1 Section 1: Building a National Identity 1. I. The Era of Good Feeling CHAPTER 10 A GROWING NATION: With the end of the War of 1812, the Republicans took firm control of the government. The presidential election of 1816 resulted in a landslide victory for Republican candidate James Monroe of Virginia. Stung by this defeat, the Federalist Party began to lose power. Within a few years, the party had disappeared. President Monroe wanted to promote national unity. In the spring and summer of 1817, he made a goodwill circuit in the middle and northern sections of the country. He was warmly received. While Monroe was in Boston, a local newspaper described the new sense of national Unity as the Era of Good Feelings. The name stuck and was used to describe Monroe s two terms in office. When he ran for reelection in 1820, no candidate opposed him. 1. II. Building the National Economy After 1815, many Americans believed the federal government should take action to increase economic prosperity in all regions of the country. Congress and the President encouraged U.S. manufacturing with high tariffs and a second Bank of the United States. Outstanding among those who favored federal action were: Henry Clay spoke for the people in the West who thought the country needed better roads and canals to transport goods from one region to another. John C. Calhoun spoke for the interests of the South. While first a defender of national unity, he later put more emphasis on the idea of states rights. Daniel Webster became a spokesperson for the Northeast. At first, he opposed high tariffs, but later he came to support them as a way of protecting industry. Congress passed a law in 1791 creating the first Bank of the United States. In 1811, the Bank ceased to exist. Without the Bank, the economy suffered. State banks made too many loans and issued too much money. This caused an increase in spending and led to rising prices. To cure these problems, Congress established the second Bank of the United States in Like the first Bank, the new Bank was privately owned and had a charter to operate for twenty years. It lent money to individuals and controlled the money supply. This gave a boost to American businesses. Another problem the nation faced after the War of 1812 was foreign competition. Most British goods had been kept out of the United States by the Embargo Act and the War of British manufacturers now looked to sell their goods in the United States. They could still produce goods more cheaply than the Americans because they had well established factories and more customers. This gave the British an opportunity to drive their American competition out of business by dumping their goods in the United States. British dumping caused dozens of New England businesses to fail. Angry factory owners turned to Congress for help. They demanded protective tariffs to raise the price of foreign goods. Congress responded with the Tariff of 1816, which put a tax on foreign textiles, iron, leather goods, paper, and other products. In 1818 and 1824, Congress passed even higher tariffs. These tariffs were popular in the North, where most factories were located. However, the tariffs were deeply resented in the South where they forced southerners to pay more for their goods. 1. III. Three Important Supreme Court Rulings The Supreme Court also promoted national economic growth and the power of the federal government during this era. Led by Chief Justice John Marshall, a Federalist sympathizer, the Court issued a series of important rulings between 1819 and In McCulloch v. Maryland (1819), the Court protected the second bank of the United States. The Court s 1819 decision, written by Marshall, strengthened the power of the federal government. It ruled that the states had no power to interfere with federal institutions. In Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819), the Court ruled that the charter of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire was a private
2 contract. Since the Constitution protected private contracts, New Hampshire could not change Dartmouth s charter. In protecting private contracts, the Court was protecting private businesses and promoting capitalism. In Gibbons v. Ogden, the Court again supported federal power. It ruled that New York State could not give a steamboat company a monopoly to carry passengers on the Hudson River. The Court pointed out that travel on the Hudson River included stops in New Jersey as well as New York. Therefore, it was interstate commerce. Under the Constitution, only Congress can regulate interstate commerce. Section 2: Dealing with Other Nations 1. I. Relations with Spain At the time of the War of 1812, the United States and Haiti were the only parts of the Americas not under European control. Spain controlled more territory in the Americas than any other European country. However, Spain s power had steadily weakened over several hundred years. Spain s control was especially weak in Florida. Spain could not stop enslaved African Americans who escaped from plantations in Georgia and Alabama from crossing into Florida. Once in Florida, many of the escapees joined the Seminole nation. The Seminoles often crossed into the United States to raid American settlements. In 1817, the U.S. government sent Andrew Jackson to recapture those who had escaped slavery. Jackson attacked and destroyed Seminole villages. He then seized two important Spanish towns and forced the governor to flee Florida. Since Spain could not protect Florida, it decided to give up the territory. In the Adams Onis Treaty of 1819, Spain ceded Florida to the United States. 1. II. Spanish Colonies Win Independence By 1810, opposition to Spanish rule ran strong in Spain s American colonies. The American and French Revolutions had inspired Latin Americans to want to control their own affairs. Mexico s struggle for independence began in In that year, Father Miguel Hidalgo organized an army of Native Americans that freed several Mexican provinces. However, in 1811, Hidalgo was captured and executed by troops loyal to Spain. Another revolution broke out in Mexico in This time, Spain was unable to end the fighting. In 1821, Spain agreed to Mexico s independence. South America, too, was affected by revolutionary change. The best known leader of the struggle for independence from Spain was Simon Bolivar. In August 1819, he led an army on a daring march from Venezuela over the ice capped Andes Mountains and into Columbia. There he defeated the Spanish and became president of the independent Republic of Great Columbia. It included today s nations of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. In 1822, Brazil announced its independence from Portugal. By 1825, most parts of Latin America had thrown off European rule. III. The Monroe Doctrine Several European powers, including France and Russia, indicated that they might help Spain regain its colonies. This worried President James Monroe and Secretary of State John Quincy Adams. In a message to Congress in December 1823, the President stated what is known as the Monroe Doctrine. The United States would not allow European nations to create American colonies or interfere with the free nations of Latin America. The United States would consider any attempt to do so, dangerous to our peace and safety. IV. Relations With Canada Canada remained a British colony after the American Revolution. In 1791, the country was divided into two parts. Upper Canada was mostly English, and Lower Canada was mainly French. In 1837, there were rebellions against British rule in both parts of Canada. Although the British put down the rebellions, they learned a lesson. They could no longer deny rights to Canadians. Britain would have to give Canadians more powers of self government. The Act of Union of 1841 merged Canada s two parts into a single unit governed by a Canadian legislature. Britain, however, still had ultimate control. Between 1818 and 1846, the United States and Britain settled several border disputes regarding Canada. Section 3: The Age of Jackson I. Adams and Jackson in Conflict Andrew Jackson served two terms as President, from 1829 to So great was his influence that the twenty year period after he became President is often called the Age of Jackson.
3 Jackson was ambitious, brave, and tough. He became known as Old Hickory. Jackson stood for the idea that ordinary people should participate in American political life. As a general and later as President, Andrew Jackson was deeply loved by millions of ordinary citizens because of his humble beginnings and his firm leadership. Jackson first ran for President in His opponents were John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William H. Crawford of Georgia. Jackson received the most electoral votes but not a majority. The House of Representatives would have to decide the election. The choice was between Jackson and Adams, the two who had received the most votes. As Speaker of the House, Clay had great influence. He told his supporters to vote for Adams. The House then elected Adams on the first ballot. Jackson reacted with fury. He had won the most popular votes and most electoral votes, but still lost the election. When Adams appointed Clay secretary of state, Jackson s supporters claimed the two men had made a corrupt bargain. Adams was burdened by the charge of a secret deal. He accomplished little. Adams never won the trust of the American people. As a result, he served only one term. II. A New Era in Politics The election of 1824 disappointed Andrew Jackson and his followers. Still that election began a new era in American politics. Back in the 1790s, states had begun extending suffrage. Many states dropped the requirements that men had to own property to be able to vote. Almost all adult white males now could vote and hold office. States were also changing how they chose presidential electors. Previously, state legislatures chose them. Now that right went to the voters. Of course, suffrage was still restricted in the United States. Women could not participate in government. Nor could enslaved African Americans, male or female. In most states, even free African Americans could not vote. Supporters of Andrew Jackson believed that ordinary people should vote in elections, hold public office, and do anything else they had the ability to do. Jackson and his supporters did not trust government. They believed it often favored the rich and powerful. The Jacksonians also were suspicious of banks, which they believed favored the rich. The Age of Jackson also brought back the two party system that had briefly ended during the Era of Good Feeling. During the 1824 election, the Republican Party split. Supporters of Adams called themselves National Republicans. Jackson s supporters used the name Democrats. In 1831, the National Republicans nominated Henry Clay to run against Jackson. Jackson won easily. However, by 1836, the anti Jackson forces had formed a new party, the Whigs. From then until 1852, the Democrats and the Whigs were the country s two major political parties. The new parties adopted a new way of choosing their presidential candidates. Previously, a party s members of Congress held a caucus. These caucuses involved only a small group of people. Beginning in 1831, political parties started holding national nominating conventions. National conventions opened the process to many more people and made it democratic. III. Jackson Becomes President Three times as many people voted in the election of 1828 as had voted in Most of these new voters supported Jackson, who easily defeated Adams. The election revealed growing sectional and class divisions among American voters. Jackson did best in the West and South. Adams was most popular in his home region of New England. Jackson began his term by replacing some government officials with supporters. Previous Presidents had done the same thing. The difference was that Jackson openly defended what he was doing. He claimed that putting new people into government jobs furthered democracy. Section 4: Indian Removal 1. I. Native Americans of the Southeast When Andrew Jackson became President, more than 100,000 Native Americans still lived east of the Mississippi River. The Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Creek nations lived in parts of Mississippi, Alabama, northern Georgia, western North Carolina, and southern Tennessee. The Seminoles, who lived in Florida, were a combination of Creeks, Florida Native Americans, and escaped African American slaves. The Cherokee had adopted some white customs. Aside from farming, they ran successful businesses. The Cherokee had their own schools, and some could speak and read English. Many had converted to Christianity. The Cherokee even had a written alphabet for their language. In 1827, the Cherokee established a government based on a written
4 constitution. They claimed status as a separate nation. The next year, they started a newspaper in both English and Cherokee. II. Conflict Over Land To government leaders, the presence of Native Americans in the Southeast stood in the way of westward expansion of the United States. Furthermore, the Native Americans lived on fertile land. White farmers wanted that land for growing cotton. Policies to move Native Americans from their lands dated from the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. After the War of 1812, the federal government signed treaties with several Native American groups of the Old Northwest. Under those treaties, the groups gave up their lands and moved west of the Mississippi River. However, the Native Americans of the Southwest would not move. In 1825 and 1827, the state of Georgia passed a law forcing the Creeks to give up most of their land. In 1828, Georgia tried to get the Cherokees to do the same. Georgia s actions were challenged in two suits that reached the Supreme Court. In Worcester v. Georgia (1832), the Court declared that Georgia s laws can have no force within Cherokee territory. Chief Justice John Marshall wrote the Court s majority opinion in Worcester v. Georgia. President Jackson was furious when he heard of the Court s decision. He was already putting into effect a federal law called the Indian Removal Act of The law gave him authority to offer Native American nations land west of the Mississippi in exchange for their lands in the East. III. On the Trail of Tears Believing they had no choice, most Native American leaders signed new treaties giving up their lands. They agreed to move to what was called the Indian Territory. Today most of that area is in the state of Oklahoma. The Choctaws signed the first treaty in Closely guarded by American soldiers, they moved west between 1831 and The federal government did not provide enough tents, food, blankets, shoes, winter clothes, or other supplies. Heavy rain and snow caused enormous suffering. The Cherokees held out a few years longer. They were still on their land in 1837 when Jackson left office. Finally, in 1838, President Martin Van Buren forced the Cherokee to move. In the winter of , they went to Indian Territory, guarded by 7,000 soldiers. The route is called the Trail of Tears. The Cherokees were forced to march hundreds of miles. They had little food or shelter. Many did not survive. Of 15,000 Cherokees who began the trip, 4,000 died along the way. One group refused to move. The Seminoles fought three wars against removal. However, in the 1840s most Seminoles were forced to move. In their new homes in Indian Territory, Native Americans struggled to rebuild their lives under very difficult conditions. Section 5: States Rights and the Economy I. The Bank War Between 1816 and the early 1830s, the second Bank of the United States earned strong support from business people. They liked the fact that the Bank made loans to businesses. Moreover, the Bank was a safe place for the federal government to keep its money. The paper money it issued formed a stable currency. Its careful policies helped create confidence in banks all over the country. On the other hand, many Americans disliked the Bank. They opposed the way the Bank restricted loans made by state banks. Fearing that state banks were making too many loans, Bank directors often limited the amount of money banks could lend. This angered farmers and merchants who wanted to borrow money to buy land. The Bank s most powerful enemy was Andrew Jackson, who called the Bank the Monster. According to Jackson, the Bank allowed a small group of the wealthy people to enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary people. Jackson especially disliked Nicholas Biddle, the Bank s president. Biddle got Congress to renew the Bank s charter in 1832, although the charter still had four years to go. Jackson immediately vetoed the bill. The fight over the Bank became a major issue in the 1832 presidential election. Henry Clay, who ran against Jackson, strongly supported the Bank. But most voters stood solidly behind Jackson s veto of the Bank bill. Jackson won reelection by a huge margin. II. The Question of States Rights The Constitutional Convention of 1787 had created a government based on federalism, the division of power between the national government and the states. The Constitution gave the federal government many significant powers. At the same time, the Tenth Amendment set limits on federal power.
5 Over the years, the issue of balancing federal and state power had come up repeatedly. During Andrew Jackson s presidency, arguments over federal power and states rights caused a serious crisis. III. The Nullification Crisis The crisis erupted when Congress passed a law in 1828 raising the tariff on iron, textiles, and other products. The tariff helped manufacturers in the North and parts of the West. But it made southerners pay more for manufactured goods. It seemed to southerners that the federal government was forcing them to obey an unfair law. Vice President John C. Calhoun argued that the states had the right of nullification. If accepted, Calhoun s ideas would seriously weaken the federal government. To many southerners, the tariff issue was part of a much larger problem. If the federal government could enforce what they considered an unjust law, could it also use its power to end slavery? Calhoun had based his theory of nullification on his view of how the Union was formed. He said the Union grew from an agreement between the various states. After the Union was formed, each state kept certain powers. One of them was the power to nullify federal laws the people of the state considered unfair. The clearest argument against nullification came from Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster. He argued that the United States had not been formed by the states but by the entire American people. A few months later, President Jackson dramatically defended the Union. To Calhoun, states rights were more important than saving the Union. In 1832, Congress passed another tariff law. Although it lowered some tariffs, it passed high tariffs on iron and textiles. South Carolina then called a state convention, which voted to nullify the tariffs. The state also warned the federal government not to use force to impose the tariffs. If it did, South Carolina would secede from the Union. A furious Jackson responded strongly. In December 1832, he put federal troops in South Carolina on alert. Then he issued a Proclamation to the People of South Carolina. It said that the Union could not be dissolved. With tensions running high, Calhoun resigned as Vice President. Early in 1833, Jackson asked Congress to allow the federal government to collect its tariff in South Carolina by force if necessary. At the same time, he supported a compromise bill that would lower the tariffs. In March 1833, Congress passed both laws. Unable to win support for its position from other states, South Carolina then repealed its tariff nullification. The crisis had been settled peacefully. Jackson had successfully defended federal power, while states rights supporters had suffered a setback. However, the issue of states rights would not go away. Americans would continue to debate the balance between states rights and federal powers until the Civil War broke out in IV. The End of the Jackson Era A weary Andrew Jackson retired from office after two terms. Martin Van Buren was Jackson s choice to succeed him. He had been secretary of state during Jackson s first term and Vice President during his second term. In the election of 1836, the Whigs ran three candidates, each from a different region of the country. Their goal was to prevent any candidate from receiving a majority of the electoral vote. This would throw the election into the House of Representatives. However, the strategy did not work. Van Buren received a majority of both the electoral and popular vote. Van Buren took office at a time when the American economy was beginning a severe slump. Because Britain was experiencing an economic slowdown, British manufacturers were buying less cotton. This caused cotton prices to fall sharply. American banks could not collect on the loans they had made to cotton growers. As a result, hundreds of banks went bankrupt. The result was an economic collapse in the United States called the Panic of The economic hard times that followed lasted six years. The hardships of those years ruined Van Buren s presidency. Van Buren ran for reelection in 1840 against the Whig candidate, William Henry Harrison. This time the Whigs ran a skillful campaign. They portrayed Harrison as a man of the people who would be feel right at home in a simple log cabin. Helped by his log cabin campaign, Harrison easily defeated Van Buren. The Whigs were in power and the Age of Jackson was over.