The Articles of Confederation andConstitution-Making 1776-1788
Articles of Confederation March 1, 1781, to June 21, 1788
What: The Articles was the first written constitution of the United States. Fearing central government at a time of war against what was perceived to be a despotic central government (Britain), the Second Continental Congress proposed a loose confederation of sovereign states that would not have the power to declare war, impose taxes, and regulate commerce. There was no provision for an executive or judicial (WART.COM + no E or J.) In spite of these weaknesses, the congress under the Articles brought the Revolutionary War to a successful conclusion, got the states to relinquish western land claims to the national government, passed the Land Ordinance of 1785, and passed the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.
Sig: The Articles provided a frame of government under which sovereign states could operate during a most difficult period in the history of the United States. In providing experience to members of congress and the states in the weaknesses of a loose confederation, the Articles served the added purpose of helping national leaders to understand what a good constitution should include (which helps to explain why the present Constitution is so good).
Source: AP172-73Land Ordinance of 1785
What: Law passed by Congress that allowed for sales of land in the Northwest
Territory to pay off the national debt. To avoid land disputes, land was to be surveyed
into 36 square mile townships, with the sixteenth section (one square mile) reserved for
Sig: This law laid the foundation of American land policy and was a great
achievement of the government under the Articles of Confederation.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787
Where: Applied to the Old Northwest
What: The Ordinance prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territory (which became the future states Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota). When an area had 5,000 people, it could become a territory. When it had 60,000, it could become a state on an equal footing with older states. As many as five states could be carved out of the Territory.
Sig: The principles in the Northwest Ordinance were later used for the rest of the American territories. This law was a great achievement of the government under the Articles.
Shays Rebellion 1786-1787
Who: Daniel Shays and his supporters (poor farmers and veterans)
Where: western Massachusetts
What: Shays and the poor men that rose with him wanted cheap paper money, lighter taxes, and a suspension of property takeovers. To prevent foreclosures, they prevented courts from meeting. A rebellion was developing.
Sig: This rebellion, smashed by Massachusetts militia, made very clear that there were major problems with the Articles of Confederation. Specifically, there was no provision in the Articles for the U.S. to come to the aid of Massachusetts. This problem is solved and reflected in Article IV of the Constitution, written just a few months after the end of the Shays Rebellion. Article IV provides that the U.S. will protect the states against domestic violence.
The 3/5 compromise 1787: the U.S. Constitution—writing of
What: Southern states wanted slaves to count as people so they could have greater representation in the House, but the Northern states argued that slaves were property, not people. The 3/5 compromise stated that when counting total population in a state, slaves would be counted as 3/5 of a person. This increased the power of Southern slaveholding states in the House of Representatives.
Sig: Solved the problem of representation for the present, but put off the overall problem of slavery to be solved later.
Source: AP181“Electoral College” 1787
What: Each state is given the number of electoral votes for however many senators and representatives the state has in congress. Electors are chosen by the state (and each state chose to have the people vote for electors) and those electors vote for president and vice president. This became known as the “electoral college.” The original intent of having electors and not the people choose the president was to guard against mob excesses. The electors represented an intermediate body that would moderate popular passions and be more deliberative. (Recall that the people chose only members of the House in the original Constitution.)
Sig: The Electoral College is still used today in presidential elections. Also, note that the people do not vote directly for president—states have enacted laws to let the people vote for electors, then the electors vote for pres/vice pres.
Source: AP181The Federalist Papers 1787-88 (also known as The Federalist)
Who: Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison
Where: New York
What: Deeply upset that New York would not ratify the Constitution, Hamilton, Madison, and Jay wrote a series of 85 articles in New York newspapers that supported ratification of the Constitution.
Sig: These editorials helped with the ratification of the Constitution in New York and then later in Virginia, two very important states for the very existence of the United States. These papers became the most penetrating and authoritative commentary written on the Constitution.
Source: AP185-186Bill of Rights 1791
Who: James Madison
What: Written by James Madison, the Bill of Rights is more formally known as the first ten amendments to the Constitution. These amendments protect the freedoms of the American people from encroachment by Congress (and, in 2006, by the states). Examples of these are: freedom of religion, assembly, press, petition, speech; trial by jury; due process (protects life, liberty, property).
Sig: State constitutions frequently included a bill of rights. Opponents of the Constitution wanted a bill of rights included before they would support ratification. The Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791, is part of the Constitution that created a stronger central government while protecting individual rights.
Source: AP192Early National History 1789-1824Hamilton’s Three Reports 1790-91
What: Hamilton’s plan was submitted to Congress in order to bring about healthy change in a debt-ridden and somewhat disjointed nation. His plan included arguments for public credit (funding and assumption)—this is Report on Public Credit #1; a national bank—this is Report on Public Credit #2; and the encouragement of manufacturing and internal improvements—this is Report on Manufacturing.
Sig: This plan would bind the country together through a nation-wide public scheme, instead of the states wallowing in their own economic ruin, Hamilton suggested the new federal government take control and pass legislation that would favor all relatively wealthy Americans throughout the nation. He did not have a solely right-side vision: His plan for promoting manufacturing and internal improvements, while not approved by Congress, when linked to his public credit and bank reports, which were approved by Congress, would have created an integrated national economy favoring all sections of the nation, including the south and west.
Source: AP193-94Report on Public Credit #1
Who: Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of Treasury
What: This first part of the plan was aimed at public credit. Split into two parts, “funding at par” and assumption, it restored the value of the dollar and relieved state debts, respectively. With “funding at par,” the government was to pay all national debts at face value with accumulated interest by levying taxes on items such as whiskey (see Whiskey Rebellion) and imposing a tariff for revenue purposes. With assumption, the national government would “assume” the debts of the states. Funding favored speculators and the wealthy who held national government notes. Assumption favored states that had not paid off their debts.
Sig: This plan served the purpose of restoring public credit and binding both the wealthy and the states to a financially stable and viable national government.
Source: AP193-194Report on Public Credit #2
Who: Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of Treasury
What: The second part of the plan was Hamilton’s recommendation to establish a national bank to help standardize banking. Congress agreed and created the 1st BUS, with a twenty year charter.
Sig: Tied the states closer together in economic exchange, gave the vital power of money to the federal government, and pulled the U.S. out of a confusing era of debt. Bank and anti-bank forces rallied to form first two political parties (Federalists and Jeffersonian Democrats).
Source: AP195-196Report on Manufacturing (report #3)
Who: Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of Treasury
What: The third part of the plan is a plea to Congress to encourage manufacturing in America through bounties (payments to encourage manufacturing) and temporary protective tariffs. Based on his observation of Europe, he also called for roads and canals. Hamilton listed the supposed benefits of industry, which, among other things, included the self-reliance of the nation (important for military purposes), the benefit of all the social classes, and cooperation with the already-sprawling agriculture. This was a spectacular vision that Hamilton had for an integrated national economy that would bind all regions of the country together
Sig: This part of Hamilton’s plan was the only part to fail in Congress. Its ideas were to be brought to life, though, by the mid-1800s.
Source: www.pinzler.com/ushistory/hammansupp.htmlJefferson v. Hamilton and emergence of political parties 1790s
Who: Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton
What: Hamilton’s financial successes created some political liabilities, which lead to a full-blown political rivalry with Jefferson. The parties that developed during this time were the Jeffersonian Republicans and Hamiltonian Federalists.
Significance: The two-party system has existed in the United States ever since. (Place the early Jeffersonians in the strict construction camp and the Federalists in the loose construction camp—this is a major point of departure for the two parties.)
Source: AP196Washington’s Neutrality Proclamation 1793
Who: President Washington
What: When war broke out between France and Britain, Washington proclaimed the government’s official neutrality and warned Americans to be impartial towards both armed camps.
Sig: This was America’s first formal declaration of aloofness from Old World quarrels (called “isolationism). The problem was the U.S. was still married to the French in the Franco-American alliance of 1778 which obligated the U.S. to defend French possessions in the Caribbean (the alliance was cancelled in 1800 with the Convention of 1800).
Source: AP199Eli Whitney (1793 Cotton Gin and 1798 Interchangeable parts)
What: In 1793, Whitney invented the Cotton Gin that removed the seeds from cotton. Previously, the seeds were removed by hand, which took much more time. The Gin allowed plantation owners to remove seeds from cotton more efficiently (50 to 1), creating a demand for even more slave labor. In 1798, he also developed the process of interchangeable parts for mechanical items (primarily muskets).
Sig: The invention of the Cotton Gin promoted cotton culture and slavery throughout the south. The invention of interchangeable parts paved the way for mass production. Note how Whitney contributed to both the economic growth and separation of the north and the south.
Source: AP300, 303Jay’s Treaty 1795 (signed 1794; ratified 1795)
Who: Americans, British, John JayWhat: The United States and Britain were arguing over frontier forts still held by the British in the Northwest, navigation laws, and the seizure of American ships. The American statesman John Jay was sent over to negotiate. He compromised with a treaty. The senate ratified the treaty in 1795.
Sig: It averted war, Britain finally evacuated the posts, and while Britain agreed to compensate for U.S. ship losses, Britain did not agree to stop seizing the ships. The Jay Treaty was criticized in the U.S. but it was an alternative to war and did prompt the Spanish to negotiate the Pinckney Treaty.Source: http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/jaytreaty/
Pinckney’s Treaty 1795
Who: Spain, U.S.
What: Spain granted the Americans free navigation of the Mississippi and the right of deposit at New Orleans. Spain also gave up its claim to a large disputed territory north of Florida (from 31º to 32º28'--see the “Area disputed by Spain and U.S.” on map on page 175)
Sig: Free navigation of the Mississippi was essential for the economic life of the west. The U.S. could not afford to have Spain block access to the Gulf of Mexico by denying shipping privileges at the mouth of the Mississippi. Pinckney’s Treaty was serendipity (unanticipated good thing) for the U.S. after the humiliating Jay Treaty. Spain feared an Anglo-American rapprochement (renewal of friendly relations) and dealt kindly with the Americans.
Virginia & Kentucky Resolutions 1798-1799
What: Republican leaders were convinced that the Alien and Sedition Acts were unconstitutional, but the process of deciding on the constitutionality of federal laws was as yet undefined. Jefferson and Madison decided that the states should have that power, and they drew up a series of resolutions, which were presented to the Kentucky and Virginia legislatures. They proposed that the state bodies should have the power to "nullify" federal laws within those states. These resolutions were adopted, but only in these states, and so the issue died.
Sig: The theoretical argument in these resolutions, that the U.S. was a compact among sovereign states, was used later as part of the nullification controversy of the 1830's and ultimately in the secession crisis of 1860-1861.
Source: AP206-07Slave revolts in Haiti and the U.S. and fears arising therefrom Election of 1800 (the "Revolution of 1800")
What: Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr both ran as Jeffersonian Republicans against John Adams and Charles Pinckney for the Federalists in the election of 1800. The candidate winning the second-highest number of electoral votes would become vice-president. Jefferson and Burr received the highest and same number of electoral votes, so the selection went to the House of Representatives. After a long deadlock, Alexander Hamilton threw his support to Jefferson, and Burr had to accept vice-presidency. (The 12th amendment in 1804 required that electors vote once for president and once for vice-president, thus solving this problem.) Jefferson called his election a “revolution” in that he would halt and reverse the growth of government power and the decay of civic virtue that occurred under the Federalists. But this was no popular “revolution” because Jefferson barely won the election.
Sig: The election pitted two parties who were bitterly opposed to each other. The election was peaceful; the transition of power was peaceful. Thus the U.S. established the fact that a democratic nation, even with bitterly divided political loyalties, could effect a peaceful transition of power. This was the only “revolution” that occurred in 1800.
Source: AP214-215Marbury vs. Madison (1803)
Who: John Adams, William Marbury, and James Madison
What: After a bitter election, in his final days as president, Adams
attempted to fill the courts with members of his party, the Federalist Party. Just before
leaving office, President Adams appointed a Maryland banker and politician, William
Marbury, to one of the new posts. The Senate confirmed Marbury's appointment,
President Adams signed the commission, and Secretary of State John Marshall affixed
the Great Seal on the commission. But in the rush of business during the final days of the
Adams administration, Marshall failed to actually deliver the commission to Marbury
(and at least three other appointees). Jefferson became president on March 4, 1801, and
the new secretary of state was James Madison. When Marbury and three others asked
Madison for their commissions, the secretary of state, acting under orders from President
Jefferson, refused to deliver the commissions. Marbury sued. The case was heard by
Chief Justice John Marshall and the Supreme Court. While the Court did not address the
specifics of the case, the Court struck down as unconstitutional a portion of the Judiciary
Act of 1789 (which gave the Supreme Court jurisdiction the Court declared it did not
Sig: The Supreme Court of the United States established its authority to review and invalidate government actions that conflict with the Constitution of the United States. The case is monumentally significant because it was the first time that the Supreme Court declared an act of Congress to be unconstitutional. The principle involved here is “judicial review.”
Source: AP218-19Jefferson’s neutrality during the Napoleonic Wars
What: As the war progressed, Napoleon issued the Berlin and Milan decrees which enacted a blockade of Great Britain, and Great Britain issued Orders in Council, which ordered a blockade of Europe. Although the two blockades were not entirely successful, and some blockade-runners were able to sneak through, 1500 American ships were seized, and their sailors were impressed into the British navy. After the Chesapeake affair in 1807, Jefferson secured passage of the Embargo Act, prohibiting the merchants of the United States to trade with foreign nations. The act was intended to prevent an American entrance into the war by keeping the ships and goods in American harbors. However, it was next to impossible to enforce, and merchants looking for the lucrative trade smuggled many tons of goods in and out of the ports and into Canada. The act was repealed in 1809 during Jefferson's lame duck period, and replaced by the Non-Intercourse Act which allowed American ships to trade with any nations except the belligerent nations in Europe. Once again, the act failed to keep American ships out of the European harbors. The Non-Intercourse Act was replaced in 1810 with Macon’s Bill #2 (Madison is now president), opening trade with all with the understanding that if either Britain or France repealed the orders or decrees, the U.S. would impose an embargo on the other.
Sig: The U.S. was trying to stay out of war through economic sanctions, which in the end failed.
Who: The United States and Great Britain
Where: Neutral ships on the seas (mostly American ships)
What: The British Navy declared the right to search any neutral vessel on the seas for deserters. What they really did was they conscripted men between the ages of 18-55 years old to serve as sailors in the Royal Navy. The British were kidnapping American men and forcing them to serve in their navy.
Sig: The United States needed to prove to Britain that the U.S. was independent, not subject to the Crown any longer. The U.S. had to protect the safety and freedom of the American people, especially sailors. This led to the War of 1812.
War of 1812 Causes
Who: The United States and Great Britain
What: The English instituted maritime blockades of European ports to prevent American shipping from helping the French during the war between England and France. The British also claimed the right to stop any neutral vessel and search the ship for “deserters.” Many American ships were taken, and men were impressed into the British Navy. This can be seen in the Chesapeake-Leopard affair of 1807. Economic sanctions were tried but were unsuccessful (Embargo, Non-Intercourse, Macon’s Bill #2). With the coming of the War Hawks to Congress in 1810, western fears of and British aid to the Indians became an issue that contributed to war fever. Great Britain wanted to control the trade routes to keep the U.S. out of European ports during the war with France. The United States had to defend the right to export American goods without losing men or ships. The U.S. also objected to Great Britain supporting the Indians along the Great Lakes.
Sig: America had to defend its rights, government, commerce and independence. Madison and the War Hawks chose war as the vehicle to do so (Jefferson chose embargo, which did not work; Madison chose war, which defended American rights and honor).
Source: AP231-32Hartford Convention December 15, 1814 to January 5, 1815
Who: Federalists who were discontented with the War of 1812
Where: Hartford, Connecticut
What: Numerous New England states, feeling abused by Madison’s war, sent representatives to Hartford, Connecticut to discuss their grievances. The resulting convention demanded compensation for lost trade and sought preventive measures against future embargoes, state admissions, and wars, among other things. The resolutions of the Hartford Convention were overshadowed by the victory of the Battle of New Orleans, causing the movement to die.
Sig: The Hartford Convention marked the death of the Federalist Party.
It is also an example of New England’s sympathy towards nullification at the time.
While nullification and secession are normally associated with the South, the
Hartford Convention demonstrates that the South did not have a monopoly on
states’ rights and secessionist thinking.
Source: AP 237-239Nationalism (devotion or loyalty to a nation)
A sense of nationalism arose after the War of 1812. Judicial nationalism of the Marshall Court can be cited. [All of the following very important cases are Marshall court decisions. Marbury v. Madison (1803), McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), and Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) for lifting up national authority at state expense; Fletcher v. Peck (1810) and Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1832) for lifting up the sanctity of contracts that cannot be eroded by state actions. Marshall’s decisions, in addition to strengthening federal authority, protected business interests from encroachment by individual states. Thus the Marshall court can be characterized as pro-business also.]. Economic nationalism associated with the American System can be cited also: banks, roads, canals, protective tariffs, all contributed to the notion of “nation,” as opposed to more regional or sectional interests. Cultural nationalism can be seen in the works of the painters of the Hudson River School (Thomas Cole), and Lum’s BIC writers (Bryant, Irving, Cooper).
Source: Class notesThe Tariff of 1816
What: Even with the Federalist party gasping its last breath, the nationalist Congress of 1816 passed the first tariff in U.S. history primarily for protection—20 to 25 percent on many imports.
Sig: Hamilton would have been happy—here we see the emergence of the kind of leadership that he envisioned in his three reports of 1790/91. He would have been delighted with the American System, described below. Source: AP241
The “American System”—around 1824 [with comments on the power of BART]
Who: Henry Clay
What: Clay proposed a three-part plan to develop a profitable home market. First a strong banking system was needed that would provide easy and abundant credit. Next Clay wanted a protective tariff that would allow eastern manufacturing to flourish. Revenues from the flourishing economy would support the third component, a network of roads and canals that would help transport foodstuffs and raw materials from the South and West to the North and East.
Sig: Here is an emerging sense of nationalism. Cries for better transportation erupted in the nation, especially in the West. Individual states took control of construction of canals and roads (i.e. the Erie Canal). Clay’s American System is essentially what Hamilton proposed in his three 1790/91 reports and what President Madison articulated in his 7th annual address to Congress in 1815. All of these can be summed up in one of Lum’s words: BART!!! [What was the heart of the Whig political agenda in the 1840s, when they elected two presidents?? BART!!! What was the domestic political agenda (aside from winning the war, homesteads, and higher education) of the Republicans during the Civil War?? BART!! Start BART with Hamilton (1790-91), and then run it through Madison (1815), Clay (1824), the Whigs (1840s) and the Republicans (1860s).]
Source: AP240-242“Era of Good Feelings” (1817-1825)
Who: The Administrations of Monroe
What: When James Monroe (slaveowning Virginian) went into Federalist New
England, “the enemy’s country,” he received a heartwarming welcome. A Boston newspaper was so far carried away as to announce that an “Era of Good Feelings” had been ushered in. This happy phrase has been commonly used since then to describe the administrations of Monroe. The Era of Good Feelings, unfortunately, was something of a misnomer. Considerable tranquility and prosperity did in fact smile upon the early years of Monroe, but the period was a troubled one. The acute issues of the tariff, the bank, internal improvements, and the sale of public lands were being hotly contested.
Sig: The “Era of Good Feelings” helped to promote an emerging sense of
nationalism. (With the Panic of 1819, one can argue that the Era was short-lived.)
American Colonization Society 1817
Who: African-AmericansWhat: The American Colonization Society (ACS), founded in 1817, grew out of efforts by a Presbyterian minister from New Jersey, Robert Finley. It was typical of many benevolent societies of the period. Americans viewed the society as a solution to what was thought to be the dual problem of freeing blacks and the incompatibility of the races. Although William Lloyd Garrison and other activists ultimately rejected the gradual approach of colonizationists, the movement maintained its appeal for moderates, among them Abraham Lincoln.
In 1822 the ACS established Liberia on the west coast of Africa. Over the next forty years the society settled some twelve thousand African-Americans in that country. Although the society existed until 1912, after 1860 it functioned primarily as the "caretaker" of the settlement in Liberia. (Liberia is an independent nation today.)
Sig: Even after the Emancipation Proclamation, extreme hostility, prejudice, and racism can be seen throughout America. No matter what the motives of ACS supporters were, all believed that free blacks could not be assimilated into American society and that the solution was resettlement in Africa.
Source: AP362McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
Who: Maryland and Chief Justice John Marshall
Where: Baltimore, Maryland (branch of the 2nd BUS)
What: The state of Maryland levied a tax on the Bank of the United
States in opposition to the Bank and to protect the competitive position of its own state banks. Marshall’s ruling declared that no state has the right to control an agency of the federal government. Since “the power to tax is the power to destroy,” such state action violated Congress’ “implied powers” to establish and operate a national bank.
Sign: This Supreme Court decision strengthened federal authority and slapped at state infringements on federal authority under the Constitution. The Bank existed under the implied powers clause of the Constitution (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 18). This decision represents judicial nationalism, where the Court is the final arbiter of the Constitution and where state acts contrary to the Constitution are null and void. This decision also reflects what is supported in The Federalist Papers and what is known as judicial review. In Marbury v. Madison (1803), the Court struck down part of an act of Congress. Here, the Court struck down a State act as unconstitutional.
Source: AP248Missouri Compromise 1820
Who: North (US), South (US), and Henry Clay
Where: Missouri, the remainder of the Louisiana Territory, and Maine
What: Congress agreed to admit Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a separate free state. This kept the balance between the North and the South at twelve states each. (Balance was critical to maintain slave power in the Senate). Although the state of Missouri was permitted to retain slaves, all future bondage was prohibited in the remainder of the Louisiana Purchase territory north of the line of 36o30’, which was the southern boundary of Missouri.
Sig: The Missouri Compromise deferred final discussion of slavery. In the end, the Civil War finally resolved the issue. Jefferson called it the “death knell” of the Union. (Death knell is a bell tolled slowly at the time of a funeral.)
Source: AP247-48Monroe Doctrine 1823
What: President Monroe, in his annual address to Congress in 1823, announced what became known as the Monroe Doctrine, which stated that the European powers could no longer look to the new world for colonization. He argued that the old world’s political institutions (monarchy) were so different from the new world’s (republics) that the old world would no longer be welcome in the new. Further, he suggested that European nations not interfere in the new world. Noncolonization and nonintervention were in his message.
Sig: While this proud and nationalistic statement was scorned at the start by the powers of the old world, over time the Doctrine developed and was used by various presidents, including Polk and T. Roosevelt.
Age of Jackson, 1824-48Texas in the 1820s
Where: Texas, from the Sabine River on the east to the Nueces on the southwest
Who: Spain (1819-21), Mexico (1821 to 1836), and American settlers
What: Spain and then Mexico invited Americans to settle in their northeastern province of Texas. In 1823, Mexico granted to Stephen Austin a tract of land upon which Americans could settle, with the understanding that they would become Catholic Mexicans. The Texans paid little attention to that, and by 1835 there were 30,000 Americans in Texas (ready to fight when Santa Anna established a dictatorship). Also, when Mexico prohibited slavery in 1830, the Texas slaveowners did not comply, further aggravating the situation between Americans in Texas and the Mexican government.
Sig: The settlement in the 1820s set the stage for the Texas War of Independence in 1836
Lowell System—1820s and into the 1830s
What: In pre-industrial America, farm girls made cloth, candles, soap, butter, cheese on the farm. Emerging industries in the nineteenth century replaced this kind of farm/subsistence labor and provided employment for the girls and young women in factories. In 1826 the town of Lowell was founded in Massachusetts. The “Boston Associates” built boardinghouses to accommodate its labor force of twelve-to-twenty-five-year-old females. The twenty-five or so women residing in each house developed a sense of sisterhood, working, eating, and spending leisure time together. Although they enjoyed the cultural and economic advantages available in Lowell, they did not succumb to the popular notion that Lowell was a "finishing school for young ladies." They had come, mostly from New England farms, to work, and they expected to be paid for their labor and treated with respect. When a downturn occurred in the textile industry beginning in 1829 and management sought to cut wages, these women reacted. They went out on strike in 1834 and 1836 and ran petition campaigns in the 1840s. They formed the Factory Girls' Association and joined the widespread ten-hour movement.
Sig: Theirs were among the first forms of collective action taken by industrial workers. In response, mill owners there and elsewhere turned to immigrant labor, hiring French-Canadian and Irish workers to replace the native-born labor force.
Source: AP307Jacksonian Democracy
What: Jacksonian Democracy refers to several elements that characterize the period roughly from 1828 to 1848 (from Jackson through Polk).
1. Expansion of suffrage occurred as states dropped property qualifications (many more “common” men voted).
2. Jackson’s and his followers hated monopoly and special privilege (e.g., the 2nd BUS). 3. Campaigns were directed at the “common man,” featuring political party conventions to select candidates, and campaigns that appealed to common people and not the privileged. (It became best to be born in a log cabin no matter where you might have been born.) Campaigns became more democratic.
4. While Jefferson appealed to farmers and agrarian interests, Jacksonian Democracy appealed to both rural and urban voters [Lum’s LAFS: laborers, artisans (shoemakers, wheelwrights, carpenters), farmers, small shopkeepers.]
5. The Spoils System, where party loyalists would get government jobs.
6. Jackson and many of his followers were anti-Native American (e.g., Indian Removal Act of 1830, leading to the Trail of Tears in ’38-’39)
Sig: The Jacksonian period is a watershed in American life. If you STAPLERD the period, you would be able to fire many PEPS not only related to Jackson and the Jacksonians but to many other matters too.
Source: Class notesJacksonian Policies: 1) the Bank, 2) the Specie Circular, 3) Indian Removal (1824-1837) The Bank War
Who: The conflict was between President Andrew Jackson and the Bank’s president Nicholas Biddle
What: Andrew Jackson believed that the Bank was an unconstitutional monopoly. Thus, he started the War on the Bank (1832-1833). Biddle held enormous power over the financial affairs of the nation. Webster and Clay in 1832 presented to Congress a bill to renew the Bank of the United States charter that was to expire in 1836. However, they were pushing for renewal four years early to make it an election issue in 1832. If Jackson signed, it would alienate agrarian voters in the west. If vetoed, he would lose the election by alienating the wealthy in the east. He won, and in 1833, Jackson attacked the Bank by depositing federal revenues in other banks and removing federal deposits from its vaults, while continuing to make demands on the Bank of the United States. Biddle fought hard but lost in the end.
Sig: Jackson vetoed the re-charter bill. He was reelected, and thus used his reelection as a mandate to defeat the bank. Without some central guidance, state banks were free to engage in speculative activities, which created a disorganized financial situation in the nation. This would contribute to the Panic of 1837.
The Specie Circular
Another policy of Jackson involved the Specie Circular, which was a decree that
obligated all public lands to be purchased with “hard,” or metallic, money. There was too much speculation in western lands, and requiring that lands be paid with scarce hard money would slow or stop the speculation.
Sig: The Specie Circular helped contribute to the financial panic/crash in 1837.
A third policy of Jackson was to remove the remaining eastern tribes--chiefly Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles--beyond the Mississippi. He wanted the lands for white settlers. His policy led to the forced uprooting of more than 100,000 Indians. In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which relocated Indian tribes east of the Mississippi to Indian Territory in the west. In the fall and winter of 1838-39, during VanBuren’s presidency, the Army forcibly removed 15,000 Cherokees from their homes in the east to Indian Territory in the west (present day Oklahoma). This journey was known as the Trail of Tears. About 4,000 died on the journey.
Sig: By forced removal of the Native Americans, many died. The Indian removal vividly demonstrates continuing abuse of Native Americans by the ever-expanding people of the U.S. and its government. [Note that Chief Blackhawk in Illinois fought back, and Abe Lincoln was with the Illinois militia that helped the U.S. win the Blackhawk War of 1832. In talking so much about the five southeastern tribes, we tend to forget the Blackhawk War of 1832.]
Source: AP268-72 on the BUS, AP272 on the Specie Circular, and AP265-67 on IndiansNullification Crisis—1828-33
a. Tariff issue, including Tariff of Abominations/1828
Tariffs protected American industry against competition from European manufactured goods, but they also drove up prices for all Americans and invited retaliatory tariffs on American agricultural exports abroad. Southerners reacted angrily against the tariff because they believed the “Yankee tariff” discriminated against them. Calhoun wrote the “Exposition and Protest” which lifted up nullification.b. Ordinance of Nullification (South Carolina)/November 24, 1832
Although the 1832 tariff was lower than 1828, the people of South Carolina met “in convention assembled” and declared the tariff to be null and void within South Carolina, in clear violation of the Constitution’s supremacy clause.c. Force Bill/1833
Also know as the “Bloody Bill” it authorized the president to use the army and navy if necessary, to collect federal tariff duties. A compromise tariff was brokered by Clay. South Carolina repealed the ordinance of nullification, but then nullified the force bill. [This is the “s” word here: Who is sovereign, the U.S. with its supremacy clause or the people of the State of South Carolina ‘in convention assembled”?]
Sig: Stepping-stone to Civil War. Nullification provides the legal justification for violation of the supremacy clause of the Constitution. Nullification is a strong states’ rights concept, not consistent with Article VI (supremacy clause) of the Constitution.Whigs (about 1832 to 1852) and the American System
What: The Whigs favored a national bank, protective tariffs, internal improvements such as canals and roads, public schools, and moral reforms such as prohibition of liquor and abolition of slavery. [BART + reforms] They had many powerful leaders such as Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John Quincy Adams. They elected presidents in 1840 and 1848 (Harrison and Taylor).
Sig: The Whigs supported the BART system but eventually broke up in 1852 over slavery, most notably the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. [The northern Whigs joined the Republican Party when it was formed in 1854.]Transportation Developments in the Early Nineteenth CenturyErie Canal 1825
Who: State of New York
Where: The Hudson River at Albany, to Lake Erie
What: The Erie Canal, linking the Hudson River at Albany, New York, with Lake Erie was completed in 1825 and became the first and most successful example of an artificial waterway in the U.S. A rash of construction followed it until canals linked every major waterway system east of the Mississippi River.
Sig: This canal that ran east and west tied the new West to the old East and contributed to the development of a national economy, one in which farmers could move from simple subsistence farming to cash-crop farming. The transportation system that emerged allowed farm produce to move east and finished products to move west, thus connecting farmers with merchants and creating a national economy. Regional issues remained important, but increasingly those issues could be linked to national concerns (in this case, the production, distribution, and sale of goods and produce). Link all of this to the market revolution, where advances in transportation and manufacturing permitted inter-regional exchanges of goods and produce, thus making the farmer in the west dependent on the manufacturer in the east, and vice versa.Immigration and Nativism 1840-1850sIrish Immigration 1830-1900
What: The Irish potato crop was destroyed in the 1840s, uprooting many Irish who emigrated to the U.S. With little money to move west they settled in eastern seaboard cities and became the cheap labor supply in competition with free African-American laborers. (Resentments rose over this.) They kept their own Catholic religion, which fomented resentment among Protestants. They started their own school systems and began to take over local political machines and police forces. While they were at the bottom of the socio-economic scale, they became a power to be reckoned with in eastern cities.
Sig: From 1830 to 1860, some two million Irish came to the U.S. Another two million came between 1860 and 1900. They were a political and economic force that fueled American urban politics and industry.German Immigration
What: In the 1840s and 1850s, almost two million Germans emigrated to the U.S. due to crop failures and the failure of the liberal revolution of 1848. They brought money with them and had the ability to spread out to the farmlands of the Midwest. Better-educated than many, they supported public schools (the Kindergarten) and they became outspoken defenders of freedom and relentless enemies of slavery. They were culturally different from most Americans and resentment directed at them was common.
Sig: The Germans brought cultural diversity and many contributions to the U.S. They were hard-working, reform oriented, and freedom-loving.American (Know-Nothing) Party and Nativism in the 1840s and 1850s
What: A political party organized in 1849 around one issue, hatred of foreigners. It also spread some ugly anti-Irish, anti-German, and anti-Catholic propaganda. The party wanted restrictions on immigration and naturalization and the deportation of alien paupers.
Sig: The Know-Nothing (American) Party reflected anti-immigrant nativist attitudes. (Nativism would reappear in U.S. history as a reaction to the flood of immigrants who came to the U.S. between the Civil War and World War I. Nativists had a great victory with the Immigration Act of 1924, which effectively reduced immigration to a trickle.)Religion, Reform, and Renaissance in Antebellum AmericanCult of Domesticity and Women’s Rights
What: As the market economy created separate roles for men and women (with the men at work and the women at home), the idea of the “cult of domesticity” arose, whereby women at home were meant to teach the young how to be good and productive citizens within her special sphere. It was in the home that the woman was expected to display her morally and artistically superior sensitivities (according to the “cult of domesticity,” she was too emotionally and physically weak to handle the demands of the workplace).
Sig: The “cult of domesticity” asserted the physical and emotional weaknesses of women while lifting up their moral and artistic strengths. This kind of discrimination was the foundation for keeping women politically and economically subordinate to men. The reaction to the “cult” can be seen in the Seneca Falls convention of 1848 (including the “Declaration of Sentiments”), Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a woman?” speech, and Margaret Fuller’s feminist book, Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845).
Source: AP331Women’s rights and the role of women in the nineteenth century 1790-1860
Who: Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, Sojourner Truth, Margaret Fuller
Where: The women’s rights movement was primarily in the northeast, but strong in other areas also.
What: Women fought to break down the “cult of domesticity” that bound women to their homes. They were also involved in other reform movements of the 19th century such as temperance and abolition of slavery. Most importantly, Mott and Stanton were at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, which produced the “Declaration of Sentiments” (modeled after the Declaration of Independence). [The fight over abolition eclipsed the women’s rights movement up to the Civil War, and when African-American males got the vote in 1870, many women were genuinely disappointed and disillusioned that they did not get the vote also. While some states, notably western, granted the vote to women as early as 1869 (in Wyoming), women did not get the vote at the national level until the 19th amendment in 1920.]
Sig: Starting with Seneca Falls, 1848, the women’s rights movement remains one of the most enduring civil rights movements in U.S. history.
Source: AP 330-32
Brook Farm 1841-46
What: Transcendentalists settled on a 200 acre farm and practiced a communitarian lifestyle. A fire in 1846 destroyed their building and the experiment in “plain living and high thinking” collapsed in debt.
Sig: Brook Farm demonstrates the utopian fervor that captured the imagination of idealists at mid-nineteenth century.
Source: AP334Transcendentalists 1830s-1850s
Where: Largely in Massachusetts
What: Transcendentalists denied that all knowledge comes to the mind from the senses (or the Bible) but instead every person has an inner light that illuminates the highest truths and puts one in touch with God, or the “Oversoul.” Exaltation of the dignity of the individual was paramount in transcendentalism, and from this came an array of humanitarian reforms. Best known: 1) Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson promoted self-reliance, self-confidence, and freedom, all of which were well in tune with the ideals being developed by the American people. His most notable speech was his 1837 “American Scholar.”
(2) Henry David Thoreau, whose On the Duty of Civil Disobedience, influenced Gandhi and Martin Luther King. 3) Margaret Fuller, editor of the transcendentalist pamphlet Dial, and author of the feminist book Women in the Nineteenth Century (1845).
Sig: Transcendentalism is strictly American and liberates the people from the grasp of European influences. The movement represents the independence, self-reliance, and idealism of many Americans.
Source: AP 340-41Hudson River School 1825-on
Who: A group of romantic landscape artists. Thomas Doughty, Albert Bierstadt, and Thomas Cole were some of the famous artists. See AP339 for Cole’s 1836 “Oxbow” (in the Connecticut River).
What: The group focused on romantic styles of landscape painting.
Sig: For the first time, a number of American artists began to devote themselves to landscape painting instead of portraiture. The works of these artists reflected a new concept of wilderness, one in which humans were an insignificant intrusion in a landscape more beautiful than fearsome.
Source: AP 339Abolition 1830s-1860s
Who: Frederick Douglass (spoke against slavery, looked towards politics and government to support the cause. Theodore Dwight Weld (spoke against slavery and wrote the pamphlet, American Slavery As It Is), William Lloyd Garrison (The Liberator and the American Anti-Slavery Society), Sojourner Truth (abolitionist and women’s rights)
Where: Primarily in the northeast area, but did spread westward
What: Through written messages, boycotts, and speeches, they fought for the abolition of slavery.
Sig: Fought for abolition of slavery; began to question the true meaning of equality; and caused divided opinions which propelled the nation towards the Civil war.
Source: AP 363-66Temperance and Prohibition--1850s
Who: Neal S. Dow (sponsored Maine prohibition law) and many women
Where: Primarily the northeast
What: Two avenues of attack: 1) prohibition (no alcohol sale permitted) by law. Example: Maine Law of 1851 prohibited the manufacture and sale of intoxicating liquor. 2) temperance, meaning be moderate in drinking alcohol. Example: American Temperance Society 1826: fought to reduce temptation and urge to drink.
Sig: Alcohol negatively affected many lives, and with the temperance movement, it showed the growing concern for the overall quality of life. Women, locked into a society that valued the “cult of domesticity,” had to rely on men for economic well-being. Thus women led the temperance movement. Source: AP329-30Territorial Expansion and Manifest DestinyManifest Destiny 1840’s-1850s
What: The idea of “manifest destiny” is that God ordained the American people to rule from the Atlantic to the Pacific (and later, in the 1850s, the idea was expanded to look to the south into Central America, Cuba, Mexico).
Sig: Manifest Destiny was a latently (hidden or unknown) racist and manifestly (visible or known) imperialistic notion that engendered a sense of national pride and led the American people to believe that developing the American empire at the expense of others was not only good but ordained by God.
Source: AP371Texas 1836-45
What: Texas fought a war of independence (1836) with the Mexicans but was refused entry into the U.S. in part because of the slavery issue. In 1845, during the last days of the Tyler administration, Texas was admitted as a slave state (annexed by joint resolution of Congress and signed by President Tyler).
Sig: Demonstrates the difficulties associated with the issue of slavery in the territories or in any new state. Clay’s straddling of the fence on the issue of Texas may have cost him the presidency in 1844 (Polk won, 1,338,464 to 1,300,097).
Source: AP375-76The Wilmot Proviso 1846
Who: David Wilmot, Democratic representative from Pennsylvania
What: At the start of the Mexican War, Wilmot proposed, as part of a war appropriations bill, that slavery be excluded from any territory acquired from Mexico. The Wilmot Proviso passed the House twice and failed in the Senate twice.
Sig: Although the Proviso failed, the discussion brought into sharp focus the differences then existing on the slavery question. (Emerson was right when he said: “Mexico will poison us.”)
Source: AP388-89The Crisis of the UnionMissouri Compromise 1820 (this is a PEP repeat because it is so important)
Who: North (US), South (US), and Henry Clay
Where: Missouri, the remainder of the Louisiana Territory, and Maine
What: Congress agreed to admit Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a separate free state. This kept the balance between the North and the South at twelve states each. (Balance was critical to maintain slave power in the Senate). Although the state of Missouri was permitted to retain slaves, all future bondage was prohibited in the remainder of the Louisiana Purchase territory north of the line of 36o30', which was the latitude of the southern boundary of the state of Missouri.
Sig: The Missouri Compromise deferred final discussion of slavery. In the end, the Civil War finally resolved the issue. Jefferson called it the “death knell” of the Union. (Death knell is a bell tolled slowly at the time of a funeral.)
Source: AP247-48William Lloyd GarrisonWho: A journalist, abolitionist, and social activist, he turned his energies to fighting slavery. He gave many public speeches against slavery, and started The Liberator, an anti-slavery newspaper. He favored ‘immediate and complete emancipation’ of slaves.
Sig: He was the source of inspiration for those opposed to slavery. He fueled Southern hostility because he wanted to free the slaves immediately and without compensation to the owners.
Sources: AP 364
Who: Published by William Lloyd Garrison
What: An anti-slavery, pro-immediate emaciation newspaper
When: January 1, 1831 begins publishing
Sig: A significant part of the abolitionist movement. The weekly magazine went from the 1830s to the end of the Civil War, in all producing 1,820 issues after 35 years. The main topic of the liberator was peaceful and immediate emancipation of slaves through passive resistance.
Sources: AP 364
Slavery in general from 1800 to 1860
What: After the gin (1793), upland cotton could be raised profitably. The cotton raised could feed the cotton textiles industry in the North and Europe (Britain, notably). The existing labor supply in the South was slaves, and the demand for slaves increased as the cotton culture spread throughout the U.S. south and southwest in the early nineteenth century. Slaves were property with no civil or political rights. After the international slave trade was prohibited in 1808, natural reproduction accounted for the increase in slave numbers. A prime field hand sold for about $500 in 1830 and $1,800 in 1860. Britain and the North depended on Southern cotton to feed the mills, and hundreds of thousands of workers would go unemployed if the supply were to be cut off. David Christy wrote Cotton is King in 1855, and Senator Hammond (S.C.) said, in 1858, “No one dare make war on cotton.” The Southern planters were powerful and successful in the 1850s, and they relied upon and defended slavery as the labor supply that was at the root of their wealth.
Some slaves lived in towns, perhaps rented out by their owners. Some were skilled at some craft (carpentry). Many more slaves lived in slave quarters on plantations. Many were married and had their families with them on plantations, and yet, as property, any slave was subject to being sold “down the river.” [Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) had a powerful impact on this issue.] While plantation owners had an economic self-interest in caring for their slave property, abuses were widely reported in the Northern press and among abolitionists. Rape, murder, and mutilation of slaves were not unknown on plantations. Publication of these atrocities enflamed both North and South (for opposite reasons, with the Southern position being that such reports were gross exaggerations).
Slaves were generally submissive, and yet there were exceptions. The Stono rebellion of 1739, Gabriel Prosser rebellion of 1800, Denmark Vesey rebellion in 1822, and Nat Turner rebellion in 1831 speak to the desire of slaves to be free. While all of those rebellions were suppressed, slaves had other ways to fight back: 1) petty theft; 2) negligence and breakage of equipment; and 3) work slow-downs. Whites had a great fear of slave rebellion, accounting for repressive laws limiting communications and travel among the slaves.
Religion played an important role in the life of slaves. Combining African religious rites with basic Christian doctrines, slaves spoke and sang quietly among themselves of Israel in Egypt and liberation from the yoke of slavery. More militant Christians among the slaves spoke of the flight to and then into Canaan, where militaristic confrontation with the Canaanites (slaveowners) was to be expected. (Slaveowners, not unaware of these developments, increasingly limited communication among slaves as the nineteenth century progressed.)
Sig: Slavery was inextricably intertwined with the social, technological, political, legal, economic, and religious life of the United States from the 1660s to the 1860s. To understand U.S. history, one must understand slavery.
Source: Generally Chapter 16 from AP350-70
Popular Sovereignty 1840s-1850s
What: This involved the right of the people in territories to vote to have slavery or no slavery. Stephen Douglas (Dem., Illinois) championed popular sovereignty.
Sig: Popular Sovereignty was meant to turn the national issue of slavery into smaller, more local issues, but failed to extinguish the fires lit by the abolitionists and free-soilers (Wilmot Proviso, Compromise of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, Bleeding Kansas of 1856, Dred Scott of 1857).
Source: AP390-91Compromise of 1850
What: A set of five laws collectively called the Compromise of 1850
Concessions to the North:
1) California was admitted as a free state.
2) Territory disputed by Texas and New Mexico was surrendered to New Mexico (Texas received $10 million from the federal government as compensation.).
3) Slave trade was abolished in Washington D.C.
Concessions to the South:
1) The remainder of the Mexican Cession area was to be formed into the territories of New Mexico and Utah, without restriction on slavery (open to popular sovereignty).
2) A more stringent fugitive slave law was implemented, going beyond that of 1793.
Sig: The Compromise of 1850 was an effort to defuse the slavery issue, but the Fugitive Slave Act exploded in the faces of both North and South and further divided the nation.
Source: AP397-401Fugitive Slave Act (1850)
What: “The Bloodhound Bill” stirred up a storm of opposition in the North. Fleeing slaves could not testify on their own behalf and were denied a jury trial. The federal commissioner who handled the fugitive’s case would be given five dollars if the runaways were freed and ten dollars if not, which looked like a bribe in favor of slavecatchers/slaveowners.
Sig: It prompted the Northerners’ “personal liberty laws,” which denied local jails to federal officials and otherwise hindered enforcement of the Fugitive Slave. The South, on the other hand, gave up equality in the Senate (CA = free state) in return for a strong fugitive slave law, only to see its power diminished by Northern opposition. Both North and South were alienated by the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The Whigs broke up over it in 1852.
Source: AP399-400Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854
Who: Law sponsored by Stephen A. Douglas
What: The Act said that instead of using the terms of the Missouri Compromise,
which provided that all territories north of 36º30' in the remainder of the
Louisiana Purchase territory should be free, the area will be split into Kansas
and Nebraska territories, and popular sovereignty shall determine slavery or no slavery in
the territory (and by inference in future states).Sig: The Act angered free-soilers because it opened territory previously closed to slavery (under the Missouri Compromise) to the potential of slavery. The Republican Party emerged as a result of this Act. Further, the Act led to “bleeding Kansas” in 1856 as free-soilers and slavers competed to establishdifferent governments. Bleeding Kansas foreshadowed the coming of the Civil War.Source: AP407-08 Republican Party (origins, goals, and position on slavery) 1854 to presentWho: Many Whigs, Liberty party members, Know-Nothings, and Free Soil members became Republicans as their respective parties disbanded.What: After the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, the Whig party was ended, andmeetings in the upper Midwestern states started the formation of a new party opposed tothe spread of slavery into the western territories. One meeting, at Ripon, Wisconsin, onMarch 20, 1854, is widely known as the beginning of the Republican party. At the start,it was a northern (free state) based party that was dedicated to the prevention of thespread of slavery into the territories (in reaction to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854). The Party did not mean to interfere with slavery in Southern states but insisted that slavery not be allowed to expand in the territories (the implication being that slavery would become less and less significant as more and more free states were added to the Union, a point that was not lost among Southern defenders).
The domestic agenda at the start of the party was BART (banks, internal improvements railroads, and higher tariffs), opposition to the extension of slavery in the territories, higher education, and homesteads for small farmers.Sig: The Republican Party became a major player in United States politics,electing many presidents, beginning with Lincoln in 1860. In addition to being the partyof Lincoln and winning the Civil War, the Republican Party’s agenda dominated U.S.politics for several decades (essential pro-business).Source: AP408Dred Scott decision 1857What: In March of 1857, the United States Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, declared that blacks -- slaves as well as free -- were not and could never become citizens of the United States. The court also declared the 1820 Missouri Compromise unconstitutional, thus permitting slavery in all of the country's territories.
The case before the court was that of Dred Scott v. Sandford. Dred Scott, a slave who had lived in the free state of Illinois and the free territory of Wisconsin before moving back to the slave state of Missouri, had appealed to the Supreme Court in hopes of being granted his freedom.
Taney -- a staunch supporter of slavery and intent on protecting Southerners from Northern aggression -- wrote in the Court's majority opinion that, because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. The framers of the Constitution, he wrote, believed that blacks "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it."
Referring to the language in the Declaration of Independence that includes the phrase, "all men are created equal," Taney reasoned that "it is too clear for dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration. . . ."
Sig: This decision lifted the spirits of the proslavery forces and further enflamed the passions of the abolitionists. The decision itself, coming just a few years before the Civil War, contributed to the heated rhetoric that caused both sides to refuse to compromise and settle the slavery issue short of war. [The 14th amendment (1868), conferring citizenship on former slaves and blacks, was a response to Dred Scott. The 14th amendment says: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”]