11.08 - 11.08.07 Intro: While development allowed for white...

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11.08.07 Intro: While development allowed for white participation, culture and politics encouraged the masses to actually participate… The fact that these parties were national parties drawing support from all parts of the country led them to downplay issues that threatened sectional conflict— slavery. Politicians had to appeal to the electorate on economic and ethnic issues instead of slavery Paradox for American politics for 1830s and 1840’s slavery was never an issue and always an issue, it tended to come to the surface more often on economic issues b/c of the economic policy debates often took place at national level while ethnic issues were at state and local level, at which slavery was never a problem These were debates about federalism : about the relative power of the national government to the state governments I. Economic Issues: (Bank War AJ’s destruction of second bank and removal of deposits to pet banks framed a general debate between Whigs and democrats on economic policies—bank was one of three issues: banks, tariffs, and internal improvements (transportation infrastructure canals and then railroads)—the thing that held the issues together was the general question ab out the role of government in the economy—How active should gov be in promoting economic growth of the country? a. Whigs: American System i. Whig program to answer the previous question—first articulated by Henry Clay. ii. Consisted of: 1. Strong central bank to regulate currency and credit (2 nd bank of USA) 2. High Tariff / Protective Tariff—purpose was to promote the development of manufacturing by making imports more expansive so home industries can undersell a. Nationalistic idea b. Especially popular in northeast 3. Vigorous program of internal improvement a. Especially popular in west iii. General idea that economic growth would be good for everyone… investments in industry and transportation was too expensive for private investors without subsidies of some kind 1. Democrats always charged that the Whig system benefited some people more than others iv. Important thing: Whig partisan program comprehensive which was to help to aid in the developing American economy b. Democrats: anti-monopoly i. Almost the opposite side on all three issues from the Whig ii. Were afraid that an active government would hurt the common man—it would subsidize the rich and the elites and therefore help them but hurt the
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common man—no one had a sense of modern social welfare function of govt 1. Based upon a fundamental pessimism about govt iii. Specifics: 1. National bank would inevitably be controlled by a few elites who would use their power over credit to oppress the majority—gov should not give away monopoly privileges to small groups of elites 2. Protective tariff: high tariff meant that most Americans had to pay more for the things they bought b/c it was raising the price of manufactured goods a. Therefore it would be giving privileges to a few at the
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course HISTORY 7a taught by Professor Einhorn during the Fall '08 term at Berkeley.

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11.08 - 11.08.07 Intro: While development allowed for white...

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