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Jacksonian Democracy. A. The “New” Democracy. New effort among politicians to appeal to to the masses. New Democracy based on universal manhood suffrage rather than property qualifications Common man much more influential. 1812-1821 – 6 new western states granted universal manhood suffrage.

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Jacksonian Democracy

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a the new democracy
A. The “New” Democracy
  • New effort among politicians to appeal to to the masses.
  • New Democracy based on universal manhood suffrage rather than property qualifications
    • Common man much more influential.
    • 1812-1821 – 6 new western states granted universal manhood suffrage.
    • 1810-1820 – 4 eastern states significantly reduced voting requirements.
    • Caused by Panic of 1819
      • Western farmers resented eastern bankers and BUS
      • Push to get more involved in politics to affect change.
b the corrupt bargain
B. “The Corrupt Bargain”
  • 4 Candidates
    • Andrew Jackson (TN)
    • John Q. Adams (MA)
    • William Crawford (GA)
    • Henry Clay (KY)
  • Jackson popular vote winner, but no majority in E.C. (needed 131 to win.
  • House of Reps gets to decide
    • Picks from top 3 (Clay out but Speaker of the House)
    • Clay throws his weight behind Adams – Adams becomes President
    • Clay becomes Secretary of State.
    • “Wha wha what?” – A. Jackson
    • Dubbed the “corrupt bargain” by Jackson and his supporters.
c the tariff of abominations 1828
C. The “Tariff of Abominations” (1828)
  • Biggest issue of Adams’ Presidency
    • Congress increased duty from 23% to 37% on dutiable goods.
    • Jackson supported tariff,
      • thought it would NOT pass and give Adams a political black eye.
      • Actually backfired, because it passed and he inherited it as President.
    • Webster supported it (reversal from 1816) because it would protect northern manufacturers.
    • South HATED it as they imported and exported A LOT (Europe passed retaliatory tariffs)
      • John C. Calhoun anonymously (he was VP) wrote the “South Carolina Exposition”
      • Denounced tariff as unjust and unconstitutional.
      • Said states should nullify it (similar to VA and KY Resolutions of 1798.
      • No states joined in SC’s protest.
d election of 1828
D. Election of 1828
  • Intense feud within the Democratic-Republican party.
    • National Republicans supported JQ Adams
    • Democratic Republicans supported Jackson.
  • Jackson defeats Adams 178-83 (E.C.)
    • First President from the west – seen as a great common man (although he owned 142 slaves)
    • Dubbed “the Revolution of 1828”
      • No sitting President had been voted out since J Adams in 1800.
      • Increased voter turnout
      • Balance of power shifting from East to West
      • America heretofore had been ruled by educated wealthy elites.
      • Inauguration found huge rowdy crowds in the White House.
e old hickory
E. “Old Hickory”
  • 6’1’’ 140 lbs., sickly and violent tempered.
  • Personified the new West
  • Saw federal gov’t as a haven for the wealthy and detached from common folk experience.
  • Nationalist and a unionist
  • Rewarded loyal supports with gov’t jobs
    • “spoils system”
    • “Every man is as good as his neighbor”
    • Many corrupt and incompetent, but helped cement emerging two party system loyalty.
f jacksonian democracy
F. Jacksonian Democracy
  • Increased manhood suffrage
  • End of the caucus and beginning of nominating conventions.
  • Spoils system
    • Reward political supporters with public office.
    • Rotation in office
    • National political machine built around Jackson
    • Competence and merit subordinate to loyalty
    • Corruption resulted.
  • “Kitchen Cabinet”
      • Unofficial group of 13 advisors to the President
      • Critics branded these members “Kitchen Cabinet”
        • Angry that these advisors not answerable to Congress.
        • Congress saw it as a threat.
      • Not unconstitutional however
g webster hayne debate
G. Webster Hayne-Debate
  • Webster introduced bill to curb sale of western lands.
    • West obviously against it
    • South sided with the West
    • Debate in Senate lasted 9 days in Jan. 1830
    • Each side thought it won.
  • Senator Robert Hayne (SC)
    • Accused NE of disloyalty during War of 1812
    • Blasted northern tariffs
    • Championed Calhoun’s doctrine of nullification.
  • Senator Daniel Webster (MA)
    • Insisted that people, not states had framed Constitution.
    • Assailed doctrine of nullification
    • “Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever”
h peggy eaton affair
H. Peggy Eaton Affair
  • Wife of Sec. of War Eaton being snubbed by othr Cabinet members’ wives, esp. Mrs. Calhoun
  • Jackson, remembering trauma inflicted on his late wife Rachel, defended Mrs. Eaton
    • Demanded Cabinet members make their wives include her.
    • Began purging Calhoun allies in Senate in 1831
    • Martin Van Buren gained Jackson’s attention by being nice to Mrs. Eaton
    • Split between Jackson and Calhoun caused mostly by tariffs, but this didn’t help.
i nullification crisis of 1832
I. Nullification Crisis of 1832
  • South Carolina still steamed over “Tariff of Abominations” of 1828.
  • Tariff of 1832
    • Jackson tried to lower tariff of 1828 to 35% from 45%.
    • Still protective in nature (south didn’t like that) and fell short of southern demands.
    • South Carolina nullified tariff of 1832 and threatened Secession if Jackson tried to collect tariff by force.

Jackson’s Reaction

    • Violently angry in private; threatened to hang nullifiers, incl. Calhoun.
    • Dispatched modest army and naval force to SC - prepared sizable army quietly
  • Compromise Tariff of 1833
    • Introduced by Henry Clay (surprise)
    • Tariff would be reduced by 10% over 8 yrs.
    • Rates would eventually be at 1816 level (20-25%)
    • Just squeaked through Congress.
  • Force Bill
    • Congress and Jackson followed this showdown up with face-saving legislation
    • President, in the future, could use military to collect federal tariffs if necessary.
    • Dubbed “the Bloody Bill” by South Carolinians.
j election of 1832
J. Election of 1832
  • Henry Clay (National Republican “Whigs”) vs. Jackson (Democrat)
  • Clay lost to Jackson in E.C. 219-49.
  • New political trends in 1832 campaign
    • First third party in US Presidential Election (Anti-Masons)
    • National nominating conventions in all three
  • Jackson’s second term goals
    • Divorce government from the economy.
    • Anti-monopoly – common should have a chance to succeed.
    • Return to Jeffersonian democracy; gov’t role should be limited.
    • Give more power to the states to promote equal opportunity.
k bank war
K. Bank War
  • Jackson distrusted BUS and huge businesses.
  • Clay tried to ram bank recharter before election to tie up Jackson
    • Signs it – alienates western support
    • Vetoes it – alienates wealthy and influential in east.
    • Jackson – “The Bank is trying to kill me, but I will kill it”.

Jackson VETOED BUS’s recharter in 1832.

    • Assailed it as monopolistic and unconstitutional.
      • Criticized Nicholas Biddle, Prez of BUS
      • Ignored SC ruling of McCullough vs. Maryland (1819) which declared bank constitutional.
      • Became major issue of 1832 election.
  • “Pet Banks” Scheme
    • Jackson hoped to weaken BUS by transferring fed’l funds out of BUS and into 23 “pet banks”
    • Hoped to bleed BUS dry and irrelevant
    • Cabinet saw this as a mistake
    • Financial crisis ensued
    • Wildcat banks unstable and issues depreciated notes

Benefits of the BUS

    • Sound organization that reduced bank failures.
    • Issued sound paper notes while US flooded with depreciated paper.
    • Spurred economic expansion by making credit and currency available.
    • Safe depository for federal gov’t funds.
  • “Specie Circular”
    • “wildcat” banks unstable and issuing depreciated currency.
    • A Jackson required all western land sales to be paid for with hard money.
    • Brought hard times to westerners.
l economic expansion under jackson
L. Economic Expansion under Jackson
  • General incorporation laws
    • State granted corporate charters traditionally monopolies.
    • States began to make incorporation easier
      • Small and medium business growth spurt.
      • Limited liability – allowed business owners to be separated from their business entity – reduced risk of business ownership.
    • Part of increased democracy under Jackson

Charles River Bridge decision (1837)

    • Chas. River Bridge builders given monopoly for bridge from MA in 1780.
    • 1828 – Warren Bridge Co. granted charter by MA to build bridge 300 yds away.
    • Chas. River Bridge Co. sued Warren Bridge Co. for a state interfering with a contract protected by Constitution.
    • Supreme Court granted Warren Bridge Co. right to build
    • Significance: Encouraged economic development in transportation and elsewhere via competition.
    • Another step towards democracy under Jackson.
m jackson and states rights
M. Jackson and States’ Rights
  • Jackson believed in supremacy of national laws, but also a proponent of states rights.
  • Refused to spend federal money for intrastate improvements.
    • Vetoed bill for improving the Maysville Road in KY
    • Similar to Madison’s veto of Bonus Bill for internal improvements in 1817.

Removal of Native Americans

    • Indian Removal Act (1830)
      • Jackson wanted to remove remaining tribes (5 Civilized Nations) that still lived east of Mississippi River to Oklahoma Territory.
      • Individual natives could stay if they adopted white ways.
      • More than 100,000 natives forcibly uprooted and moved in 1830s
      • Bureau of Indian Affairs est. in 1836 to administer relations with natives.


    • Tried to assimilate into white society
    • Sequoya created 85 character alphabet and created their own newspaper.
    • Had a written constitution similar to US
    • Established agriculture-based economy.
    • Still not accepted by white society.
    • Cherokee sat on valuable land in northeast GA.
      • Gold discovered in 1829 – whites want it
      • Could also be used for cotton – coveted by farmers too
    • Cherokee right to land recognized by Treaty of 1791
    • Many Georgians ignored federal laws however.

Worcester v. Georgia (1832)

    • Sam Worcester (missionary) arrested for living on Cherokee territory and not leaving when ordered by state to do so.
    • John Marshall ruled that Georgia’s laws had no jurisdiction within Cherokee nation boundaries.
    • Jackson defied ruling
      • Did not release Worcester
      • Reportedly said “John Marshall has made his decision, let him enforce it”
      • 1838 – forcibly removed Cherokee from their homes
        • Marched 1,000 mi to Indian Territory (OK)
        • 4,000 died en route
        • 25% of Choctaw died en route in 1831-35
        • 3,500 of 15,000 Creeks died during removal in 1836.
n jackson s legacy
N. Jackson’s Legacy
  • Positive Contributions
    • Demonstrated value of strong executive
    • Became the champion of the common people.
    • Established the Democratic Party (and sparked the two party system)
  • Liabilities
    • Spoils System
    • Killing BUS led to bank failures and economic crisis.
    • Snubbed authority of Supreme Court.
    • Trail of Tears
    • Break with Calhoun led to deeper sectionalism.
o election of 1836
O. Election of 1836
  • Birth of the Whig Party
    • Extension of Hamilton’s Federalist ideas
    • Emerged when Clay and Calhoun joined forces to oppose Jackson’s removal of federal deposits from BUS.
    • Mutual hatred of “King Andrew I”
    • Evolved into a national political party of groups alienated by Jackson.
  • War hero William Henry Harrison chosen as candidate over Henry Clay
  • Martin Van Buren was Jackson’s hand-picked successor.
      • Ran for third term vicariously though Van Buren
      • Defeats Harrison 170-73
second two party system
Second Two-Party System
  • Whigs
      • Supported by northern industrialists and merchants (wealthiest)
      • Supported Clay’s “American System”
      • Sought to reduce spoils system
      • Southern states rigths advocates angry at Jackson’s stand on nullification.
      • Later supported social reforms like abolition and temperance.
      • Sought to use national gov’t to solve ills of society
  • Democrats
    • Supported by the common people and political machines in the east.
    • States’ Rights – opposed to “American System”
    • Favored spoils system
    • Anti-monopoly – favored increased competition
    • Believed federal gov’t should not be involved in people’s personal lives.
p van buren s presidency
P. Van Buren’s Presidency
  • First President born under American flag.
  • Smart and deft NY politician – dubbed “The Little Magician”.
  • Further developed the 2-Party System
  • Presided over the Panic of 1837 (Jackson’s policies a major cause)
  • Formalized the Independent Treasury System (“pet banks”)
q panic of 1837
Q. Panic of 1837
  • Causes
    • Overspeculation (risky loans)
    • Jackson’s Policies
    • High Grain Prices
    • Failure of 2 major British Banks
  • Effects
    • American banks failed and took several million dollars of gov’t funds with it.
    • Prices and land sales dropped
    • Custom revenues dried up
    • Factories closed – unemployment soared

“Divorce Bill” or Independent Treasury Bill of 1840

    • Outcry among Whigs for gov’t to DO something about Panic
    • Van Buren stayed true to Jacksonian separation of Gov’t from economy.
    • Decided to separate gov’t funds from private banks entirely.
      • Removed gov’t funds from pet banks and locked it up in vaults in some select large banks.
      • Money was safe, but not available to make loans
      • Repealed a year later, but returns in 1846 with Polk.
p election of 1840
P. Election of 1840
  • “Van Ruin” re-nominated by Dems
  • Whigs chose Harrison again and made John Tyler his running mate (“Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!”)
    • Not the ablest (Clay and Webster overlooked) but the biggest vote-getterest (!?)
    • Issueless and enemyless
  • Voters blamed Van Buren and Democrats for depression.
  • Whigs created a myth of Harrison being a poor western farmer who grew up in a log cabin (“Log Cabin and Hard Cider” campaign)
  • Harrison defeats Van Buren
    • First mass turnout of voters
    • Campaign more style over substance