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Lecture 1

HIST 2055 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Cotton Gin, Cash Crop, American Colonization Society


Department
History
Course Code
HIST 2055
Professor
A.Burstein
Lecture
1

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(1) What were the specific issues that confronted political parties (a) in the years preceding the Republicans’
1800 triumph and (b) in the years of Andrew Jackson’s presidency? How did Jacksonian democracy
differ from Jeffersonian democracy?
1. Election of 1824 and "corrupt bargain"
a. By the mid 18-teens,Republicans were in power, but according to the Constitution, there wasn't
anything being said about parties, so when the parties started to break apart, everyone thought it was
good. The Republicans start fighting amongst themselves. They disagree about who should be
nominated for president, William Crawford (don't really need to know him) was elected for 1824
election. He had a struggle
b. John Q. Adams: put forward by some Republicans, not all agree that he s a good candidate
c. Henry Clay: from KY (not 1 of the original 13 colonies), mastermind Missouri compromise
d. Some support from Andrew Jackson: he was known more as the war hero, not a politician.
e. They thought that everyone would get along and believe the same way -- not true. 4 men on the ticket
running for president. Because of this, the electoral college is split, but in order for a candidate to
win, there has to be a majority
f. Jackson has more popular votes than any other candidate - but that didn't matter, so now the decision
was up to the House. Henry Clay dropped out and starts to support John Adams
g. Corrupt bargain - rumor that a corrupt bargain went on between henry clay and john adams, and it was
told by andrew jackson and his supporters. Henry and Adams thought alike, so a bargain would make
sense.
h. House did vote Adams.
i. Jackson feels burned.
j. Adams has an unsuccessful presidency
k. The political scene at this time is messed up - everyone is disagreeing. Adams ends up losing
support. This shapes up the 1828 election - Jackson is angry
2. Election of 1828: After a while, Jackson decides he's going to run for president. This election screams
cultural democratization. Jackson understood the ideas of political symbolism and personality, and through
these ideas, he started gaining major support. Jackson begins to emphasize himself: he was from the
backwoods, war hero, background as an indian fighter, he lacked education. His campaign was to appeal to
the common people on their terms. It was mostly average white joes that would be voting, so it would make
sense to appeal to them. He portrayed Adams as an overeducated aristocrat Andrew Jackson wins, which is
significantly different than his predecessors (not as wealthy or as educated).
3. Profile of Jackson
a. Background: born in the backwoods, poor growing up, extremely ambitious (moved to TN, becomes
an attorney, gets involved in the military (becomes a general), gains reputation as indian fighter. Gets
involved in politics. Very strong leader, horrible temper, self righteous. When he was president, he
personally attacked people that were going to assasinate him. Eventually, he became wealthy and
powerful, making him truly one of the elite.
b. Vision of society and government
i. He wanted a nation of small farmers (a lot like Jefferson)
ii. Wanted a world of open competition (a level playing field), of course, for whites.
iii. He doesn't like centralized powers, industries, cities, etc. (like the national bank)
iv. Doesn't want government involved in the economy.
4. Major policy issues
a. Indian removal: Numbers of Indians east of the MS is significantly reduced. There was specific lands
reserved for Indians. Jackson felt as if white settlers should be allowed the Indians territory. States
are encouraging white settlement, Gais really bad - they encouraged whites to settle in the Cherokee's
land The Cherokee nation was very civilized - had alphabet, newspaper, etc. - and some were very
wealthy. In a way some Cherokees appeared as white plantation owners. Cherokee take GA to
Supreme Court (John Marshall in charge) ruled in favor of the Cherokees. Jackson accepted
Marshall's decision and tells Marshall he has to enforce it. Jackson gives support for Indian Removal
Act (1830) which said Indian territory was going to be taken over and Indians will be forced out to
western lands. Literally forced out by military
b. Government land sales: He cut prices of western land sales to below market value. He wanted small
farmers to be able to get land. Government is facilitating an agregarian economy. The government is
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not staying out of directing the economy
c. Internal improvements: National government wants to be involved in internal improvement. These
were to be funded by a tariff and states would be allowed to spend money. Transportations
improvements would improve economic system and facilitate growth. Very well thought out plans -
Jackson vetoes these ideas.
d. Bank of the US: Jackson doesn't like the bank. The bank was going to end in 1836, so Jackson didn't
go to war against the bank. Didn't like concentrated economic power, thought bank was corrupt.
i. Recharter veto: 1832 Clay tries to play a trick on Jackson, Clay attempts to recharter bank early
because he knows the people like it. Clay believes when Jackson vetoes the bill, the people
will start to follow him - not Jackson. Congress votes to recharter bank and Jackson vetoes it
and explains why (bank hurts little people and is unconstitutional). Most Americans like
Jackson and then agree with him why he hates the bank. Clays plan didn't work and Jackson is
re-elected in 1832.
ii. Attack: Jackson is mad that the bank bill was thrown in his face and declares war on the
bank. Spends whole 2nd term in office trying to kill off the bank. Says bank is large and
powerful (part private). Describes bank as "monster" by removing it's source of power (the
government funds). Treasury secretary was ordered to withdraw government funds, but argues
it is illegal and unconstitutional. Fired 2 treasury secretaries and hired Roger Taney. He order
Taney to remove government funds and Taney does (1833). The money withdrawn goes to
smaller state charter banks. All of these had some political connection to Jackson.
iii. Origin of the Panic of 1837: money withdrawn given to states, states have lots of extra money
and don't know how to spend it. Buy western land. Economic problems in Europe cause
economic problems in US land speculators are in major debt = major economic depression.
iv. Jackson is a contradiction on many levels - wanted simple economy - he facilitates the panic of
1837. He did the same thing he said the bank of the US did during the panic of 1837. He
believed the common man needed to be more involved --> racially specific "level playing
field" is only for white settlers. They will benefit from blacks and native Americans
misfortune. Biggest paradox --> Jackson said power was BAD; but Jackson goes down in
history as one of the most powerful men.
Political Parties
1. New Concept of Parties: By the 1830s, they realize that in order for parties to exist, they needed an opponent
to exist. This is why it's hard today for a third party to start up (because of the idea that they only needed one
opponent). They decided that parties were good to have because
a. Parties foster/ facilitate popular sovereignty because parties created mechanism through which the
voters could express their thoughts on issues. The parties had to compete for support
b. Parties support the government because they represent another use of the idea of checking power.
2. Beliefs
a. Democrats: supporters of Jackson come together to form the democratic party. Martin Van Buren is
the mastermind behind the crafting of this party. He consolidates the support by using the ideas of
patronage and threats (good things will happen to you if things get done, and bad things will happen if
you don't). He used these tactics to build up the democratic party. Since it's centered around Jackson,
these members mirrored his beliefs. They wanted to gain support and be as powerful as they could,
gaining support from all over the country. In order to do this, they could not mention the issue of
slavery, because it's a sectional issue.
i. Agricultural economy: Territorial expansion (to maintain the agricultural economy, more
land=more money)
ii. Neutral government
iii. Democrats supported state rights, government holding back on their use of power. They didn't
see much use in the hand of the federal government.
iv. Government shouldn't legislate morality. Even now, there's an effort to limit the use/abuse of
alcohol.
b. Whigs: They have a harder time keeping the slavery issue out of their campaign. They come together
because of opposition (opposition to Jackson, specifically). They don't like allof his policies and his
tactics. They started calling him King Jackson (reminded of old English ways). The one thing that
they have in common is hating Jackson, other than that, they don't really have much in common
i. Mixed economy: they weren't opposed to agricultural, but they wanted to see it balanced out
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with manufacturing. They weren't interested in territorial expansion.
ii. Government fostering economic help: they wanted the government to facilitate industry and
manufacturing, but not necessarily taking out the agriculture.
iii. Federal power over state
iv. Government involvement in morality: Whigs saw nothing wrong with the government passing
laws on morality (alcohol consumption)
3. Party Membership:
a. Support:
i. Whigs: in general, industrialist and merchants, plantation owners and farmers all supported the
Whig party (but they tended to come where agriculture was doing well). Even evangelical
protestants supported the Whigs.
ii. Democrats: support came from working men, small farmers and planters (most of who weren't
doing well), recently arrived immigrants, Catholics, Episcopalian, Lutherans, etc.
4. Van Buren Administration
a. 1836 Election: Democrats are much better formed, Whigs still exist but are trying to get a grip. The
Democrats eventually end up nominating Martin Van Buren as the presidential candidate for the 1836
election. Whigs have a hard time coming up with who they are going to nominate, so of course, the
democrats and Van Buren win the election
b. Response to panic of 1837:
i. Panic of 1837: It's not a depression, but there was an economic collapse (one of many). Pretty
much last 6 years: bank failed, businesses went under, cotton prices fell to half the price, internal
improvement projects (canals, roads, etc.) end, state governments stop paying the debts on their
bonds, etc.
ii. Whigs blamed Jackson and the Democrats for the entire collapse. Everyone looks to Van Buren
for a solution. They tried to create a third national bank, but it didn't work. It continues into the
early 1840s, when there's another election. The Democrats re-nominate Van Buren. The Whigs
nominate, Harrison, because they were finally able to start getting their act together. Harrison
wins.
iii. Harrison: like jackson in that he didn't really have a strong political background, his issues
weren't really well known. Unlike Jackson, Harrison is from a very prominent family. Like
Jackson, he runs as a war hero. The fact that he was aristocrat was played down. He doesn't
claim to be one, because it's so "uncool"
c. Log Cabin Campaign (1840 Election): Harrison makes a joke about him sitting back in a log cabin for
the rest of his life, drinking hard apple cider and receiving his pension. The democrats criticized, but
the Whigs were like, who doesn't do that. This becomes an "image" campaign, because it's about the
policies of personality. A lot of rallies, parades, etc. took place and Harrison wins
d. Tyler as President: Harrison becomes sick with Pneumonia, and dies a month after he is
inaugurated. This created a problem: the president is dead. John Tyler was his vice president, so he
becomes President. Was he going to what Harrison wanted to do? Harrison didn't take a stand on
issues. So the Whigs decided they would take over. Henry Clay (important Whig politician) and ____
decided that they would have delegated to Harrison what to do, but then Harrison died. Tyler wasn't a
good Whig - he thought like a democrat - he supported democratic party policies. The reason he joined
the Whigs was because he hated Jackson's methods. So Tyler serves as President as a Democrat, this
pissed off the Whigs and they threw him out of the Whigs party. Tyler was also a southerner. We see
many politicians come into positions under Tyler that are southerners that have ideas about the issue of
slavery.
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