Indian Removal, 1820s-1830's / Indian Removal Act, 1830
The process of forcibly removing Indians from desirable land and relocating them west of the Mississippi River in the early nineteenth century.
Indian removal was carried out largely under the leadership of President Andrew Jackson (1829-1837).
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia,
The Supreme Court refused to hear a suit filed by the Cherokee Nation against a Georgia law abolishing tribal legislature.
The Court said Indians were not foreign nations, and U.S. had broad powers over tribes but a responsibility for
Worchester v. Georgia
The Supreme Court ruled that Indians weren't independent nations but dependent domestic nations which could be regulated by the federal government.
Expanded tribal authority by declaring tribes sovereign entities, like states, with exclusive authority within their
President Jackson and the state of Georgia ignored the ruling and the Cherokee were removed from their land to
Oklahoma Indian county (see below).
Cherokee Indian removal / "Trail of Tears,"
During the winter of 1838 - 1839, the Cherokee were forced to evacuate their lands in Georgia and travel under military guard to Oklahoma Indian country.
Due to exposure and disease, roughly one-quarter of the 16,000 Cherokees died en route.
The hardship and suffering the Cherokee endured led to the term "The Trail of Tears" being used for the
A historian's term for the political culture of white male citizens in the 1820s -1830s. It celebrated the "self-made man" and rejected the ideas that leaders should be drawn from the intellectual and economic elite. Andrew Jackson, the first "people's president," exemplified the spirit of the age.
The Jacksonian era (1824-1840) included many reforms: free public schools, better working conditions in
factories, and the rise of the Abolitionist movement.
Peggy Eaton Affair
Social scandal involving John Eaton, Secretary of War, and his wife Peggy Eaton. Peggy Eaton was accused of having an affair with John Eaton before her first husband died in 1828.
Many cabinet members snubbed the socially unacceptable Mrs. Eaton. Jackson sided with the Eatons, and the
affair helped to split the cabinet - especially those members associated with John C. Calhoun (V.P.), who
opposed the Eatons and had other problems with Jackson.
Jackson finally asked for the cabinets resignation.
Age of the Common Man
Jackson's presidency was the called the Age of the Common Man. He felt that government should be run by common people - a democracy based on a self-sufficient middle class with ideas formed by liberal education and a free press. All white men could now vote, and the increased voting rights allowed Jackson to be elected.
Franchise extended / Spoils system / Rotation in office
Franchise extended - more people were given the right to vote, even men who owned no land.
Spoils system - "To the victor go the spoils" - the winner of the election may do whatever they want with
Rotation in office - Jackson also believed officeholders should be rotated with every election, so more party
members had the opportunity to serve.
A small group of Jackson's friends and advisors who were especially influential in the first years of his presidency. Jackson conferred with them instead of his regular cabinet.
Many people didn't like Jackson ignoring official procedures, and called it the "Kitchen Cabinet" or "Lower
Maysville Road Veto
The Maysville Road Bill proposed building a road in Kentucky (Clay's state) at federal expense. Jackson vetoed it because he didn't like Clay, and Martin Van Buren pointed out that New York and Pennsylvania paid for their transportation improvements with state money.
Jackson applied strict interpretation of the Constitution by saying that the federal government could not pay for
Congressional Caucus System / National Party Conventions
Until 1831, presidential candidates were nominated by the congressional caucus of their party, a small, secretive group and the public had little say in the process.
In 1832, the modern practice of national party conventions nominating presidential candidates took hold after
Jackson's followers held a national convention to nominate him in 1828.
In the 1830s conventions were seen as a victory for democracy.
Alexis de Tocqueville / Democracy in America
De Tocqueville came from France to America in 1831. He observed democracy and its effects in government and society.
His book, Democracy in America, discussed the advantages of democracy and consequences of the majority's
Tocqueville was the first to raise the topics of American practicality over theory, the industrial aristocracy, and
the conflict between the masses and individuals.
Democracy in America is valued as an outsider's objective view of the Jacksonian Era.
"Tariff of Abominations,"/ 1828 Nullification crisis / South Carolina Exposition and Protest
"Tariff of Abominations"
High protective tariff of 45% passed because New England mills charged the British were selling textile goods at below market prices to drive their American competitors out of business.
Southern planters feared the tariff would raise the cost of almost everything they brought and called it the "tariff
of abominations." Opponents of the tariff added even higher duties hoping to make the tariff so unpopular it
would be defeated in Congress. But their strategy backfired, and the highly protective tariff was enacted.
1828 Nullification Crisis / South Carolina Exposition and Protest
When faced with the protective Tariff of 1828, Andrew Jackson's Vice-President John Calhoun presented a theory in the South Carolina Exposition and Protest that federal tariffs could be declared null and void by individual states and that they could refuse to enforce them.
South Carolina called a convention in 1832, after the revised Tariff of 1828 became the Tariff of 1832 which
was lowered to 35%, and passed an ordinance forbidding the collection of tariff duties in the state. This was protested by Jackson.
Nullification , 1828
The idea that a state convention could declare federal laws unconstitutional if they were seen to overstep congressional powers. South Carolina politicians supported this idea in 1828 in response to Congress passing the "Tariff of Abominations," which hurt South Carolina's already depressed cotton industry.
The Webster-Hayne ( Robert Hayne, Senator from South Carolina and Daniel Webster, Senator from Massachusetts) debate was over a bill by Samuel A. Foote to limit the sale of public lands in the west to new settlers.
The debate followed the "Tariff of Abominations" incident.
Webster, in a dramatic speech, showed the danger of the states' rights doctrine, which permitted each state to decide for itself which laws were unconstitutional, claiming it would lead to civil war.
The central issue of the debate was the basis of constitutional authority - was the Union based upon an agreement between states or based upon the people?
Webster declared "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable."
The debate indicated the degree of sectional tensions between the North and the South.
Jefferson Day Dinner: toasts and quotes
At the Jefferson anniversary dinner, President Jackson toasted, "Our federal union! It must and shall be preserved!" making it clear to the nullifiers that he would resist the states' rights supporters' claim to nullify the tariff law.
V.P. Calhoun's response to the toast was, "The union, next to our liberty, most dear. May we always remember
that it can only be preserved by distributing evenly the benefits and burdens of the Union."
Calhoun wanted Jackson to side with him on the issue of states' rights in public, but he didn't succeed.
Election of 1832 / Anti-Masonic Party
Andrew Jackson (Democrat) ran for re-election against Henry Clay (Whig) and the Anti-Masonic Party candidate William Wirt.
The primary issue was Jackson's veto of the recharter of the U.S. Bank, which he considered a monopoly.
This was the first election with a national nominating convention (state delegates voted to select the party's
Jackson won - 219 to Clay's 49 and Wirt's 1.
The Masons were a semi-secret society devoted to libertarian principles to which most educated or upper-class
men of the Revolutionary War era belonged. The Anti-Masons sprang up as a reaction to the perceived elitism of the Masons, and the new party took votes from the Whigs, helping Jackson to win the election.
Tariff of 1832
When a new tariff was passed in 1832 which lowered the 1828 tariff from 45% to 35%, Southerners expected some relief from the Tariff of Abominations and were angered when no substantial relief was given.
South Carolina convened a state convention that voted to nullify the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 and to forbid the
collections of tariff duties in South Carolina.
Jackson's response was public support of the Force Bill and Henry Clay (Senator from Kentucky) started
working on a compromise tariff. (see Compromise Tariff and Force Bill below)
Nullification , 1832-1833
Vice-President Calhoun anonymously published the essay South Carolina Exposition and Protest (1828), which proposed that each state in the union counter the tyranny of the majority by asserting the right to nullify an act of Congress.
It was written in reaction to the Tariff of 1828, which he said placed the Union in danger and stripped the South
of its rights.
South Carolina had threatened to secede if the tariff was not revoked; Calhoun suggested state nullification as a
more peaceful solution.
Calhoun resigns as vice-president
Calhoun, from South Carolina, wrote the doctrine of nullification, expressing his views in support of states' rights. His views were so disputed and so different from Jackson's that Calhoun resigned and was appointed a Senator by South Carolina to present its case to Congress.
Henry Clay / Compromise Tariff of 1833
Henry Clay devised the Compromise Tariff which gradually reduced the rates levied under the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832.
It caused South Carolina to withdraw the ordinance nullifying the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832. Both protectionists
and anti-protectionists accepted the compromise.
The Force Bill authorized President Jackson to use the army and navy to collect duties on the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832. South Carolina's ordinance of nullification had declared these tariffs null and void, and South Carolina would not collect duties on them.
The Force Act was never invoked because it was passed by Congress the same day as the Compromise Tariff of
1833, so it became unnecessary.
In an attempt to have the last word South Carolina also nullified the Force Act.
Rise of the Second Party System
A historian's term for the national two-party rivalry between Democrats and National Republicans / Whigs.
The second party system started in the late 1820s and ended in the 1850s with the death of the Whig Party and
rise of the Republican Party.
Democrats / National Republicans / Whigs
After the 1824 election, part of the Democratic - Republican party joined John Q. Adams, Henry Clay, and Daniel Webster to oppose Andrew Jackson.
They favored nationalistic measures like the recharter of the Bank of the United States, high tariffs, and internal
improvements at national expense.
They were supported mainly by North westerners and were not very successful.
They were conservatives alarmed by Jackson's radicalism.
The National Republicans joined with the Whigs in the 1830's.
Political party established in 1828 to back Andrew Jackson (1829-1837) for the Presidency.
The Democratic party branched off of the Democratic-Republican Party.
Democrats supported majority rule and equality among the people.
Democrats opposed special privileges for corporations and the elite.
Political party that began in 1834 with the opponents of Andrew Jackson who thought he was treating the presidency like a monarch.
Whigs were conservatives and popular with pro-Bank people and plantation owners.
They mainly came from the National Republican Party, which was once largely Federalists.
They took their name from the British political party that had opposed King George during the American
Their policies included support of industry, protective tariffs, and Clay's American System.
They were generally upper class in origin.
They supported federal power and internal improvements but not territorial expansion. The Whig party
collapses in the 1850s when the question of expanding slavery into the territories split them.
Most northern Whigs end up in the newly formed Republican party in 1854 and southern Whigs end up in the
Referred to the three leaders of the Whig party, each of whom had a substantial number of followers: Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John Calhoun.
The Whigs never had one single leader who could command the loyalty of the Whig party comparable to the
way that Andrew Jackson did in the Democratic party.
Henry Clay, Bank Recharter Bill, 1832, Nicholas Biddle
Jackson's political rivals, Senator Henry Clay (Kentucky), and Nicholas Biddle, President of the National Bank, supported a bill to recharter the Bank four years earlier than it was due.
Clay wanted the Bank to be an issue for the upcoming presidential election in 1832 against Jackson.
Jackson vetoed the bill and this increased his popularity.
Jackson saw his 1832 victory as a mandate from the people to destroy the Bank.
Unwilling to wait for the current charter to expire, Jackson withdrew federal deposits from the Bank in 1833
(see "Pet Banks")
Jackson's removal of deposits / Pet Banks
Angry because Biddle used Bank funds to support anti-Jacksonian candidates and convinced his 1832 victory was a mandate from the people to destroy the Bank, Jackson removed federal deposits from the Bank.
He fired the Secretaries of Treasury who would not carry out his orders to remove the deposits. Finally, Roger
Taney agreed to withdraw the funds and deposit them in state banks and was awarded the position of Secretary
of Treasury. He later became appointed as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Jackson's opponents charged him with abuse of power.
Pet banks were state banks into which Jackson deposited federal funds after he withdrew them from the Bank. They were given this name because people thought the banks were chosen on political grounds.
Radical wing of the Democratic Party made up mainly of workingmen, small businessmen and professionals in the Northeast who wanted reform and opposed tariffs, banks, monopolies, and other places of special privilege.
Jackson issued the Specie Circular in an effort to stop land speculation caused by states printing paper money without proper specie (gold or silver) backing it.
The Circular required that the purchase of public lands be paid for in specie (gold or silver coin) rather than
It did stop the land speculation and the sale of public lands went down sharply.
The Specie Circular created a financial panic in 1837 that started in the early months of Van Buren's
The withdrawal of federal deposits from the Bank and the issuance of the Specie Circular would be contributing
factors to the Panic of 1837 that followed and lasted five years.
Election of 1836: Martin Van Buren v. William Henry Harrison, Hugh Lawson White, and Daniel Webster Martin Van Buren (Democrat) vs. William Henry Harrison (Whig), Hugh Lawson White (Whig), and Daniel Webster (Whig)
Whigs could not agree on a single candidate so they ran three regional candidates in the hope that this might
stop Van Buren from getting a majority and so throw the election into the House of Representatives.
Van Buren won easily with 170 electoral votes vs. his opponents 124 electoral votes.
Martin Van Buren, the Albany Regency,
Martin Van Buren, a Democratic-Republican Senator from New York, rallied the factory workers of the North in support of Jackson. He became Jackson's Vice President after Calhoun resigned.
New York politics at that time was controlled by a clique of wealthy land-owners known as the Albany
Regency and Van Buren became the leader of the clique.
Charles River Bridge Decision
This decision modified the Marshall Court's ruling in the Dartmouth College Case of 1819, which said that a state could not make laws infringing on the charters of private organizations.
The Charles River Bridge Company protested when the Warren Bridge Company was authorized in 1828 to
build a free bridge where it had been chartered to operate a toll bridge in 1785.
The court ruled that the Charles River Company was not granted a monopoly right in their charter, and the
Warren Company could build its bridge. Chief Justice Taney ruled that a contract granted by a state to a
company could be broken to benefit the general welfare of the people.
Began the legal concept that private companies cannot injure the public welfare.
Panic of 1837
The worst depression in U.S. history up to that point. It lasted five years and had multiple causes.
Whigs had supported federal surplus funds being distributed to the states and their use of the money for internal
transportation contributed to the economic boom.
Jackson's effort to restrain land speculation with the Specie Circular brought a financial panic.
Western Europe's own panics and withdrawal of funds from American banks fed the American panic.
Crop failures and the importation of food sent money out of the country.
Many railroads and canal projects failed along with hundreds of banks and businesses.
Unemployment rose and bread riots took place in some larger cities.
Van Buren and the Democrats received the blame for the depression.
"Aroostook War, "
Americans and Canadians, mainly lumberjacks, moved into the disputed Aroostook River region. The boundary of Canada and Maine had been in dispute since the Treaty of 1783.
Violence broke out between these two groups and the boundary dispute was resolved in the Webster-Ashburton
Treaty of 1842.
Agreement with Britain resolved the boundary dispute between Maine and New Brunswick, Canada, setting the northeastern U.S. border.
Independent Treasury Act
The purpose of this government system was to keep government out of the banking business (banks were blamed for helping to cause previous cases of economic depression). Vaults were to be constructed in various cities to collect and expand government funds in gold and silver.
Proposed after the National Bank was destroyed as a method for maintaining government funds with minimum
risk. William Henry Harrison opposed the Independent Treasury System and the act was repealed in 1841.
Election of 1840: William Henry Harrison v. Martin Van Buren v. James G. Birney
William Henry Harrison (Whig) 234 electoral votes v. Martin Van Buren (Democrat) 60 votes. James G. Birney (Liberty Party) 0 votes.
The Panic of 1837 kept Van Buren from being reelected.
Whigs rejected Clay and instead nominated military hero Harrison with the slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler too"
(John Tyler was his VP candidate).
Significance of the election is it is the first election in which both parties are using the techniques of mass voter
appeal and running candidates they depict as "men of the people." Democrats depicted Van Buren as living in
luxury and Harrison as a "log cabin and hard cider" man, which was not entirely true.
In 1841, Rhode Island was governed by a 1663 charter which said that only property holders and their eldest sons could vote (1/2 the adult male population). Thomas Dorr led a group of rebels who wrote a new constitution and
elected him governor in 1842. The state militia was called in to stop the rebellion. Dorr was sentenced to life imprisonment, but the sentence was withdrawn.
Dorr's Rebellion caused conservatives to realize the need for reform. A new Rhode Island constitution in 1843
gave almost all men the right to vote.
Tariff of 1842
A protective tariff signed by President John Tyler, it raised the general level of duties to 25-30% which was where they had been before the Compromise Tariff of 1833.
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