Democracy In America 1815-1840 Chapter 10 The Triumph of Democracy Property and Democracy Challenges to property qualifications for voting began after revolution. Before 1790- they were common, but not one state that entered the union under the new Constitution used them. One by one, the original 13 states got rid of them by 1860 (except for a curious hold out- RI – more on that in a moment) If the hallmark of citizenship was the right to vote, there were now very few (white) men denied that privilege, a reflection of the importance of Individualism in the American character. By 1840 90% of Adult white men could vote. Politics was boisterous, Partisan, and sometime violent. In a heterogeneous (many cultures)nation, democratic political institutions were a big part of nationalism The Dorr War In order to vote in RI a person still needed to own property valued at $134 or rent property for at least $7 a year – which disqualified many factory workers In 1841 a group of people who wanted reform got together and drafted a new state constitution, which gave universal suffrage to white men. They hosted an “extralegal” (which is a cute way of saying without official permission- or illegal) referendum (vote of the people on a law) and proclaimed Thomas Dorr (lawyer who wrote the constitution) the governor. He was arrested and served 2 years for treason. Shows how seriously people took the “right” to vote RI eliminated property qualification for native born men, kept it for immigrants until 1888 (nativism) Toqueville on Democracy Alexis de Tocquville was a French writer who visited/toured America throughout 1830 (originally to study prisons and prison reform), then went home and wrote Democracy in America published in 1833. He said that democracy is a “habit of the heart” meaning far more than the right to vote or a set of political institutions. According to De Tocquville; American culture encouraged initiative, believed in equality, and an active public sphere populated by organizations to improve society The founders had been worried about too much democracy (that’s why we have the electoral college) but political participation triumphed during the age of Jackson- it was the emblem of citizenship- and the “true mark of a free man” The Information Revolution There was an explosion of printing during the early 1800s – the rise of the mass circulation “penny press” (rather than the tradition 6 cents) so that by 1840 the 17 million people of the US read more newspapers than the 233 million of Europe Sensationalist journalism was born with the New York Sun and New York Herald (the 1st “tabloids”) full of crime stories and scandals. Political parties published their own papers, as well as “alternative” groups like abolitionists (the liberator) and early labor organizations. Women were frequent contributors to many papers, not only with guides to domestic life, but poems, essays, and passionate appeals about reform and religious movements (more later) The Limits of Democracy America in the early 1800s was both expansive and exclusive. Even as new segments of the population gained access to democratic institutions others were being deliberately excluded. For women and free African Americans, there was an assumption of inferiority of both intellect and ability. “How did women 1st become subject to man as she now is all over the world? By her nature, her sex, just as the negro is, and always will be, to the end of time, inferior to the white race and therefore doomed to subjection”. Women would gain the vote in 1920, the 15th Amendment will be passed in 1870, but not until the voting rights act of 1965 will African American voting rights be protected in all states A Racial Democracy In contrast to European Hierarchy, Americans of various classes dressed the same, travelled in the same RR cars, and stayed in the same hotels. In our nation- it was race that kept a human from being able to participate in society, not wealth Racist imagery and stereotypes are already well established in early 1800s, African Americans were portrayed as stupid and/or dishonest, or happy superstitious slaves – and they had what they thought of as “scientific” proofs to go with it. Before 1800 Northern states did not forbid Blacks from voting- though states that entered the union after that did (Maine exception) By 1860- blacks could only vote in 5 New England states (in some cases with property qualifications) and less than 4% of the Nations FREE black population could vote. Race and Class In this “Age of Democracy”, the definition of the political nation had become tied to race. Blacks were aliens, not really Americans (much like Indians) The could not serve in Army or militias, testify in court, vote (generally) or attend pubic schools. B/c there were so many different “types” of whites, having African Americans as the “others” in society helped solidify a sense of national identity. The American System The War of 1812 significantly jumpstarted Americani industry- after all- we didn’t have a choice. But the end of the war brought renewed competition from British manufacturers. Henry Clay (and John C Calhoun) believed strongly that the government should provide protection for the American economy- and got President Madison on board (for a while) Proposed: A new National Bank (1st bank’s charter expired 1811) a increased tariff, and the building of roads and canals to help commerce (funded by tariff) Controversial b/c it raised strict vs. loose construction issues again.- which made Madison change his mind partway through. 2nd Bank of US chartered 1816, Tariff of 1816 offered protection to American goods, but no to improvements- until civil war internal improvements built by states or private companies Banks and Money Lack of a bank during the war had been a problem for US- local banks issues their own paper currency, which devalued and hurt war effort Went through in 1816 (even Jefferson supported)- with another 20 year charter and 3.5x more capital than 1st bank. Controversial b/c it was a private business as well as the government’s financial agent. Could issue $$- it was supposed to regulate the supply of paper currency in circulation to make sure it was backed by Specie (gold and silver deposits), pay gov’t debts, and collect taxes. Critics condemned b/c it was more accountable to it’s investors than to the people – and it had a bad tendency to get involved in land speculation …… The Panic of 1819 1st fiscal crisis since beginning of nation (have had econ probs, but this is more about cash flow) From this time forward we’ll have one about every 20 years until great depression- it’s a capitalism thing….thanks Adam Smith Caused by End of war created huge demand in Eng for US cotton Land speculation (for cotton lands)- banks put out too many risky loans- many of which end in foreclosure Results of Rekindling political hostilities- est between West (the farmers) who come to distrust National Bank and East (the bankers) who think farmers are greedy Gov’t steps in and make getting western land easier (by the civil war they are giving it away!) Didn’t last very long- but caused BIG stress. Those suffering in the downturn demanded help from state and national government (this is a new thing) The Politics of the Panic Western States, where Panic was worst, flooded their own paper $$ in so people could pay back debts (which would make citizens happy, but not really help $$ issues) Made ordinary people “suspicious” of banks – especially the Bank of US, leading to another landmark supreme court case…. State of Maryland- which doesn’t like the National Bank passed a law taxing the Baltimore branch- which they hope will destroy it, and challenging its constitutionality. Branch refuses to pay- so state sues manager- James McCulloch for failure to pay taxes McCulloch v Maryland Supreme Court dismissed charges against McCulloch, and goes to the heart- is the bank Constitutional. Chief Justice Marshall (the last federalist…) says yes it is- and says the states cannot tax the federal government (est. the supremacy of Fed over State) Significantly increased the power of the federal government over the states – which is a big argument at the time- and Marshall hammers it until the Dem Reps are on board Checked the excesses of the popularly elected state legislatures, and puts limits on democracy at a time when democracy is growing significantly (age of Jackson) keeping it from running wild. The Missouri Controversy James Monroe is the last of the “Virginia Dynasty” and the last “founding father” (he was at Const. Convention) to serve as president Federalists are done- they ran their last candidate (Rufus King) in 1816- cease to function as an opposition party . When Monroe Runs for Re-election in 1820, he is virtually unopposed, but one elector refused to vote for him b/c he wanted GW to be only unanimous president 4 of 5 presidents had been from Virginia- governed 32 of 36 years of the republic Period from 1816-1824 known as “Era of Good Feelings” b/c there is strong nationalism and Dem-Reps are the only political game in town. But the title is deceptive, as there were serious issues lurking under the surface – Especially Sectionalism Presidential Rankings: C-Span Survey, 2009 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Abraham Lincoln Franklin Roosevelt George Washington Theodore Roosevelt Harry Truman John Kennedy Thomas Jefferson Dwight Eisenhower Woodrow Wilson Ronald Reagan Lyndon Johnson James Polk Andrew Jackson James Monroe 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. Bill Clinton William McKinley John Adams George H.W. Bush John Quincy Adams James Madison Grover Cleveland Gerald Ford Ulysses Grant William Taft Jimmy Carter Calvin Coolidge Richard Nixon James Garfield 29. Zachary Taylor 30. Benjamin Harrison 31. Martin Van Buren 32. Chester Arthur 33. Rutherford Hayes 34. Herbert Hoover 35. John Tyler 36. George W. Bush 37. Millard Fillmore 38. Warren Harding 39. William Harrison 40. Franklin Pierce 41. Andrew Johnson 42. James Buchanan One way to balance sectional tensions was to ensure that there was an equal number of slave and free states 1819 Missouri applied for addition to the Union as a slave state- and Missouri is farther north than any other slave area (on same latitude as IL and IN) Northern states propose Tallmadge Amendment: saying no more slaves brought to MO, and gradual emancipation of those thereSouth goes NUTS Jesse Thomas /Henry Clay Compromise offer compromise: Balance with Maine as a free state, and no more slavery north of 36 30 line. “Balance” becomes policy for 34 years (until K-N Act in 1854) Slavery becomes the dominant issue in American domestic policy- and South begins to increase their sectional nationalism Thomas Jefferson said issue was a Federalist attempt to revive their party and set Northern and Southern Republicans against each other. The Slavery Question But it was Northern Republicans that were worried about expansion of slavery- and on the South’s power in Washington (esp in Presidency) 3/5 Compromise gave south more Reps and more electoral votes, at a time when their white population was declining compared to North and West Jefferson said the sectional division (in regards to expansion of slavery) was “like a fire bell in the night, (it) awakened me and filled me with terror. I considered it the death knell of the union” The US and the Latin American Wars for Independence When Napoleon was in power he conquered Spain. that disruption - as well as the inspiration of the American, French, and Haitian independence, led to a wave of revolutions around Latin America between 1810-1822. This was good for US b/c it opened trade with those areas (they had been subject to their own navigation acts) Spain in no shape to reconquer- but there was concern that other European nations might try to step in British were also trading with Latin America- and suggested a joint declaration warning European nations not to interfere with the newly liberated areas. The Monroe Doctrine John Quincy Adams was Sec of State – and he wrote president’s annual message to congress (state of the union) Includes what comes to be called Monroe Doctrine: No more European colonization in New World We will stay out of wars of Europe (neutrality) Let new countries alone Important b/c it is another example of being our own boss etc… also stays (sort of) with Isolationist policies set by Washington- we are staying out of Europe, they should stay away from Americas In the end, it works, not b/c anyone is scared of us (we weren’t scary then) but b/c Europe is busy, and they decide Americas are all played out anyway Election of 1824 Dem – Reps were still the only “party”, but by this point they are no longer unified: 4 Dem-Rep candidates run in 1824 reflecting both regional and philosophical differences John Q Adams: Sec of State, MA, New Eng manufacturing William H Crawford: Sec of Treas, GA Plantation aristocracy Henry Clay: Speaker of the House, KY, Amer. System (west) Andrew Jackson: Sen from TN, War Hero, “Common Man” No shock- no one gets majority of electoral votes (though Jackson gets plurality)- election goes to House of Reps Rules say you choose from top 3- and that is Jackson, Adams and Crawford. But candidate 4, Clay, is speaker, and therefore in control of election….and he HATES Jackson (who was is rival in the west) The “Corrupt Bargain” So Clay uses his influence to make sure Adams becomes president… and low and behold a few days later, Adams announces Clay will be Sec of State. Jackson and supporters FLIP- but in reality, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing…. Clay was well qualified for job, and Adams was ridiculously honest. Casts shadow over Adams’ presidency- Jackson and supporters spend every minute trying to take him down. Will led to breakup of the Dem-Rep party Presidential Rankings: C-Span Survey, 2009 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Abraham Lincoln Franklin Roosevelt George Washington Theodore Roosevelt Harry Truman John Kennedy Thomas Jefferson Dwight Eisenhower Woodrow Wilson Ronald Reagan Lyndon Johnson James Polk Andrew Jackson James Monroe 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. Bill Clinton William McKinley John Adams George H.W. Bush John Quincy Adams James Madison Grover Cleveland Gerald Ford Ulysses Grant William Taft Jimmy Carter Calvin Coolidge Richard Nixon James Garfield 29. Zachary Taylor 30. Benjamin Harrison 31. Martin Van Buren 32. Chester Arthur 33. Rutherford Hayes 34. Herbert Hoover 35. John Tyler 36. George W. Bush 37. Millard Fillmore 38. Warren Harding 39. William Harrison 40. Franklin Pierce 41. Andrew Johnson 42. James Buchanan The Nationalism of John Q Adams HUGELY well qualified to be president: son of a founding father, well educated, had been ambassador to Prussia, Russia, the Netherlands and England, a senator, and sec of state. Began as a federalist (like Dad)- but left over disagreement with Party about Embargo act under Jefferson. Had supervised our purchase of Florida (Adams Onis) and the treaty to Determine the American/Canadian border at top of Louisiana Purchase Adams had a vision for national greatness. (Embraced Clay’s American System- wanted tariffs, internal improvements, sound $$ policy) but accomplished almost none of it. Too much his father’s son….obnoxious and disliked, round 2 Wanted to create an “Active National State” with “Liberty is Power Laws to promote agriculture commerce, manufactuirng and the arts A National University An astronomical observatory A Naval Academy (already have West Point) The Metric System Willing to spend $$- spent more on internal improvement than 5 predecessors combined. Raised Tariff from 23%-37% (popular in N Eng, but not South or West) Some saw him as too elitist. (harkening back to federalists) Others thought American system unconstitutional- or sectionally biased But in reality- he didn’t work well with others, so good ideas get shouted down – most will come into play eventually- though we are still not metric Martin Van Buren and the Democratic Party Martin Van Buren (a senator from NYthe “little magician”) really got the party system moving (to help AJ get elected in 1828). Said parties were a GOOD thing, provide a check on those IN power (they have to listen) and offer voters a choice. Also combat sectionalism- they are a bond of unity in a divided nation. 2 party system will re-emerge: Democrats and Whigs Election of 1828 Jackson and supporters plotted ceaselessly from 1824-28. Martin Van Buren in charge of campaignrunning the first modern “political machine” (local and state unites overseen by a national committee, and specific newspaper support) Democrats: Andrew Jackson, “Old Hickory”- party of the Common Man (Irony- he owns a huge plantation and is filthy rich) National Republicans: Adams. Refuses to “run”, which makes him even easier to beat Demonstrated how advent of universal (white male) suffrage had transformed politics “Age of Jackson” Campaigning was intense…. Mudslinging Jackson supporters call Adams cold, intellectual (as opposed to active) and out of touch with ordinary Americans. “Vote for Andrew Jackson who can fight, not John Quincy Adams who can write”> Adams doesn’t go negative- but others do (about Jackson) Bringing up his numerous duels (at least 13), and saying that his wife Rachel is an adulteress b/c her divorce might not have been finalized when she and Jackson married. She died about a month after election, and Jackson blamed her death on his opponents The Age of Jackson Jackson was a man of contradictions 1st president from the West, and whom did not grow up with an elite background (orphaned young, no college education) Political views are complex and contradictorydon’t really fit into any mold but “Jacksonian”. He’s rich, but doesn’t like rich people He loves democracy – but not for blacks or Indians He likes federal power- as long as he has it - but hates other federal institutions (the court, the bank etc..) Big veto man (he used it 12 times- first six combined had used it 10) his way or the highway Opponents call him “king Andrew I” The Party System A shift in thinking - politicians make more and more effort to appeal to masses (as opposed to elite) Banners, Badges, Babykissing, parties and free drinks. Change from Jefferson (gov’t FOR the people) to Jackson (gov’t BY the people) The idea of “party machine” is that politicians trade votes for favors- and a big, plummy favor are gov’t jobs and contracts. Spoils System- As soon as he becomes president Jackson sets out to reward his friends, and get rid of enemies. Packed gov’t jobs with party loyalists (up until now bureaucratic posts had not been part of party system) Patronage- he rotated a number of people through jobs to make sure he got a chance to reward everyone Both parties are coalitions – and their ideologies have some fluidity during this time period. Democrats and Whigs The Democrats support the “common man” theory- that those who work (producers) are better than those who own (bankers, merchants, speculators). Democrats thought gov’t should be very laissez faire with econ- to allow the “little guys” to prosper (whigs disagree) Kind of funny- b/c this is also Adam Smith’s thought for big business capitalism etc.. Whigs are (sort of) the heirs to Hamilton’s federalistssupported by business elite, sought to reduce spoils system, wanted national gov’t stronger than states, and to create a strong business/econ climate. Like the idea of the American System (which bring H Clay into the party). Strongest in the Northeast, with people who want to expand market revolution.- and interestingly so do the largest southern slaveowners…. Parties represent different definitions of American Freedom – and Democrats feel strongly about the need to LIMIT the power of the government to protect private freedom and state’s rights. Public and Private Freedom During Jackson’s presidency Democrats reduced expenditures (paid off national debt in 1835), lowered the tariff, killed the national bank, and refused to fund internal improvements. During the 1830s the states replace the federal government as the main forces acting on the economy (which can be a problem as they are out for their own good rather than the full nations) building improvements, and chartering banks and corporations Politics and Morality Part of our love of individualism kept us from accepting the imposition of a unified moral vision – again b/c we are a heterogeneous nation. (Catholic/Protestant, German, English, Scottish etc…) For Democrats the test of public policy should not be “it is good for us” but does it allow “free agency” (individual choice) Whigs, on the other hand, feel that power and liberty reinforce each other. To be successful requires certain character traits and those could/should be taught and legislated. They thought the government should create the conditions for economic development to promote a prosperity all would share . They did believe in social hierarchy, but did not think status was fixed – work harder and join in. Tariff of Abominations 1828 Jackson and supporters are looking at election of 1828and in a tricky political move- decide to support, and even expand tariffs (propose 45%) so southern and western voters will blame Adams for increased prices So the tariff passes, and as predicted, New Eng happy (but they wouldn’t support Jackson anyway) West ok, (some parts are helpful to them) and South is MADswings them fully into the Jackson camp. South is screaming about abuse of federal power and states’ rights (get used to it, you’ll hear it a lot) John C Calhoun writes “South Carolina Exposition” talking about nullification (like VA and KY resolutions) South Carolina and Nullification Jackson made very few policy statements as a candidate- he “ran” as a war hero. But as president he had to define his stance on political issues. Jackson liked state’s rights, but as president needed up uphold federal policy. Tariff of 1828 (“tariff of abominations”) had been VERY unpopular in south. Southerners keep talking about nullification – especially in South Carolina. They want to make sure to that the federal government is weak- lest it someday take action against slavery. Calhoun’s Political Theory John C Calhoun is one of the loudest calls for Nullificationand he is VP. Worked from behind the scenes – secretly drafting Exposition and Protest to justify the theory of nullification. He and Jackson are not in great shape - Sec of War John Eaton wife Peggy was being snubbed for being a woman of “loose virtue”- other cabinet wifes/gov’t officials refused to be with her or invite her to their homes esp. Mrs. John C Calhoun (wife of VP). Jackson (remembering slanders on his wife) stood up for Mrs. Eaton- and fell out with VP Calhoun Webster Hayne Debate: Sectional showdown between West/South and North/East over land sales. Sen Robert Hayne (SC) rep. states’ rights. Said New Eng was selfish and disloyal (1812) said nullification a valid option. Sen Daniel Webster (now from MA) insisted the states had no right to nullify- New Eng had to go along in 1812… Result- each side thinks they win, further entrench arguments Virginia held a Jefferson Day (birthday) celebrationand John C Calhoun devised a plan to try to trick Jackson into a State’s Rights commitment Jefferson Day Toast Everyone was to go around the room and give a toast to Jefferson, and Calhoun planned it so toast would get more and more pro-south, he hoped Jackson would get caught into making a public statement. Jackson heard about plan though- and refused to toastwhich illustrated split between Calhoun/Jackson, and Jackson/southern aristocracy. Calhoun finally resigned 1832 (went back to senate) Many Southerners feel that SC and Calhoun, are going to far. But Calhoun says the only way to ensure the stability of the nation is for each state to be assured that national interests would not be able to trample THEIR interests. 1832 Jackson proposes to lower from 45-35%, not enough for them Nullification Crisis South Carolina calls a state convention which declared all the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 null and void. Said SC would secede if gov’t tried to make them pay By challenging the authority of the law- SC directly challenged Jackson’s presidency- and he didn’t think it was funny. Threatened SC with martial law Henry Clay comes through with a compromise which would lower tariff over 8 years - back to 1816 . Calhoun resigns as VP, and abandon’s Democratic party, becomes a Whig (as are Clay and Webster- though the only thing they really agree on is that they don’t like Jackson. Whole thing is Stepping stone to Civil War Indian Removal Things certainly haven’t been going well for eastern Native Americans – but Jackson will finish the job Since 1790s native American tribes had been treated as separate nations- but treaties were routinely violated when whites wanted land. Lots of pressure to move all natives west of Mississippi1832 Sauk and Fox tribes of Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin, led by Chief Black Hawk, decide to fightbut get crushed (opens more western territory) By 1840 there will be virtually no Indians left east of the Mississippi Cherokee Since Jefferson, policy has been that tribes who agree to live like white people can keep their - the “civilized” tribes (Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole) have written constitution, written laws etc., But in 1828 GA decides they all have to go (there is gold on Cherokee land)- and Jackson agrees Indian Removal Act of 1830- created Reservations in OK and KA guaranteeing land to tribes who would go voluntary – but Cherokee refuse and take case to Supreme Court…. The Supreme Court and the Indians Cherokee offered their treaty in 1791 (signed by Washington himself!) and evidence of assimilation to prove their right to their land. Cherokee Nation v Georgia: Supreme court recognizes Cherokee as a “domestic Dependent Nation” with some autonomy, but without full sovereignty. Chief Justice Marshall did condemn Jackson’s actions – in Worchester v Georgia he says that Georgia shouldn’t have tried to violate the original treaty – and therefore whole question shouldn’t have started. Jackson says “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it”. Trail of Tears 1838 Jackson eventually sends in federal troops to supervise the relocation of Cherokee. 18,000 Native Americans are forced to abandon their lands and march over 1000 miles. Over 4000 die of malnutrition, exposure and disease along the way Similar problems for other tribes3500/15,000 Creeks, and 25% of Choctaws Seminoles in Florida ordered out too They refuse, and begin guerilla attacks on US troops in FL (2nd Seminole War) killing 1500 Most of the tribe ends up moved- but a good chunk just hide in the swamps The Bank War Biddle’s Bank By the time the Bank was re-chartered in 1816 it was becoming associated with elitism, and for Jacksonian democrats it came to symbolize econ tensions (Called it the “moneyed monster”) President of the Bank was an aristocratic Philadelphian, Nicholas Biddle (distrust of “eastern elite”) After Panic of 1819, the bank required all state and local banks to back paper with specie- hard currency (you had to have enough gold in your vault to cover all paper notes) Which made it harder for local banks to make loans- esp large risky ones- which is esp common out west with land speculation etc.Actually sound monetary regulation- but not popular with Jackson’s voters Charter to be up in 1836- Henry Clay (running against Jackson) put it up in 1832 to cause an issue for Jackson…. If he signs, he alienates western electorate If he vetoes, he alienates eastern business Jackson: “The bank is trying to kill me, but I will kill it”. Vetoessaying he must, it’s unconstitutional (Putting himself over supreme court) Galvanizes his detractors into create true oppositions to Jacksonian Democrats The Bank issue is really central to understanding Jackson’s presidency. He was going against Congress (who passed the charter) and bypassing the Supreme Court . Jackson saw himself as the representative of the people (NOT the framer’s intention, that’s congress’s job) the 1st president to really take that standhe appealed to the public to support his actions- and they did, so he felt fine about it. The Pet Banks and the Economy To make SURE bank died, even before charter ran out, in 1833 Jackson decided to remove all federal $$ from banks. Actually just made no new deposits, and existing $$ drained away on expenses. Put $$ in 23 specific state banks- those that ran with ideas he agreed with – or run by people he liked (spoils) However, without regulation, state banks failed to curb “wildcat” banks that sprang up and expanded the paper $$ in circulation from $10 mi in 1833 to $149 in 1837, resulting in runaway inflation The Panic of 1837 Recognizing potential land speculation issues, Jackson required all land purchases be made in gold/silver Specie Circular- but there wasn’t enough, and that led to a financial panic as Jackson was leaving office. Speculation not only problem, also crop failures and problems with British banks. Depression lasts until 1843. Prices fell 25%, tens of thousands saw farms foreclosed or businesses fail. ( states defaulted on their debts (they had taken loans for internal improvements) Election of 1836 Martin Van Buren Jackson’s “Heir Apparent” Whigs (not fully organized) enter 3 sectional candidates, 2 matter: Daniel Webster (NH), and William Henry Harrison (OH). Accused Jackson of violating Constitution with spoils system and increased executive power. Grouped together Whigs pulled 49% of the vote- showing that there were many people unhappy with Jacksonian Democracy, but regionalism kept them from getting the votes they needed Van Buren in Office New president Van Buren (elected 1836) is convinced part of econ depression comes from federal funds being in private banks- so decided to “divorce” gov’t/banks. Created an independent treasury system where funds would be deposited in large banks, but could not be used by those banks for loans etc… (which is kind of the point of $$ in a bank) Might have collapsed econ- b/c there just isn’t enough $$ circulating – but discovery of Gold in CA (1849) made more specie available. Condemned by the Whigs and repealed, the reenacted by Polk Master political maneuverer, had created the idea of “Political Machines” making Democrats very strong The Election of 1840 But the “Little Magician” was unable to stack up to Jackson- in every way. Saddled with Panic of 1837 - which he did not create, but he couldn’t fix Whigs smelled blood- and planned for election of 1840. Threw all their support behind war hero William Henry Harrison- “Old Tippicanoe” (prompting the first real presidential slogan: “Tippicanoe and Tyler too”) Blamed Van Buren for everything possible, and called him an elitist -stealing a lot of Jackson’s moves from 1828- most of which had been created by VanBuren Presidential Rankings: C-Span Survey, 2009 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. Abraham Lincoln Franklin Roosevelt George Washington Theodore Roosevelt Harry Truman John Kennedy Thomas Jefferson Dwight Eisenhower Woodrow Wilson Ronald Reagan Lyndon Johnson James Polk Andrew Jackson James Monroe 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. Bill Clinton William McKinley John Adams George H.W. Bush John Quincy Adams James Madison Grover Cleveland Gerald Ford Ulysses Grant William Taft Jimmy Carter Calvin Coolidge Richard Nixon James Garfield 29. Zachary Taylor 30. Benjamin Harrison 31. Martin Van Buren 32. Chester Arthur 33. Rutherford Hayes 34. Herbert Hoover 35. John Tyler 36. George W. Bush 37. Millard Fillmore 38. Warren Harding 39. William Harrison 40. Franklin Pierce 41. Andrew Johnson 42. James Buchanan Harrison wins- but dies after only a month in office (Wear a Coat buddy!) John Tyler is first VP to assume the office of President. He had been put on the ticket b/c he is Southern, wasn’t a “real” Whig (had joined after nullification- doesn’t actually like Whig policy) His Accidency Vetoed all sorts of Whig legislation- a new Bank, higher tariff, internal improvements. But at the same time- he can’t get anything he wants done either. Shows that parties have become central- without them, neither the congress or the president could really function. The Peculiar Institution Chapter 11 The Old South The “Peculiar Institution” was the Southern name for slavery – and it was unique – and kept the South apart from many of the changes the rest of the country was experiencing. Mason Dixon line: boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania (which had been in dispute) was the border between slave and free states By 1860 there were 4 million slaves in the USrepresenting 1/3 of the total population of the US. In the south, slaves were typically at least half of the population (depends on where you are, and we will come back to that in a minute) Cotton is King Cotton had replaced sugar as the main crop produced by slave labor. Cotton gin and industrialization of textiles expanded demand for cotton and therefore need for slaves American South main source worldwide of cotton supplied 80% of British manufacturing, 100% of American with ever increasing farming (like tobacco, cotton wears out the land) in the west (by 1860 1/3 of cotton farmed west of Mississippi) By 1860, cotton represents ½ of the value of our exports – it’s important North and South were engrained in their economic choices, so the West (which got influxes from both areas) became a source of sectional tension. The 2nd Middle Passage Importation of slaves made illegal in 1808 (and international slave trade banned in 1823) Between 1820 and 1860, more than 2 million slaves were sold internally, many from older states into new cotton areas. States like Virginia made significant $$ selling slaves The slave trade was completely open, offices were in the middle of town, auctions often held in the public court house. Slavery and the Nation Even though the slaves were in the south- the entire national economy was impacted by slavery. Transportation, banking, and factories all were involved in cotton trade- this made it harder for abolitionists to fight slavery- without cotton the whole economy might collapse. The “Lords of the Loom” need the “Lords of the Lash” and vice versa (actually south “needed” north less- in that they could sell cotton internationally) There was no single south before Civil War (the war brings them together) The Southern Economy Slavery discouraged immigrants from going to the south (made south most anglo-saxon section of country) Southern cities stayed small served mainly as centers for transporting and shipping cotton – create less than 10% of the nation’s manufactured goods. transportation in short lines rather than long distance. New Orleans sort of an exception. Largest city (168,000 in 1860) with 40% foreign born population. Retained French cultural influences (seen in culture) The Three Souths: Border South Generalization- the further north, therefore cooler the climate, fewer slaves in area. Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri (did not secede in 1860) Plantations scarcer- very little cotton, tobacco still the main crop. Slaves = 17%, 22% of population owns slaves – only 1% owns more than 20 slaves Largest amount of industry in the South Middle South Virginia, N. Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas. Each of these states had sections that functioned like the Border South, and like the Lower South.Largest numbers of plantations in eastern VA and western TN Waffled in 1860- but ended up seceding (they were the last to gomost not until AFTER fighting started) Slaves= 30% of population. 36% of population owns slaves, 14% of that owns more than 20 Lower (Deep) South S Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas This is plantation world, the “cotton belt”- grew 95% of the south’s cotton. This is where secession happened (SC led the way) Slaves = 47% of the population, 42% of population owns slaves, 62% of those own more than 20 Interestingly were some of the strongest defenders of slavery, especially to those from outside the south. Plain Folk of the Old South 3 out of 4 southern families didn’t have slaves – lived on small self sufficient farms. Some (esp in backcountryAppalachians) were desperately poor Dreamed of upward mobility- thought they might have slaves of their own one day. Often the most racist, if their life was very hard, at least they could feel superior to someone…. The Planter Class Plantation owners were the apex of society (which made south the least democratic part of the country) Less than 40,000 families had enough slaves (20)to be called part of “planter class”. Fewer than 2000 families owned 100 slaves or more The planter may not have been the “typical” southerner, but values dominated southern life. – Ownership of slaves was the roughs to wealth, status and influence. Those who acquired $$ used it to buy land and slaves (not invest in industry) and they were expensive- a prime field hand cost $1800 in 1860 ($40,000 today) Planters were very resentful of the north, saw themselves as put upon by industry, felt north made profit from their labor (except they weren’t the ones working) felt strong obligation for public service (presidents, senators, judges etc..)Considered business to be an inferior way to make $$- and not a lot of respect for “poor” whites Both masked and justified the brutal reality of slavery- The Paternalist Ethos The idea that slaves were mentally inferior, and that a kind owner treated his slaves as children, not really capable of thinking for themselves, in need of constant supervision. Southern men thought of their wives in the same waybut southern women often had more responsibilities than men. She had to supervise the house and staff, he would have an overseer for field work. Plantation women had very little contact with social equals The Code of Honor There was a cultural, as well as economic divide between the south and the north in the antebellum period. In the north, individualism was the key trait, in the south things were different. Men were expected to defend (violently if necessary) their reputation and their family’s honor. LOTS of duels (hello - Andrew Jackson!) Cult of domesticity even stronger in the south. “A man loves his children b/c they are weak, helpless and dependent. He loves his wife for similar reasons”. The Proslavery Argument Southerners worried about the way the world saw them (even as they resented being judged). Had fewer colleges, public schools, newspapers etc- and felt people saw them as “backward” in reality there was learning and culture- just done privately. Racism was a major element, not only southerners, but most Americans genuinely believed that whites were mentally superior to Blacks, and that Blacks could not prosper in civilized society on their own. Often referred to bible passages, and the fact that most great ancient civilizations used it. Also argued that slaves were better off than poor in the North. Often the most convincing argument was the economic one- without a labor supply the southern cotton econ crashes…. without cotton the northern textile industry crashes…. As Caribbean and Latin American nations became independent, they tended to end slavery. Most used gradual emancipation (children of slaves eventually freed) Abolition in Americas British gov’t outlawed slavery in their colonies in 1833, and said all slaves would be free in 7 years (ended up 5) appropriated 20 million pounds to compensate owners. Southerners often pointed out that Caribbean econs took downturn after abolition (former slaves grew food, not sugar) By 1840, Slavery outlawed in Mexico, Central America, and Chile – Only Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil and the US still had it. Slavery and Liberty In an age where “Liberty” was expandingSouth was clearly getting left behind –and got very vocal AGAINST the idea that freedom and equality were universal entitlements. Said Freedom is a privilege, not a right, and that the submission of inferior to superior (black to white, female to male, lower classes to upper classes) was a “fundamental law” of human existance. Got more intense after 1830 (tariff of abominations and nullification) Southerners maintained that “taken as a whole; slavery was the general, normal, and natural basis of a civilized society”. (George Fitzhugh) In other words- people have always done it. Slavery and Civilization Also argued that African Americans, because they don’t have to worry about $$ “are the happiest, and in some degree, the freest people in the world”. After 1830 Southern writers, newspapers, politicians and clergymen increasingly devoted themselves to the defense of slavery- and REFUSED to listen to any other side of the conversation. Slaves and the Law Very few legal rights- it was “technically” illegal to kill a slave, (except in self defense) but they were propertybought, sold, and cared for at will. Slaves were expensive, and therefore valuable (up to $1800)- only a fool destroys his own wealth, but there were no guarantees. Perhaps the defining aspect is that slaves had no choices. They (or their families) could be sold at will, and they had no way to fight for rights. Book uses example of “Celia”- who killed her master in 1855 fighting him off from raping her – self defense. But court says she is not a “woman” in the eyes of the law” and sentenced her to death – after she gave birth to the child she was carrying. (so as not to deprive her former owners of their rightful property) Conditions of Slave Life If you want to say “nice” things about American slavery- you can say it is better than Caribbean or Brazilian slavery….. More food, better working conditions (sugar is rough) fewer tropical diseases – again, US is only place where slave population grew from natural increase. BUT – it was a lot harder to get free. In Brazil, slave owners would free slaves occasionally as part of celebrations etc – ½ the African population of Brazil was free in 1850. In the south, it kept getting harder to free slaves- eventually it even had to be approved by state legislatures. Free Blacks in the Old South In 1860- there were about 500,000 free blacks in the US, 261,000 of whom lived in the south. Most were descendants of those freed during the Revolution, or by gradual emancipation laws in the North. To say there were “Free” Blacks is kind of misleading, b/c they certainly weren’t enjoying all the rights of citizens. We know they couldn’t vote, testify in court or serve on juries- also couldn’t own dogs or firearms, buy liquor, or strike a white person. (even in self defense). Had to carry a certificate of freedom at all times The Upper and Lower South Very Few free blacks lived in the lower south- only about 37,000 < 2% of black population. (New Orleans largest exception) Upper south had 224,000 free African Americans- ½ the black population of Maryland was free. Worked most typically as laborers. Slave Labor Work long hours – plantation was a self contained community- lots of different types of jobs. Slaves were hired by the government to build roads and public buildings. People who didn’t own slaves could “rent” them at harvest time for extra help. Majority of slaves (75% of women and 90% of men) were field hands – largest #s on cotton plantations. Gang Labor and task labor. Overseer, or “slave driver” set pace of work. Conditions varied widely – but generally overseers feared and despised. Sugar plantations (LA and FL) particularly roughharvest requires 24 labor Rice plantations (SC and GA) often used Task Labor, when you had done your assigned tasks, you were done for the day Slavery in the Cities Urban slaves and “house” slaves were considered the top of slave hierarchy. Essentially craftsmen and domestic servants (get better food, clothing, less strenuous work, get to know white family bettertherefore better treatment) Stereotype of Black “mammy” or “Uncle Tom” who cares for the family. Urban workers most likely (of various groups) to be allowed to keep some of their wages, and potentially buy freedom Maintaining Order Slavery is a system that rested on force- unusual for a slave to go through life and never have been beaten – and any infraction was justification (ex in book about the slave who forgot the milk for the coffee) Most powerful weapon masters had over most slaves was threat of sale – for themselves or their families. Slave Culture US developed a unique slave culture- based around family and religion, which enabled them to pass ideas and values from generation to generation, and maintain some form of self esteem. Drew on African traditions and heritage (a variety of them) Can be seen in music/dance, style of worship, even medical practices. Rhythm very important in African music- esp drums and other forms of percussion (claps etc..) Drums sometimes forbidden b/c masters feared they were used to send messages. The Banjo was an adaptation of an African instrument, and slaves came to love the “fiddle” (variation on violin) Blended traditions of African music incorporated into slave culture became important in development of “American” musical styles of blues, jazz and rock. Valuable in maintaining African heritage. Literacy generally forbidden, this keeps history alive. Oral Tradition Groups would gather in evenings, older slaves (who did lighter work and prepared meals for field slaves) would tell stories (Br’er rabbit popular figurative hero)- often told in a combination of languages. (Gullah- a hybridization of African and Eng common in lowcountry south) Law did not recognize slave marriage , but most saves did marry, and unless broken (by sale – and 1 in 3 marriages would be) most marriages lasted lifetime. The Slave Family Kinship ties were strong, and where possible, slaves culture depended on extended families or “fictive families” (members of community treated as family though share no blood). Threat of sale often used for discipline Slave traders gave little attention to preserving family ties Threat of Sale Children generally give more chores (carrying wood, sweeping, bring water) than full work – but at 10 were considered “of age” to enter the workforce. At least 10% of teens in Upper South sold Men and women had very equal relationships - no “cult of domesticity”- nor were men “providers” for their families Gender Roles Female slaves had to worry about forced relations with whites When slaves were allowed to do things for themselvesmore traditional gender roles went into place Slave Religion A very important part of slave culture. Slaves “required” to become Christian- and many did, but often blended Christian beliefs with African traditions: music, movement, emotion, call and response Most plantation had a preachergenerally self taught and self called. Whites used religion as controlafter all, slavery is in the bible) The Gospel of Freedom Moses and Exodus a very popular part of bible- slaves identified as the “chosen people” in bondage- whom God would one day lead to paradise. Liked David, Jonah and Daniel. Focus on Jesus as a redeemer- personal salvation. Also, the message of Christianity of brother hood and equality of souls offered for slaves irrefutable truth that slavery was wrong. Most slaves knew that they could not confront the system and hope to survive – but that didn’t mean they didn’t dream of freedom. The Desire for Liberty Songs and spirituals spoke of lives of sorrow, but held out hope for eventual liberation, and slaves frequently spoke of what it would be like (the way we do with winning the lottery etc…) Masters deliberately tried to keep slaves ignorant of the larger world – not always successful. Probably worked best in geography, unless sold, most slaves would not travel far from where they were born. Resistance to Slavery. Compared to Caribbean and Brazil- we had very few large scale slave rebellions (though those were the greatest fear of the plantation owners) Still, slaves did not just “accept” the system cheerfully, which challenged the paternalist viewpoint that slaves were “grateful” to their owners for taking care of them. Forms of Resistance Most common forms of “resistance” was day to day: slowing work, breaking tools, abusing animals, faking illness, stealing food. Sometimes more serious crimes like arson or poisoning were committed as well. No one knows exactly how many slaves ran away- but the rough estimate is about 1000 a year. Majority of those who ran were young men, most women were not willing to leave children behind Fugitive Slaves For those who tried to escape- their limited knowledge of geography hurt them (as did low wilderness skills) Border states (Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky) had best chance for escape. “Underground Railroad” was a network of abolitionists who would hide slaves, and help them get from “station to station”. Fugitive Slave Law (1st passed 1793, tightened several times in antebellum period) meant that for slaves to be guaranteed freedom, they had to get all the way to Canada. Best known “Conductor” Harriet Tubman 1839 – a slave ship was seized drifting off the coast of Long Island. Slaves had taken control of the vessel in the Caribbean, and were trying to get to Africa. The Amistad President Van Buren favored returning them to Cubabut JQ Adams argued before the supreme court (slaves sued for their freedom) that since they had been brought from Africa in violation of law- they should be freed (and they were) 1841 a group of American slaves on the Creole- being transported from VA to LA seized the ship, sailed to Caribbean, and claimed asylum in British territory (which they got- pissed off Pres. Tyler) Slave Revolts Not common- but they happened, and were the primary terror of every white southerner. The 4 largest revolts took place over a span of about 30 years . Denmark Vesey: 1822 Denmark Vesey (a mulatto “house slave” in Charleston) began planning a massive revolt- never materialized b/c another slave informed on the group. Vesey and 35 others publically hanged. (Slave punishments- whippings etc… generally very public so they were threats to full population) Nat Turner 1831 Nat Turner led most famous (or infamous) revolt, in Virginia. Slave Preacher and religious mystic Fairly educated, had taught himself to read. Called for slaves to rise with him, went plantation to plantation killing people - killed 60 whites. He was caught and killed, as were over 200 slaves from all plantations were there had been any contact (most had nothing to do with rebellion) Last large scale rebellion in south (1st had been stono) it FREAKED whites out- and they tightened the chains (this is where it becomes illegal for slaves to be literate) and made even the DISCUSSION of ending slavery illegal.