US HISTORY Class Notes 3/9 & 3/11
US HISTORY Class Notes 3/9 & 3/11 1376
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Date Created: 03/28/15
Notes History 1376 3915 TOPIC VI concluding remarks Idealism and Realism in American foreign policy 0 Monroe Doctrine assertion of American nationalism o SocaIIed doctrine based on something Monroe said in annual state of the union message in 1823 Based on fear 0 At time many Americans feared that some conservative European nations France Austria Russia had plans to come across Atlantic and interfere with the affairs of nations in the western hemisphere mainly from Spain so not just the US 0 quotthe Holy AIIiancequot would not allow this independence to stand Fears were totally unfounded the American continents are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for colonization by any European powerquot Also pledged that if Europe would stay out of western hemisphere US would stay out of Europe 0 quotdon39t mess with us we won t mess with youquot 0 So What Europe knew that US had no power to back it up didn39t take it seriously regarded it as a joke Therefore Monroe had little effect at the time within a few years his dramatic statement was all but forgotten Historically signi cant despite little immediate effect STRONG STATEMENT of growing nationalistic spirit in 18205 set forth a historic claim to future American dominance of the western hemisphere Established the idea that the us was to be the dominant power in the western hemisphere When statement rediscovered years later would be accepted as authoritative statement of American foreign policy for western hemisphere TOPIC VII democracy amp individualism 0 Democracy Two meanings political and social POLITICAL 1 a political system in which all adult citizens have an opportunity for an equal share of political power by their baIIot o 2 a political system in which the machinery of government is responsible to the majority of the voters SOCIAL A society in which there are no hereditary or any other arbitrary class distinctions or privileges a society with belief in human equality A belief in egalitarianism that one person is as good as another all should be treated equally with the same rights and opportunities BUT NOT that all people are exactly alike Implies individualism A theory maintaining the political and economic independence of the individual a person is free to be whoever he or she wants to be without any restraint by society Suggests an antagonism to restraint the conviction that the individual is sovereign Broadly constructed democracy means a political system responsive to the majority and a social egalitarianism involving the belief that each man should be free to seek his own good without interference Man is important for who he is Not who his parents are not what group he belongs to etc A tension between democracy and individualism democracy means majority rule which suppresses certain individualities The Age ofjackson Background 0 America in 18205 and 305 an EXCITING TIME in which to live a time of rapid change 0 Country undergoing dramatic transformation physical changes economic changes social changes political changes Textbook has more details Physical changes 0 Population growing rapidly through immigration amp natural increase 0 Frontier being pushed westward at more rapid pace than ever before Revolutionary changes in transportation turnpikes steamboats canals Land speculation in the west pushing up the price of land 0 US taking on a quotnew lookquot Economic changes 0 In manufacturing the production of such was increasingly under control of factory owner amp skilled craftsmen being reduced from independent artisans to dependent wage earners losing some of their independence o In agriculture machinery becoming increasingly important for farmers both west and north and in the south increasingly a onecrop system that crop being cotton 0 Also in the south becoming more dependent on slavery to grow that cotton Social changes 0 Immigration increased many longtime Americans became increasingly worried that the number of foreigners especially romanCatholics was diluting or weakening American culture 0 These changes sometimes produced tensions that led to attempts at repression o The American Party The KnowNothing Party 0 Many reform movements sprang up to deal with social changes 0 0 Public school movement Most of the reform efforts were good PoHUcalchanges Four Caveats O 0 American society not as democratic as people thought American society not particularly egalitarian some historians think the working classes worse off in the 205 and 305 than they had been in the past Much more conformist than individualistic Some democratizing changes really were taking place Development of a democratic rhetoric a democratic ethos An important step towards political democracy Most Americans thought of themselves as egalitarian democrats and individualists Perception affects reality 0 Most obvious change widening of the suffrage the right to vote by means of widespread elimination of property quaH canns O O Eg more and more states eliminated the requirement that you must own property Meant that more people became eligible to vote more white males 0 The secret ballot replaced voicevoting More positions became elective that had once been appointed governor state senators NOT us senators 0 Popular selection of presidential electors people voted for the people who would vote for the president Nomination of presidential candidates by national party convenUons Greater participation by quotthe common peoplequot 0 Politicians began to appeal more and more to the people rather than special interest groups 0 An upsurge to democracy or what appeared to be democracy 0 Most Americans in that time period agreed that democracy and individualism were the guiding values of the nation perception trumps reality when they are in con ict 0 Andrew Jackson 0 Became a symbol for the age of democracy Symbol of politics for the common man Honored by putting him on the 20 bill woo hah o Seemed to personify America s new democratic spirit 0 Was the symbol for the quotrise of the common manquot Born in a log cabin rose from rags to riches had no college education was not from Virginia or Massachusetts every other president had been Represented a new quotcoonskin capquot America no longer dressed in powdered wigs or silverbuckled shoes Had let the yeomanfarmers against the British in New Orleans 0 ln passing Is he really an accurate symbol Questionable Hofstadter quotwhen Jackson became president he was not a crude simple frontiersman that39s how he was represented by his political handlersquot really a quotblend of pioneer and aristocrat The Hermitage surrounded by a thousand acres of prime real estate Over the course of his life owned over 300 slaves in fact one of the wealthiest of all American presidents Only George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had more money thanJackson Estimated wealth 120 million 0 Those who supported Jackson dropped the quotRepublicanquot from the name became the modern Democratic party 0 1828 Jackson challenged John Q Adams and won 0 When he was elected president the Age ofJackson began Inauguration in march of 1829 0 Woman Margaret Bayer Smith described it thusly Inauguration The old man with his gray locks that crown of glory advances bows to the people it was grand it was sublime H o The marshal presented the bible the president kissed it bowed again to the people yes To the people In all their majesty Receonn A mob a rabble The house had been inundated by the rabble mob the president had escaped to his lodgings Ladies fainted men were seen with bloody noses and such a scene of confusion At one time the president who had retreated and retreated could only be secured by a barrier of men it was then that the windows were thrown open and the torrent found an outlet that might otherwise have proved fatal quotLadies and gentlemen only had been expected not the people en masse But it was the People s Day and the People s President and the People would rulequot 0 Jackson39s supporters were delighted by the behavior of quotthe people en massequot A celebration of the rise of the common man Sharp contrast with the view of the elitist founding fathers who regarded too much democracy as mob action Re ected political changes that were occurring in America 0 In office Jackson one of the most forceful and dominating president in history 0 Had a violent temper pride would not allow him to forget or forgive an insult real or imagined man of strong passions did not try to hide Once killed a man in a duel over an insult When he left in 1837 two regrets Sorry he didn t shoot Henry Clay and hang John C Calhoun lntolerant of opposition no exibility could not compromise Late in his life quotl have an opinion of my own in all subjectsquot Examples South Carolina in 1832 advancing the states39 rights argument passed an ordinance nullifying 2 federal tariffs Reacted by denouncing nulli cation as quottreasonous threat to the survival of the Unionquot asked congress for authority to use federal troops South Carolina rescinding nulli cation ordinance Trail of Tears use of Federal Troops to force Cherokee Indians to move to Oklahoma Territory Most important and most controversial use of power quotTHE Bank Warquot 0 Background 0 When Jackson became president the concept of democracy was being transformed from one that was mainly Jeffersonian and agrarian to one that was more Hamiltonian and nancialindustrial Basic concepts of democracy were changing From agrarianism to something more like laissez faire By 1829 young men who had been born on farms were becoming businessmen determined not to surrender freedoms they might have enjoyed had they remained farmers Hofstadter quotExpectant capitalistsquot wanted it all Business opportunities freedom from restraint quotrural capitalistsquot quotvillage entrepreneursquot MORE NEXT TIME Notes History 1376 31115 Last time quotTHE bank warquot 0 War between Andrew Jackson and the second bank of the US 0 Seen by many of the people that Hofstadter has called quotrural capitalistsquot and quotvillage entrepreneursquot as a restriction on their freedoms In fact the bank was being run well But Andrew Jackson and his supporters saw bank as a monopoly with too much uncontrolled power Thought it was bene ting only the special interests not the people in general Jackson called the bank quota hydra of corruptionquot and set out to end what he thought was the banks unfair restraint on economic freedoms One solution an attempt to regulate Jackson rejected regulation chose instead destruction of the bank When a group of bankers complained to Jackson about the economic problems he was causing the country he responded characteristically quotrelief sir come not to me sir go to the monster the bank it is folly sir to talk to Andrew Jackson The government will not bow to the monster Jackson yet lives to put his foot on the head of the monster and crush him to the dust Jackson would never recharter that monster of corruption sooner than live in a country where such a power prevail he would seek asylum in the wilds of Arabiaquot When Nicholas Biddle leader of the bank asked congress to recharter Jackson said quotthe bank is trying to kill me but I will kill itquot Jackson simple emotional unre ective quotfrontier aristocratquot made the bank a personal issue no subtlety in his position Blackandwhiterightor wrong The bank was evil was wrong for America39s quotexpectant capitalistsquot Vowed to kill the bank amp he did vetoed the congressional bill to recharter the bank Veto message said the bank was unconstitutional because it was a monopoly a grant of exclusive privilege that excluded most of the American people from participating and therefore a menace to the country39s liberty and independence At the end of his veto message quotit is to be regretted that the rich and powerful often too bend the acts of government to their sel sh purposes distinctions in society will always exist under any just government equality of talents of education or of wealth cannot be produced by human institutions there are no necessary evils in government lts evils exist only in its abuses If it would con ne itself to equal protection and as Heaven does its rains shower its favors alike on the high and the low the rich and the poor it would be an unquali ed blessingquot But Jackson was not a revolutionary his views expressed instead the philosophy of the rising middle class the quotexpectant capitalistsquot 0 Congress tried but could not override the veto efforts to recharter the bank failed 0 The Jacksonians did NOT want to robinhood the population take from the rich and give to the poor but the Jacksonians did wage a war against economic privilege against special interests against monopoly 0 Wanted to get rid of governmentgranted privileges that went to special interests group Provide quotfair play and an open fieldquot for all Americans 0 COMPETITON YES MONOPOLY NO 0 Always defended his actions in the context of quotthe will of the majorityquot demonstrated the popularity of America39s growing commitment to democracy or at least the appearance of such 0 WhetherJackson is a proper symbol for democracy might not matter much but American people saw him as a symbol thought of him as a symbol and remember What people think is more important than the real truth PERCEPTION DEFINES REALITY Terrible economic mistake o Plunged the nation into an economic depression Hurt most the people he was trying to help 0 But remember the people thought the bank was undemocratic and what the people thought was undemocratic had to go o quotthe real signi cance ofJacksonian democracy was that the power and in uence of the common man increased while he remained a common manquot 0 Age ofJackson quota celebration of the common manquot 0 Was society really egalitarian and democratic 0 French traveler who visited in 1831 and 1832 to view American prisons Wrote a book called Democracy in America Impressed by what he saw quotThe democratic principle has gained so much strength with time with events as to be come not only predominant but allpowerful The people reign in the American political world as the deity does in the universe quot However recognized that equality was not for everyone not for women not for Native Americans not for free blacks certainly not for slaves only for white males and not even all of them 0 Probably not 0 The same time we see it being celebrated we can see that American society was not egalitarian political participation DID increase but most people remained voiceless Blacks Native Americans women etc 0 Never really produced economic equality social equality 0 Power and privilege for the most part remained in the hands of the uncommon elite For all their rhetoric about egalitarianism Jacksonian democrats never pushed for economic equality Wanted people to have an equal chance an equal opportunity to compete Never championed complete equality of income or status 0 quottrue republicanism requires that every man shall have an equal chance that ever man shall be free to become as unequal as he canquot 0 Urban upperclasses with longestablished wealth separated themselves from the recently rich a considerable gulf between the old rich and new rich on one hand and the democratic masses 0 Working classes worse off under the factory system than before as self empoyed artisans and mechanics 0 Some observers quotAmericans pay only lip service to equalityquot Differ from Europe only because it was not blood that separated men into classes but money Concern that there was then as there is now a gap between the egalitarianism of democratic values and the inequalities of social conditions 0 A gap between theory and reality 0 But the common man still had a vote and the elite had to appeal to it had to appearto be of the people for the people 0 And the democratic value has still endured to this day but so has the gap A focus more on individualism Selfreliant individualism at the heart of the belief system 0 quotit39s up to the individual where there39s a will there39s a way you can39t keep a good man downquot 0 Negative if you can39t do something without help you have a defect If you don39t win you must be a loser If you stay down you must not be good 0 But today we focus on positive The model is the innerdirected man who exists without aid from anybody Romanticism the lonely individual making his own way in the world often bloody but always unbowed The individualists who are the heroes of this time 0 Napoleon in Europe 0 Jackson in the USA 0 Most Americans then as now are conformists but what is important is perception 0 Most people at that time thought they were individualistic But will was not necessarily informed or educated or trained o Represented gut reaction rather than informed decisions so a certain amount of antiintellectualism quotWhat you feel is more important than what you think your gut is more important than your brainquot Jackson was the embodiment of belief that will can triumph without any need for culture education etc the naked will of power is all you need to have 0 Lots of examples ofJacksonian expression Especially economic individualism Jackson39s attack on the bank 0 Jackson39s destruction of the bank was the central symbolic event of the Jackson administration Individualism and democracy both running strong during Jackson administration wanted equal access to economic opportunities 0 Equalopportunity not equality o Policies stimulated capitalistic speculation by removing government restraints like the second bank of the US 0 Even in uenced the Whig party developed in opposition to the Jacksonian democrats About the Whigs Party of respectability of businessmen Members were comfortable with the rise of comm capitalism with the rise of industrial capitalism Stood for a loose construction of the constitution for federalist support for businesses NeoHamiltonian Did not care much for the rise of democracy Believed the elite should guide the masses for the common good Ancestors of the modernday Republicans Who were the Whigs National party like the democratic party with members in all parts of the country Coalition dominated by urban and commercial interests in all selections of the party 0 Plus growers of large staple crops cotton planters sugarcane farmers hemp growers Party of the established specialinterest groups that supported the second base of the US 0 Party of the haves not the party of the wants Origin Whig is a word that comes from Brit politics 0 In 18th and 19th century Whigs were the politicians who opposed excessive royal power in Britain 0 Opposed the kings39 men in England Whig party in the US grew out of remnants of national republican party strongly opposed to Andrew Jackson39s quotabusequot of presidential power 0 quotusurpation of executive authorityquot Accused Jackson of acting like a king 0 Opposed America s quotKing Andrew the firstquot Supported a neoHamiltonian alliance between government and business 0 Most clearly visible in proposals by Henry Clay 0 The American System A federal protective tariff would protect the new American industries from foreign competition believed that it would encourage the growth of industry Government would also pay for internal improvements improve the national communication system therefore facilitate internal trade among the states A strong national bank that would ensure stable currency and also facilitate trade both foreign and domestic o On paper simplicity itself Nation would become selfsuf cient and there would be harmony among all sections of the country 0 Democrats opposed this said the government would have to give special favors to special interest groups deny all citizens in favor of the few Too elitist What did the Whigs really think about democracy 0 The members of the Whig party found it quotpolitically necessaryquot to talk and act like democratic individualists even if they didn39t really mean it Knew that if they were going to win elections they had to at least sound democratic had to quotfool the peoplequot 0 But what did they really think 0 No real answer but perhaps a general answer from two of the important Whigs of the time Henry Clay of Kentuclq Considered democracy to be a threat to property rights 0 No sympathy for quotroughandtumble democracyquot 0 ln speeches and letters wrote almost nothing about common man concerned with manufacturers and planters not the workers not the yeomanfarmers o Yeomanfarmers individual farmers who owned small bits of land and consumed what they grew there o Planters owned large plantations and often grew crops for sale rather than personal consumption Daniel Webster of Massachusetts Modest birth but aristocratic in his habits Trained as a federalist and remained true to those principles throughout his career 0 From 1820 on political axiom 0 Power follows property o If there is to be a stable representative government power and property have to be tied together 0 In 1820 quotthere is not a more dangerous experiment than to place property in the hands of one class and political power in the hands of anotherquot In other words those who have the economic power should also have the political power 0 To Webster the best way to keep this harmony was for the government to help out business The government should help out special interest groups to tie power and property together Clay amp Webster were two of the ve congressmen selected for honor 0 However these views were not popular at the time seemed antiDemocratic seemed elitist 0 And so to win votes they lied Had to adopt the rhetoric of democracy the language of individualism even if they didn t mean it 0 Clay found it was to his political advantage to exaggerate his quothumblequot beginnings although he was wealthy he characterized himself as quotthe mill boy of the slashesquot Conveniently ignored his wealth 0 Daniel Webster also became wealthy lived like an aristocrat but said quotthe man who says I am an aristocrat is a liarquot and threatened to ght those who claimed this Also apologized to voters for not having been born in a log cabin Discovered that their best candidates were those who imitated Jackson 0 Davy Crockett quotsemiliterate bearkiller from Tennesseequot Re ected the spirit of the bright backwoods Biography quotdescribed himselfquot as quothalf horse halfalligator with a touch of snapping turtlequot Colorful and outspoken adopted by 1832 by the Whigs as a counterfoil to Jackson lnsisted on being his own man notJackson39s man quotTo thine own self always be true Be your own man Individualism is essential for selfrespectquot ln congress his continued opposition to Jackson39s proposals lost him his third election as a Democrat But reelected two years later as a Whig although he served only one term Too much for the voters in Tennessee liked Jackson more than they liked Crockett When he failed to be reelected he left Washington left Tennessee 0 Told his constituents quotYou may all go to hell and I will go to Texasquot 0 And he died at the Alamo 0 Presidential campaign of 1840 Democrats were much closer to actually meaning what they said than the Whigs Not all politicians lie or at least to the same degree Presidential Election of 1840 0 Democratic side Martin Van Buren incumbent followed Jackson 0 Running for second term Whig side passed up Clay chose instead William Henry Harrison 0 Running mate was a former democrat John Tyler governor of Virginia 0 Two of them made campaign slogan Tippecanoe and Tyler too O O Cleverly quotpackagedquot by the Whigs not as an aristocrat but a Westerner a plain man of the people just like AndrewJackson Rejected Clay because he took too many stances againstJackson39s policies he made enemies What were the issues 0 0 Log cabin and hard cider Supporter of Van Buren wrote sarcastically quotTippecanoe was a simple soul three things a government pension a log cabin and hard ciderquot Turned against them took it genuinely Whig party became the party of quotlog cabins and hard ciderquot that became the main symbol of Harrison and the Whig party The campaign was characterized by emotionalism ignored the political issues geared their campaign towards mass appeals and high voter turnout Whigs had campaign rallies torchlight parades sang song To guide the ship we39ll try old Tip lssues got lost Harrison39s campaign also marked the beginning of campaign souvenirs Old Cabin whiskey in cabinshaped bottles From EC Booze the distillery gave its name to a new slang word Nice
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