Objectives • Evaluate the significance of the debate over tariffs and the idea of nullification. • Summarize the key events of the conflict over the second Bank of the United States in the 1830s. • Analyze the political environment in the United States after Andrew Jackson.
Terms and People • Tariff of Abominations – name that opponents from the agricultural south gave to the high protective tariff of 1828 • John C. Calhoun – vice president who resigned to lead South Carolina’s fight over nullification in the Senate • nullification –concept that a state could void a federal law that it deemed unconstitutional
Terms and People (continued) • Whig –member of apolitical party formed in the 1830s, favored a strong federal government, protective tariffs, a national bank, and internal improvements
What major political issues emerged during the 1830s? Conflicts and crises that arose during Jackson’s presidency led to the formation of a rival political party called the Whigs. In spite of this, Jackson’s handpicked successor, Martin Van Buren, won in 1836 but lost to the Whigs in 1840.
In 1828, Congress passed a high protective tariff. • The goal was to promote industry, but the tariff raised the prices farmers had to pay for goods. • Southerners called it the Tariff of Abominations. Tariffs were a continuing source of dispute between the industrial North (favored) and agricultural South (opposed).
In 1832, South Carolina voted to nullify the tariff. The state threatened to secede from the Union if the federal government used force to collect the tariffs. • Vice President John C. Calhoun expected Jackson to reject the tariff. Instead, Jackson modified it only slightly. • In protest, Calhoun resigned as Vice President to lead the nullification battle in the Senate.
Resolution of the Nullification Crisis of 1833 Economic nationalists such as Daniel Websterrejected the concept of nullification. Jackson, a Democrat, normally supported southern states, but he strongly rejected this challenge to his authority and to the Union. In a compromise, Congress lowered the tariff. The issues of nullification and secession were left unresolved. Congress passed a Force Bill that authorized troops to enforce collection.
Despite his opposition to nullification, Jackson generally supported the agricultural South. • His ideal was an agrarian republic in which almost all white men owned farms and enjoyed a rough equality. • Industrialization and the growing class of wage earning factory workers made his ideal unrealistic. • The expanding gap between rich factory owners and poor workers became troubling to many Americans.
The second Bank of the United States divided Americans. Jacksonian Democrats Business Leaders • Felt the second Bank symbolized “money power.” • Believed the new business economy encouraged corruption. • Opposed policies they felt enriched business at the expense of farmers and workers. • Believed the second Bank was necessary to maintain a stable supply of currency.
In 1832, Congress voted to renew the Bank’s charter. • Jackson vetoed the charter renewal. • The “Bank War” strengthened Jackson’s popularity with ordinary Americans and helped him win reelection in 1832. This cartoon shows Jackson using a veto to slay a monster representing the Bank and its supporters.
Presidential vetoes were rare. Bank supporters denounced Jackson as a power-hungry tyrant and formed a new political party, theWhigs. The Whigs were led by Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Henry Clay of Kentucky. Whigs favored a strong federal government, broad interpretation of the Constitution, protective tariffs, internal improvements, and moral reform.
Martin Van Buren of New York, Jackson’s handpicked successor, won the election of 1836. • With no federal banks, state banks flooded the market with currency, causing extreme inflation. • The government stopped accepting paper money for land purchases, leading to a sudden drop in land values. Jackson’s economic policies led to disaster for the next president.
The resulting Panic of 1837 became the worst depression the nation had yet experienced. • Inflation caused by the state banks hurt common people. • The drop in land values led to bankruptcies. Many planters and farmers lost their land. • A third of urban workers lost their jobs,and wages dropped by 30 percent. The Panic hurt Van Buren and the Democratic Party.
In 1840, the Whigs nominated William Henry Harrison and John Tyler. • Harrison was portrayed as a simple farmer, born in a log cabin, while Van Buren was painted as an ineffective, corrupt aristocrat. • The slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” reminded voters of Harrison’s military record. Harrison’s victorious 1840 campaign focused on symbols like his log cabin background, seen in this flag.
One month after his inauguration, President Harrison died of pneumonia. • Vice President John Tyler assumed the Presidency and, to the dismay of the Whigs, rejected their policies. • Tyler vetoed legislation to restore the Bank of the United States and to enact Clay’s American System.