Chapter 12, Section 1 SPONGE Define Suffrage. (p.361) People who supported Adams and his programs for national growth became known as… (p.364)
The Jacksonian Era Chapter 12
Setting the Scene Harry Ward, a New England teacher, made a visit to Cincinnati, Ohio during the 1824 presidential election. He described how Ohioans felt about Andrew Jackson, who was running for president. He described Jackson supporters as “Strange! Wild! Infatuated! All for Jackson!” Yet Jackson did not win the election.
A Growing Spirit of Equality The spirit of democracy spread throughout the 1800’s as Americans began to feel that the rich did not deserve special respect. Wealthy European visitors were surprised that American servants expected to be treated as equals and refused to be summoned with bells.
More Voters Growing democratic values led an increased number of people to participate in the voting process in the 1800’s. For the first time, states granted suffrage (the right to vote) to all white males over the age of 21.
Limits on Suffrage Despite this democratic spirit, many Americans still did not have the right to vote. This included women, Native Americans and most African Americans. Fewer and fewer African Americans were allowed to vote throughout this time.
The Disputed Election of 1824 There were three excellent (but sectional) candidates running for President in 1824. John Quincy Adams was the son of John Adams, the second President. He believed that the federal government should promote economic growth.
The Disputed Election of 1824 From Massachusetts, Adams served as Secretary of State, helped end the War of 1812 and negotiated the treaty to purchase Florida. Henry Clay of Kentucky was the Speaker of the House of Representatives. In Congress, Clay was a skilled compromiser.
The Disputed Election of 1824 Andrew Jackson of Tennessee was born in a log cabin and raised by poor farmers. He was a landowner, a slave owner and a military hero nicknamed “Old Hickory.” Jackson was a champion of the common people because he believed the government should support workers and farmers around the country.
The Corrupt Bargain Though Jackson won the popular vote in 1824, no candidate won a majority of the votes. Clay finished fourth and, as Speaker, convinced Congress to choose Adams. In the election of 1824, the House of Representatives chose John Quincy Adams as President.
The Disputed Election of 1824 After Adams won the election, he made Clay his Secretary of State. Jackson accused Clay and Adams of stealing the election in a “corrupt bargain.” Adams, like Alexander Hamilton, wanted to improve the economy through government spending. He became an unpopular President because he wanted to increase federal taxes and spending.
A Bitter Campaign In 1828, Adams ran for reelection against Andrew Jackson. Jackson won the election easily. It was considered a victory for the common people. Jackson was the first westerner to take the white house. Thousands flooded to his inauguration – Jackson was nearly suffocated by supporters.
New Political Parties • The death of the Federalist party in the 1820’s had led to a temporary peace between political parties. • By the 1830’s, however, new political parties formed. • People who supported John Quincy Adams in the 1830’s called themselves Whigs. They included eastern businessmen and former Federalists. • Jackson supporters called themselves Democrats.
The Evolution of American Parties Stronger federal government Weaker federal government Democratic Republicans Democratic Republicans Federalists Democratic Republicans Democrats Whigs Democrats Republicans Republicans Democrats
Andrew Jackson • Jackson joined the Patriots in the Revolution at the age of 13, when he and was captured by the British. When he refused to clean an officer’s boots, the man cut Jackson’s face and hand with asword. • Jackson studied law after the revolution and later became very wealthy selling land in the deep South. He became a Congressman and later a judge while still in his 20’s and a general in his late 30’s. • Though he was friendly with a few tribes, most Natives knew him as a brutal enemy who broke treaties and made harsh threats.
The Spoils System • After taking office, Jackson fired many government employees and replaced them with his own supporters. • Most other presidents had also done this, but Jackson fired many more (over 200.) • Critics accused him of rewarding Democrats who had supported him instead of qualified men.
The Spoils System • Jackson said that ordinary citizens could fill government jobs and that this would keep a small group of rich men from controlling the government. • Critics accused Jackson of being a power-hungry king. • The practice of rewarding supporters with government jobs became known as the spoils system.
The Kitchen Cabinet • Jackson gave many unqualified supporters jobs in his cabinet, but couldn’t rely on them for advice. • Instead, Jackson relied on a group of unofficial presidential advisors known as the “kitchen cabinet.” • These democratic leaders and newspaper owners offered the president sound advice when they met in the White House kitchen. Secretary of State Martin Van Buren was Jackson’s only qualified cabinet member.
The Bank War • Like many westerners, Jackson thought the Bank of the U.S. was too powerful and only helped the wealthy. • The Bank had great power because it controlled loans made by state banks. This angered farmers and merchants who wanted to borrow more money. • Jackson also saw the Bank as undemocratic because it was controlled by rich private bankers.
Mr. Biddle’s Bank • Jackson especially despised Nicholas Biddle, the President of the Bank. • Biddle was qualified to run the Bank, but was also arrogant, vain and wealthy. • Biddle worried that Jackson would destroy the Bank by vetoing it’s renewal, but Whig Senators Henry Clay and Daniel Webster devised a way to save the Bank.
The Bank War • In 1836, the Bank’s charter would again expire. Clay and Webster convinced Biddle to apply for a renewal in 1832. • Jackson, a Democrat, was also up for reelection in 1832. • The Whigs believed that most Americans supported the Bank. If Jackson vetoed it, voters would be angry and choose a Whig president (Clay.)
Jackson’s Veto • President Jackson did veto the Bank’s renewal. • Jackson believed the Bank of the U.S. was unconstitutional. He thought that only states had the power to charter banks. • When the election results came in, Jackson had crushed Clay. The Whigs were shocked to find that the common people did not support the Bank of the U.S.
The Bank Closes • Without a new charter, the Bank would have to close in 1836, but Jackson refused to wait. • He ordered Secretary of the Treasury Taney to stop putting money in the Bank. Instead, the cash went into state banks that Taney and his friends controlled. • Without a federal bank to control the economy, the nation faced an economic crisis.
A New Crisis • One of Jackson’s most unexpected rivals as President was John C. Calhoun, his Vice President. • Though Jackson did not want to strengthen the federal government, he also believed strongly that the Union must be preserved at all costs. • Calhoun, however, was a firm believer in each state’s rights to limit the power of the federal government.
Calhoun Vs. Webster • Calhoun claimed that states had the right to cancel, or nullify, federal laws that they considered unconstitutional. This idea is called nullification. • Daniel Webster disagreed and attacked the idea of nullification. He argued that if the states had the right to nullify federal laws that the nation would fall apart. • Jackson sided with Webster, and Calhoun quit as VP
A New Crisis • The crisis peaked when South Carolina passed the Nullification Act, which claimed that states had the right to cancel laws. • The state threatened to secede (or leave) from the Union if the federal government challenged the act. • Jackson responded by threatening to use the military to make South Carolina cooperate. In the end, the state repealed the act and the crisis passed.
Tragedy for Native Americans • The fertile land of the Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee and Seminole nations was ideal for growing cotton. • Though the tribes hoped to live peacefully alongside whites, settlers wanted the land for themselves. • Jackson sided with the settlers, and forced the Indians to move to reservations across the Mississippi River.
The Cherokee Nation • Whites could not argue that the Cherokee were unworthy of their land. • They had created a legal system and government that blended European and Cherokee traditions. They even had a written alphabet that was used in Cherokee newspapers. • The tribe resisted moving and even won the support of the Supreme Court, but Jackson ignored the court and ordered the tribe west.
The Trail of Tears • Jackson supporters forced the Indian Removal Act through Congress in 1830. It forced tribes to move west. • In 1838, the U.S. Army drove over 15,000 Cherokees hundreds of miles to Oklahoma. • Conditions were often freezing cold, and the military provided little support for the tribe. • Thousands perished during the march, mostly women, children and the elderly. • This long, sorrowful journey west became known as the Trail of Tears.
The Seminoles Resist • In Florida, the Seminole Indians resisted removal. Led by Chief Osceola, they began fighting the U.S. Army in 1817. • This conflict became known as the Seminole Wars. • It took the U.S. 40 years to finally defeat the Seminoles, but the tribe was eventually removed from Florida.
New Presidents Struggle • After Jackson left office in 1836, his Vice President, Martin Van Buren, was elected America’s 8th President. • Van Buren had the misfortune to inherit Jackson’s struggling laissez-faire economy. In 1837, an economic panic put America into its worst depression yet. • The depression lasted three years – 90% of the nations factories closed during this time and thousands lost their jobs.
The Election of 1840 • When Van Buren ran for reelection in 1840, he faced Whig candidate, and hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe, William Henry Harrison. • Both Whigs and Democrats began to actively campaign at this time, travelling the country and holding rallies. Mudslinging also became more common.
New Presidents Struggle • Harrison won the election for the Whigs, but died of pneumonia after making a long inauguration address on a freezing, wet day. • His Vice President, John Tyler became the new President. Though he had ran with Harrison, Tyler had always been a Democrat. • Tyler acted against all of Harrison’s plans, leading to further frustrations for the Whigs.