16 Andrew Jackson and the Age of the Common Man - Andrew Jackson and the Age of the Common Man Old Hickory This print shows young Jackson receiving

16 Andrew Jackson and the Age of the Common Man - Andrew...

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Unformatted text preview: Andrew Jackson and the “Age of the Common Man” “Old Hickory” This print shows young Jackson receiving sword blows from a British officer. Andrew Jackson was born on the South Carolina frontier into a poor family in 1767 He grew up with a deep resentment for wealth and privilege. As a teenager during the American Revolution, he served as a courier and was captured by the British. Later, Jackson’s mother and brothers died of smallpox contracted while they were in British captivity. As a result, Jackson hated the British, blaming them for his family’s deaths. Also, like most frontier whites, he regarded Indians as enemies. As a young man, he became an attorney moved to Nashville. He served as a magistrate, as well as a congressman He prospered in the legal profession and as a planter and merchant. Jackson was also a noted brawler and duelist. He achieved national fame during the War of 1812 with his victories over the Creek Indians and the British. He was elected to the Senate in 1822. The Hermitage, Jackson’s Nashville estate. The Election of 1824 Four candidates, each backed by a different faction of the Republican Party, ran for president: William Crawford – Jeffersonian Republican Henry Clay – Nationalist Republican John Quincy Adams – Nationalist Republican Andrew Jackson – the “People’s Candidate” Jackson received the most popular votes (43%) and electoral votes (99), but with no majority, the election went to the House of Representatives. “Curry and Bargain!” By law, only the three highest vote totals could be considered (Jackson, Adams, and Crawford). As Speaker of the House, Henry Clay was in a position to play “kingmaker.” Since he and Jackson were enemies, he threw his support to Adams. Clay was made Secretary of State. Jackson and his supporters accused Adams and Clay of making a deal behind the scenes. The Republicans were now split into the Adams-Clay faction (“Nationalist Republicans” and the Jackson faction (“Democratic Republicans”). Henry Clay John Quincy Adams “The Tariff of Abominations” John C. Calhoun Adams’s administration was doomed from the outset, with the Jacksonians working to block his agenda. In keeping with the “American System,” a proposed tariff was sent to Congress. John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and Martin Van Buren of New York led the opposition. The bill passed in 1828, but Calhoun continued to seek its repeal. Jackson and his supporters used the tariff and the 1824 election as weapons against Adams and Clay. This cartoon portrays Jackson “slaying a Hydra” of politicians, bankers, and other “special interests.” This was part of Jackson’s image as a “champion of the common man.” The Democrat Party The founder of the Democrat Party was New York politician Martin Van Buren. He emerged as a prominent leader when he succeeded in getting the New York legislature to pass universal manhood suffrage. This measure reflected a vision he had for the whole country: A political uprising of the common people against the perceived privileged class. A radical democratization of the political process. To achieve these goals, Van Buren sought to turn the Democratic Republican faction into a political machine which would exclude all political opposition from power. Martin Van Buren Van Buren’s tactics included: Party discipline Keep slavery out of politics “The Corrupting Power of Money” The Spoils System He also pioneered modern electioneering aimed at the masses. Mass rallies Slogans Mass media campaigns The Election of 1828 The election was a rematch between Adams and Jackson. It was a true mud-slinging contest: Adams was accused of misusing public funds. Jackson and his wife, Rachel, were accused of bigamy. Jackson won decisively. Shortly after the election, Rachel Jackson fell ill and died. Jackson was convinced that the attacks during the election drove her to an early death. He came to Washington seeking to exact revenge on his enemies. Rachel Jackson Jackson’s First Term (1829-1833) Jackson enacted many changes from his predecessors: Some 20,000 citizens came to Washington for Jackson’s Inauguration. He allowed them the run of the White House. He initiated a great amount of legislation. In his two terms, he issued 12 vetoes. He enacted the “Spoils System,” albeit on a limited scale. The “Kitchen Cabinet” – a group of friends and political allies who meet with him informally and gave advice. The “Kitchen Cabinet” included Martin Van Buren and Jackson’s attorney, Roger B. Taney. Jackson also began exacting revenge on his political enemies: Jackson opposed the Nationalist Republicans’ program of internal improvements. He also wanted to pay back Henry Clay for the 1824 election. The Maysville Road Bill (1830) was a pet project of Clay’s that would have used federal funds to build a road through Kentucky. Jackson vetoed the bill. This cartoon illustrates the enmity between Jackson and Clay. The Indian Removal Act (1830) By the 19th century, the expanding white population created friction with Indian tribes. The Indian Removal Act was passed, mandating the removal of the remaining eastern tribes to reservations west of the Mississippi River. This act was passed in violation of treaties with these nations passed by the Senate during previous administrations. Some Indians resisted through armed force: Osceola The Black Hawk War (1832) The Second Seminole War (18351842) In the second conflict, 1,000 warriors led by Osceola held off the efforts of 50,000 US Army regulars, volunteers, and militia for almost seven years before surrendering. Cherokee Nation vs. the State of Georgia (1831) More than any other Native American nation, the Cherokees had tried to assimilate into white culture. Adopted a written language Ratified a written constitution Usually wore white American clothing. When gold was discovered on Cherokee land in northern Georgia, both the state and federal governments sought to have the Cherokees removed. When the Indian Removal Act was passed, the Cherokees fought back through the law courts. John Ross, chief of the Cherokee, led his nation’s fight to retain their ancestral lands. He was also a successful businessman, farmer, and slave owner. They filed two cases (Cherokee Nation v. the State of Georgia [1831] and Worcester v. State of Georgia [1832]). On appeal, Chief Justice John Marshall and the Supreme Court upheld the sovereignty of Cherokee territory. Jackson ignored the ruling. The “Trail of Tears” In 1838, General Winfield Scott arrived in Georgia with 7,000 troops to carry out the relocation of the Cherokees in Georgia to what is now Oklahoma. Somewhere between 3,000-5,000 Cherokees died en route in what became known as the 'Trail of Tears.' The Nullification Crisis Towards the end of his first term, Jackson confronted the ''Nullification Crisis.'' This was precipitated by the “Abominations Tariff” of 1828. The tariff made imported manufactured goods more expensive than those made in the North. In the view of Southerners, all the benefits of protection were going to Northern manufacturers. Also, tariffs were linked to slavery as an issue of property rights. If the federal government could tax imports (one kind of property), it might try to interfere with slave holding (another kind of property). This cartoon attacked the tariffs on the basis of killing free trade. As vice president, John C. Calhoun sought to have tariffs declared unconstitutional. He went back to Thomas Jefferson’s theory of “nullification” from the Kentucky Resolutions of 1799. Calhoun’s theory of nullification: A state may call a special convention to declare a federal law unconstitutional. If the federal government refused to rescind the law, the state had the choice to submit or secede from the Union. Jackson came down against nullification. Congress passed another tariff in 1832. South Carolina held a special convention: Declaring the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 unconstitutional. Threatened to secede if Jackson responded with force. Jackson declared nullification “absurd and unconstitutional.” Congress passed the Force Act, which authorized his use of the US Army against any state that resisted the tariff acts. A cartoon attacking Jackson. Henry Clay again stepped in with a compromise. The Compromise Tariff of 1833 gradually reduced the rates over a ten-year period. The crisis marked an intensification of the developing conflict between the North and South over economics and slavery. A cartoon attacking Calhoun and South Carolina. While none of the southern state governments backed South Carolina, many Southerners were sympathetic. The crisis entrenched the idea of secession in the minds of Southerners. The Bank War Andrew Jackson was determined to eliminate the Second Bank of the United States. Nicholas Biddle He saw it as a monopoly threatening common Americans. The bank was also a political threat, through director Nicholas Biddle’s, potential powers of patronage. Jackson saw his chance when Henry Clay and his ally, Daniel Webster, brought the bank’s charter up for renewal by Congress in 1832. Jackson vetoed the bank bill. The House of Representatives overrode Jackson’s veto. The controversy became the main issue of the 1832 presidential election. Jackson defeated Clay in a landslide. He took this outcome as a mandate to destroy the Second Bank of the United States. He had the Treasury withdraw government funds from the Bank and deposited in state-owned and private banks. To keep the Bank solvent, Biddle began calling loans. Inflation increased dramatically. This pro-Jackson cartoon shows him “driving out the moneychangers” in the Bank War. The Panic of 1837 By 1837, a severe recession had set in which was largely blamed on the Bank. As Jackson was out of office, he would escape blame, which fell to his successor, Martin Van Buren. The Second Bank of the United States was liquidated in 1841. Jackson’s Legacy A photograph of Jackson shortly before his death in 1845 Andrew Jackson left a controversial legacy as president. His status as the “hero of the common man” inspired other citizens of humble origins to involve themselves in politics. He significantly expanded federal and executive power. He paid off the debts of the federal government. He almost doubled the federal budget during his presidency. His Indian policies cruelly violated their civil rights and trampled the rule of law. The Whigs and the “Second Two-Party System” The Whig Party emerged from the “National Republican” faction. It was led by Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, and Daniel Webster. The party’s platform was based on Clay’s “American System”: The national bank. Protective tariffs to stimulate the economy. Federal government subsidization of national infrastructure improvement. Their support was centered in New England and among the business community and wealthy Southern plantation owners. The Democrats and the Whigs made up the “Second Two-Party System.” Daniel Webster of Massachusetts The Van Buren Administration Martin Van Buren Vice President Martin Van Buren was easily elected in 1836 as Jackson’s heir. As the effects of the Panic of 1837 set in, Van Buren and the Second Bank of the US took much of the blame. By 1840, Van Buren and the Democrats were in trouble, despite the recovery of the economy. The Election of 1840: “The Hard Cider Campaign” The 1840 election was the first modern campaign aimed at the masses. The Whigs ran war hero Gen. William Henry “Tippecanoe” Harrison. To take opposition votes, his running mate was John Tyler, a Democrat angered by Jackson’s Bank War. “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!” By utilizing Van Buren’s tactics, the Whigs culminated “Jacksonian Democracy” with a landslide victory. A campaign print of Harrison in front of the log cabin he never lived in. “The Age of the Common Man” A romanticized painting of a 19th century election. The Jacksonian era is often called this because it witnessed the democratization of American politics. All throughout the period, property holding and taxpaying qualifications for voting were removed. Conventions of elected delegates replaced state legislative caucuses for nominating candidates for the presidency and other offices. Jackson himself was perceived as standing for the poor against the rich, thus embodying popular democracy. Rep. David Crockett (TN) Born in Tennessee in 1786, Crockett gained local fame as a young man for his skill with a hunting rifle. After serving in the War of 1812, he used his bounty money to purchase some grist mills, giving him the finances to begin a political career. He was eventually elected to the House of Representatives. Crockett was very skilled at using his frontier image for political purposes. After opposing Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policies, he was voted out of his congressional seat in 1835. “You can go to hell, and I will go to Texas!” – Crockett to his constituents after losing the 1835 election. ...
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