Jacksonian Era: 1820 - 1850
The Age of
Mar. 4, 1833 -
Andrew Jackson is sworn in as President for a 2nd term.
Mar. 4, 1833 -
Martin van Buren is sworn in as the 8th Vice President of the United States.
Jun. 30, 1834 - The
Indian Territory is established in what is now Oklahoma.
Apr 20. 1836 - The
Wisconsin Territory is organized.
Jun. 15, 1836 -
Arkansas is the 25th state admitted to the Union.
||War Hawks Economic Plan
- Second Bank of the United States
The First Bank charter expired in 1811 with the economy falling into a
muddle and state banking exploding without regulation and much fraud.
Madison and most younger Democratic Republicans voted for the Second Bank
of the US (usually abbreviated to 2nd BUS) because the
embarrassment that the government couldn't float loans nor transfer funds
across the country during the war.
- capitalized at $35,000,000
- chartered for 20 years
- Federal Government owned one fifth of the stock and appointed five
of the twenty-five directors of this quasi-governmental institution
- Internal Improvements
- Wanted Federal Government to invest in constructing canals and
- Federal Government constructed National Road
- Protective Tariff
- Passed mildly protective tariff in 1816, and increased level of
protection in 1824. A protective tariff taxed imported goods in order to
protect fledgling American industrialization. Will become extremely
important in 1828
||Panic of 1819
- British demand for US cotton decreased (and thus the price of cotton
dropped like a rock) because UK started to import cotton from India
- Banks get caught flat from overextending credit to buy western lands
because the drop in cotton prices affected land prices as well. Banks had
to call in loans to pay for demand for cash by depositors. Many banks
could not collect their loans quickly enough and therefore went bankrupt,
leaving depositors without funds to pay the loans they owed. Became a
- Slavery Restricted to Louisiana Territory south of 36° 30'
Remember that northern part of Louisiana Territory described as
"Great American Desert" by Lewis and Clark
- Balanced admission of new states into Union to maintain balance of
political power between free and slave states in the Senate
- Missouri entered union as slave state.
- Maine carved out of northern section of Massachusetts to be the
balancing free state.
- Thomas Jefferson called the compromise, "The death knell of the
||Tariff of Abominations
- Tariffs generally opposed by South and New England, but favored by
West and Mid-Atlantic States
- Andrew Jackson's supporters via a scheme by John C. Calhoun proposed
new tariff to raise duties on raw materials so high that all would opose
them. Sought to politically join New England manufacturers and merchants
to the South, but Northerners actually supported much of the tariff and
the bill passed.
- Calhoun resigned job as Jackson's Vice President and returned to South
Carolina to write South Carolina Exposition and Protest which set
forth an explicit method by which a state could nullify an act of Congress
that the state considered unconstitutional. Calhoun immediately elected to
US Senate from SC.
- Congress reduced tariff during Summer of 1832, but SC claimed only did
so in order to convince such an unconstitutional act was not so bad.
- SC holds Nullification Convention, just like constitutional
convention, and passes ordinance of nullification that declares US tariff
law null and void within state boundaries. Includes provisions to arrest
and imprison anyone collecting these taxes within the state.
- Jackson re-elected President in landslide victory in November 1832
- Jackson's opponent, Henry Clay was member of same party as Jackson
- Major Campaign issue was whether to re-charter the 2nd
BUS, which was not actually up for recharter until 1836.
- Jackson wastes his popularity when he issues the Force Proclamation in
December 1832, requiring SC to submit to Federal law or suffer invasion by
- The perception of "King Andrew" creates the
Whig Party as
the party in opposition to the absolute monarchy of Andrew Jackson
- The perception that federal troops could invade SC and kill American
constitutional issues makes everyone realize the depth of the
problem, since this could result in real civil war.
- In January 1833, Henry Clay proposes a "carrot and stick" approach by
offering to lower the tariff progressively over the next nine years, but
also authorizing the use of force if SC doesn't comply with federal law.
- By March 1833 SC blinks first, and holds another Nullification
Convention to repeal the Nullification Ordinance with regard to the tariff
of 1832. The convention then nullifies the force portion of Clay's
compromise as a face saving device.
||Trail of Tears
- Depression in England drastically reduced the demand for (and thus the
price) of cotton which affects Southern economy. The English depression
also reduced British ability to invest in American Improvements.
- Wheat crop failure prevented balancing payments for foreign goods
- State plans for internal improvements collapsed
- Wildcat banks collapsed
- Americans in Mexican province of "Tejas" declared independence in 1836
because Mexico insisted on enforcing its laws outlawing slavery. The new
Republic of Texas claimed, but did not occupy, lands historically not
considered part of the province. In fact, its extreme claims included
Santa Fe, which was the capital of the province of New Mexico.
- US avoided annexing Texas throughout 1830s because everyone knew it
would cause a war with Mexico
- President John Taylor submitted annexation treaty with Republic of
Texas in early 1840s in order to make it a campaign issue, but could not
garner sufficient votes for the constitutional majority needed for a
treaty to be ratified in the Senate.
- James Polk elected President in 1844 on plank requiring "re-annexing"
Texas and claiming all of the Oregon Territory up to the southern boundary
of Russian America. Polk annexed Texas without a treaty, thus obviating
need for a constitutional majority in the Senate. He then sent troops into
areas of Mexico claimed by Texas. Mexico fired on the invaders and the US
declared war on Mexico for shedding American blood on US soil.
- US sent troops, mainly from the South, to fight Mexicans. Quickly
captured northern third of Mexico, which it claimed as booty. Continued
war with Mexico because Mexican government refused to surrender. Sent
Ambassador to negotiate end, but nobody would talk to him until after
nearly the entire country was captured by the US. Mexicans then quickly
signed treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, and agreed to give up only the
northern third of their country, although many Southerners called for
annexing all of Mexico for use as future slave states since it lay
entirely south of 36° 30'.
- Wilmot Proviso in 1846 said that US would not extend slavery into
territories captured from Mexico where slavery was already abolished,
which meant that only Texas would have been available as a future slave
state. Southerners of both parties join to oppose the proviso, while
Northerners generally voted for it. Thus this proviso served to realign
national politics from partisan politics (Democrat v. Whig) to sectional
politics (North v. South.) The proviso never passed but was voted upon
||Discovery of Gold in California increased population so
quickly that it could apply for statehood as a free state the next year.