vote matters as about half of the states now have their electoral college votes tied to the state popular vote.
Jackson receives the most votes by far but does not have a electoral college plurality.
Almost 1/4 of all white men vote in this election, the largest voting numbers by far.
The race is finally decided in the House where a backroom arraignment between Quincy Adams and Henry Clay gives the former the presidency.
Many are deeply disturbed by this turn of affairs.
The Adams Administration
Quincy Adams wins the election but as he is not very political astute fills his appointments with contradictory figures.
He proposes several big lofty ideas during his administration which are viewed by his rivals as too expansive of federal power and too favorable to commercial interests.
His plans and proposals as a result largely meet with failure.
As Quincy Adams' doesn't get the patronage system of the time and is undiplomatic internally many are unhappy with his presidency which contributes to his one-term mandate.
What difficulties does Jefferson have in according his governmental philosophy with his governmental policy?
Why was the War of 1812 fought and who won?
Who were the biggest losers in the War of 1812 and why?
Why was the election of 1824 both a watershed moment as well as exceptionally complicated?
What benefits did women see arise during this period?
What was the Missouri Compromise about?
Why was the Missouri Compromise emblematic of growing problems in the future?
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