Panic of 1837- the collapse of economy during Jackson’s presidency. Because the federal government wasn’t funding the Bank of the United States, they started issuing more and more paper money to sustain the industrial development in New England, agriculture in the South and West, and construction of canal and railroad systems. The number of banknotes in circulation increased by $139 million in 4 years. Prices started climbing and the wages couldn’t keep up with it. The government had sold about 20 million acres of federal land in 1836 which was paid in often questionable paper money. During this, Jackson had declared the Specie Circular that stated that public land could only be bought in gold or silver. There was also a reduction in the English economy which decreased the need for cotton from America. All these events together caused the Panic of 1837, a depression that lasted for six years. Prices fell, businesses failed, workers lost their jobs and the states had changed their legislature to prohibit any loaning of money. Election of 1840- presidency election fought between Martin Van Buren and William Henry Harrison. William Henry Harrison was an unexpected nomination as everyone expected the Whigs, a new party that had arisen in the 1830s, to choose their prominent leader, Henry Clay. They promoted Harrison as the “log cabin” candidate, the champion of the common man, and used his military success in during the War of 1812 to as one of the plus points. This
strategy proved effective and garnered a lot of votes in Harrison’s name. They also spread news about Van Buren being an aristocrat who spent people’s hard-worked money on “expensive furniture, china, glassware, and gold spoons.” This election turned out controversial as for the first time ever a new party ran for the presidency and even managed to win it. Van Buren was defeated by a margin of 5% and the Whig party was in power.
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