Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy
I. The Accession of “Tyler Too”
The Whig leaders, namely Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, had plannedto control newly
elected President William H. Harrison, but their planshit a snag when he contracted
pneumonia and died—only four weeksafter he came to the White House.
The new president was John Tyler, a Virginian gentleman who was a lone wolf.
He did not agree with the Whig party, since the Whigs were pro-bankand pro-
protective tariff, and pro-internal improvements, but hailingfrom the South, he was not.
Tyler was really more of a Democrat.
II. John Tyler: A President Without a Party
After their victory, the Whigs unveiled their platform for America:
Financial reform would come in the form of a law ending the independent
treasury system; Tyler agreeably signed it.
A new bill for a new Bank of the U.S. was on the table, but Claydidn’t try hard
enough to conciliate with Tyler and get itpassed, and it was vetoed.
Whig extremists now started to call Tyler “his accidency.”
His entire cabinet resigned, except for Webster.
Also, Tyler vetoed a proposed Whig tariff.
The Whigs redrafted and revised the tariff, taking out thedollar-distribution scheme and
pushing down the rates to about themoderately protective level of 1832 (32%), and
Tyler, realizing that atariff was needed, reluctantly signed it.
III. A War of Words with England
At this time, anti-British sentiment was high because thepro-British Federalists had died
out, there had been two wars withBritain, and the British travelers in America scoffed at
American and British magazines ripped each other’s countries,but fortunately, this war
was only of words and not of blood.
In the 1800s, America with its expensive canals and railroads was aborrowing nation
while Britain was the one that lent money, but whenthe Panic of 1837 broke out, the
Englishmen who lost money assailedtheir rash American borrowers.
In 1837, a small rebellion in Canada broke out, and Americans furnished arms and
Also in 1837, an American steamer, the Caroline, was attacked in N. and set afire by a