Expansion Over Time & Space 1815-1848
Introduction • How American context changed materially between 1815 & 1848 • Supreme achievement of economic growth during this period: a manufacturing base • American manufacturing in 1848 exceeded only by manufacturing in Great Britain • In spite of this development, American economy still primarily agricultural • Last decades of the 19th century brought final triumph of industrialism
Government role in economic growth • Neo-Hamiltonian economic policy & the American System of Henry Clay • Second Bank of the United States, 1816-1836 • Protective Tariff. Custom duties are collected to promote American manufacturing • Liberalization of land distribution policy to encourage a “land office business” 80 acres available at $1.25 per acre • U.S. Supreme Court and John Marshall. Eliminate barriers to economic growth. See McCulloch v Maryland (1819)
Government role in economic growth—cont. • Role of state governments in economic growth • Significance of the Erie Canal • State Aid to Infrastructure Projects such as canals and railroads
Modernizing Transportation • American Transportation in 1815: technologically primitive • Improvements through canal building • Erie Canal inaugurated an era of canal building, tying natural water ways into a national system • Application of steam power to problem of river transportation • Robert Fulton and the Claremont • Role on Mississippi River
Modernizing Transportation--cont • Coming of the railroad
Wage Labor System • Early 19th century barriers to wage labor • Labor Shortages • Agrarianism: Wage labor as contrary to American republicanism and inherently debasing • Significance of the Lowell System in Massachusetts: wage labor NOT inherently debasing • Immigrationas source of wage labor: What were the most important sources of immigration in the pre-Civil War period?
A New Politics 1815-1848
Birth of a New Party System • At the heart of this new party system was a new type of political party: mass, national party • First, the Democratic party emerged, then the Whig party • These two parties, national in scope, tried to mobilize into political action the white male adult population of the United States • Was the new politics a “democratic” politics?
Birth of a New Party System—Cont. • Why did this new party system arise? • Economic hard times ended “the Era of Good Feelings” • Southern politicians, alarmed over the Missouri Crisis, turned to political coalition building • End of the “Virginia Dynasty” marked the end of a politics of deference & the beginning of a more democratic politics • Politics became professionalized
Emergence of the Democratic party • End of the “Era of Good Feelings”. Economic outsiders turned to politics • Andrew Jackson, provided a magnetic symbol, organizing groups politically • Jackson, the Man: Considerable political experience • Jackson, the Symbol: Military Hero, see Battle of New Orleans • Jackson as President, the President is active in policy-making, providing national leadership. Model of the “Strong President” is primarily 20th century • Democratic party, in Age of Jackson, party of laissez faire, both economically and culturally. Why fear an activist government?
Emergence of the Democratic party—Cont. • Issues benefit Democratic party in 1820s & 1830s 1. Land policy & Indian Removal. Jackson supported Indian Removal Act (1830) while Van Buren enforced it against Cherokees. Big Issue between whites & Indians: Land 2. Nationalism & States Rights. President Jackson strongly supports national power in showdown with John C. Calhoun and South Carolina over collection of customs duties
Emergence of the Democratic party—Cont. • Issues benefit Democratic party in 1820s & 1830s—Cont. 3. Bank War. Neo-Hamiltonianism vs. economic laissez faire. Why did Jackson say he opposed the 2 BUS?
Rise of the Whig party • Whig party organized around the Neo-Hamiltonian program of Henry Clay • Attracted modernizing element of business community • Claimed this program created economic opportunity for every one who wanted to better themselves materially • Whig party attempted to build an anti-Jackson party • It’s in the name • It has some success, but its success in the endeavor actually weakened the party • Tended to attract cultural antilibertarians.
Politics: 1836-1848 • 1836 Election: Won by Martin Van Buren as Whigs try an unusual strategy • 1840 Election: First Whig victory as party exploits economic depression to elect William Henry Harrison. Harrison’s death created disarray in party • 1844 Election: Democrat James K. Polk elected over Clay in close election. Slavery as a political issue • 1848 Election: Military hero Zachary Taylor, Whig, elected, as a nationally-oriented leader • Result: American politics characterized by two parties, national in scope, closely divided. Seemingly stable, soon disrupted
Quest for Perfection 1815-1848
Sources of this quest • Ideals of the American Revolution inspired a new generation • Passing away of the Revolutionary generation • Urgent task: Complete the work of that generation • Economic growth created a material environment stimulating perfection • Sweep away the imperfect • Believe in the perfect • Reason & Science tools for perfection • Religious and philosophical liberalism promoted an optimistic view of human nature: Unitarianism & Transcendentalism
Sources of this quest-Cont. • Rise of evangelical Christianity provided a theory and motivation to uplift both individuals & society • Charles G. Finney: Concept of revivalism • Finney & the Role of the Benevolent Association: Role of the Volunteer
Reform Movements • Anti-drinking crusade • Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. An “alcoholic republic”? • First response: Temperance • Complete, thoroughgoing reform=prohibition • Three-fold model for moral reform: moral suasion, self-help, coercion through law • Anti-Slaveryism • Old abolitionism: Gradualism and the colonization movement • Rise of King Cotton and the New abolitionists • William Lloyd Garrison & the Liberator
Reform Movements-Cont. • Anti-Slaveryism—Cont. • Blacks and the new abolitionists. Role of Frederick Douglass • Political and Radical Abolitionism & the Birth of “Free Soil” • Nineteenth Century Feminism • Seneca Falls Convention & Declaration (1848) • Women & Property Rights • Women & Voting Rights • Susan B. Anthony & Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Westward Movement 1815-1848
Annexation of Texas • Spanish & Mexican Background • Stephen Austin and the Norte Americano Settlement of Texas • Republic of Texas:1836-1845 • Annexation:1845
Oregon • Oregon as an early 19th century concept • British-American Joint Occupation • Ft. Vancouver & the Hudson Bay Co. • Methodist Missionaries & American Settlement • 1846 Treaty: End of Joint Occupation & the Division of Oregon
Mexican War: 1846-1848 • President James K. Polk & Mexico • Beginnings of the War • First Step: Conquest of what is now the American Southwest, including California • Second Step: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)