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The Rise of Mass Democracy (1824-1840)
Transcript of The Rise of Mass Democracy (1824-1840)
(1824-1840) By: Alyson Kelly ELECTIONS... Candidates running were John Quincy Adams (MA), Henry Clay (KY), William H. Crawford (GA), and Andrew Jackson (TN).
Jackson, the public's favorite for president, failed to win the required amount of electoral votes. The victor of the election then had to be decided by the House of Representatives.
After retiring from the race, Speaker of the House Clay privately offered Adams his support over his opponent, Jackson.
John Quincy Adams won the election of 1824 due to Clay's influence in the House. Adams then returned this favor by appointing Clay as his Secretary of State.
The American public sector was outraged by the alleged "bargain" that kept their pick of Jackson out of office. Citizens thus protested every aspect of Adams's administration and continued to gather support for the wronged Jackson. The "Corrupt Bargain" of 1824: John Quincy Adams The Election of 1832:
Candidates running were Henry Clay (KY) and incumbent Andrew Jackson (TN).
The Anti-Masonics joined the Whigs and the Democrats in terms of political parties; had much influence in NY among other mid-Atlantic and New England states that disapproved of secret societies and longed for religious/moral reforms.
National nominating conventions were introduced to give the public a larger role in the decision of a party's candidate.
Parties adopted formal platforms that made public their stances on issues important to the voters.
Despite Clay's attempts to defame Jackson, the incumbent was still adored by the masses and won the election of 1832.
Anti-Masonic Propaganda Election of 1840: Candidates running were incumbent Democrat Martin Van Buren (NY) and Whig William Henry Harrison (OH).
Election was based more on the personalities and social status of the candidates rather than actual issues of public policy.
Victorious General Harrison soon became the champion of the common voter for his homely attitude and appearance while Van Buren was distastefully regarded as a pampered elitist.
William Henry Harrison won the election of 1840, demonstrating that the will of the people was leaning towards widespread democracy rather than aristocracy. William Henry Harrison Key People... Andrew Jackson: Elected president in 1828 by an overwhelming majority of votes.
The hero of the Battle of New Orleans was a favorite of the public due to his humble origins and daring achievements, and his election indicated that the areas of the United States with the most political influence had moved further west and inland where the average citizen resided.
Keeping with his appeal to the common man, Jackson allowed everyday citizens to attend his inaugural festivities at the White House alongside notable political figures.
Popularized the spoils system, or rewarding political supporters with public office. The members of his original Cabinet had resigned after they refused to associate with the wife of Secretary of War John Eaton, whom they regarded as immoral. Jackson was forced to then appoint his political allies and friends to the positions of public office.
The spoils system convinced American citizens to support one political party over the other by dangling the reward of public office for the loyal in front of them. Also contributed to the idea that the average man was more than capable of holding the offices once held by the esteemed and well-educated.
Jackson's Spoils System Sam Houston: Stephen Austin was granted a huge tract of land in 1823 by the Mexican government in exchange for agreeing to populate the Texas area with American families willing to live in accordance with Mexico's laws.
Texan-Americans soon developed their own independent culture and numbered about 30,000 by 1835. Ex-governor of TN Sam Houston soon became a leading figure in Texas society; he was named commander in chief when Texas eventually declared its independence from Mexico in 1836 because of disagreements over slavery, immigration, and local rights.
Houston's army lured Mexican dictator/military leader Santa Anna to San Jacinto after retreating from the violent loss experienced by the Texans at the Alamo. The Texans then turned and defeated the Mexicans during a time of rest; Santa Anna was forced to recognize the Rio Grande as the extreme Southwest border of an independent Texas.
Sam Houston petitioned for Texas to be admitted into the Union in 1837 and it was eventually annexed, although at first protested strongly because of the slavery debate. Houston's Texas was thus another western territory where the American ideals of democracy were spread and practiced. Sam Houston Political Parties... A Two-Party System: Election of 1840 established a more permanent two-party system, and each party retained different aspects of original Jeffersonian republicanism ideals.
Both the Whigs and the Democrats were mass-based parties that aimed to gather as many supporters for their cause as possible. The parties had members from all levels of society; they neither assumed radical positions nor were separated by sectional divisions.
The growth of political parties incited Americans to select a party in order to become better involved in the politics that governed them. Working Together The Whigs: Valued the sense of community and were willing to utilize the government to attain their goals; despised appeals of self-interest that tended to promote conflict.
Favored a renewed national bank, public schools, protective tariffs, internal improvements, and moral reforms.
Originated as an anti-Jackson movement in the Senate involving Clay, Webster, and Calhoun in 1834. Eventually absorbed groups such as the Anti-Masons and the American System supporters.
Members were usually of a higher social class, but this was not always the case. Poking Fun at the Republicans Democrats: Valued the individual and advocated the common man holding public office.
Supported states' rights and federal restraint in social and economic affairs.
Began as the Democratic-Republicans of Jackson's time and shifted to being called simply "Democrats" in 1828.
Usually attracted supporters of a more humble means but nevertheless had members of every social standing. Anti-Democrat Cartoon Major Issues... Bank of the United States: Webster and Clay presented Congress with a bill to recharter the Bank of the U.S. in 1832. President Jackson, who found the private institution too powerful and aristocratic, vetoed the bill and declared the Bank unconstitutional. While the richer citizens of the East were outraged by his veto, the common people found that Jackson's decision made perfect sense and supported his presidency with even more vigor.
After the Bank's charter expired, Jackson drained it of its funds and deposited federal funds in several smaller wildcat banks in order to allow the public banks administered by everyday citizens to control the nation's economy for a change. However, Jackson proved to put too much faith in the common man: the wildcat banks soon began to over-speculate, which eventually causes a financial panic. Jackson Destroys the Bank Tariff of 1828 and Nullification in South Carolina: Protective tariff on foreign goods is raised significantly to promote American industry. While manufacturing northerners were pleased with this, southerners were furious because they were heavy consumers of manufactured goods as an agricultural society with little industry.
John C. Calhoun and South Carolina were the entities to lead the protest against the "Tariff of Abominations" by proposing that the state nullify the tariff within its borders. After much opposition and debate, SC eventually nullified the tariff in 1832 and threatened to secede from the Union if the decision was not recognized.
Henry Clay helped to pass the compromise Tariff of 1833 after President Jackson threatened SC with violence. Though neither the North nor the South won a total victory, each party was satisfied enough with the bargain to let the issue rest.
The protest against the Tariff of 1828 made it clear that if the members of America's new mass democracy felt that a law was unfair, they were going to take an active role in correcting it. Population Density: Areas along the eastern seaboard that were originally the political centers of America eventually became too congested.
People began to move westward and settle territories there. Soon these areas inhabited by the more average person had the most political influence.
The power of democracy thus shifted from the hands of the few eastern aristocrats to the multitude of the more western common man. Headed West John C. Calhoun Just When You Thought You Could Escape My Music... Feel free to replay this ;)