The Era of Good Feelings. 1815-1825. The Presidential Election of 1816. In the Presidential election of 1816, the Republican candidate, James Monroe, defeated his Federalist opponent Rufus King by an overwhelming margin (183 electoral votes to King’s 34). The Presidential Election of 1816.
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The Era of Good Feelings 1815-1825
The Presidential Election of 1816 In the Presidential election of 1816, the Republican candidate, James Monroe, defeated his Federalist opponent Rufus King by an overwhelming margin (183 electoral votes to King’s 34).
The Presidential Election of 1816 • Monroe fought in the Revolution, had served in important diplomatic positions during Jefferson’s administration, was copurchaser of Louisiana, and had held the position of secretary of state under James Madison. • His election in 1816 continued the Virginia dynasty of presidents. • The Federalist party, disgraced by the disunionism of the Hartford Resolutions, was rapidly fading, paving the way for the triumphant Republicans and one-party rule. • Four years later in 1820, with the Federalist party no more, Monroe would receive every electoral vote except one.
James Monroe • Monroe’s presidency is noted for the acquisition of Florida, the Missouri Compromise. • In addition, Monroe’s name is imperishably wedded to the Monroe Doctrine and Monrovia, the capital city of Liberia in Africa (Monroe had strongly backed the colonization there of ex-slaves).
“The Era of Good Feelings” • According to the traditional view of the period, the election of James Monroe in 1816 ushered in what a Boston newspaper characterized as an “Era of Good Feelings,” a period of peace and prosperity marked by a heightened spirit of nationalism, optimism, and political goodwill.
Historians have traditionally labeled the period after the War of 1812 the “Era of Good Feelings.” Evaluate the accuracy of this label, considering the emergence of nationalism and sectionalism. Objective
The Emergence of Nationalism The fresh nationalistic spirit that emerged in the years after the War of 1812 manifested itself in a variety of areas including • the birth of a distinctly national literature as authors like James Fenimore Cooper (The Last of the Mohicans) and Washington Irving (A History of New York) became the nation’s first writers to use American scenes and themes • Noah Webster, a Connecticut schoolmaster and lawyer, promoted the idea that American students should be educated as patriots. His “blue-backed speller,” a hugely influential school book, popularized a simplified and Americanized system of spelling.
The Emergence of Nationalism • American painters and artists increasingly celebrated native landscapes and American motifs in their artwork.
Economic Nationalism and the “American System” The rising tide of nationalism even touched the realms of finance and manufacturing. • the Second Bank of the United States was chartered by Congress in 1816 • In addition, Congress, eager to protect America’s infant industries from British competitors, enacted the Tariff of 1816, the first protective tariff in American history
Economic Nationalism and the “American System” • Henry Clay began his long and distinguished career as one of the leading War Hawks. Following the War of 1812, Clay became the leading advocate of a legislative program called “the American System.”
Economic Nationalism and the “American System” Clay’s “American System” was a legislative program designed to promote economic and commercial growth. The system had three main parts • a strong national banking system to promote financial stability • a protective tariff to shield eastern manufacturing from foreign competition • a network of federally funded roads and canals called internal improvements (paid for with revenue generated by the tariff
Economic Nationalism and the “American System” • The program was intended to develop a vibrant economy as the new arteries of transportation would move foodstuffs and raw materials from the South and West to the North and East. In exchange a stream of manufactured goods would flow westward, thereby knitting the country together economically and politically • Like Hamilton’s economic program, Clay’s “American System” met with fierce political opposition. • Both Madison and Monroe vetoed federal funding of internal improvements on the grounds that such measures were unconstitutional. The individual states were forced to fund such programs on their own, as in the case of New York, which triumphantly completed construction of the Erie Canal in 1825.
John Marshall and Judicial Nationalism • The upsurging nationalism during the post-War of 1812 era was further reflected and reinforced by the Supreme Court. • In a series of landmark rulings, the Marshall court bolstered the power of the federal government at the expense of the states.
McCullough v. Maryland (1819) • The suit involved an attempt by the state of Maryland to impose a tax on a branch of the Bank of the United States. • The Supreme Court, invoking the Hamiltonian doctrine of implied powers, declared the bank constitutional • Additionally, the Court denied the right of Maryland to tax the bank with an emphatic Marshall writing for the court “that the power to tax is the power to destroy” “It being the opinion of the court that the act incorporating the bank is constitutional…we proceed to inquire: Whether the state of Maryland may, without violation of the Constitution, tax that branch?...That the power of the states may be exercised so as to destroy it, is too obvious to be denied…We are unanimously of the opinion that the law passed by the legislature of Maryland, imposing a tax on the Bank of the United States is unconstitutional and void.”
Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) • The decision ruled that a state could not pass a law to impair a legal private contract • The ruling, like the decision in Fletcher v. Peck (1810) upheld the sanctity of private contracts against state encroachments, thus safeguarding business enterprise from domination by state governments
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) • The decision placed the regulation of interstate commerce clearly within the authority of Congress • Further asserted that national laws made in accordance with the Constitution are the “supreme law of the land,” superior to conflicting state laws • Established the commerce clause as a key mechanism for the expansion of federal power • Opened the door the for national government to pursue the expansion and growth of the national economy “The power of Congress, then comprehends navigation within the limits of every state in the Union; so far as that navigation may be, in manner, connected with [in the words of the Constitution] “commerce with foreign nations, or among the several states, or with the Indian tribes.”
The Panic of 1819 • Much of the goodness went out of good feelings in 1819 as a result of a paralyzing economic depression • The Panic of 1819, the first national economic panic since President Washington took office brought deflation, depression, bankruptcies, bank failures, unemployment, soup kitchens, and overcrowded debtors’ prisons.
The Panic of 1819 • Although many factors contributed to the economic downturn, the major cause was overspeculation in frontier lands. • Financial paralysis from the panic, which lasted in some degree for several years, severely weakened nationalistic ardor. • The West was especially hard hit by the depression. Because the Bank of the United States had restrained the speculative (“wildcat”) western banks by tightening credit and calling in loans, many westerns blamed the national bank for the crisis.
The Panic of 1819Impact • The Panic of 1819 had important political consequences. In the eyes of the western debtor, the Bank of the United States became a detested symbol of federal power. In the fertile soil of economic hardship, the seeds of Jacksonian Democracy were sown. • The Panic of 1819 also fueled mounting agitation against the inhumane practice of imprisonment for debt leading to the passage of remedial legislation in an increasing number of states.
Sectional Discord Over SlaveryThe Missouri Compromise • When Washington took office the North and South were roughly equal in wealth and population. • However, with each passing decade the North steadily outgained the South in population growth. • As a result, by 1819 the free states in the North had 105 representatives in the House while the slave states in the South had just 81 representatives.
Sectional Discord Over SlaveryThe Missouri Compromise • While the North controlled a solid majority in the House of Representatives, with the admission of Alabama to the Union as a slave state in 1819, the Senate was evenly balanced between 11 free states and 11 slave states. Because each state has two votes in the Senate regardless of population, southerners had maintained equality. • As long as Southerners preserved the equilibrium of power in the Senate, the South would be in position to thwart northern attempts to interfere with the institution of slavery. • Southerners therefore became increasingly committed to maintaining the sectional balance between free states and slaves states.
Sectional Discord Over SlaveryThe Missouri Compromise • In 1819, sectional tension over the issue of slavery was ignited when the territory of Missouri applied for statehood as a slave state. • The House, with its majority of representatives from northern states responded by passing the Tallmadge Amendment. • The Tallmadge Amendment called for a prohibition on the further introduction of slaves into Missouri. The measure also called for gradual emancipation in Missouri by freeing all children born to Missouri slaves when they reached the age of twenty-five.
Sectional Discord Over SlaveryThe Missouri Compromise • Although voting on the Tallmadge amendment registered sectional polarization as outraged representatives from southern states vehemently voiced their disapproval, the House approved gradual emancipation. But the Senate refused to accept any restriction on slavery. • With the two houses deadlocked, the prospects for Missouri statehood looked bleak.
Sectional Discord Over SlaveryThe Missouri Compromise • Monroe, Clay, and Senate leaders worked behind the scenes to devise a compromise and break the deadlock. It would center on what is now the state of Maine, which had been part of Massachusetts since colonial times.
Sectional Discord Over SlaveryThe Missouri Compromise The resulting Missouri Compromise preserved the concise balance of sections in the Senate and included the following provisions: • Maine would be admitted into the Union as a free state • Missouri would be admitted to the Union as a slave state • Slavery would be prohibited in all the rest of the Louisiana Purchase lying north of 36 degrees and 30 minutes of latitude, that is, the southern boundary of Missouri.
The Missouri CompromiseImpact • By defusing the immediate political crisis over slavery, the Missouri Compromise helped to stabilize sectional competition for 34 years. • However, the divisive debate over the admission of Missouri to the Union and the resulting Missouri Compromise foreshadowed the bitter conflict over the expansion of slavery that would resurface during the 1840s and 1850s. “I take for granted that the present question is a mere preamble-a title page to a great, tragic volume.” John Quincy Adams
Nationalism in Foreign Affairs Victory in the Mediterranean Rush-Bagot Agreement Because the Treaty of Ghent of had failed to resolve diplomatic differences between the United States and Great Britain, the two nations continued to view one another with suspicion and hostility. For a time, Americans and British engaged in a “floating” arms race on the Great Lakes between 1815-1817. In 1817 the Rush-Bagot agreement between Britain and the United States severely limited naval armament on the lakes. • When, in 1815, the Barbary pirates began to venture out to prey on U.S. shipping again, President James Madison requested and got a formal declaration of war from Congress. A fleet under the command of Stephen Decatur was quickly dispatched to the Mediterranean. • Administering a thorough beating to the pirates of North Africa, the United States was not only able to force the release of all American prisoners, but also forced the rulers of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli to cough up large indemnities for the damage they had done.
Nationalism in Foreign Affairs The Rush-Bagot Agreement paved the way for improved diplomatic relations between the United States and Great Britain. The subsequent Treaty of 1818 (or Convention of 1818) • permitted shared fishing rights off the coast of Newfoundland • gained considerable territory by fixing the northern boundary of Louisiana along the forty-ninth parallel from Lake of the Woods (Minnesota) to the Rocky Mountains • provided for a joint occupation of the Oregon country without a surrender of the rights or claims of either America or Britain
Nationalism in Foreign AffairsAcquiring Florida • The Napoleonic Wars accelerated Spain’s decline as a great power. • The weak Spanish government found it increasingly difficult to maintain control over its possessions in the Americas. • With Spain increasingly focused on quashing revolts against Spanish rule in South America, American expansionists saw an opportunity to grab Florida.
Nationalism in Foreign AffairsAcquiring Florida • General Andrew Jackson’s aggressive military campaign into Spanish territory paved the way for the negotiation of the Adams-Onis Treaty in 1819. • Under the terms of the agreement, Spain ceded Florida to the United States and abandoned all Spanish territorial claims in the Oregon Country. • In exchange, the America agreed to give up United States territorial claims in Northern Mexico (Texas). Additionally, the United States agreed to assume five million dollars in claims against Spain. • Lastly, the treaty defined the southwestern boundary of the Louisiana Purchase.
Nationalism in Foreign AffairsThe Monroe Doctrine • Spain’s losses were not confined to Florida. Spain lost almost its entire New World empire between 1808 and 1822 as Chile, Peru, Columbia, and Mexico all successfully waged wars of liberation to overthrow Spanish rule. • Following the defeat of Napoleon, the European powers suppressed revolutionary movements in Europe. Humiliated by the loss of its New World colonies, Spain turned to the restored monarchies of Europe for help. • President Monroe and Secretary of States John Quincy Adams feared that European powers would aid Spain in her attempt to overthrow the new Latin American republics and restore Spanish rule.
Nationalism in Foreign AffairsThe Monroe Doctrine • The might of the British Navy was the single most important factor in deterring Spain from her attempt to stage a return to power in Latin America. • The British, eager to maintain commercial access to newly emerging markets in Latin America, approached the United States with a diplomatic overture to issue a joint Anglo-American warning to the European powers not to intervene in South America. • By persuading the United States into joining with Britain in support of the territorial integrity of the New World, the British and their foreign secretary George Canning hoped to limit American expansion in Latin America.
Nationalism in Foreign AffairsThe Monroe Doctrine • Although Monroe and others seriously considered joining the British and issuing a joint Anglo-American statement, Adams argued persuasively that the United States could issue a statement on its own (without Britain as coauthor) and still count on British warships to back the measure. • Such a maneuver had the advantage of warning against European intervention without placing restrictions on United States interests in the Western Hemisphere • Acting on the advice of Adams, Monroe decided on a unilateral statement which he expressed to Congress in his annual message in 1823.
Nationalism in Foreign AffairsThe Monroe Doctrine The Monroe Doctrine, as it came to be known, asserted • that “the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers” • that political system of the European powers is essentially different from that of America • that United States will regard European interference in the affairs of the Western Hemisphere as dangerous to America’s peace and safety • that United States would not interfere in the internal affairs of European nations
Nationalism in Foreign AffairsThe Monroe Doctrine • Monroe’s nationalistic statement received little notice at the time in the United States. • European powers, especially Britain, were more than a little angered by Monroe’s warning • the power of the British Navy, however, deterred any attempt on the part of European powers to invade the Americas. • Although the message did not have much contemporary significance, the Monroe Doctrine would go on to become the cornerstone of American foreign policy in the Western Hemisphere.
The Election of 1824 • The death of the Federalists left the Republican Party unchallenged at the national level. • In February of 1824 a small group of congressional Republicans held a caucus where they selected William Crawford of Georgia as the presidential nominee of the Republican Party. • Supporters of Andrew Jackson challenged the caucus as elitist and undemocratic. • The Tennessee state legislature promptly nominated Jackson while the Kentucky legislature nominated Clay. Factionalism within the nation’s remaining political party further emerged with a group of New England Republicans nominating John Quincy Adams.
The Election of 1824 • Buoyed by his fame as a war hero, Jackson received far more popular votes and electoral votes than the other candidates. • However, Jackson failed to win a majority of the electoral vote. As a result, the election was thrown to the House of Representatives where the next president was to be chosen from among the top three vote getters in accordance with the provisions of the 12thAmendment.
The Election of 1824 • As Speaker of the House, Clay was in a unique position. Although he had finished fourth in the election and was thus disqualified from consideration, Clay held sway in the House and could influence the choice of the next president. • Clay harbored personal animus toward Jackson who he deemed unfit for the presidency. Although Clay was not personally close to Adams, the two men were aligned politically on issues such as federal funding of internal improvements. As a result, Clay backed Adams. • Clay’s influence prevailed and in the vote in the House of Representatives Adams was elected president.
The Election of 1824The Corrupt Bargain • Upon taking office, Adams appointed Clay his secretary of state- the cabinet position that Adams and his three predecessors had held before becoming president. • Jackson and his angered supporters were outraged and accused Adams and Clay of having struck a “corrupt bargain,” a secret back room deal that thwarted the will of the people by cheating Jackson out of presidency. • Jackson and his followers immediately began a campaign to wrest the Presidency from Adams in 1828.