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The Age of Jackson: 1814-1860. Honors US History Unit 4. Essential Question:. Champion of the “Common Man”?. “King” Andrew?. OR. Jackson’s First Hermitage Residence. First Known Painting of Jackson, 1815. Ol’ Hickory During the Seminole Wars. Had become hero to many “common men”

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The Age of Jackson:


Honors US History

Unit 4


Essential Question:

Champion of the “Common Man”?




Ol’ Hickory During the Seminole Wars

Had become hero to many “common men”

Many were drawn to Jackson after his win in the Battle of New Orleans and in the “Indian Wars


Jackson's First Run

for Office-



What Increased Voting Patterns?

  • White male suffrage increased
    • Land requirement deleted
  • Popular campaigning
    • Parades, rallies, floats, etc…
  • Political promises
    • Patronage…AKA the “spoils system”
  • A return to the two-party system in 1828
    • National Republicans
    • Jacksonian Democrats
evolution of parties
Democratic Republicans 

National Republicans

Whigs (1832) 

Republicans (1854)

Evolution of Parties

Jackson’s Opponents in 1824

Henry Clay[KY]

John Quincy Adams[MA]

John C. Calhoun[SC]

William H. Crawford[GA]

Jackson won the most popular votes.

But he did not receive a majority of the electoral votes.

According to the Constitution, if no person wins a majority of electoral votes, then the House of Representatives must choose the president.

The selection was made from the top 3 vote getters.

No Clear Winner in 1824

John Quincy Adams won after the election was thrown into Congress.

Jackson’s supporters claimed that Adams gained the presidency by making a deal with Henry Clay (who became Secretary of State).

Charges of a “corrupt bargain” followed Adams through his term.

Adams had many plans for the country but they were always defeated by Congress (who was led by Jackson supporters).

“A Corrupt Bargain”??


Jackson's Second Run

for Office-


Jackson's Second Run

for Office-



Scandals Rock DC and the Election

Rachel Jackson

Final Divorce Decree


Jackson’s Opponent in 1828

President John Quincy Adams


The New “Jackson Coalition”

  • The Planter Elite in the South
  • People on the Frontier
  • State Politicians
  • Immigrants in the cities.

Jackson’s Faith in the “Common Man”

  • Intense distrust of Eastern“establishment,” monopolies, & special privilege.
  • His heart & soul was with the“plain folk.”
  • Belief that the common man was capable of uncommon achievements.
After election, Jackson immediately removes 10% of all officeholders and appoints his friends and supporters

Known as “The Spoils System” or patronage

This system continued until the passage of the Pendleton Act in the 1870’s

The Spoils System

Peggy Eaton was the daughter of a tavern keeper and the wife of Jackson's secretary of war.

Both Andrew and Rachel Jackson had liked Peggy Eaton, and when her private love affairs became public knowledge, enveloping her in scandal, the President lent her his visible support.

It was not enough to save her social standing.

The “Peggy Eaton Affair”

Although she was a cabinet member's wife and entitled to the civility such a position conveyed, the wives of other cabinet officials and much of Washington society -- including Jackson's own hostess -- refused to accept her.

Jackson was furious.

He demanded that his cabinet members make their wives accept Peggy Eaton.

When this proved unsuccessful, he asked for the resignations of all his cabinet members except one.

Don’t Mess with Jackson’s Friends

By the beginning of 1820’s the American economy was faced with downward spiral as a result of several events such as the Panic of 1819 and the failure of the Second Bank of the United States

The Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were passed in order to promote stimulation of northern states’ economy

An Economic Downturn

However the southern states could buy manufactured goods cheaper from foreign countries than northern states.

Had trading partners in Europe who sold them finished products

Europe also bought cotton from the southern states

The South called the tariffs the “Abomination Tariffs” and plotted revenge

1828 Tariff Conflict


An 1832 Cartoon:


In 1832 a new tariff was passed increasing the rates from the Tariff of 1828.

Immediately after Jackson signed the bill, Calhoun resigned from his Vice-President post and left for South Carolina

1832 Tariff- More Conflict


Sen. Robert Hayne[SC]

The Debate

over Tariffs

Sen. Daniel Webster[MA]

VP John C. Calhoun


Led by former Vice President John C. Calhoun, the south nullified the Tariffs

The Southern states claimed that sovereign states made up the federal government, and those states have the last word to declare tariffs null and void.

The Nullification Proclamation declared that the Tariff Acts…

"are unauthorized by the constitution of the United States, and violate the true meaning and intent thereof and are null, void, and no law, nor binding upon this State."

The Nullification Proclamation

Jackson, although an advocate for the common man, knew that such blatant disregard of authority would tear the Union apart if allowed to continue.

He would not back down before S. Carolina.

On December 10, 1832, President Andrew Jackson issued a proclamation that disputed a states' right to nullify a federal law.

The confrontation never took place because Henry Clay intervened with a compromise tariff, which promised to reduce the rates for the next few years

Jackson Responds






Indian Removal

  • A gold rush in Northern Georgia brought in white settlers anxious for land and riches
    • Centered around Dahlonega
  • Jackson’s Goal
    • Removing Native Americans from the Eastern United States
      • Indian Removal Act
    • This included Cherokees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws

The Cherokees go to Court

  • Cherokee Nation v. GA (1831) Marshall Court ruled that the Cherokees were a “domestic dependent nation”
  • Worcester v. GA (1832)
    • The Marshall Court ruled that Native Americans were entitled to federal protection from the actions of state governments
  • Jackson to Marshall: “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it!”
    • Created a constitutional crisis
Bluntly disregarding the Court’s decision Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act in 1830 and over the winter twelve thousand Cherokees were marched from Georgia to Oklahoma.

On the way more than half died from hunger, hypothermia and disease.

The Trail of Tears


Jackson and the

National Bank

The National Bank maintained US currency and maintained much of the economic wealth of the United States.

Jackson felt the Bank was a “privileged institution” that served only the interests of the wealthy and did nothing for the common man… “too much power, too few hands.”

The Bank War

The Bank served as the repository for Federal funds until 1836, when its charter expired.

It thrived from the tax revenue that the federal government regularly deposited

President Jackson refused to recharter it after a dispute with the Bank's president, Nicholas Biddle

Biddle, desperate to save his bank, called in (demanded payment on) all of his loans and closed the bank to new loans.

Nicholas Biddle

Jackson vetoed the bank’s charter and asked the Secretary of the Treasury to stop putting government money in the bank.

When he refused, Jackson fired him and selected someone who would put money in state Banks

AKA…Jackson’s “Pet banks”

The Bank War


The National Bank Debate



A satire on Andrew Jackson's campaign to destroy

the Bank of the United States and its support among state


Jackson, Martin Van Buren, and Jack Downing

struggle against a snake with heads representing the states.

The largest of the heads is president of the Bank Nicholas Biddle's, which wears a top hat labeled "Penn" (i.e. Pennsylvania) and "{dollar}35,000,000."

This refers to the rechartering of the Bank by the Pennsylvania legislature in defiance of the adminstration's efforts to destroy it.

Jackson (on the left) raises a cane marked "Veto" and says, "Biddle thou Monster Avaunt!! avaount I say! or by the Great Eternal I'll cleave thee to the earth, aye thee and thy four and twenty satellites. Matty if thou art true...come on. if thou art false, may the venomous monster turn his dire fang upon thee..."

Van Buren: "Well done General, Major Jack Downing, Adams, Clay, well done all. I dislike dissentions beyond every thing, for it often compels a man to play a double part, were it only for his own safety. Policy, policy is my motto, but intrigues I cannot countenance."

Downing (dropping his axe): "Now now you nasty varmint, be you imperishable? I swan Gineral that are beats all I reckon, that's the horrible wiper wot wommits wenemous heads I guess..."

Jackson ignored “Checks and Balances” and created Constitutional problems

Should one branch be able to refuse to be controlled by another branch??

New political party (“Whigs”) created to oppose Jackson

Economic problems

Nation goes into a Panic and then a Depression

Results of the Bank War


The Specie Circular (1936)

  • July 1836, President Andrew Jackson issued the Specie Circular.
  • Under this act, the government would only accept gold or silver in payment for federal land
    • This resulted in “wildcat banks” with little or no reserves
    • Not stable
  • The principal reason for Jackson's implementation of the Specie Circular was high inflation.
    • Did not help with the problem

Results of the Specie Circular

  • Banknotes loose their value.
  • Land sales plummeted.
  • Credit not available.
  • Businesses began to fail.
  • Unemployment rose.

The Panic of 1837!


Jackson Decides

Not to Run Again


The 1836 election was a contest between the Democrats--as Jackson's followers were now called--and the Whigs, who opposed the former president's policies.

VP Martin Van Buren, the Democratic candidate, gained an overwhelming victory over his main Whig opponent, General William Henry Harrison.

Van Buren received 170 electoral votes to Harrison's 73.

He won nearly 58 percent of the popular vote, compared to about 25 percent for Harrison.

Three other Whig candidates split the remaining votes.

Richard M. Johnson, a congressman from Kentucky, became Van Buren's vice president.

1836 Election


The 1836 Election Results

Martin Van Buren

“Old Kinderhook”[O. K.]