American System: 1815–1824

Overview

Description

The era between 1815 and 1824 was a period of little political dissent, growing nationalism, and the strengthening of federal power. Congress enacted an economic plan for industrial and agricultural growth called the "American System." This three-part economic plan included the use of protective tariffs, the establishment of the Second Bank, and federal funding for improving transportation infrastructure. In two significant rulings, the Supreme Court strengthened the power of the federal government by establishing the doctrine of implied powers, which limited the power of states' rights over the federal government. The House of Representatives resolved the confusing election of 1824. John Quincy Adams became president amid controversy and alleged claims of making a "corrupt bargain" to win the election. Overall, the American System contributed to the country's domestic growth during this period.

At A Glance

  • A growing nationalism, less concern with international politics and wars, fewer political disputes, and the demise of the Federalist Party marked the Era of Good Feelings from 1815 to 1824.
  • The American System included the use of protective tariffs, the establishment of the Second Bank, and improvements in infrastructure.
  • With the demise of the First National Bank, Congressional supporters of a Second Bank led by Henry Clay succeeded in chartering a new federal bank.
  • In McCulloch v. Maryland, the Supreme Court affirmed the federal government's supremacy over states' rights by establishing the doctrine of implied powers based on the "necessary and proper" constitutional clause.
  • In Gibbons v. Ogden, the Supreme Court ruled that only the federal government had the power to regulate interstate commerce.
  • The House of Representatives resolved the confused election of 1824, and John Quincy Adams became the new president amidst claims of an alleged "corrupt bargain."