Jacksonian Democracy Ch. 8 Sec. 1
Jacksonian Democracy • 1828-Andrew Jackson is president. • Ushers in a huge change in American society. • Jackson was elected by the common man. • Less educated, voted on emotion rather than intellectualism or logic. • Jackson’s presidency represents a changing of the times.
Jacksonianvs. Jeffersonian • Jacksonian democracy is sometimes viewed as different than Jeffersonian democracy in that it favored rule by the uneducated common man. • Jacksonian=rule by common man. • Less educated, less elite, but more popular. • Jeffersonian=rule by the elite, educated, usually more qualified.
Themes of Jacksonian Democracy • Jacksonian politics will dominate US political scene from 1828-1860. • Major themes of Jacksonian Democracy: • 1. Rise of the political prestige and power of the common man • ‘The common man need not be educated to be of worth’ • 2. Democratization of the political process. • Encouraging political participation of even the uneducated. • How can the common man have more influence and power than the elite?
Themes continued • 3. Rise in power and prestige of the presidency. • Financial and political crises contribute; • The “Schwarzenegger Factor” • Does it revert back to its old ways in the future? • 4. Decline in nationalism and rise of sectionalism.
Themes Continued • 5. Movement towards universal white male suffrage. • Began west, moved east. • Elimination of most property requirements. • 6. Rise of anti-intellectualism • Major dif. Between Jacksonian and Jeffersonian dem.
Jackson as President • Jackson- “The Federal Constitution must be obeyed, states rights preserved, our national debt must be paid, direct taxes and loans avoided, and the federal union preserved. These are the objectives I have in view, and regardless of all consequences, will carry into effect.” • Belief in presidential leadership • Unlike his predecessors - Actively sought to pass bills which he favored • Extensive use of veto power- vetoed 12. • “he might sometimes be wrong, but he was always a leader”
Peggy Eaton Scandal • Jackson only planned on serving one term. • VP John C. Calhoun was expected to take over. • Peggy Eaton reading… • Significance: One of Americas first “sex scandals” . • Calhoun no longer next in line for POTUS=>Van Buren • Calhoun becomes a sectionalist=>advocate of states rights and lead the charge for nullification. • All because of one woman…
Sectionalism • Northeast- • commercial interests had been supplanted by manufacturing interests whose primary concern was a high protective tariff • South- • primarily a one crop economy - high tariffs hurt sales of raw materials and made manufactured goods more expensive • West- • primary interest was in free or cheap landand internal improvements
Spoils System • Spoils System- Jackson’s policy for appointing cabinet members • appointment to office is based on political loyalty rather than qualifications– • phrase comes from William Marcy’s “to the victor belong the spoils of the enemy”
Spoils System Benefits Negatives Builds a base of political support - a political machine Infiltrates new blood into the system - perhaps new ideas corrupting influence - because you know you won’t be there long discourages efficiency because you’re not accountable for long places the operation of government in the hands of the marginally qualified
New Political System • Before Jackson, presidential nominees were chosen on the caucus system. • Congressional party members choose the nominee. • Jackson wants to make it more democratic. • Supporters replace system with national nominating convention. • Delegates from each state choose the presidential nominee for their party. • Congress chooses=big gov’t • States choose=small gov’t
Nullification • South Carolina – Struggling financially bc of high tariffs. • 1816 - 25% • 1824 - 37% • 1828 – 45% • 1828-Congress passes “Tariff of Abominations” • Extremely high taxes on imports.
Nullification • South Carolina’s response: • Threaten to secede, or break away, from the union. • John C. Calhoun, VP, was from SC. Torn between his duties as VP and supporting his fellow S. Carolinians, proposes nullification. • Because states created the union, they had the right to declare a federal law null, or not valid. • Gained little support, nullification abandoned in SC in 1828.
Nullification • 1830-Nullification erupts again in congress. • Senator Robert Hayne (SC) and Senator Daniel Webster (MA) debate nullification on the senate floor. • Haynes- States’ rights • Webster- Union must be preserved • Jackson supports Webster
Nullification • Jefferson Day Dinner Toasts: • Jackson - “Our federal union, it must be preserved.” • Calhoun - “The union, next to our liberty most dear.” • thus a breech develops between the south and west because of the personal conflict involving Calhoun and Jackson • Calhoun resigns and Van Buren becomes Vice President
Nullification • Tariff of 1832 passes through congress. (actually lowered the Tariff of Abominations) • S. Carolina nullifies it. Expected other states to follow suit, none did. • Jackson considers the nullification treason=>sends a warship to Charleston. • Congress passes the Force Bill, authorizing POTUS to use the military to enforce the laws. • Sen. Henry Clay pushed through a bill that would lower tariffs over two years. =>SC repeals its nullification.
Nullification Considered… • No doubt this is an issue today… • Basis for: • Social Compact theory of gov’t • Undivided sovereignty • Minority states interests could be threatened • Basis against: • Intent of US was to be an everlasting and perpetual union. • New states are created by the US gov’t, not the states. • Need for a supreme law of the land • Do states really govern themselves? Are they sovereign?
The War for the Bank Positives for the Bank Negatives Against the Bank Reduced the number of bank failures Provided a sound currency Provide credit and loans to most Americans Served as a depository for federal funds Not all Americans can qualify for loans. Monopolistic Constitutional??
The War for the Bank • The Second Bank of the US’ charter was set to expire in 1832. • Jackson opposes the bank. –”I do not dislike your bank any more than I dislike all banks” • Nicholas Biddle (sneaky elite) seeks early re-charter. • Jackson vetos the re-charter AND removes deposits. Intended to remove $10 Million in 3 months to state banks. • Biddle calls in loans to apply political pressure. • By 1834, Jackson wins the bank war.
Results of the Bank War • Huge economic boom. • Gov’t paid off its debt and had $20 M in surplus. • State banks were optimistic and handed out loans. • Won’t last… • Specie Circular • 1836-Called for payment of gov’t lands to be paid in specie (hard currency, no credit) • Displayed the US gov’t lack of faith in state bank notes. • Halted expansion, decreased the value of property. • Forced banks to call in loans. • Banks fail, lead to the Panic of 1837
Jackson and Indians • Americans want to move westward, but at the same time, Native Americans are still present in “America”. • Jackson passes Indian Removal Act of 1830 • Most NA settle west, the Cherokee of Georgia refuse to move. • After gold is discovered in GA, the state claims their land. • Cherokee sue the state.
Worcester v. Georgia • 1832- Worcester v. Georgia • John Marshall rules a state cannot invalidate a federal treaty. • Therefore, Cherokee cannot be forced to leave. • Jackson refuses to support the decision. • 1838- Van Buren sends an Army to force the Cherokee to move to Oklahoma. • Travel on the Trail of Tears. ¼ of the pop. die on the way.