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The Age of Jackson


  • pg 1
									 The Age of Jackson

Jackson and Van Buren years
                     Eaton Affair
• Peggy Eaton
  – Daughter of tavern keeper
  – 1st husband may have committed suicide
     • Allegedly over her affair with TN senator John Eaton
     • Married him
         – He became sec of war
  – Reminds Jackson of gossip about beloved Rachel
     • He believes it killed her
  – Wives of cabinet members snub Peggy
     • Van Buren: charming, accompanies her to functions
     • Floride Calhoun: biggest snob in Eaton Malaria
                       Eaton (2)
• Jackson thought Calhoun trying to coerce him
  to abandon John Eaton
  – To disgrace AJ for having appointed him
  – Van Buren leaked info:
     • Sec St Calhoun, (then sec war under Monroe) favored
       censuring AJ for 1818 raid into FL
        – AJ feels betrayed!
       Egalitarianism Jackson style
• =ty not for blacks, Indians or women
   – Partly due to freed blacks heading north, taking jobs
• Segregation for freed blacks- the rule, w/ persecution, anti
  black riots
   – Justified: preventing blacks & abolitionists breaking down color barrier
     (poor whites would sink further)
   – Jackson coalition depended on shared white racism & ability to avoid
     slave issue
   – Believed indians = barbaric impediments to progress, expansion.
• Just & humane policy: moving them west to area of horned
  toads & rattlesnakes
• 1830: Indian Removal Act
                 Indian Removal
• 1825: GA’s fraudulent treaty ceded most Creek land to
   – Adams denounced
   – GA based Rt to land grab on ‘unviability of State’s Rights’
      • JQA backed down 2 avoid armed conflict
• 1828: GA moves against Cherokees
   – To avoid Creek’s fate, Cherokee adopt Constitution 1827
      •   Declared selves sep nation w/ sovereignty over land
   – GA put Cherokee under state law & nullified cons
      •   Prohibited Indian testimony against whites
      •   Gold discovered
       Indian Removal Act 1830
• Appropriated: $500,000 for removal
  – 1830: GA law- whites get residency there
  – 1832: few are left
  – 1838 Cherokee trail of Tears
     • AJ forced treaty on them: gave up GA land for land in
     • 5 mill for moving them
     • 12,000 walked the thousand mile trail of tears
        – Victims of cruelty, scorn pilfering of whites along way
     • ¼ died en route, dead of winter
1832: Black Hawk’s War: Sauk & Fox
– IL & WI
   • Frantic attempt of Inds to reach W bank MS
   • Ends in slaughter of 500 men, women, children by
     white troops w/ Sioux allies
      – Participants:
          » Lincoln
          » Jeff Davis
• Held out in swamps of FL
  – 7 yrs
  – 1835-42: longest Indian war in US history
  – Leader: Osceola captured under flag of truce
     • During negotiations
     • Resistance continued
Opposition to Jackson’s removal policy
• Eastern reformers
• Protestant missionaries
• Came w/n 3 votes of defeating Removal bill in
      Cherokee Nation v. GA 1831
         Worcester v GA 1832
• Ct rules: GA violated US Const in extending
  jurisdiction over Cherokees
• Marshall defines Indian tribes as dependent
  domestic nations
  – Subject only to authority of federal gov
  – Supreme Ct is powerless to enforce rulings
  – Jackson ignores: takes states rights position
     • Mutters: courts can try to enforce that…
• Most sensitive issue involving power of national gov:
   – Tariffs
   – Issue: majority rule, Jackson is a Nationalist
       • Cost: some southern support for Dems
   – Tariffs: 1st 1816
       • 1824 up
       • 1828 up 50% (tariff of abominations)
           – Contrived to win northern support for Jackson?
       • Loudest outcry: SC: Old cotton state
           – Loosing pop to west in 1820s
           – Cotton prices still low s. panic 1819
               » Tariffs seen as unconst extension of national power over states
               » Prelude to enforced emancipation?
               » SC: only state w/ Af-Am majority
             Nullification, (2)
– Slave concentrations in marshes, tidal flats s. of
   • Low country district of huge rice plantations
   • Summer months blacks outnumber whites 10:1
– Slave rebellions: narrowly averted 1822 + 1829
– Planters fear agitation fed by N. abolitionists
   • 1831 Nat Turner Revolt
      – VA 55 whites slain before Turner caught
      – Nullification: safety valve
               Anti tariff Nullies
• Roots: 1828 SC Exposition & Protest
  – Calhoun argues:
     • State acting through pop elected convention has
       sovereign power to declare act of nat gov null +
     • Once a state nullifies a law: it’s unenforceable until ¾
       states approve const. amendment delegating to
       national gov power that was challenged
     • If such passed, nullifying state could leave union
– Calhoun orchestrated SC convention nullification of Tariff of 1828 &
  1832 (lower)
– Legislation elects R. Hayne Gov; Calhoun Sen
    – Calhoun resigns as VP to take Senator spot
– GA, AL, MS all refuse to go along (too radical)
    • Said customs duties NOT collected in SC after Feb 1, 33
    • Defends doctrine as way of protecting minority rights in union dominated by
      Tyrannical national majority
    • AJ seems Calhoun as scheming disunionist
• AJ announced intention to enforce tariff
    • Privately: threatens to hang Calhoun & all other traitors
    • Later regrets he didn’t at least hang Calhoun
    • Issued Nullification Proc: doctrine of Null = impractical absurdity
– AJ asks 4 (gets) Force Bill
    • Sent Gen Winfield Scott to Charleston Harb w/ troops; can have 50k in SC in 40
         – Worked to get new lower tariff passed (down by 50%) Compromise Tariff of 1833
         – Lowered duties 20%
         – Extends reductions over 20 yrs
            Final Act of defiance
• Nullifiers nullify the Force Bill
   – Calhoun retires to his plantation
   – Significance:
      • AJ estab’d principal of national supremacy grounded in
        Will of the Majority
      • States rights doctrines remain pop in South
      • Many want to limit powers of Nat’l gov
      • Triggers new anti-Jackson coalition in South
          Webster-Hayne Debate
• SC disliked tariff but waits for election as Calhoun will
  be VP
   – New tariff policy likely then
• Late 1829: CT senator tried to restrict land sales in W
   – Thomas Hart Benton, MO: (always calls for lower land
     prices) denounced as sectional attack
      • So E can keep cheap labor
   – Rbt Hayne, SC takes Benton’s side
      • Wants to strengthen W/S alliance
      • If S supports cheap land in W; W will support lower tariffs
      • Gov endangers Union by imposing hardship on one section to
        benefit another!
               Webster – Hayne (2)
• Webster, MA rebukes S’s who disparage Union
   – Lures Hayne into defense of state rights, nullification
• Hayne defends SC Exposition
   – Union = compact of states.
   – Fed Gov, their agent, cannot judge its own powers
       • Would make powers unltd
       • Rather: states remain free to judge when gov oversteps const. auth.
   – Rt of State Interposition: (states interpose authority over fed law to
     thwart injustice)
       • As full & complete now as before Const
                   Webster-Hayne (3)
• Webster: from beginning, Rev= crusade of united
  colonies; not separate
   – Sovereignty resides in whole people
       • Fed gov, state govs = agents
       • **if a single state could nullify a law of fed gov then Union wd be a rope
         of sand
            – Practical absurdity

   – Instead: const created Sp Ct w/ final jurisdiction
       • Judicial Review
   – Practical outcome of nullification would be confrontation (CW)
   – Liberty and Union! Now and Forever! One and Inseperable!
          Jefferson’s B-day: 1830
• Toast
  – Jackson: Our Union- it must be preserved!
  – Calhoun: Union, next to Liberty, most dear.
          Jackson – Calhoun rift
• May 12, 1830
  – Jackson shown letter confirming Calhoun, Sec War
    in 1818, proposed disciplining Jackson over FL
     • Flurry of tense letters
     • Jackson’s last note: Understanding you now. No further
       communication w/ you on this subject is necessary.
  – Jackson names Van Buren as minister to London
     • Announced plan to run in 32 w/ VB; likely successor in
     • Senate had to approve; Calhoun led opposition
                Bank War
 Defining moment in shaping the Dem. Party
• 1832: draft resolution 4 charter renewal
  – VETO
  – Distrust of banks:
     • Shortage of gold/silver
     • Absence of paper money issued, regulated by fed gov
        – $ mostly notes: loans by private & state banks
        – Fluctuate in value – based on reputation, credit of bank of
        – Many wild cat (W) banks
             » Quick profits- issue notes w/o specie to redeem
             » Skipping town b4 being found out
                 Bank War (2)
– Farmers, workers want to be paid in real money
   • Gold; silver
   • Viewed bankers: parasites
      – Manipulating $$ & getting rich
– Bank of US: New Pres- Nicholas Biddle, Phil. PA
   • underwrote econ expansion of 1820s
   • Charter good thru 36
                    Bank War (3)
• Campaign 32: Clay convinced Biddle to re-charter
   – Sure of congress’ approval
   – Jackson couldn’t veto in campaign year
      • Enemy of sound banking?
• Bank = symbol of privileged monopoly
   – Deprived Amers of chance to compete =ly
   – July 10, 1832 AJ vetoed
   – Took stand against all new grants of monopolies for
     advancement of few at exp of many
                     Bank War (4)
• Business community lashed out at AJ
  – AJ goes into election as champion of people against
    banking aristoc
  – Easily beat Clay: ‘Nat’l Repub Party’
  – Found sec of treasury willing to sign order removing fed
    deposits from bank ‘33
     • Bank reduced to seeking charter from PA as private corp
     • Gov deposited $$ into ‘pet banks’
         – Result: too much credit triggered buying frenzy of W land
         – Prices shot up
         – 1836 Specie Circular:
              » Gold & silver only for land, etc
         – Hard times hit by 37 (Van Buren)
                   Speculative bubble
• Reached greatest extent by 1836
   – Burst by Distribution Act-
       • Distributed gov surplus to states
            – Long time process (removes argument for cutting tariff)
            – Much surplus comes from sale of W lands
                » Alt: cut price on land? (W idea)
                » Lower tariff? (S idea)
                » Surplus used to pay off national debt by Jan 1835
       • AJ opposed distribution; so surplus LOANED to states
            –   As deposits, never demanded back
            –   Distributions were taken out of state banks
            –   State banks had to call in loans to cover transfers
            –   Huge disarray
       • Specie Circular issued to stop fraud, cut out big speculators, stop
         extension of notes, credit
       • Irony: few settlers had specie; now at mercy of speculators!
                 Boom & Bust of 1830s
• Causes:
   – Mid decade inflation from increased specie payments from England, France,
        • For investments, purchases, esp cotton
   – Same time: Brit credits let Amers buy w/o exporting specie
   – Also: flow of specie to China ↓
        • They now take Brit credits to cover growing opium imports from Br India
        • Therefore: specie reserves in US kept pace w/ ↑↑ in bank notes in spite of reckless
   –   1836 Brit econ ↓
   –   Brit investments ↓
   –   Demand for cotton ↓
   –   May 1837: VB in- NY banks suspend specie payment on notes
        •   Fear of bankruptcies sets off bank runs
        •   Brief recovery 38: bad wheat harvests in Eng
        •   Good harvests return in 39- no imports needed; same year as bumper crop in US
        •   Depression  mid 1840s
                      Van Buren 1836
• Dem’s 2nd Nat’l Convention
• Whigs have no conv
   – Send up many candidates
       • Webster, Hugh White (TN), Wm Harrison (IN)
       • Issues: in S whigs argue: VB soft on anti-slavery
            – Only White trusted
   – VB takes 170 electoral Votes- Old Kinderhook
       • Aka: Little Magician
• VB: no popular base
• Different style: reflective, weighed polit consequences
   – Appeared indecisive
   – Seemed to have no bold program
   – Inherited financial panic
                          Panic 1837
• Gov land sales up from 4 mil (1833) to 20 million
   – Decade of boom; business cycle increased
      • EZ credit
      • Land spec
      • Amers pile up debt
   – Key foreign trade & credit = England
      • Late ‘36: Bank of E tightened credit on Br merchants in US
          – Incr. interest rates, decreased credit lines (afraid of specie drain to
            US) depression in E tips over US econ.
          – Brit demand for cotton declined
               » Price of cotton declined
               » No new loans
               » US expansion depended on Euro capital
                        Panic (1)
– US wheat crop failed; no exports
– Wildcat banks go under
   • Gov lost 9 mil in pet banks
   • Working class hard hit- fall 1837 1/3 unemp
       – Rest take 30%-50% pay cuts
       – Cost of food, clothes soars
       – Churches, voluntary societies: sole help for indegent
       – VB & advisors think healthy shake down of speculators, bankers: not
         gov job to rescue farmers, businesses or provide relief
       – To stabilize econ:
       – Distribution of surplus postponed
       – Indep treasury adopted
                                       Panic (2)
         • Cotton = main security for most US banks, mercantile firms
               – Result: chain reaction; contracting credit, falling prices
    – Investors rush to convert notes to specie
         • Banks suspend payment
    – Panic hits New Orleans, Mar. 37  NY banks by May
• Panic drags down whole econ
    –   Bankruptcies are up investment capital down, business down
    –   States stop all construction/ slash budgets
    –   9 states in S & W defaulted on bonds
    –   Unemployment up  mass protest meetings in E
         • Fear of revolution
• Brief recovery 38; another round credit contraction -> depression  43
   – N.E. unemp  20% (unheard of)
   – Many farmers, planters fled W 2 avoid creditors
                       Election 36
• Dems charged w/ starting depression
• Opponents: Whigs- blame AJ’s destruction of bank
• Gov interference in econ
   – Undermined business confidence
   – AJ forcing pet banks to replace small denom bank notes w/
     hard $: made it worse
   – Issued Specie Circular large blocks land, only bt w/ specie
      • to break spec frenzy
      • May have helped spread panic by req transfer 2 W of
        specie when E banks strapped
          – Low reserves – can’t meet demand on bank notes
                     Dem POV
• Removing fed $ fm nat bank protects people
  fm paper aristocrats in banking & business
  – Policy contradicts Dem idea of ltd gov
     • Shifted $ to state banks  had to regulate or be
       accused of creating little monsters
     • Only way out: break connection between gov &
    Independent Treasury system
• The gov deals w/ NO banks
  – Treasury does business in gold & silver only
  – T stores reserves in regional vaults (sub treasury)
  – Proposed 1837
     • Approved 1840 after more bank failures
     • Result: prolonged depression
         – Specie locked in vaults= unavailable 4 loans, expansion of credit
         – Reduced money supply
         – Put ↓pressure on prices
  – Repealed in 1 yr
  – Restored 1846
       Other issues of VB term
• Petitions to abolish slave trade in DC
• Canadian insurrection & Maine border dispute
• Malaise due to economy
                    Election 1840
• Log Cabin & Hard Cider campaign
  – Whigish Jacksonian military hero: Wm H Harrison
     •   Battle of Tippecanoe v Shawnees
     •   Gov of IN
     •   Anti-Masons like him
     •   Tyler for VP brings in states rights wing
          – Baltimore “Republican” printed: upon condition of his rec’vg
            pension of $2k and a barrel of cider, Gen Harrison wd no
            doubt consider to w/d pretentions…. Spend days in a log cabin
            on banks of the OH
          – Whigs seized symbols to show Harrison as man of modest
• One of first families of VA
   – Lived in large farmhouse
   – Log cabins rolled thru streets w/ barrels of cider
   – Huge victory balls rolled through highways to symb
     snowballing support
   – Placards, emblems, campaign buttons, floats, effigies,
     rallies & newspaper: The Log Cabin used Jacksonian
     techniques to discredit VB
      • Showed him as aristocrat (really had humble start)
      • Van Van is a used up man
• From newspaper fad 1830s: creating comical abbreviations
   – GTDHD: give the devil his due
   – OW: oll wright
   – OK: oll correct
   – Dems picked up OK for Old Kinderhook; start OK clubs
   – Whigs said OK was AJ’s creative spelling; insist he marked state papers
     this way
   – Whig cider barrels get marked OK
           Impact of Jackson Yrs
• Voter turn out up from 26% 1824 to 78% in 1840
• Whig historians say AJ created spoils system
• Revisionists paint him as author of new democ
• Post revisionists: frontier nabob
• AJ & supporters intended to return to Jeffersonian
  Repub of ltd gov; no alliances w/ bus (corruption)…
  allow free enterprise
• How Jeffersonian was Jackson?
                                  Jefferson & Jackson
                                 Compared (Hofstatder)
Jefferson                                           •   Born in Carolinas to widow
•   VA aristocracy                                       –   Dad died few months before
     – Mom: Jane Randolph                                –   13: enlisted in Rev War
     – Father died when TJ 14                            –   14: captured, tortured by Brits
     – Inherits 2700 acres                               –   Lost family in war-
           • Bondsmen                                    –   Bro killed in action
           • As adult: 10K acres, 100-200 slaves         –   Mother died of prison fever (typhus)
     –   Ed: William & Mary, excelled                    –   Inherited farm sized plot of land NC
     –   VA Gentry, requisite 4 politics                 –   Education: sparse
     –   24: admitted to bar                             –   Apprentice to saddle maker 6 mo
     –   26 House of Burgesses (6 yrs)                   –   School teacher 6 mo
     –   29 married                                      –   Inherits 300£ from Irish relative
     –   Studied whole life: sciences, religions,        –   Moved to Charleston- gambled, studied law
         languages, agri, mechanics,                     –   @20: admitted to bar NC
         engineering                                     –   Moved to Nashville
                                                         –   Rep’d creditors, helped collect debts
                                                         –   Other lawyer in town rep’d debtors
                                                              • Wked up to local aristoc, land, slaves
              POV before presidency
Jefferson                                Jackson
• War gov VA during Rev till age 38      • Belief in code duello
• Retired; death of wife drove him           – Response to insult of honor: call
  back to work                                 out
                                                 • Duelled w/ Charles Dickinson
• 1785-89: min to France (post                     over horse race
  Franklin)                                      • D missed J’s heart by inches bc
    – Bcms anti-industrialist                      of greatcoat
                                                      – Bullet lodged in ribs
    – Angered by Eng’s exploit. Of
                                                      – J fired; gun wouldn’t go off
      workers; France’s of peasants
                                                      – Fired again, stayed on feet till
    – Confirms Republican views                         D pronounced dead
    – Pro agrarian head of pop faction           • Duel w/ Sen B Hart- later friends
        • For propertied intersts                     – Tried to return bullet- running
                   POV before pres (2)
Jefferson                                       Jackson
   – Wants Amer econ to be agri based           •   Known for firey temper; quick loud
   – Minimize factories, cities, workers            opinions
   – Believes majority of men rise to top       •   Fit Frederick Jackson Turner’s ideal of
     for profit, power                              fronteir society self made man
   – Believes checks & balances vital to        •   Solicitor at 22
     survival of gov                            •   @23: US Atty
   – Considered Federalist best work of         •   29: congressman
     practical principals of gov written        •   30: senator
   – Objections to const:                       •   31: justice of Sp Ct of Tn
        • No Bill of Rts                             –   Jobs = symbol of status to AJ
        • Allowance of more than one term for   •   Active in militia, rep as Indian fighter
                                                •   Land speculator
   – Saw future founded on propertied
     class in propertied nation                 •   Nat hero B. of New Orleans
                                                •   Rode national wave of increased suffrage
                      On banks
                          •   Disapproved of pop demand in Panic 1819 for
Jefferson                     laws to prevent imprisonment for debt
                          •   Lost land & fortune mortgaged – to national
• Anti banks as support       bank
   for merchant class     •   Opposed banks, public debts, paper money,
   and industry               high tariffs, fed. Internal improvmts
                          •   1796: sold thousands acres to merchant,
                              speculator for ‘notes’;
                               –   Used to supply new general store
                          •    he went under; defaulted on notes, left AJ
                              liable for all debts
                               –   Had to sell off estate, slaves
                               –   Business failed, sold to partners
                               –   Took 19 yrs to pay off debts- till 1815
                               –   Saved 22k, bought new estate: panic hit
                               –   Opposed 2 yr suspension of debt repayment then pop
                               –   By 1824: prosperity- issues: caucus, Battle of New
Jefferson                                   Jackson
•   Fear of his atheism unfounded           •   Expansion of democ & liberated
•   Tried to pay off Hamilton based debts       captialism  rise of industrialism in E
    in 16 yrs; kept system                       –   & settlement of W
                                                 –   Typical American now a capitalist
•   Reduced gov expenses
                                            •   Opposed to Biddle’s bank:
•   Abolished excise duties
                                                 –   Small businessmen in E
•   Attacked judiciary, esp through Burr         –   State banks
    trial; no real effect on it                  –   Land speculators
•   Thru LA purchase, widened agri          •   AJ vetoed bank recharter- said bank
    expansion                                   was not constitutional: gave industry
•   No attempt to open up male suffrage         a monopoly
                                                 –   Re-elected, w/d gov $ from banks
•   Tried to heal rift in parties
                                                 –   Wild cat banking grew
•   Laissez-Faire policy toward
                                            •   Principle of business w/o privilege
                                            •   Hero to middle class: want unltd
•   Pacifist: stayed out of Napoleonic
                                                expanding opportunity
     –   Used economic sanctions: embargo
                   After Presidency
Jefferson                      Jackson
• Resumed State’s Rights pov   • Returned to private life w/
   – Regrets Federalist turn      enthusiasm
     Republican party took     • Stayed pro-expansion of
                                  small businessmen

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