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10: The Growth of Democracy, 1824—1840

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1 10: The Growth of Democracy, 1824—1840

2 “The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their land and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress. . .” Indian Treaties

3 Chapter Review Questions
Why would a person oppose universal white manhood suffrage? suffrage for free African American men? for women of all races? Opponents believed that Andrew Jackson was unsuited in both political experience and temperament to be president of the United States, yet his presidency is considered one of the most influential in American history. Explain the changes in political organization and attitude that made his election possible. Both the Nullification Crisis and Indian Removal raised the constitutional issue of the rights of a minority in a nation governed by majority rule. What rights, in your opinion, does a minority have, and what kinds of laws are necessary to defend them? Why was the issue of government support for internal improvements so controversial? Who benefited from the transportation revolution? Who lost ground? What were the key differences between Whigs & Democrats? What did each party stand for? Who were their supporters? What is the link between the party's programs and party supporters? What distinctive American themes did the writers, artists, and builders of the 1820s and 1830s express in their works? Are they still considered American themes today?

4 Recommended Albert Fishlow, American Railroads and the Transformation of the Ante-Bellum Economy (1965) Robert Fogel, Railroads and American Economic Growth: Essays in Econometric History (1964) Oscar and Mary Handlin, Commonwealth: A Study of the Role of Government in the American Economy (1947) Robert Remini, Andrew Jackson and the Source of American Freedom (1981) Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., The Age of Jackson (1945)

5 Chronology 1817 Erie Canal construction begins
1818     National Road completed to Wheeling 1819     Dartmouth College v. Woodward             McCullough v. Maryland 1821     Martin Van Buren’s Bucktails oust DeWitt Clinton in New York 1824     Gibbons v. Ogden             John Quincy Adams elected president by the House of Representatives 1825     Erie Canal opens 1826     First American use of the steam-powered printing press 1828     Congress passes Tariff of Abominations             Andrew Jackson elected president             John C. Calhoun publishes Exposition and Protest 1830     Jackson vetoes Maysville Road Bill             Congress passes Indian Removal Act             Baltimore and Ohio Railroad opens

6 1831-32 Alexis de Tocqueville in US [May to February]
1832     Nullification Crisis begins             Jackson vetoes renewal of Bank of the United States charter             Jackson reelected president 1833     National Road completed to Columbus, Ohio 1834     Cyrus McCormick patents the McCormick reaper                         Whig party organized 1836     Jackson issues Specie Circular             Martin Van Buren elected president 1837     Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge             John Deere invents steel plow             Ralph Waldo Emerson first presents " The American Scholar"             Panic of 1837 1838     Cherokee removal along "Trail of Tears" 1840     Whig William Henry Harrison elected president 1841     John Tyler assumes presidency at the death of President Harrison 1844     Samuel F. B. Morse operates first telegraph

7 A: Martin Van Buren Forges a New Kind of Political Community
The son of a tavern keeper, Martin Van Buren lacked the aristocratic connections necessary for political advancement in New York. Van Buren built a democratically controlled, well-disciplined party organization that brought him political power.

8 B: The New Democratic Politics in North America

9 Continental Struggles over Political Rights
In 1821, Mexico won independence from Spain. Santa Anna was the strongest early president assuming dictatorial powers but was in office when Texas and northern provinces were lost to the United States. In Haiti, independence destroyed the sugar industry. The British Caribbean islands experienced numerous revolts leading to the abolition of slavery and the subsequent decline of the sugar industry. A revolt in 1837 by Upper and Lower Canada led to the union of the two regions to make the French-speaking population a minority.


11 Westward Expansion While the population of the United States more than doubled between 1800 and 1830, the trans-Appalachian population grew tenfold.

12 The Expansion and Limits of Suffrage
1800, only white, male, property owners could vote in most states. As new western states came into the Union suffrage expanded. By 1820 most of the older states had dropped property qualifications. By 1840, 90 percent of adult white males could vote. Women and African Americans were barred from voting.



15 The Election of 1824 The 1824 election marked an end to the political truce of the Era of Good Feelings. Four candidates ran for the presidency. Though Andrew Jackson had the most popular votes, John Quincy Adams won as a result of the so-called “corrupt bargain.” Hostile relations with Congress block many of Adams' initiatives.


17 The New Popular Democratic Culture
A more popular form of politics was emerging. New state organizations on the increased political participation helped elect Andrew Jackson president. New techniques of mass campaigning encouraged increases in participation. Refer to photo of Politics in an Oyster House, p. 280.

18 The Print Revolution The print revolution was most evident in the growth of newspapers. It also helped democratize politics by publicizing the new political pageantry. Tightly-organized, broad-based political groups emerged. Party loyalty among politicians and the public was stressed as politics became a feature of everyday life.


20 The Election of 1828 In the 1828 election, Jackson triumphed as his supporters portrayed the contest as a struggle between democracy and aristocracy. His victory showed the strength of the new popular democratic culture and system of national parties made up of a coalition of the North, South, and West.


22 C: The Jackson Presidency

23 A Popular Figure Jackson symbolized the personal advancement that the frontier offered. His inauguration brought out a mob of well-wishers whose unruly behavior led critics to fear that this was the beginning of the reign of “King Mob.” Refer to photo of All Creation Going to the White House, p. 283.

24 A Strong Executive Jackson’s Democrats created a national coalition that transcended sectional identity. Jackson was a strong executive who consulted with the "Kitchen Cabinet, largely ignoring his cabinet. Jackson strengthened the presidency by using the veto more frequently than had all of his predecessors combined. His most famous veto of the Maysville Road Bill of 1830 was a defeat for western rival Henry Clay.

25 The Nation's Leader Regional spokespeople included:
Daniel Webster for the East; John C. Calhoun for the South; and Henry Clay for the West. Jackson overrode sectional interests and had national appeal. Whigs = national bank, tariffs, and internal/infrastructure improvements

26 D: Internal Improvements, Building an Infrastructure

27 The Transportation Revolution
By 1850, rivers, canals, road, and railroads tied the nation together.


29 Travel Times The transportation revolution dramatically reduced travel times and connected people to the outside world.


31 The Transportation Revolution in Perspective
States provided more funding for roads, canals and railroads than the federal government. Between 1800 and 1840, the building of roads and canals, and the steamboat stimulated the transportation revolution that: encouraged growth; promoted the mobility of people and goods; and fostered the growing commercial spirit. Refer to photo of Fairview Inn, p, 286.

32 Canals Water transport was quicker and less expensive than travel by land. The Erie Canal stimulated east-west travel and was built with New York State funds. The canal connected Buffalo on Lake Erie with Albany along the Hudson River. Constructing the canal was a vast engineering challenge and required a massive labor force, many of whom were contract laborers from Ireland. The canal helped farmers in the west became part of a national market. Towns along the canal grew rapidly. A canal boom followed. Refer to photo of The Marriage of the Waters, p. 287.

33 Steamboats and Railroads
made upstream travel viable; helped to stimulate trade along western rivers; and turned frontier outposts like Cincinnati into commercial centers. The most remarkable innovation was the railroad. Technical problems included the absence of a standard gauge. By the 1850s consolidation of rail lines facilitated standardization.

34 The Legal Infrastructure
The Supreme Court fostered economic growth by: asserting federal power over interstate commerce; and encouraging economic competition by denying monopolies. State laws enabled businesses to protect themselves by granting charters of incorporation.

35 Commercial Agriculture in the Old Northwest
The transportation revolution helped farmers sell in previously unreachable markets. Government policy encouraged commercial agriculture by keeping land cheap. Regional specialization enabled farmers to concentrate on growing a single crop, but made them dependent on distant markets and credit. Innovations in farm tools greatly increased productivity. Refer to photo of The Testing of the First Reaping Machine, p. 290.

36 Effects of the Transportation Revolution
provided Americans much greater mobility; allowed farmers to produce for a national market; and fostered a risk-taking mentality that promoted invention and innovation. Americans increasingly looked away from the East toward the heartland, fostering national pride and identity.

37 E: Jackson and his Opponents: The Rise of the Whigs

38 The Nullification Crisis
Constitutional ambiguity, sectional interests, and the states’ rights issue caused political controversies. The 1828 “Tariff of Abominations” elicited a strong reaction from South Carolina. Southerners argued that the tariff was an unconstitutional effort to enrich the North at Southern expense. John C. Calhoun wrote a defense of the doctrine of nullification claiming states could refuse to enforce laws they deemed unconstitutional. South Carolina nullified 1833 tariff threatened to secede. Jackson considered South Carolina's action treason and passed the Force Bill. Henry Clay engineered a compromise tariff that ended the threat of civil war.

39 Indian Removal Jackson embraced the policy of Indian cession of their lands and removal west of the Mississippi River. The five civilized tribes of the South were most affected. Even though the Cherokee had adopted white ways and accepted white culture, Jackson pressed for their removal. Jackson defied the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Cherokee. The Cherokee removal was called the“Trail of Tears.” The Removal Act of 1830 was strongly opposed by Northerners.


41 The Bank War Chartered in 1816, the Second Bank of the United States was a quasi-private institution. The Second Bank acted as a currency stabilizer by: encouraging the growth of strong and stable financial interest; and curbing less stable and irresponsible ones. Eastern merchants found the bank a useful institution. Western farmers and speculators feared the Bank represented a moneyed elite. Jackson vetoed the bill when Clay and Webster pushed for early re-chartering. Refer to photo of Abraham Lincoln, p.295.

42 Jackson's Second Term In the election of 1832 Jackson soundly defeated Henry Clay. After his victory, Jackson withdrew federal deposits and placed them in “pet” banks. Jackson claimed that he was the direct representative of the people and could act regardless of Congressional opinion.

43 The Whigs, Van Buren, and the Panic of 1837
The Bank called in commercial loans, causing a recession. Jackson’s opponents founded an opposition party—the Whigs. The new party lost the 1836 election to Martin Van Buren. The death of the Bank led to feverish speculation and the Panic of 1837. The depression that resulted led to great hardship giving the newly formed Whig Party its opportunity. Refer to photo of The Panic of 1837, p. 298.

44 F: The Second American Party System

45 The Campaign of 1840 In the election of 1840 Whigs portrayed their candidate, William Henry Harrison, as a humble man happy to live in a log cabin.


47 Voter Turnout The Whigs won a sweeping electoral victory in a campaign with 80 percent voter turnout in 1840.

48 The Tyler Presidency The Whig triumph was short-lived as Harrison died a month after his inauguration. Vice-President John Tyler assumed office. A former Democrat, Tyler vetoed a series of bills calling for a new Bank of the US, tariffs, and internal improvements. The Whigs were unable to bridge the gap between North and South.

49 G: American Arts and Letters

50 Creating a Popular Culture
Steam-powered presses, the transportation revolution, and the telegraph helped facilitate a communications revolution. Newspapers and almanacs fostered popular culture. Refer to photo of The Crockett Almanac, p. 301.

51 Creating a National American Culture
An intellectual movement was stimulated by eastern societies and journals. Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper, and especially Ralph Waldo Emerson created a distinctly American culture. Refer to photo of The Boston Athenaeum, p. 302.

52 Artists and Builders Artists such as Albert Bierstedt and George Caleb Bingham drew upon dramatic themes from the American landscape and lifestyles. Neoclassical remained the architectural style for public buildings. Balloon frame construction enabled Americans to build homes at a rapid clip. Refer to photo of Kindred Spirits, p. 303.

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