The Age of Jackson
Andrew Jackson’s policies speak for
the common people, but violate the
rights of Native Americans
The Election of 1824
Popular Vote
Electoral Vote
Andrew Jackson
J.Q. Adams
what you have learned
about the process
electing a President and the role of the Electoral
what problem
do you see?37
The Election of 1824
• Andrew Jackson, the hero of the War of 1812,
wins popular vote but not electoral vote
• Vote now goes to the House of
• Henry Clay has the ability to decide the vote –
and he does not trust Jackson
“I cannot believe that
killing twenty-five hundred
Englishmen at New
Orleans qualifies [him] for
the various difficult and
complicated duties of
[the presidency].”
The Corrupt Bargain
• House elects John Quincy Adams to the
• Jacksonians claim Adams and Clay had struck a
“corrupt bargain”
• Jacksonians form their own political party to
block Adams’s policies
The Corrupt Bargain?
Jackson could barely contain his fury at having lost the election in what he claimed
was a "corrupt bargain" between Adams and Clay to overturn the will of the people.
To most Jacksonian supporters it looked as if congressional leaders had conspired to
revive the caucus system, whereby Congress greatly influenced, if not determined,
the selection of the president. Jackson laid the blame on Clay, telling anyone who
would listen that the Speaker had approached him with the offer of a deal: Clay
would support Jackson in return for Jackson's appointment of Clay as secretary of
state. When Jackson refused, Clay made the deal with Adams instead. In Jackson's
words, Clay had sold his influence in a "corrupt bargain." Clay denied the charges,
and while there certainly had been some behind-the-scene maneuvering by Clay to
push the vote to Adams, it most likely reflected Clay's genuine doubts about
Jackson's qualifications as a president. In assessing the odds of successfully
forwarding his own political agenda, Clay questioned Jackson's commitment to the
American System of internal improvements. On the other hand, Clay knew that
Adams had supported it consistently over the years. Enraged, Jackson resigned his
seat in the U.S. Senate and vowed to win the presidency in 1828 as an outsider to
Washington politics.
The Corrupt Bargain?
“The fateful decision came on January 9, 1825. A meeting was arranged between Adams
and Clay for an evening's conversation. "Mr. Clay came at six," Adams confided to his
journal, "and spent the evening with me in a long conversation." In the course of the
conversation Clay asked the New Englander "to satisfy him with regard to some principles
of great public importance, but without any personal considerations for himself." Nothing
crude or vulgar, like declaring the terms of a political deal, passed their lips. No need.
Both men understood one another's purposes. Surely they both realized that in exchange
for House support Adams would designate Clay as his secretary of state.”
The Life of Andrew Jackson
“It was, however, in selecting his own successor at the State department that Adams
undid his strategy for nonpartisanship and national unity. He asked Henry Clay, to whom
he owed his election, to serve as secretary of state. The offer was extended after the
House had elected Adams-not before as is often alleged.”
John Quincy Adams: A Public Life, A Private Life
Changing Political Parties
National Republicans
(Andrew Jackson)
(John Quincy Adams)
National Republicans
(J.Q. Adams)
• Federal government should
take a leadership role
• Federal government should
support internal
improvements (roads,
bridges, etc.)
• Anti-slavery
• Federal government should
remain as inactive as
• The individual states should
be responsible for internal
improvements (roads,
bridges, etc.)
• Pro-slavery
Sum up the difference between the two political parties….
Jackson Benefits from States’ Decisions
Most states had been gradually easing voting
qualifications - few required you to own
property anymore
In 1828, many of these new “common” voters
vote for Jackson
First Issue: Native Americans
• Whites moving West want to displace or
assimilate Native Americans
–Assimilation: make them join white culture
• Jackson: only solution - move Native Americans
off their land
• Congress passes Indian Removal Act of 1830
• Jackson pressures some tribes to move, forcibly
removes others
Indian Removal Act of 1830
Natives Fight Back
•Cherokee argue that they have already signed
treaties with the gov’t and do not have to
•Worcester v. Georgia
• Supreme Court ruled Cherokee were a “distinct
community” and GA could not force them to do
• Established the principal that Fed. gov’t had
authority over Native Indian affairs
“John Marshall has
made his decision;
now let him
enforce it!"
The Trail of Tears
Cherokee forced west on Trail of Tears
• 800-mile trip made on foot
• Robbed by government officials and settlers
• Many fall ill during the journey
• Thousands die
The “Common Man” Takes Office
• Jackson limits appointees to federal jobs to
four-year terms
• Uses spoils system—replaces former
appointees with his own friends
• Friends become primary advisers, nicknamed
the “kitchen cabinet”
Issue Two: States’ Rights
British have been trying to flood U.S. with cheap
goods; tariffs were raised in 1824 & 1828
• Vice-president John C. Calhoun calls 1828
Tariff of Abominations
– Thinks South pays for North’s prosperity
• Calhoun devises nullification theory:
– Constitution based on agreement among states
– State can reject law it considers unconstitutional
– States have right to leave Union if nullification
Debate Over States Rights
•Senator Robert Hayne argues Southern view of
tariff and states’ rights
•Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts
defends Union
•Jackson believes Union “must be preserved”
and Calhoun resigns as V.P.
South Carolina Rebels!
• South Carolina declares 1828, 1832 tariffs null;
threatens to secede (won’t be the last time!)
• Congress passes Force Bill: can use army, navy
against South Carolina
– Jackson doesn’t actually send in troops
• Henry Clay proposes a new tariff that lowers
taxes over 10 years
Issue Three: National Bank
Re-Chartering the Bank
• Second Bank of the United States (BUS) not
due to be rechartered until 1836; Clay and
Webster introduce issue early
– Wanted it to be a campaign issue
– Thought Jackson would veto it and loose support
– Underestimated how much the people disliked
A “Privileged Institution”
• Democrats made sure people thought of Bank
as a “privileged institution”
– All Federal taxes deposited there, unfair
advantage over smaller state & private banks
– Stockholders earned interest from deposits, only
people with $$$ could be stockholders
– Bank President Nicholas Biddle gave loans to
Congressmen at much lower rates than to average
“The bank … is
trying to kill me but I
will kill it!"
Development of Pet Banks
• After 1832 reelection, Jackson puts in Sec. of
Treasury who will put government funds in
state banks
– Known as “Pet Banks” - loyal to the Democrats
• Biddle calls in all BUS loans and refuses to give
out new loans
– Hoped this would force Jackson to re-charter
– Cost Biddle much of his support, BUS was not
The Whig Party
• Jackson’s tactics and policies angered many –
including some within the Democratic Party
• 1834 – Whig political party formed
• Backed ideas of the American System
– Tariffs
– Internal Improvements
– Federal control of banking and currency

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