US History/War, Nationalism, and Division

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The War of 1812[edit]

Precursors to the War[edit]

By the time James Madison took office as president in 1809, the U.S. was still a young nation. Though the war for independence was fought and won, culminating in the Treaty of Paris in 1783, problems revolving around U.S. sovereignty continued to be a source of contention between the United States and Great Britain. By 1812, the U.S military Academy at West Point, founded in 1802, had produced only eighty-nine regular officers. Senior army officers were aged Revolutionary War Veterans or political appointees. Nor did the United States succeed at mustering sufficient forces. The governments efforts to lure recruits, with sign up- bonuses and promises of three months pay and rights to purchase 160 acres of western land upon discharge, met with mixed success. This was especially true on the American frontier (remember, the British had agreed to recognize all of the land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River, except for Spanish Florida) and on the high seas, where American sailors were pressed into service in the British Royal Navy, as the British were waging war against Napoleonic France. The reason for doing this was so the British could find and recover seamen who had defected from the British Navy to join (a relatively easier) life on the High Seas with the Americans. The British would raid American ships (such as the Chesapeake) claiming to look for British deserters. When American refused to allow the British to seize ships this resulted in 18 Americans wounded. This upset a lot of Americans who pressed Jefferson by anonymous letter for the war with Britain. Further, the British had recruited Indians, such as Tecumseh, to aggravate American settlers and even continued to maintain forts on American soil. The British encouraged Native American tribes to harass American settlers. The British took interest in the Ohio Valley and Kentucky region due to the fur trade with the western world.

The British further enraged the Americans with their refusal to recognize U.S. neutrality in Britain's war with France. The British did not want the United States to engage in trade with France, even though Americans believed that they had the right to trade with whomever they wished.

In addition, many Americans wanted to push the British Empire off of the North American continent altogether. President Madison and his advisers believed a conquest of Canada would be quick and easy, believing that the British would hand the Americans the land because of their war with Napoleon. Former President Thomas Jefferson himself even stated that "the acquisition of Canada this year, as far as the neighborhood of Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching, and will give us the experience for the attack on Halifax, the next and final expulsion of England from the American continent.

Politics of the War[edit]

As was stated above, former President Jefferson and current President Madison, both Democratic-Republicans, supported the war to end British aggravation on both the frontier and the high seas, with the hope of taking over Canada from the British. However, New England Federalists opposed the war, which was driven by Southern and Western desires for more land. The war was highly unpopular in New England because the New England economy relied heavily on trade, especially with Great Britain.

A Declaration of War was passed by Congress by an extremely small margin in the summer of 1812. Across the Atlantic, meanwhile, Prime Minister Spencer Perceval had been shot and killed, putting Lord Liverpool, who wanted to improve relations with the United States, in charge of the government. He repealed the orders of impressment, but by then, it was already too late. The war had begun.

War of 1812[edit]

The war of 1812 did not begin badly for the Federalists, who benefited from anti-war sentiment. They joined renegade Democratic Republicans in supporting New York City mayor Dewitt Clinton for president in the election of 1812. Clinton lost to President Madison by 128 to 89 votes--a respectable showing against a wartime president and the federalists gained some congressional seats and carried many local elections. But the south and the west areas that favored the war remained solidly Democratic Republican. Both sides were rather unprepared to wage a war. The British did not have many troops in British North America at the time (some 5,000 or so), and meanwhile the British war against Napoleon continued in continental Europe as the British blockaded most of the European coastline.

The American military was still unorganized and undisciplined compared to the British military. Militias in New England and New York often refused to fight outside their own states. Desperate for soldiers, New York offered them to free the slaves who enlisted, and compensation to their owners, and the U.S Army made the same offer to slaves in the Old Northwest and in Canada. In Philadelphia black leaders formed a black brigade to defend the city, but in the deep south fear of arming slaves kept them out of the military in New Orleans, where a free black militia dated back to Spanish control of Louisiana. The British on the other hand recruited slave by promising freedom, and exchange for service. The regular army consisted of around 12,000 men, but the state militias were often unwilling to fight outside state lines (and often retreated when they did). This, combined with some difficult losses early on and the war's high level of unpopularity in New England made the war effort much more difficult than President Madison originally imagined.

The Atlantic Theater[edit]

The British navy was by far the preeminent naval force in the world. They dominated the high seas. By contrast, the U.S. Navy was not even 20 years old yet and had a mere 22 vessels. The British plan was to protect its shipping in Canada while blockading major American ports.

However, there were a series of American naval victories on the Atlantic at this early stage of the war. On August 19, the USS Constitution engaged HMS Guerriere. The battle was held off the coast of Nova Scotia became the first naval encounter. The HMS Guerriere was led by Captain Dacres who states who was really confident that the British navy could take the U. S Constitution, "There is a Yankee frigate in 45 minutes she surely ours take her in 15 minutes and I promise you 4 months pay." After being 25 ft in distance USS Constitution opened fire with cannon and grape shots. In the midst of the battle, a cannonball fired from Guerriere hit the Constitution's in the side, causing one American seaman to exclaim "Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!" The Guerriere, which had been instrumental in enforcing the British blockade, lost decisively. Her crew was brought on board as prisoners. When it was realized that Guerriere could not be salvaged, it was set fire and blown up. When Captain Hull of the USS Constitution reached Boston with the news, joy broke out. In October of the same year, Constitution sailed under Captain William Bainbridge and won another victory off the coast of Brazil against HMS Java, which was also rendered unsalvageable while the Constitution remained unharmed. The USS Constitution won the nickname "Old Ironsides" in some of the first victories against Great Britain on the high seas. The victory led from General Hull sparked new hope to the Americans and also redeemed them from the lost at the battle at Fort Dearborn, Ohio leaving General Hull wounded and force to surrender August 15, 1812.

Captain Stephen Decatur, who gained fame during the Barbary War, was also responsible for early naval victories. On October 25, 1812, Captain Decatur, commanding the USS United States, captured the HMS Macedonian. And in January 1813, Captain David Porter sailed the USS Essex into the Pacific to aggravate British shipping in retaliation for harassment of British whaling ships on the American whaling industry. Essex inflicted some $3 million in damages to the British whaling industry before finally being captured off the coast of Chile on March 28, 1814.

Back in on the Atlantic Coast, meanwhile, Sir John Coape Sherbrooke embarked on what was known as the Penobscot Expedition in September 1814 with 500 British sailors off the coast of Maine (then part of Massachusetts), a main hub for smuggling between the British and Americans. During this period, lasting 26 days, Sir Sherbrooke raided and looted several cities and destroyed 17 American vessels, won the Battle of Hampden and occupied Castine for the remainder of the war.

The Great Lakes/Canadian/Western Theater[edit]

The Western theater of the war was mostly fought in the Michigan, Ohio, and the Canadian border area. Geography dictated the military operations that would take place in west. Primarily around Lake Erie, Niagara River, Lake Ontario, Saint Lawrence River, and Lake Champlain.

Chesapeake Campaign[edit]

The Chesapeake Bay Region was a center of trade, commerce and government during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It became a target of British Military strategy during the War of 1812.The British brought war into the Chesapeake area in 1813 and 1814.[1] On July 4, 1813 Joshua Barney convinced the Navy Department to build twenty barges to protect the Chesapeake Bay. These barges were successful at harassing the Royal Navy, but in the end proved useless in the British campaign that led to "Burning of Washington". The White House and other structures were left ablaze all night and the President and his Cabinet fled D.C. This attack was a diversion by the British and the major battle would take place in 1814 in Baltimore. . This battle is where Francis Scott Key who was detained on a British ship watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry, aboard the British ship Key wrote the verses to The Star Spangled Banner the next morning, this song would become the National Anthem in 1931. Despite some victories on the Atlantic by the USS Constitution, USS Wasp, and USS United States of the U.S. Navy could not match the powerful British Royal Navy. The British blockaded nearly every American port on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The British had America so blockaded that that U.S. trade declined to nearly 90% in 1811. This major loss of funds threatened to bankrupt the federal government and cut off New England from British Embargo.

The Southern Theater[edit]

Connected to the War of 1812 was the Creek War in the South. The Creeks were supported by the British, and in March 1814, General Andrew Jackson and General John Coffee led a force comprised of about 2,000 Tennessee militiamen, Choctaw, Cherokee, and U.S. regulars in a war against the Creek Indians. Out of 1,000 Creeks, led by Chief Menawa, 800 were killed at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Only 49 of Jackson's forces were killed. Jackson pursued the remaining Creeks until they surrendered.

At the end of the year 1814, General Jackson was on the move again, this time to New Orleans, Louisiana, to defend against invading British forces. In one of the greatest battles of the war, Jackson decisively routed the British forces. The British army took a hit of 1,784 killed; the Americans lost merely 210. The British forces left New Orleans, and the battle propelled General Jackson to hero status, despite the fact that the war was over. Word had not yet reached the combatant forces that a peace had been signed.

Hartford Convention[edit]

New England merchants and shippers had already been upset about the trade policies of the Jefferson administration (Embargo Act of 1807) and the Madison administration (Non-Intercourse Act of 1809), and had wholly opposed going to war with Great Britain in the first place due to the potential damage to New England industry. Thus, the Federalist Party, which had been weakened at the end of the Adams administration, found resurgence in popularity among the citizens of New England states.

With trade illegalized and a British blockade, New England states, particularly Massachusetts and Connecticut, felt the brunt of President Madison's war-time policies. This includes what many New Englanders may have perceived as an attack on their states' sovereignty, as Madison maintained executive control over the military defense of New England rather than allowing governors to take control.

On October 10, 1814, the Massachusetts legislature voted for delegates from all five New England states to meet on December 15 in Hartford, Connecticut, to discuss constitutional amendments pertaining to the interests of New England states.

Twenty-six delegates gathered in Hartford. The meetings were held in secret and no records were kept. The Hartford Convention concluded with a report stating that states had a duty and responsibility to assert their sovereignty over encroaching and unconstitutional federal policy. In addition, a set of proposed Constitutional amendments was established, including:

  1. Prohibition of trade embargos lasting longer than 60 days;
  2. 2/3rds majority in Congress for declaration of offensive war, admission of new states, and interdiction of foreign commerce;
  3. Rescinding 3/5ths representation of slaves (perceived as an advantage to the South);
  4. One-term limit for the President of the United States; and
  5. A requirement that each succeeding president be from a different state than his predecessor.

While some delegates may have desired secession from the Union, no such proposal was adopted by the Convention.

Three commissioners from Massachusetts were sent to Washington, DC, to negotiate these terms in February 1815, but news that the war had ended and of General Jackson's victory at New Orleans preceded them. The act was perceived by many as disloyal, and the commissioners returned to Massachusetts. The Hartford Convention added to the ultimate decline of the Federalist Party.

Second Barbary War[edit]

Following the First Barbary War, the United States focused on the situation developing with Great Britain, giving the pirate states of the Barbary Coast opportunity to not follow the terms of the treaty ending that war. The U.S., not having the military resources to devote to the region, was forced to pay ransoms for the crew. The British expulsion of all U.S. vessels from the Mediterranean during the War of 1812 further emboldened the pirate states, and Umar ben Muhammad, the Dey of Algiers, expelled U.S. Consular Tobias Lear, declaring war on the United States for failing to pay tribute. Again, the situation went unaddressed due to the lack of U.S. military resources in the area.

After the end of the War of 1812, however, the U.S. was able to focus on American interests in North Africa. On March 3, 1815, Congress authorized use of naval force against Algiers, and a force of ten ships was deployed under the commands of Commodores Stephen Decatur, Jr. and William Bainbridge. Decatur's squadron was the first to depart to the Mediterranean on May 20.

Commodore Decatur quickly led the squadron to decisive victories over the Algiers, capturing two Algerian-flagged ships en route to Algiers. By the end of the month of June, Decatur reached Algiers and demanded compensation or threatened the Dey's destruction. The Dey capitulated, and a treaty was signed in which the Algerian ships were returned in exchange for American captors (of which there were approximately ten), several Algerian captors were returned in exchange for several European captors, $10,000 was paid for seized shipping, and guarantees were made to end the tribute payments and grant the United States full shipping rights.

James Monroe Presidency and The Era of Good Feelings[edit]

Opposition to the War of 1812 and the Hartford Convention terminally damaged the Federalists as a viable political party, even portraying the party as traitorous. The last serious Federalist candidate Rufus King ran for the presidency in 1816, losing to James Madison's Secretary of State James Monroe. The party disbanded in 1825.

Indeed following the war, a new wave of nationalism spread across the United States. Previously, citizens of the United States tended to view themselves as citizens of their individual states (i.e. New Yorkers or Georgians) before they viewed themselves as Americans.

The wave of national pride and the lull in partisanship in the wake of defeating the British Empire led to what journalist for Boston's Columbian Sentinal Benjamin Russell perceived to be an Era of Good Feelings as the newly elected President Monroe came through on a good will tour in 1817.

American System[edit]

Riding on the wave of newfound national pride, politicians such as Henry Clay of Kentucky, John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, and John Q. Adams of Massachusetts, following in Alexander Hamilton's footsteps, pushed an agenda to strengthen and unify the nation. The system, which came to be known as the American System, called for high tariffs to protect American industry and high land prices to generate additional federal revenue. The plan also called for strengthening the nation's infrastructure, such as roads and canals, which would be financed by tariffs and land revenue. The improvements would make trade easier and faster. Finally, the plan called for maintaining the Second Bank of the United States (chartered in 1816 for 20 years) to stabilize the currency and the banking system, as well as the issuance of sovereign credit. Congress also passed a protective tariff to aid industries that had flourished during the war of 1812 but were now threatened by the resumption of over seas trade. The Tariff of 1816 levied taxes on imported woolens and cottons, as well as on iron,leather,hats, papers,and sugar.

Although portions of the system were adopted (for example, 20-25% taxes on foreign goods, which encouraged consumption of relatively cheaper American goods), others met with roadblocks. Namely, this was true of the infrastructure proposals. The Constitutionality was called into question on whether or not the federal government had such power. Despite this, two major infrastructure achievements were made in the form of the Cumberland Road and the Erie Canal. The Cumberland Road stretched between Baltimore and the Ohio River, facilitating ease of travel and providing a gateway to the West for settlement. The Erie Canal extended from the Hudson River at Albany, New York, to Buffalo, New York, at Lake Erie, thus vastly improving the speed and efficiency of water travel in the northeast.

Opposition to the American System mostly came from the West and the South. Clay argued, however, that the West should support the plan because urban workers in the northeast would be consumers of Western food, and the South should support it because of the market for the manufacture of cotton in northeastern factories. The South, however, strongly opposed tariffs and had a strong market for cotton, anyway.

In short, the American System met with mixed results over the 1810s and 1820s due to various obstacles, but in the end, American industry benefited, and growth ensued.

Industrial Revolution[edit]

The Industrial Revolution was from the 18th to 19th century which made major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology. The industrial revolution began in England and slowly made its way over to the Americas.[2]

Panic of 1819[edit]

Following the War of 1812, in addition to the relative absence of partisanship, the United States experienced a period of economic growth. However, around the same time the partisanship returned to Washington, the U.S. economy began to experience its first major financial crisis. Unlike the downturns of the 1780s and 1790s, this downturn originated primarily in the United States, and caused foreclosures, bank failures, unemployment, and reductions in agricultural and manufacturing output.

Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819[edit]

Due to the act of purchasing the Louisiana territory in 1803, the Adams-Onis Treaty in 1819 (purchasing Florida territory), and the incorporation of the northern territories of Mexico into the United States in 1847 (Mexican Cession), the number of Catholics in the United States nearly doubled.

Monroe Doctrine and Foreign Affairs[edit]

On December 2, 1823, President Monroe introduced the most famous aspect of his foreign policy in his State of the Union Address to Congress. The Monroe Doctrine, as it came to be called, stated that any further attempts by European powers to interfere in the affairs of the nations of the Western hemisphere (namely Latin America) would be seen as an act of aggression against the United States, requiring a U.S. response. The Monroe Doctrine came about as a result of U.S. and British fears the Spain would attempt to restore its power over former colonies in Latin America. President Monroe essentially sent notice that America, both North and South, was no longer open to colonization by European powers.

The fact that the U.S. was still a young nation with very little naval power meant that the warning went largely ignored by the major powers. Despite this, the British approved of the policy and largely enforced it as part of the Pax Britannica, whereby the British Navy secured the neutrality of the high seas. It was mainly through this support, rather than the Monroe Doctrine exclusively, which secured and maintained the sovereignty of Latin American nations.

Even so, the Monroe Doctrine was met with praise by Latin American leaders, despite the fact that they knew that the United States realistically could not enforce it without the backing of the British. In 1826, Latin American revolutionary hero Simón Bolívar called for the first Pan-American conference in Panama, and an era of Pan-American relations commenced.

Seminole War[edit]

Chief Neamathla of the Mikasuki at Fowltown engaged in a land dispute with the commander at Fort Scott, General Edmund Pendleton Gaines. The land had been ceded by the Creek at the Treaty of Fort Jackson, however the Mikasuki did not consider themselves Creek and so wished to exert sovereignty over the area, believing the Creek did not have right to cede Mikasuki land. In November 1817, a force of 250 men was sent by General Gaines to capture Neamathla, but was driven back. A second attempt in the same month turned out successful, and the Mikasuki people were driven from Fowltown.

A week after the attack on Fowltown, a military boat transporting supplies, sick soldiers, and the families of soldiers (whether or not children were on board is not clear) to Fort Scott was attacked on the Apalachicola River. Most of the passengers on board were killed, with one woman captured and six survivors making it to Fort Scott.

General Gaines had been ordered not to invade Spanish Florida (save for small incursions). However, after word of the Scott massacre reached Washington, DC, Gaines was ordered to invade Florida in pursuit of Seminoles, but not to attack Spanish installations. However, Gaines had been ordered to eastern Florida to deal with piracy issues there, so Secretary of War John C. Calhoun ordered General Andrew Jackson, hero of the War of 1812, to lead the invasion.

General Jackson gathered his forces at Fort Scott in March 1818. The force consisted of 800 regulars, 1,000 Tennessee volunteers, 1,000 Georgia militia, and 1,400 friendly Creek warriors. Jackson's force entered Florida on March 13, following the Apalachicola River and constructing Fort Gadsden. The Indian town of Tallahassee was burned on March 31 and the town of Miccosukee was taken the next day. The American and Creek forces left 300 Indian homes devastated in their wake, reaching the Spanish fort of St. Marks on April 6, capturing it.

The American force left St. Marks and continued to attack Indian villages, capturing Alexander George Arbuthnot, a Scottish trader who worked out of the Bahamas and supplied the Indians, and Robert Ambrister, a former Royal Marine and self-appointed British agent, as well as the Indian leaders Josiah Francis and Homathlemico. All four were eventually executed. Jackson's forces also attacked villages occupied by runaway slaves along the Suwannee River.

Having declared victory, Jackson sent the Georgia militia and Creek warriors home, sending the remaining army back to St. Marks, where he left a garrison before returning to Fort Gadsden. On May 7, he marched a force of 1,000 to Pensacola where he believed the Indians were gathering and being supplied by the Spanish, against the protests of the governor of West Florida, who insisted that the Indians there were mostly women and children. When Jackson reached Pensacola on May 23, the governor and the Spanish garrison retreated to Fort Barrancas. After a day of exchanging cannon fire, the Spanish surrendered, and Colonel William King was named military governor of West Florida. General Jackson went home to Tennessee -- and prepared for his presidential run in 1824.

The 1824 Election and Presidency of John Q. Adams[edit]

With the dissolution of the Federalist Party, there were no organized political parties for the 1824 presidential election, and four Democratic-Republicans vied for the office. The Tennessee legislature and a convention of Pennsylvania Democratic-Republicans had nominated General-turned-Senator Andrew Jackson for president in 1822 and 1824, respectively. The Congressional Democratic-Republican caucus (the traditional way to nominate a president) selected Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford for president and Albert Gallatin for vice president. Secretary of State John Q. Adams, son of the former President Adams, and House Speaker Henry Clay also joined the contest. It is widely believed that Crawford would have won had he not suffered a debilitating stroke during the course of the election.

When the electoral votes were cast and counted, it turned out that no candidate had a majority of votes. Jackson had won the most votes, but Constitutionally, a plurality was not good enough, and the vote for the top three candidates went to the House of Representatives. Clay, with the least amount of votes, was ineligible, but still wielded a lot of power as speaker of the house. And since Clay had a personal dislike of Jackson and supported many of Adams' policies, which were similar to his American System, Clay threw his support to Adams, and Adams won the presidency, much to the chagrin of Jackson, who had won the most electoral and popular votes. After Adams appointed Clay as secretary of state, Jackson's supporters protested that a corrupt bargain had been struck.

The 1824 helped in the resurgence of political parties in America. Jackson's followers, members of the Democratic Party, were known as Jacksonians; Adams, Clay, and their supporters established the National Republican Party. Partisan politics was back in style in Washington, DC.

During Adams' term as president, he undertook an ambitious domestic agenda, implementing many aspects of the American System, such as extending the Cumberland Road and several canal projects like the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the Delaware and Chesapeake Canal, the Portland to Louisville Canal, the connection of the Great Lakes to the Ohio River system, and the enlargement and rebuilding of the Dismal Swamp Canal in North Carolina. He worked diligently to upgrade and modernize infrastructure and internal improvements, such as roads, canals, a national university, and an astronomical observatory. These internal improvements would be funded by tariffs, an issue which divided the Adams administration. While Secretary Clay most certainly supported tariffs, Vice President John C. Calhoun opposed. This turned out to be a source of contention within the administration.

Unfortunately for President Adams, his agenda met with many roadblocks. First of all, Adams' ideas were not very popular, even from within his own party. But a major reason Adams had a tough time enacting his agenda was because the Jacksonians were still quite upset about the 1824 elections. In 1827, the Jacksonians won control of Congress, making it even more difficult. In addition, Adams did not believe in removing administration officials from office, except for incompetence, including those who may be political opponents. As a result, many administration officials were, in fact, supporters of Andrew Jackson. Adams' generous policy towards Indians further served to not endear him to some, such as when the federal government sought to assert authority on behalf of the Cherokee, causing Georgia to take up arms. The final nail in the coffin of the Adams administration would turn out to be when President Adams signed the Tariff of 1828 into law, which intended to protect northern industry, while the South saw it as an economic blow. The "Tariff of Abominations," as it was called, was highly unpopular in the South, and virtually crippled the administration in its final year.

The campaign was brutal, bitter, and personal, with even Jackson's wife attacked, accused of bigamy. In the end, Adams lost handily: 178-83 in the electoral college. Adams, like his father, chose not to attend his successor's inauguration ceremony. In 1830, he would go on to be the first former president elected to Congress after serving as president.

The People's President -- The Era of Andrew Jackson[edit]

Election and Inauguration[edit]

The three week journey from Nashville, Tennessee, to Washington, DC, was filled with jubilation, as crowds swarmed to catch a glimpse of the new president-elect Andrew Jackson. The inauguration ceremonies of former presidents were all indoor affairs, invite only. On March 29, 1829, however, there was a sense that this new president was a man of the people. The ceremony was held on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol, where 21,000 people eventually gathered to view the swearing-in.

The new president left through the west front of the capital and proceeded to the executive mansion for the reception on a white horse. By the time he arrived, the White House had already been invaded by supporters, as the festivities had been opened to the public. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story noted, "I never saw such a mixture. The reign of King Mob seemed triumphant."

The new president was forced to sneak out of the White House before heading to Alexandria, Virginia. The crowd remained, however, until the liquor was moved to the front lawn. The White House was left a mess, including thousands of dollars in broken china.

Petticoat Affair and the Kitchen Cabinet[edit]

The Petticoat Affair is also known as the Eaton Affair. Happening in the U.S. between 1830-1831. It was a U.S. scandal involving President Andrew Jackson's cabinet and their wives. Even though this was a private matter, it still troubled several men in their political careers.[3] The Petticoat affair involved Peggy Eaton who was accused of having an affair with a man by the name of John Eaton during the time she was married to purser John Timberlake. Daughter of William O Neal, Peggy remained close to politics her father owned the Washington D.C Boarding House for politicians where Peggy worked. Peggy frequented the boarding house which later gave spectators more discrepancies in Peggy's character as she looses popularity. Peggy husband died while on sea and many believed it was a suicide after being revealed to of his wife Peggy's affair with John Eaton who was a good friend of couple. Although Timberlake's death was said to be a result of pneumonia. Peggy married John Eaton less than a year after her husbands death. Many surrounding women felt like the marriage of Peggy and John Eaton was not the correct thing to do. The alleged affair controversy ultimately assisted many men in Andrew Jackson's cabinet to resign from their position, including John Eaton himself. People begin to judge Jackson on the his position on the marriage. Andrew Jackson recommended that John Eaton and Peggy should get married, Jackson views resulted on from his personal experience he had with his first wife.A group of women emerged claimed to be Anti-Peggy who was led by Floride Calhoun. The women who emerged proclaimed rights and guidelines that women have to follow after death of husband including that they mourn and wear black for a year following their death.

Nullification Crisis[edit]

One of the early crises faced by the Jackson administration was the issue of nullification. In 1828, Congress decided to raise an already high tariff on imports from Europe. It was meant to help the industrialized North compete with Europe, but the agricultural South detested it, as it traded heavily with Europe. The South called it the "Tariff of Abominations."

The concept of nullification, that states had the right to nullify any federal law which it deemed went against its interests, had first appeared in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions in 1798. In response to the tariff, South Carolina declared it null and void. Vice President John C. Calhoun agreed with this notion of states’ rights and encouraged South Carolina to take a stand on the tariff issue.

Up until that point, no one was sure where Jackson stood on the issue of states' rights. Then, in April, 1830, he announced that he opposed states rights in this instance. While President Jackson sympathized with the South's position on the tariff, he believed in a strong union with central power. As a result, a deep rivalry developed between Jackson and Calhoun. The rivalry can be epitomized in an incident at the Jefferson Day dinner, April 13, 1830, in which South Carolina Senator Robert Hayne made a toast to "The Union of the States, and the Sovereignty of the States." President Jackson added (and clearly directed towards the vice president), "Our federal Union: It must be preserved!" To this, Vice President Calhoun responded: "The Union: Next to our Liberty, the most dear!" In 1831, the first ever Democratic National Convention was held, and former Secretary of State Martin Van Buren (who was still playing a vital role in the President's "kitchen cabinet") was selected to replace Calhoun as the nominee for vice president in the 1832 election. The vice president resigned in December 1832 to run for the South Carolina U.S. Senate seat.

The South would not compromise on this lower tax, and South Carolina passed the Nullification Act which proclaimed that the state would no longer pay the "illegal" tariffs. South Carolina threatened to secede from the Union if the federal government tried to interfere.

President Jackson continued to oppose nullification, stating that "The Constitution... forms a government not a league... To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union is to say that the United States is not a nation." In 1832 he asked Congress to pass a "force bill," authorizing the use of military force to enforce the tariff law. The bill was held up in Congress until the great compromiser Henry Clay and the protectionists agreed to a Compromise Tariff bill. The Compromise Tariff contained a lower but still fairly high tariff. Both bills passed on March 1, 1833, and the president signed both.

In the face of the threat of military force, South Carolina quickly agreed to the lower compromise tariff and abolished the Nullification Act. The crisis was averted for another day.

Indian Policies[edit]

The lives of the Indians became even more troubled once a man who had been a friend, Andrew Jackson, became President of the United States. In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, this act removed any claims of the indigenous people to the land. This affected five tribes of the east—Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole. The act would subsequently resettle them into a designated Indian Territory, which would be where Oklahoma is today. In spite of legal protests from tribal leaders, Jackson wanted them gone, even if he had to use military force in order to do it. Jackson decided that the Indians were a threat to national security. He also had a personal financial stake in some of the territory in question. With each treaty signed by the Native Americans, a white investor could purchase the ceded lands for themselves. In spite of this, the Cherokee, continued to pursue justice legally and actually was victorious in 1832 when the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the individual states had no jurisdiction within tribal lands. Jackson, argued that Indian removal was in the national interest, and ignored the ruling. The aftermath becomes known as the Trail of Tears. The Trail of Tears begins on October 8, 1832 and lasts for years. Indians are forced off of their land and migrate to the west.

Second Bank of the United States[edit]

The Second Bank of the United States began about 5 years after the First Bank of the United States fell. The Second Bank of the United States began in the same place as the first, Carpenters' Hall, Philadelphia. It had many branches through out the nation. Many of the same men from the First Bank ran the Second bank, when they refused to renew the charter of the First Bank. The main reason the Second Bank rose was because of the war of 1812. The U.S. suffered a horrible inflation and had trouble financing military operations. Like the first, bank many speculators believed the bank was corrupt. Second Bank ending up suffering from similar issues as the first bank and was ultimately disposed.

Gag Rule[edit]

The Gag Rule of 1836 is a rule that limits or forbids the raising, consideration or discussion of a particular topic by members of a legislative or decision-making body. The term originated in the mid-1830s, about 1836, when the U.S. House of Representatives barred discussion or referral to committee of antislavery petitions.[4] The gag rule was supported by people involved in proslavery. The gag rule helped limit the progression of antislavery petitions. After antislavery petitions begin to emerge the democrats create initial gag orders to prevent the petitions.John Quincy Adams opposed the gag rule and said that limited and diregarded basic civil rights for free citizens. John Quincy Adams was member of the whig party with numerous pushed to eliminated the gag rule.

Panic of 1837[edit]

The Panic of 1837 was a financial crisis in the United States because of frequent actions of buying and selling housing properties.This all happened in New York City, on May 10, 1837, when every bank began to accept payment in Specie(Gold and Silver). This also happened due to when President Andrew Jacksons came up with the Specie Circular and when he refused to renew the charter of the Second Bank.[5]

Reform and American Society[edit]

The Second Great Awakening[edit]

The Second Great Awakening was a religious movement during the early 19th century in the United States. Which showed Arminian Theology, by which every person could be saved through revivals.[6]The Awakening grew largely in opposition to deism related to the French Revolution. The Second Awakening grew after a revival in Uttica New York which was hosted by Charles Grandison Finney. Finney believed spoke to congregations in America stating that people were " moral free agents." Charles spoke about Calvinist beliefs and that everyone had a defined destiny. Awakenings were described as spiritual and religious revivals where people will congregate and confess to their sins. By 1831 church membership had grew by 100,000 solely as a result to awakenings that were carried out by preachers like Charles Finney and Theodore Weld.


Throughout the late 1700s and 1800s, alcoholism became an increasing problem, and as a result, temperance groups began forming in several states to reduce the consumption of alcohol. Although the temperance movement began with the intent of limiting use, some temperance leaders such as Connecticut minister Lyman Beecher began urging fellow citizens to abstain from drinking in 1825. In 1826, the American Temperance Society formed in a resurgence of religion and morality. By the late 1830s, the American Temperance Society had membership of 1,500,000, and many Protestant churches began to preach temperance.

Public Education[edit]

In the New England states, public education was common, even though it was class-based with the working class receiving minimum benefits. Schools taught religious values and also taught Calvinist philosophies of discipline, including corporal punishment and public humiliation.[7]In 1833 Oberlin college had in attendance 29 men and 15 women. Oberlin college came to be known the first college that allowed women attend.[8] Within five years, thirty-two boarding schools enrolled Indian students. They substituted English for American Indian languages and taught Agriculture alongside the Christian Gospel.[9] Horace Mann was considered “The Father of American Education.” He wanted to develop a school that would help to get rid of the differences between boys and girls when it came to education. He also felt that this could help keep the crime rate down. He was the first Secretary for the Board of Education in Massachusetts in 1837-1848. He also helped to established the first school for the education of teachers in America in 1839.

Asylum Movement[edit]

The Asylum Movement was a social conscience that was increased in the early 19th century the helped raise the awareness of mental illness and its treatment.[10]] The first asylum in America was in 1817 near Frankfort, PA. Later in 1817 another asylum emerged in Hartford, Connecticut. The asylums grew popularity and influenced other states to create asylums similar, like Massachusetts, Massachusetts State Lunatic Hospital in 1833. Prior to 1840 only wealthy people were permitted to the asylums. Many people that were mentally ill who did not have finances, were permitted to jails and almshouses.


Abolitionism is the movement for which the purpose is to abolish slavery. While many believed in the injustices that those in the south believed, there were also those who opposed the heinous acts they did to African Americans. There were many people involved in helping slaves to escape to freedom. The movement was expanding. As it got bigger and bigger the hostilities between the north and the south grew as well. The Underground Railroad stemmed from the hearts and minds of these abolitionist freedom fighters. Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass were two popular African Americans who were a part of the abolitionist movement.


Jeffersonian Democracy · Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny