Andrew Jackson and The 2nd 2-Party System (lecture)
Andrew Jackson and The 2nd 2-Party System (lecture) HY 103
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This 11 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaylin Wallen on Monday April 4, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HY 103 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Dr. Brasher in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 56 views. For similar materials see American Civilization to 1865 in History at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.
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Andrew Jackson and the 2 2-Party System I. Elections of 1824 & 1828 a. Era of Good Feelings? i. What is it? 1. Theoretically no more political parties 2. Leaders making decisions on what’s best for the country ii. Missouri Compromise 1. After War of 1812, people flooding into the frontier and creating new states a. Government tried to bring in 2 states at a time (1 free state and 1 slave state) to keep a balance in congress b. Why? Both states feared what would happen if either had control of Congress i. Free states would abolish slavery ii. Slave states would make slavery legal everywhere c. Problem: Missouri applied for admission as a slave state and there wasn’t a free state to balance it i. Free states fought against admission = America’s leaders fighting over the issue of slavery d. Solution: Missouri comes in as slave state, Massachusetts gives up claim on land to create Maine as a free state Knew it would still be an issue later = 36/30 parallel (top line of TN, NC, AR) anything above= free anything below= slave b. Increase in Democracy i. New states and suffrage 1. Older states: elected officials won because of wealth, privilege (got them a good education, best schools, in politics their whole life) 2. New states: began creating constitutions that created universal White Male Suffrage (no owned land in order to vote) Elected officials won because hardworking, “one of them”, earned everything they have ii. Election of 1824 1. Candidates (top 3) a. John Quincy Adams (MA)- wealthy family, whole life in politics, elected by older states b. Henry Clay (KY)- speaker of the House of Representatives at this time c. Andrew Jackson (TN)- elected by new states, TN militia man, most famous person in America after War of 1812 (leader of troops @ New Orleans) 2. Results a. Jackson wins the most popular and electoral votes, but not the majority (51% of electoral votes to win) no one won the majority votes i. When this happens the House of Representatives gets to decide b. House of Representatives chooses John Quincy Adams iii. “Corrupt Bargain” 1. Adams makes Henry Clay his Secretary of State (Currently speaker of House- who decides president) a. There is no proof this did/didn’t happen, but people believed it did 2. Jackson supporters allege: We chose Jackson, but the will of the people was subverted to get what the wealthy/powerful wanted a. Leads to new political party- Democrats iv. Birth of Democratic Party 1. For the next 4 years, Jackson supporters do everything they can to ruin Adam’s presidency (why founding fathers didn’t want political parties) a. Make him unpopular =No accomplishments b. Shoot down all his bill proposals 2. Because he was an ineffective president (thanks to Jackson’s supporters), his campaign was weakened in the election of 1828 v. Election of 1828 1. The campaign a. The democrats pioneered campaigning b. The common/hardworking man: not educated enough, and not enough time to get educated about politics/candidates = politicians dumb down ideas so they can understand (rallies, songs, slogans) 2. The dirt a. Supporters of Jackson: politics has always been dirty, and this election was the dirtiest i. Alleged that when Adam’s was a diplomat to Russia, he rounded up women for the Russian Czar to sleep with = false ii. In politics, persistence/perception is greater than reality b. Supporters of Adams: there must be something actually true about Jackson (he was famous for drinking/partying) (people searched for dirt in Nashville) i. Claim before Rachel & Andrew ran off, they had an affair & Rachel was married to 2 men at one time- proof of adultery and bigamy ii. Rachel took hard= depression, eventually sick & died (became the #1 issue in the election) 1. Andrew was convinced the political attacks killed his wife c. Results i. Andrew Jackson won by a landslide 1. Bitter/sweet because it cost him his wife, but he overcame it ii. Victory for common man= have a party (not usual because associated with coronation of a King) d. Party in DC! i. Out of control ii. Movement: people who hated Jackson tried to ruin his presidency 1. Eventually formed another party II. Jackson’s First Term a. His principles i. Prone to pointing out the president was the only elected office chosen by all the voters = president is the ultimate expression of the will of the people 1. President’s #1 Job a. Constitution: command of military & make sure the laws are carried out b. Jackson: make sure whatever the majority of people in the country want, they get- majority always rules c. Founding Fathers: congress sets agenda for the country d. Jackson: President sets agenda for the country 2. People hate him because he is redefining the office of president b. Soils System i. Latin: “The victor goes to spoils” ii. Jackson owed favors to many people, when he became president he fired everyone from their government job & hired all the people who got them elected (wasn’t a typical thing to do at this time) iii. People hate Jackson because they lost their jobs c. Indian Removal (Trail of Tears) i. After war of 1812 people were moving to new states = old states losing population (loss in tax revenue, lower # of representatives) so they try to get people not to leave 1. Georgia needs to open up more land to keep people from leaving a. Forcefully removing Cherokee Indians off lands i. Indians: to hold onto land, they don’t fight white society they accommodate to it, will do what they want as ling as they can stay on their land (helping and supporting white society) b. Rather than resisting, they sued them- case appealed and sent to Supreme Court i. Decision: Cherokee aren’t citizens of the country, so they don’t have the right to sue (very federalist decision because attacking the power of the state) 1. Indirectly in their favor- not citizens, so laws can’t apply to them c. Jackson stepped in (believes majority rules & Cherokee aren’t the majority) i. Got congress to pass legislation forcefully removing Cherokee to Oklahoma = direct defiance of the Supreme Court (not an easy decision because he liked the Cherokee and he had an adopted son that was Cherokee) ii. Justified that it was the right thing to do because it’s best for the Cherokee 1. They’ve had to accommodate to White Society, if we move them away they can be true to their culture (they didn’t care about culture, land was more important to them) 2. Has to send military to forcefully remove Indians = “Trail of Tears” a. 100,000 Native Americans forced to Oklahoma b. If something/someone slowed them the American troops would eliminate it/them c. 15,000 Native Americans died/murdered 3. The Trail of Tears increased the number of Jackson’s enemies (because he defied the Supreme Court-Checks and Balances) d. Nullification Crisis i. Currently a tariff (had since Hamilton) and South Carolina decided the tariff was too high 1. Economy struggling 2. Worked in congress to get it lowered a. Couldn’t get it done because majority felt it was at a good level/price (best source of revenue) ii. John C. Calhoun 1. Decided to continue to fight through other means- looked into the writings of founding fathers to find a political argument to use to lower the tariff a. 2 fathers argued that states have the ability to “null and avoid” (KY and VA resolves) = SC has the ability to nullify the tariff in their state i. Many people didn’t agree because founding fathers said “if checks and balances fails, state can nullify” 2. Knew the government wouldn’t agree (they believe Federal government is greater than state government) a. Jackson: Majority wants the tariff therefore we keep it 3. SC argument: If the federal government tries to force us to pay, SC will have the right to secede (break off from the U.S. and form their own country) 4. Jackson: You can’t do that, forced them to pay the tariff & put together a military force to put them down a. Verge of a civil war 5. Congress: we will reduce the tariff if you stop threatening to secede a. Short term: good because it prevents a war b. Long term: taught states that when the federal government does something they don’t like, they can threaten to secede and the government will back down c. Would have been in the best interest if Jackson forced them to pay the tariff 6. More Jackson enemies: was going to use troops on American citizens a. Enemies start to dominate congress III. Second Term a. Election of 1832 i. Bank issue 1. Enemies of Jackson decide to hurt his chances of re-election by bringing up issue of the national bank—is it still necessary & proper? (They vote and then vote again after a few years, but there was still 3 years left until then) 2. They know Jackson hates the national bank (believe government should be as small as possible, not cost a lot of $$ and doesn’t hurt the common man) a. Believed his response would hurt him in the election ii. Results 1. Jackson vetoed, but released a statement saying why a. Turned it into an issue of class warfare (wealthy elite are trying to renew the bank to keep a large expensive government= burden to common man) b. Politically brilliant because he energized his base i. Did something that gets prone supporters excited, so they will go vote on election day no matter what c. Enormously large numbers voted = re-election in landslide b. Killing the Bank i. When the common man came out to vote for him, Jackson took that as an indication that they wanted him to veto and kill the national bank ii. How would he do that f there are still years left on the bank’s charter? 1. The bank needs money to function, so Jackson ordered his Secretary of Treasury to withdraw all the national $ and put it into state and private banks (when his secretary of treasury refused, he fired him and hired someone who would) iii. Jackson’s enemies increased because he tried to get rid of the national bank c. The Whig party i. Enough of Jackson’s enemies to create a political party: Whigs 1. Britain Whigs: opposes the power of the King 2. In U.S. = political statement: Jackson is acting like a monarch ii. Because of Jackson, we have 2 political parties 1. Democrats- supporters 2. Whigs- enemies d. Election of 1836 i. 1 fight between the democrats and the Whigs ii. Jackson didn’t run, but he handpicks Martin Van Buren (strange because he was the opposite of Jackson—from a wealthy NY banking family) 1. Democratic party not comfortable with him, but Jackson (founder of the party) encourages it= nomination of Van Buren iii. Whigs have a hard time finding 1 person they all agreed on (they actually didn’t agree on anything except that they hated Jackson) 1. 3 nominations= mistake a. Split the anti-democratic vote and got Van Buren elected e. Jackson’s legacy i. Typically, the president doesn’t change much; however there is a handful that changed everything- one of them was Jackson…How? 1. Father of the democratic party a. Principle of democratic party: wealthy subverting the will of the common/hardworking man 2. Indian Removal a. Defied the supreme court 3. Dumbed down political issues (biggest reason) a. In order to appeal to the common man (how you get elected president) IV. Rise of the Whigs a. Martin Van Buren as president i. All the same enemies as Jackson but, none of Jackson’s connections to the common man to fall back on/support him through enemy attacks = attacks stuck with him ii. Biggest attack: economy went bad with him as president- blame him iii. Nickname: Martin Van Ruin b. The Whigs get it together i. During his presidency, the Whigs figure out who they are 1. Uniting in opposition 2. William H. Harrison a. Apparently people like a war hero, and he had been fighting Indians way before Jackson b. Born wealthy, but in politics perception is greater than reality—painted him as a frontier guy because he spent so much time fighting Indians (trying to appeal to the common man) c. Election of 1840 i. Whig tactics 1. Fireworks, parades, songs—to appeal to the common man (out democrat the democrats) & it worked ii. Harrison won in 1840 1. Shortest presidential term—caught pneumonia at inaugural address & died 2 months later iii. Now 2 very well established political parties again d. The 2 party system i. The democrats 1. Party of Jackson 2. Party of the common man 3. Believe the best thing to do for the common man is to have a small government that doesn’t cost a lot of money 4. Strict interpretation of Constitution a. Sounds a lot like Jeffersonian Party ii. The Whigs 1. Party of the common man 2. Believe the best thing to do for the common man is to use the government to create jobs, government encourages manufacturing, government with a lot of powers 3. Loose interpretation of the constitution a. Sounds like Federalist Party (Hamilton) iii. What issue will they avoid? 1. Slavery 2. Why? Because these other issues (size/powers of government, what government should/shouldn’t do, loose vs. strict interpretation) don’t fundamentally divide us (geographically- Northerners vs. Southerners) but the slavery issue is dangerous because is does divide us geographically…so they avoid it iv. The danger 1. If the issue they will talk about ever get intertwined with the slavery issue, then slavery is going to become unavoidable, n if that happens it will divide us 2. It’s up to both parties to prevent that from happening by avoiding the slavery issue v. Conclusions 1. Because of Jackson, 2 political parties developed in this country (Democrats and Whigs), they disagreed over the size and the powers of the federal government, but both of them did everything they could to avoid the slavery issue