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THE TRIUMPH OF WHITE MEN'S DEMOCRACY

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Title: THE TRIUMPH OF WHITE MEN'S DEMOCRACY


1
THE TRIUMPH OF WHITE MEN'S DEMOCRACY
  • America Past and Present
  • Chapter 10

2
Democracy in Theory and Practice
  • Fear that democracy would lead to anarchy wanes
    in the 1820s and 1830s
  • Equality of opportunity stressed
  • America becomes society of winners and losers

3
Democracy and Society
  • Egalitarian expectations despite growing economic
    inequality
  • No distinctive domestic servant class
  • No class distinctions in dress
  • White male equality before the law radical by
    European standards
  • Egalitarian attack on licensed professions
  • Popular press the source of information and
    opinion

4
Democratic Culture
  • Artists work for mass, democratic audience rather
    than for an aristocratic elite
  • Popular genres include Gothic horror, romantic
    fiction, melodramas, genre paintings
  • Serious artists seek to inspire with neoclassical
    sculpture, landscapes of untamed nature
  • Only a few truly avant-garde, romantic artists

5
Democratic Ferment Politics of Universal Manhood
Suffrage
  • Nearly all adult white males gain right to vote
    without property qualification
  • Appointive offices made elective
  • Professional politicians emerged
  • Public benefits of two-party system extolled
  • Political machines develop at state level

6
Democratic Ferment National Parties
  • Changes in presidential elections spur party
    growth
  • Parties often serve special economic interests
  • Parties share republican ideology, commitment to
    equality of opportunity
  • Parties differ on how to achieve common aims
  • Neither party seeks to extend rights beyond adult
    white male constituency
  • Radical third parties argue the cause of
    African-Americans, women, working people

7
Jackson and the Politics of Democracy
  • Jackson becomes a symbol of democracys triumph
  • Actions of Jackson and his party refashion
    national politics in a democratic mold

8
The Election of 1824 and J. Q. Adams'
Administration
  • The election of 1824 a five-way race
  • Jackson wins popular vote
  • Adams wins in House of Representatives with Henry
    Clays support
  • Clays appointment as Secretary of State leads to
    charges Adams "bought" the presidency
  • Mid-term election of 1826 gives Jackson forces
    control of Congress

9
Jackson Comes to Power
  • Jacksonians organized for election of 1828
  • Appeal to sectional self-interest
  • Make politics exciting to the average man
  • Jackson wins election as a man of the people
  • Jackson democratizes presidency
  • Fires at will officeholders he does not like
  • Defends by asserting the right of all men to a
    government post

10
Indian Removal
  • Indian removal policy inherited from prior
    administrations
  • Jackson agrees that the federal government had
    not pushed Indians hard enough
  • Responds to Cherokee resistance by asking
    Congress for Indian Removal act of 1830
  • 1838--U.S. Army forces Cherokees west along the
    Trail of Tears

11
The Nullification Crisis
  • John C. Calhoun leads development of intellectual
    defense of state sovereignty
  • 1828--tariff passed, South Carolina objects but
    takes no action
  • 1832--tariff passed, South Carolina nullifies
  • Jackson threatens to send army
  • Both sides retreat
  • South Carolina gets lower tariff
  • Jackson demonstrates federal will

12
The Bank War and the Second Party System
  • "The Bank War" a symbolic defense of democratic
    value
  • Leads to two important results
  • Economic disruption
  • A two-party system

13
Mr. Biddle's Bank
  • Bank of the United States unpopular
  • Open to charges of special privileges
  • Manager Nicholas Biddle looks and behaves like an
    aristocrat
  • Bank possesses great power and privilege with no
    accountability to the public

14
The Bank Veto and the Election of 1832
  • Jackson vaguely threatens Bank in first term
  • Biddle seeks new charter four years early
  • Congress passes, but Jackson vetoes
  • claims the Bank is unconstitutional
  • defends veto as a blow for equality
  • Jacksonian victory in 1832 spells Banks doom

15
Killing the Bank
  • Jackson destroys Bank by federal deposits
  • Funds transferred to some state (pet) banks
  • Biddle uses his powers to cause recession,
    attempts to blame Jackson
  • Destruction of Bank provokes fears of
    dictatorship, costs Jackson support in Congress

16
The Emergence of the Whigs
  • Whig party a coalition of two forces
  • Opponents of Jackson
  • Anti-Masonic party
  • Whigs defend activist government in economics,
    enforcement of decency
  • Democrats weakened by
  • defection of working-class spokesmen
  • depression produced by Jacksons fiscal policies

17
The Rise of Van Buren
  • Martin Van Buren succeeds Jackson in 1836
  • Term begins with Panic of 1837
  • Laissez-faire philosophy prevents Van Buren from
    aiding economic distress
  • Van Buren attempts to save government funds with
    independent subtreasuries
  • Whigs block subtreasuries until 1840
  • Panic of 1837 blamed on Van Buren

18
The Fall of Van Buren
  • Whigs fully organized by 1840
  • Whig candidate William Henry Harrison
  • image built as a common man who had been born in
    a log cabin
  • running mate John Tyler chosen to attract votes
    from states-rights Democrats
  • Harrison and Tyler beat Van Buren

19
Heyday of the Second Party System
  • Election of 1840 marks rise of permanent
    two-party system in the U.S.
  • Whigs and Democrats evenly divide the electorate
    for next two decades
  • Parties offer voters a clear choice
  • Whigs support a "positive liberal state,"
    community
  • Democrats support "negative liberal state,"
    individual
  • Parties share a broad democratic ideology

20
Tocquevilles Wisdom
  • Alexis de Tocqueville praises most aspects of
    American democracy
  • Warns of future disaster if white males refuse to
    extend liberty to women, African-Americans and
    Indians.
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