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Jacksonian Democracy


Jacksonian Democracy 1828-1840 The Two Party System Emerges The Democrats had so successfully absorbed the Federalist Ideas before that a true 2 party system never ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Jacksonian Democracy

Jacksonian Democracy
  • 1828-1840

Democratizing Politics
  • The difference between Jeffersonian democracy and
    Jacksonian democracy was one of attitude.
  • Jefferson believed that the average citizen could
    be educated to determine right
  • Jackson believed that the ordinary man
    instinctively knew what was right.
  • America was becoming more democratic, the new
    western states eliminated property qualifications
    for voting.
  • In general most states started to drop property
    qualifications. Rhode Island was the last to
    change its constitution after the abortive Dorr
    Rebellion that protested the states requirement
    that voters (men) posses at least 134 worth of
    real property More offices were elective rather
    than appointed.
  • Free public schools gained wide-spread support,
    adult education and secondary education indicate
    interest in improving knowledge.
  • Office holders begin to call themselves

1828 The New Party System in Embryo
  • During the campaign of 1828, Jackson avoided
    taking a stand on the issues of the day and
    relied on his military reputation and Adams
    talent for making enemies
  • The Campaign 1828 was characterized by character
    assassination, mud slinging, and lies of the
    worst sort
  • The great questions of the day were largely
  • The public responded, each candidate received far
    more votes than all four candidates had received
    in the preceding presidential election.
  • Adams refused to attend the inauguration
    ceremonies because Jackson had failed to pay the
    traditional pre-inaugural courtesy call.

The Jacksonian Appeal
  • Jackson portrayed himself as a simple, common man
    from the backcountry of America.
  • Jackson was the first man elected from the West.
  • He was not from the eastern aristocracy.
  • He was the first man elected who had been born in
    a log cabin.
  • He was the founder of the Democratic Party
  • For all that, Jackson was not a common man.
  • He was a wealthy land speculator and owned a fine
  • He had opposed cheap money schemes

The Jacksonian Appeal
  • But he did epitomize many American ideals
  • He was intensely patriotic
  • He was generous to a fault
  • He was natural and democratic in manner
  • He was a fighter, a relentless foe, and a
    gentleman in the best American tradition
  • He had a reputation as a man of honor and had
    fought numerous duels for honor.
  • He had fought in the Revolutionary War, several
    Indian Wars, and won the Battle of New Orleans
    during the War of 1812.
  • For these reasons Jackson drew support from every
    section and every social class .
  • During his inaugural party he opened the White
    House to all his supporters, many from the
    backcountry. In the following near riot, Jackson
    nearly got killed and the White House was
  • He spent the next several months across the
    street in the Blair House

The Spoils System
  • To the Victor go the Spoils
  • Jackson was determined to punish those office
    holders who had attacked him and his wife during
    the campaign
  • Many of the men he removed from office were
    incompetent or corrupt. Even Adams had to admit
    many of the disposed men deserved their fate
  • He also felt that office holders should be
    rotated periodically. In his words, no one was
    entitled to hold an office
  • By rotating jobholders he felt that more citizens
    could participate in the government
  • It also removed the danger of an entrenched

A contemporary cartoon depicting the Spoils
System under President Jackson
President of All the People
  • President Andrew Jackson believed in exercising
    authority directly.
  • Jackson did not rely on his cabinet for advise
  • Instead he formed an informal kitchen cabinet
    that consisted of friends and Martin Van Buren,
    secretary of state
  • Even his kitchen cabinet could only advise him,
    Jackson in many cases did what he wanted.
  • Jackson favored Jeffersons frugal approach to
    government, he was penny pinching and had little
  • Jacksons popularity was mainly his personality

A contemporary cartoon depicting Jacksons
cabinet in flight over the Peggy Eaton Affair
Sectional Tensions Revived
  • Jackson tried to address problems that had
    sectional significance
  • He tried to slightly reduce the tariff, which
    southerners supported
  • He tried find a way to reduce the price of
    government lands without forcing the government
    into the red
  • During a debate in the Senate on the public land
    issue, the debate had been shifted to the issue
    of tariffs, Senator Robert Hayne, of South
    Carolina, argued that nullification actually
    strengthened the union.

Sectional Tensions Revived
  • Later, when confronted by Daniel Webster, the
    South Carolina, Robert Hayne, at right,
    congressman launched into a lengthy speech
    applauding states rights.
  • Webster replied in a speech that made the states
    rights position appear close to treason. It was
    the finest speech of Websters career. It
    resolved nothing, but it did define the political
    battleground for the next twenty years.
  • Haynes position was supported by Vice-President
    John C. Calhoun, also of South Carolina.

Jackson Versus Calhoun
  • Jackson stood firmly for the Union and would not
    even tolerate talk of disunion.
  • Calhoun was a strong advocate of states rights,
    eventually Calhoun would champion the cause of
  • On most issues other than states rights both
    Calhoun and Jackson were very much in agreement
  • Calhoun also wanted to be president and had only
    accepted the post as Jacksons vice-president
    because he believed Jackson was in poor health.
  • There were several minor issues during Jacksons
    presidency that lead to a split of the two men
  • The Peggy Eaton affair
  • Jacksons invasion of Florida in 1818
  • Though of little substance, these slights
    convinced Jackson that Calhoun was not a man of

The Nullification Crisis
  • The tariff law of 1832 lowered tariffs far less
    than the planters of South Carolina wanted.
  • As a result, South Carolinians began to talk of
    nullifying the law. Many South Carolinians cited
    John Calhouns Exposition and Protest as the
    basis for the argument on nullification
  • President Jackson took the exact opposite
  • In July 1832 he warned South Carolinians that if
    one drop of blood was spilt over this issue he
    would go down there (South Carolina) and hang the
    first nullifier he found from the first tree he

The Nullification Crisis
  • On November 24, 1832 the South Carolina
    convention passed the Ordinance of Nullification
    and prohibited the collection of taxes
  • The legislature then passed a bill to raise and
    equip an army
  • Jackson addressed the people of South Carolina on
    December 10, 1832 telling them that he would use
    armed force if need be to enforce the law of the
    United States
  • He further stated that disunion by armed force
    was treason.
  • South Carolinas radicals had counted on other
    states for support, but this support did not
    materialize and they found themselves facing
    Jacksons wrath alone
  • The Radicals sobered at the thought of government
    troops and backed off. Calhoun who had played a
    part in the episode was some what embarrassed.
  • In the future South Carolina would ensure the
    support of other states before it attempted
    nullification again.

The Bank . . . I Will Kill It
  • The main issue in the election of 1832 was the
    destruction of the Bank of the United States
  • Jackson distrusted banks because they often
  • issued more banknotes than they had specie
  • (gold and silver) to back up their banknotes.
  • He distrusted the Bank of the United States
  • because it was a monopoly.
  • After McCulloch v. Maryland Langdon Cheves
  • had put the Bank of the United States on a
  • financial footing. Cheves had been replaced
  • Nicolas Biddle, at right, who had managed the
    bank brilliantly.
  • Biddle managed the Bank of the United States as
  • it were a central bank, regulating credit
    throughout the country

The Bank . . . I Will Kill It
  • Small banks often over extended themselves by
    making large commercial loans, and issuing more
    paper currency than they had specie to back up
    their paper.
  • Biddle was able to force smaller banks to make
    more conservative loans by buying up large
    amounts of banknotes and presenting them to the
    banks for conversion back to specie.
  • In every field of economic activity, reckless
    lending had caused inflation and greatly
    exaggerated the ups and downs of the business
  • Biddles policies acted to stabilize the economy

Jacksons Bank Veto
  • Prominent National Republicans wanted to use the
    Bank as a tool against Jackson.
  • They reasoned that the Bank was too important to
    the country and Jacksons opposition would
    undermine his popularity.
  • Knowing that Jackson would veto the bank, the
    National Republicans urged Biddle to petition
    Congress for a renew the Banks charter in 1832
    instead of its official renewal date in 1836.
  • If Jackson vetoed the Bank charter it would
    provide Henry Clay a lively campaign issue to
    beat Jackson with.

Jacksons Bank Veto
  • Biddle sensed this strategy would backfire and
    only reluctantly agreed to early renewal
  • As expected, Congress approved the Banks charter
    in July 1832.
  • Jackson promptly vetoed it.
  • Jacksons arguments against the bank were mostly
    absurd the utterings of an ignorant man, but it
    struck a chord with many of his followers and he
    was reelected
  • Tragically, Jackson could have reformed the bank
    instead of destroying it.
  • Jackson then decided to withdraw Federal deposits
    (gold and silver money) from the Bank and
    redeposit the money in state banks.

Jacksons Bank Veto
  • Before Jackson could execute his plan he had to
    get the Secretary of the Treasury to actually
    withdraw the money, under the law only the
    secretary of the treasure could do this.
  • Secretary Louis McLane refused to do so
  • Jackson promoted him and replaced him with
    William J. Duane.
  • William J. Duane refused to do what Jackson
  • Jackson replace him with Attorney General Roger
    B. Taney, who did what Jackson wanted.
  • Taney began to withdraw funds from the Bank and
    depositing them into state banks, one of which
    was the Union Bank of Baltimore, a bank which
    Taney had invested in.
  • To stop the withdrawals on the Bank, Biddle
    created an artificial crisis by demanding payment
    on all bank notes held by the Bank and refusing
    to loan money.
  • This action force the state banks to refuse to
    loan money

Jacksons Bank Veto
  • Biddle hoped that people would blame Jackson for
    the resulting shortage of credit and force him to
    rethink his banking tactics
  • For a short time it worked, but Jackson refused
    to cave, instead he sent the businessmen to
  • As the pressure on Biddle mounted, he found that
    he had bitten off more than he could chew.
  • In July of 1834, Biddle caved and he began to
    lend money freely, the bank crisis was over.
  • Jackson had won.

Indian Removals
  • Jackson believed that the Indians were savages
    and incapable of governing themselves.
  • In 1831 and 1832 the United States fought the
    Black Hawk War. It was the last major resistance
    to the advancing white men in the old North West.
    It was not much of a war and ended when Chief
    Black Hawk was captured and brought to Washington
  • The capture of Chief Black Hawk not only ended
    the Black Hawk War, but the remaining Indians in
    the North West fled, most to Canada, opening the
    area to white settlement.
  • The Fate of the Five Great Southern Tribes
  • Between 1831 and 1833 he forced 15,000 Choctaws
    to migrate to Oklahoma
  • The Cherokees on the other hand made major
    efforts to conform to the white mans standard,
    and formed their own state called The Cherokee
  • It did not matter, planters wanted their land

Indian Removals
  • Several treaties seemed to recognize the legality
    of their government, but Georgia would not
    recognize the Cherokee Nation
  • Court cases
  • Cherokee Nation v. Georgia Tribe was not a
    foreign nation and had a right to sue in federal
  • Worcester v. Georgia Law of Georgia had no
    force within the boundaries of Cherokee Territory
  • Jackson backed Georgias position and ruled that
    the Indians must be removed
  • In 1838, the United States forced 15,000 Cherokee
    to leave Georgia for Oklahoma on the Trail of

Removal of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, and
Chicksaw Indians in the 1830s
Boom and Bust
  • A mania to invest in property swept the country
    during the 1830s
  • Every lot in New York and Chicago was sold to
  • Jackson became alarmed at the rate of speculation
    and in the summer of 1836 he issued the Specie
    Circular, which required that federal land had to
    paid for in silver or gold
  • This circular effectively ended the rush to buy
  • As demand dropped off, so did prices
  • Speculators were unable to sell land at the
    prices which they had paid, and had to default.
  • Banks foreclosed, but could not sell the land, so
    the banks defaulted.

Jacksonianism Abroad
  • Jacksons emotional and dogmatic style also
    effected foreign affairs
  • By pushing relentlessly he was able to win some
  • Opening British West Indies to American trade
  • But also lead to some failures
  • Pressing the French to pay damages incurred
    during the Napoleonic wars

The Jacksonians
  • Jacksons personality had a large impact on the
    shape of American politics, his followers tried
    to emulate him.
  • They were
  • suspicious of special privilege and large
    business corporation
  • They believed in freedom of opportunity
    unfettered by government restrictions
  • They also believed in absolute political freedom
  • They also believed that any ordinary man could
    perform the duties of most public offices
  • They championed public education and their motto
    was that government governs best which governs

Rise of The Whigs
  • There was opposition to Jackson, but it was
  • Henry Clay organized the National Republican
    party, but it formed only a nucleus for those who
    opposed Jackson, no specific ideology
  • Jacksons nickname amongst his enemies was King
    Andrew I.
  • When his opponents organized they took the name
    Whigs for their party name.
  • This was because the opposition party in England
    had been called the Whigs.
  • Once Jackson was out of office, an effective
    second party began to form
  • They became known as the Whigs
  • At Right King Andrew the First Whig Cartoon.

Rise of The Whigs
  • Jacksons anti-intellectual, and anti-science
    approach had driven many intellectuals out of the
    Democratic party, they went to the Whigs
  • One of the problems which faced the Whigs was
    that there were too many leaders and not enough
  • The Whigs never were particularly well organized.
  • In the Election of 1836, William Henry Harrison
    was supposed to win based only on his military
    record, but he lost to the far better organized
    campaign of Martin Van Buren.

The contenders in the election of 1836, Martin
Van Buren and William Henry Harrison.
Martin Van Buren Jacksonianism Without Jackson
  • Martin Van Buren was a great political
    manipulator as well as an accomplished statesman
  • However his manner of dealing with economic issue
    left much to be desired
  • Van Buren took office just as the American credit
    system collapsed
  • During the panic of 1837, beginning in May, banks
    in New York stopped redeeming paper money for
    gold, soon all banks suspended specie payments.
  • The panic deepened into the depression of
  • Van Buren aggravated the situation by following
    Jacksons hard money policies. He curtailed
    federal spending, and opposed a national bank.

Martin Van Buren Jacksonianism Without Jackson
  • He did not see the government as cure to economic
    woes, he felt that the people should shift for
  • Instead of helping to strengthen the economy, Van
    Buren sought an alternative to storing federal
    funds in state banks
  • He devised the Independent Treasury Act which
    kept the governments money in several regional
    treasury offices rather than banks. Essentially,
    he created several government owned vaults to
    store gold and silver.
  • Opponents pointed out that this would effectively
    take huge quantities of specie out of circulation
  • Van Buren went forward with the scheme
  • Fortunately banks tended to be more careful about
    loans and in 1849 gold was discovered in
    California, greatly adding to the U.S. reserve of

The Log Cabin Campaign
  • In the 1840 campaign, the Democrats nominated
    President Martin Van Buren, though the financial
    crises was a major factor against his
  • The Whigs were far better prepared for the 1840
  • They ran William Henry Harrison for President and
    John Tyler for Vice President
  • Whigs did not bother with a platform, just made
    the most of Harrison and a plain man and a
    military hero.
  • The platform, if such it could be called was log
    cabin and hard cider. Alluding to the common man
    and temperance.
  • It worked, Harrison won 234 votes to 60.

William Henry Harrison and his log cabin campaign
for president in 1840
The Two Party System Emerges
  • The Democrats had so successfully absorbed the
  • Ideas before that a true 2 party system never had
    emerged until now.
  • The Democrats
  • Glorified the liberty of the individual
  • Clung to states rights and federal restraint in
    social and economic affairs
  • Mostly more humble, poorer folk
  • The Whigs
  • Trumpeted natural harmony of society and the
    value of community

2 party system
  • The Whigs
  • b. Berated leaders whose appeals and
    self-interest fostered conflicts among Ind.
  • c. Favored a renewed national bank, protective
    tariffs, internal improvements, public schools,
    and moral reforms.
  • d. Mostly aristocratic and wealthier
  • Things in common
  • Based on the peoplecatch all phrases
  • Both commanded loyalty from all kinds of people.

Immigration Innovation Invention 1893 Frederick
Jackson Turners Frontier Thesis
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