America Past & Present1st Semester American History
Time of Revolution
- The gentry were the initial instigators of the Revolution.
- Rich and prominent colonists resented the restrictions placed on them by the British.
- Revolutionary movement picked up speed & the press helped fuel it.
- British monarchy was slowly deteriorating after George III took throne in 1760.
- The king didn't have a good education.
- Appointed the Earl of Bute as one of his chief ministers; quit in 1763.
- Incompetent employees were promoted to high positions.
- There was a lack of communication in the empire.
- Most ministers/officials stayed in office only a short time.
- Colonists lost imperial ties of loyalty to the monarch.
- Constitutional fights/debates were the center of politics at the time.
- Most American colonists didn’t see a point to maintaining the Parliament's supremacy.
- By 1763, colonists emphasized the importance of local assemblies.
- They didn't want to pay taxes to England and not get any representation in Parliament in exchange.
- 1764 Connecticut assembly declared that "No law can be made or abrogated without the consent of the people by their representatives."
- Colonial politics contained a strong moral element.
- Great Awakening - Created a general awareness of an obligation to conduct public & private affairs according to Scripture. This was a religious awakening in the early 18th century.
- John Locke was a great influence on early American politics and writings.
- Colonial Americans supported the Commonwealth Man ideals.
- A majority of white males in the north were literate.
- Many newspapers/journals/publications were distributed among the colonists.
- Newspapers helped circulate political ideas and information.
Challenge and Resistance
- Seven Years' War left Britain in an enormous debt.
- George III wanted to maintain the largest peacetime army.
- Native Americans began to feel the burden of the colonists in the New World.
- Colonists didn't believe in maintaining a huge army.
- Colonists wanted to expand west of the Appalachian Mountains.
- The Navigation Acts permitted colonies to trade only with England.
- Sugar Acts were passed as a way to make the colonies produce revenue for England.
- Purpose of the Sugar Acts was to discourage smuggling and other violations of the Navigation Acts.
- Sugar Acts taxed the colonists unfairly and they were not consistent with laws for regular British subjects.
- Stamp Act of 1765 started the mass political movement of the time.
- Stamp Act Congress in October 1765 was first inter-colonial gathering since Albany Congress in 1754.
- Stamp Act instigated violent uprisings of "Sons of Liberty" group in Boston, which burned down office buildings of people who failed to disobey the laws.
- By November, most stamp distributors in the American port cities had resigned.
- Sons of Liberty convinced merchants to boycott British goods until the Act was repealed by the Parliament.
- Boycotts helped integrate women into popular politics even they could not hold public office.
- Colonial women altered their styles to fit clothes that were non-British made, so that they could help in the efforts to repeal the Stamp Act.
Boston Massacre Tensions
- British Army transferred 4,000 soldiers to Boston in 1768.
- Redcoats (British soldiers) competed with Boston locals for employment.
- March 5, 1770 there was a conflict and the Redcoats fired shots, which left 5 Bostonians dead.
- The political advocates made a huge deal about it and called it a massacre.
- Lord North then restored semi-peace in the colonies.
- His main goal was to repeal the Townshend Acts.
Interlude of Order
- Some colonial "nobles" were pulling back from all the protests.
- There was a brief period in which there was relative peace between the British and the American colonists.
The Boston Tea Party
- May 1773 Parliament passed Tea Act that lowered the price of tea.
- The tea carried high taxes, however.
- In Philadelphia and New York the tea ships were turned around before they unloaded.
- December 16, 1773 a group of colonists dressed as Indians threw £10,000 worth of tea into Boston Harbor, where the ships were anchored.
- In reaction to this, the Parliament [lead by Lord North] passed the Coercive Acts [Intolerable Acts].
- In the midst of the constitutional debates the government announced that it was creating a new government for Quebec.
- The boundaries of the province were considered by the Americans to be infringing on their right to expand westward into that territory.
- British leaders still refused to remove the laws and restrictions from the American colonies.
Decision for Independence
- In 1774 there was discussion of which colonies would be loyal to whom.
- Few people before this time had advocated independence.
- Representatives from the colonies met in Philadelphia on Sept. 16 for the 1st Continental Congress.
The 1st Continental Congress
This was a gathering of 55 elected delegates from 12 of the colonies in 1774. Such important figures as Adams, Henry, Henry Lee, Gadsden, and George Washington were present. The delegates didn’t really know each other and this led to many differences of opinion between radicals and conservatives. Samuel Adams engineered the Suffolk Resolves, which encouraged forcible resistance to the coercive acts. This gathering also created the "Association" which was a colonial agreement to halt all commerce with England until they repealed the intolerable acts.
Shots Heard Around the World
- April 18, 1775 the British ordered rebel supplies to be seized in Lexington and Concord.
- The colonists made a statement but someone accidentally fired a shot and the British killed 8 colonists.
- On June 17 the Battle of Bird Hill took place, where the Americans lost, but the British suffered a 40% casualty rate.
Second Continental Congress / Directing the War Effort
- May 1775 the 2nd Continental Congress took place in Philadelphia.
- The Congress slowly began to take control of the war effort.
- They appointed George Washington as the head of the Continental Army.
- The Congress also issued paper money to pay for war supplies.
- Many Americans did not want to sever ties with Britain.
- December 1775 Parliament passed the Prohibitory Act, which said that Americans could not trade with the rest of the world.
- England sent ships to blockade the American colonial ports.
- They also hired German mercenaries to suppress the rebellion.
- Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense, which invalidated kingship of all historical and theological justification.
- He also managed to convince commoners to break off their ties to England.
- On July 2, 1776, the Congress voted for independence and the motion passed 12 - 0.
The War of Independence
- In 1776 the British considered the war as a police action.
- The British were defeated, though, because they had to ship supplies across the Atlantic.
- Also, colonial territories were far to large to be conquered by conventional means.
- The American troops had a tremendous commitment to the ideals of democracy.
- Local militias were known to "educate" the Tories (Loyalists) in the republican ideals.
- After losing in Massachusetts, the British replaced General Gage with Sir William Howe.
- 50,000 British soldiers were sent to America in 1776.
- On July 3, 1776, they landed on Staten Island.
- They pushed the Americans back to New Jersey.
- On the 2nd Battle in Trenton, NJ, Lord Cornwallis trapped and defeated the American troops.
Victory in a Year of Defeat
- In 1777 the British still thought they could win the war by tricking the Americans to get into field battles with the Redcoats.
- In the summer, 5,000 British troops came down from Canada intending to destroy the forces in the Hudson Valley.
- This operation failed, as the Americans defeated them in the forests.
The French Alliance
- The French government of Louis XVI sought to aide the colonists before they declared independence.
- They wanted to help the colonists because they wanted to embarrass the British.
From Monarchy to Republic
To be a republican society requires high public morality.
It was important to have popular virtue in order to succeed.
The whites were extremely enthusiastic about the new country's success.
They believed that God promised America prosperity.
The Americans were divided over liberty and order.
People began making numerous demands for all people to be treated equally.
In the 1780s Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, and John Adams focused on figuring out a system of government that would be effective.
- The revolution changed American society in ways that no one even imagined.
- People wondered what the meaning of equality in post-Revolutionary society.
Social and Political Reform
- After the Revolution it was very important that there were no traces of aristocratic leadership in the new United States.
- Many people spited British customs, such as Judges who wore long white wigs to court.
- States abolished laws of primogeniture and entail in order to destroy the notion of a privileged class in society.
- Jefferson agreed that the elimination of these practices would eliminate future aristocracy.
- However, these philosophies did not have much of an impact on the southern states.
- Another belief was that property taxes should be lowered.
- Americans such as Thomas Jefferson also believed that the government had no right to interfere with an individual's freedom of religion.
- In 1786 the link between church and state was severed, except for in Massachusetts, where the church was often favored.
African Americans in the New Republic
- Slavery was the biggest contradiction to the republican ideals.
- John Woolman (Quaker leader in PA) declared that slavery was dark and gloomy.
- During the Revolutionary period, the abolitionist ideas spread.
- African Americans in the states demanded freedom.
- By 1800, slavery was on the way to extermination in the northern states.
- African Americans rarely had access to education; and often went to look for work in the northern states.
- They were also denied most of the rights that white men had.
- In 1800, there were 30,750 freed slaves living in the state of Virginia.
- Southern states did not abolish slavery, though.
- Before the revolution, most fathers claimed authority over the other members of their household.
- In England, fathers could treat their wives and children in any way they wanted.
- In American society, women were making more and more demands to be treated fairly and equally.
- People wanted mothers to teach their children about the republican ideals.
- Many female schools were established during this time to promote the education of women.
- 18th Century women who were educated did not usually pursue careers; they went home and educated their children.
Blueprints for State Government
- In May 1776 the 2nd Continental Congress asked the states to draft constitutions.
- The old colonial charters that were filled with references to the king were clearly not good enough.
- All State government insisted on a written constitution.
- This practice was seemed as a major break in English traditions.
- The states demanded that the constitutions explicitly list the powers of the government as well as the rights of its citizens.
Natural Rights & State Constitutions
- State governments believed that men and women had rights over which the government had no control.
- 8 state constitutions contained "Declarations of Rights" as a fundamental part.
- These affirmed religion, speech, and press; protected from unlawful search & seizure and upheld jury trial laws.
- The Legislature of the state government had the most power, usually. The states did not want to imitate the bicameral systems of the English Parliament.
- The houses of Pennsylvania and Georgia were the most democratic, because any adult male could cast a vote for the unicameral legislature.
Power to the People
- Massachusetts was the last state to adopt a constitution, in 1780, after all the other states.
- John Adams was the head of the Massachusetts constitutional convention, which drafted the final state constitution.
The Revolution forced Americans to rethink their philosophical and political values so that they could be different than the British. It also caused them to change their views on family, and to create their own culture. They wanted to establish all traces of aristocracy and a preferred class of citizens, as well as establish a Confederation of the states, which bound them by a relatively weak central government.
Northwest Territories / Northwest Ordinence 1787
- Congressional action brought order to western settlement, especially in the Northwest Territory.
- Incorporated frontier Americans into an expanding federal system.
- Tensions between the east and west sometimes were violent.
- The first attempt to deal with this problem came in 1784 when Jefferson recommended carving ten new states out of the western lands recently ceded by Virginia.
- He specified that each state establish a republican form of government.
- When the population of a territory equaled that of the smallest state, the territory could apply for statehood.
- Free white males could participate in the local government.
- Land Ordinance of 1785 established a process for laying out and marketing lands.
- This ordinance called for each region to be subdivided into 36 sections, which were to be auctioned off cheaply
- The public didn't respond like Congress wanted.
- Manasseh Cutler, a minister from New England offered to purchase more than 6 million acres by persuading Congress to accept government loan certificates.
- The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 authorized the creation of territories, each to be ruled by a governor, secretary, and 3 judges appointed by Congress.
- When the population reached 5,000, voters who owned land could elect an assembly, but the governor could veto.
- When the population reached 60,000, they could write a constitution and petition for statehood.
- The sudden renewal of trade with Britain left the US poor.
- Many people agreed that a stronger central government could have brought greater stability to the struggling economy.
- Congress was helpless, and couldn’t regulate trade.
- Congress printed paper money, but it rendered useless due to inflation.
- The Newburgh Conspiracy of 1783 didn’t work because Washington would not tolerate insubordination by the military, no matter how much he wanted a strong government.
- In March 1783, Congress proposed a second impost, but it failed to win ratification.
- Nationalists gave up the fight and Congress was humiliated in foreign affairs because it couldn’t collect debts that had been contracted before the revolution.
- Spain claimed the southern part of the US, and it schemed with the Indians to resist the Americans.
- On July 21, 1784, it closed the lower Miss. R. to the US In 1785, a Spanish official opened talks with John Jay, but the Spanish wouldn’t compromise.
- Jay said that the US would not navigate the Miss. for 25 years. This angered people because it affected the South. Congress met irregularly and the nation didn’t have a capital. America was in turmoil and had lost its virtue.
- James Madison advocated a modern model of political behavior.
- He thought that competing factions would neutralize each other, leaving the business of running the government to the most virtuous persons.
Movement Toward Constitutional Reform
- A movement to overhaul the Articles of Confederation began in 1786, when Madison urged a unified system of commercial regulations.
- Congress authorized a grand convention to gather in May 1787.
- Soon after the first meeting, an uprising known as Shays’ Rebellion occurred in Western MA. after farmers found themselves always in debt to eastern creditors. Congress couldn’t raise an army, but wealthy Bostonians raised one.
- In 1787, representatives, except for RI, came to Philadelphia to write the Constitution.
- Madison was determined to limit state power — he drew up the Virginia plan, and let the popular governor of VA deliver it. It envisioned a bicameral Congress, one elected by the people and the second elected by the first.
The Philadelphia Convention
- On 7/26, the convention formed a Committee of Detail, which prepared the rough draft on the Constitution.
- After it was finished, it still resembled the VA plan, and the delegates considered each article.
- During these sessions, the members concluded that an Electoral College — a body of prominent men chosen by local voters, should select the president.
- The number of electoral votes held by a state equaled its representatives plus senators.
- This guaranteed that the president wouldn’t been indebted to Congress for his office.
- The person with the second most votes became vice-president. If no one got a majority, the House would cast one vote for each state.
- As the meeting ended, there was a concern about a bill of rights, because most states had one, but the delegates were tired, and didn’t want to deal with it. To ratify the Constitution, conventions were elected from each state to review it.
- Only 9 states had to ratify it & on Sept. 17, 39 men signed it.
- Proponents of the Constitution called themselves federalists, which implied that they wanted a confederation of states rather than a national authority.
- Critics of it, who were not as well educated and poorer, were called antifederalists.
- In NY, the campaign to win ratification sparked publication of The Federalist, essays written by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay.
- The Constitution drew support from many types of people.
- Most states adopted it. DE first (12/7/87), and more followed.
- The Bill of Rights still had to be added to protect the people from the government — Madison moderated the proposals, and on 6/8/89, he placed before the HR a set of amendments to protect individual rights.
- A committee reviewed his ideas into ten amendments that were ratified as the Bill of Rights.
- The Bill of Rights protected the freedoms of assembly, speech, religion, press, guaranteed quick trial by an impartial jury, the right to bear arms, and prohibited unreasonable searches.
- Some people wanted more rights for the states, but Madison wanted a strong central government.
- The 10th amendment said that the powers not delegated to the US or the states are reserved for the states or the people.
- On 9/25/89, the Bill of Rights was passed by both houses, and by December 3/4ths of the states had ratified them.
- Political parties gradually took shape after the ratification of the Constitution.
- Federalists encouraged rapid integration of the US into a world economy, but they did not trust the people or local government.
- They wanted a strong central government that would be directed by a social elite.
- Jeffersonians put their faith in the people and they felt that if ordinary people didn’t have many regulations, they could resist greed and sustain virtue.
- In 1788, Washington had great popularity, and received the unanimous support of the electoral college to become President — Adams was his vice-president.
- The political stability of the Republic depended upon how he handled himself in office. Washington created a strong, independent presidency; the 1st Congress established executive departments.
- Madison fought and won the right for the president to elect and dismiss his cabinet.
Chapter 7 Intro.
- In 1789, Congress created the Departments of War, State, and the Treasury, and as secretaries, Washington had Knox, Jefferson, and Hamilton, respectively.
- The size of Washington’s government was small, but it functioned well, even under tough conditions.
- The Judiciary Act of 1789 created a Supreme Court staffed by a chief justice and five associate justices.
- Judiciary Act also set up 13 district courts authorized to review the decisions of the state courts. John Jay became chief justice. Congress then passed the Tariff of 1789, a 5% tax on imports.
Jefferson and Hamilton
- Hamilton advocated a strong central government, and refused to be bound by the strict wording of the Constitution. He advocated more ties with Britain.
- Jefferson wanted to advance the democratic principles he supported.
- Hamilton and Jefferson were different kinds of republicans who attempted as best they could to cope with unprecedented challenges.
- Hamilton urged commercial development, and he wanted to imitate Britain.
- Hamilton didn’t trust total democracy. He believed the best hope lay with the rich, for if they could be persuaded that their economic self-interest could be advanced by the government, then they would strengthen it and bring a greater measure of prosperity to the common people.
- Jefferson urged agricultural development, and encouraged the nation’s farmers to participate in an expanding international market.
- Jefferson had faith in the ability of the American people to shape policy.
Threats to US Neutrality
- England was verry arrogant towards the United States.
- The Americans could not control the British on the ocean.
- 75% of US imports came from Britain – it wasn’t reciprocal, however.
- French Louis XVI was desperate for cash, so he convened the estates general in 1789, after not meeting in about 150 years.
- That eventually lead to the bourgeois class in France to seize power and stat the French Revolution.
- Throughout this, the United States wanted to remain neutral.
- Both Hamilton & Jefferson wanted to avoid war and didn’t want to get involved with foreign problems.
- Edmon Genêt, the new French minister to the US caused the 1st major diplomatic crisis.
- The British ships impressed American soldiers /sailors.
- Genêt authorized Americans to seize British ships on the high seas in the name of France.
- April 22, Washington issued a Proclamation of Neutrality.
- Genêt was beheaded upon his return to France.
Hamilton's Grand Design
- The US needed good finances, so the House turned to Hamilton. Hamilton researched economics very well, and his three major reports bore the unmistakable stamp of genius.
- He created a questionnaire that assessed the US's commercial and financial status.
- He presented his Report on the Public Credit to Congress on January 14, 1890.
- The national debt was $54 mil.
- Hamilton’s report had two major recommendations.
- The US promised to fund its foreign and domestic obligations at full face values.
- Old loan certificates could be exchanged for new government bonds, having a moderate rate of interest.
- He also urged the government to assume responsibility for paying state debts. This would reduce state power and help shape national economic policy.
Bank of the United States
- Hamilton provided for a national bank that would be privately owned but partially funded by the Federal government.
- The ownership was divided about 50/50 between the Federal government and private shareholders.
- Only wealthy people could buy these scarce and expensive shares. This bank would own a great deal of US bonds.
- It would be the main depository for the government and it would issue currency. This money, he said, would be suitable for paying Federal taxes and this guarantied that the money would retain value.
- Madison and other congressman protested saying that a national bank is not necessary but simply convenient and stretches constitutional law.
- The creation of a fully funded national debt singled to investors that the US's bonds represented a good risk.
- He argued that investment capital would stay in the US He invited the wealthy to invest in the future of the US Madison attacked the scheme in the HR.
- Some states had already paid their debts, and Hamilton’s program seemed to reward certain states because they had failed to put their finances in order.
- His opponents became suspicious that this plan was to increase the power and wealth of his friends.
- These men purchased huge tracts of western land, and they knew that when settlers finally settled, the price of land would skyrocket.
- They had purchased the land with revolutionary certificates, which were .15¢ cents each. Hamilton’s plan threatened to destroy these transactions by cutting off the supply of cut-rate securities.
- On February 25, 1891, Washington signed the Bank Act.
- Hamilton had won, but the public looked upon him with fear and hostility.
- Many people associated banks with the decay of public virtue.
- When the greed of a former Treasury Department official led to several serious bankruptcies in 1892, citizens began to favor Jefferson and Madison.
Setback for Hamilton
- In Hamilton’s third report, Report on Manufacturers, he suggested ways by which the government might stimulate manufacturing.
- The US had to develop its own industry with government intervention to speed it up.
- Madison railed against the dangers of leaving the states no power.
- The recommendations were overruled and Washington but still believed that Hamilton and Jefferson could be reconciled.
- By the end of his first term, neither secretary trusted the other — their fighting had produced congressional factions.
Jay's Treaty Divides the Nation
Jay's Treaty — Also known as Hamilton's Treaty, A treaty where Chief Justice Jay tried to get navigation rights from Spain for the US in the Mississippi but was unable to make Gardoqui compromise and he had to concede to the Spanish. When Congress heard of this diplomatic humiliation, they were outraged and cut negotiations with Spain.
- Members of Congress were outraged by the British seizure of American ships without warning in 1793.
- Members who identified with Jefferson & Madison demanded retaliation.
- In 5/1794 Washington sent John Jay to England negotiate w/ the British.
- Jefferson's followers were now considered to be on the side of "Republican interest."
- Hamilton secretly informed the British that the Americans would compromise on most of the issues involved.
- Jays Treaty provided that:
- The British would abandon their frontier posts.
- American ships were allowed to trade in the British West Indies.
- Royal Navy could continue to search for contraband on the high seas.
- The British could impress sailors suspected of being British citizens.
- There was to be no compensation for goods seized before 1793 until all debts to the British incurred before the Revolution were paid.
- The final treaty did not allow for the repayment of goods seized until 1793.
- John Jay betrayed the American national interest.
- A revised version of the treaty bill barely passed in Congress in 1795.
- The treaty was a big disappointment to most Americans, even if they were not particularly involved in politics.
- The press instigated protest and Americans condemned Jay's actions.
- Fisher Ames [F] said that the treaty would cause a storm in the House of Representatives.
- In order to stop the treaty, Madison [R] and his followers refused to appropriate funds.
- They forced Congress/Washington to produce documents that validated the authenticity of Jay's mission.
- The passing of Jay's treaty raised issues of unconstitutionality.
Diplomacy in the West
- Upon leaving the Northwest Territories and the Great lakes area, the British encouraged several Indian tribes to attack American settlers.
- In 1790, General Josiah Harmar led soldiers into an ambush, and there were many other military blunders in the area.
- Anthony Wayne's forced destroyed the Indian resistance in the West, and this forced the Indians to submit and sign the Greenville Treaty in 1794.
- In 1795, the Spanish encouraged talks regarding the navigation of the Mississippi River.
- The Spanish offered the following in the Treaty of San Lorenzo/Pickney's Treaty, October 27, 1795:
- Navigation rights on the Mississippi.
- The right to deposit goods in New Orleans, tax-free.
- Extension of US border to the 31st parallel.
- Pinckney became the hero of the Federalist Party because of this treaty.
Popular Political Culture
- More than any other event during Washington’s presidency, Jay’s treaty generated political conflict.
- Americans felt that a partisan split, however necessary it is, threatened US stability.
- They also felt that partisanship suggested that Americans lost sight of the purpose of the revolution.
- Federalists and Republicans both wanted the other side destroyed.
The Partisan Role of Newspapers and Political Clubs
- Newspapers, more than anything else, transformed US political culture. Almost all Americans were well read.
- John Fenno established the pro-Hamilton Gazette of the United States, while the Republican supporters, led by Philip Frenau, established the National Gazette.
- These "newspapers" presented rumor and partisan rhetoric as fact; 1 [R] paper even stated that Washington was a British agent during the revolution.
- Even poets and essayists were caught up in the commotion. The better writers often wrote what was merely propaganda.
- This decade also witnessed the rise of political clubs. These "Democratic" or "Republican" associations, which first appeared in 1793, were modeled after the French debating societies.
Whiskey Rebellion Linked to Republican Incendiaries
- In 1794, political tension became explosive. The Federalists felt that the Republicans were actually going to resort to violence. The crisis developed In 1791, when Pennsylvanian farmers protested a tax on whiskey. The president deployed 15,000 militiamen, and, with Hamilton, marched on the rebels. The rebels disappeared, and Washington and Hamilton looked dumb. Two men ended up being charge, one was insane, and the other was a "simpleton." The charges were dropped.
- In the national political forum, however, the episode would not be forgotten. Washington’s party felt that the Republican clubs promoted civil unrest, accusing them of sending French agents to Pennsylvania to excite the public, and undermine the federal government.
- The Republicans felt that the episode was a Hamiltonian device devised to intimidate the republicans. How else could you explain the gross overreaction to a few farmers, argued Jefferson?
- In September of 1796, Washington published his Farewell Address. In the address, which was written primarily by Hamilton (who drew on an earlier draft by Madison), Washington warned against political factions. By waiting until September to announce his retirement, Washington did not afford the Republicans significant time to organize a campaign.
- Washington, who always stated that he was against parties, seemed to be hypocritical here, because he pretty much turned into a spokesman for Hamilton’s Federalist Party.
- Washington also wrote that the United States should avoid permanent alliances with distant nations that had no interest in American security.
1st 20 PAGES OF CHAPTER 8 ARE MISSING
The Strange War of 1812
- The War Hawks thought that the US could run the British out of Canada despite the US's small army and navy.
- The US was really unprepared for war, however, and the government did not mobilize.
- Republicans failed to realize that the Jeffersonian government was incapable of waging an expensive war because of its weaknesses.
- New England residents refused to cooperate with the war effort.
- New Englanders illegally conducted commerce with the enemy.
- Northerners refused to provide funding for the war effort.
- Early efforts were based in the Western forts.
- 8.16.1812 W. Hull surrendered an entire army to the British in Detroit.
- American privateers captured several British merchant ships.
- In the spring of 1814 the British Royal Navy set up a blockade of the American ports.
- Both sides realized that whoever controlled the Great Lakes region controlled the West.
- 9.10.1813 Hazard Perry conquered the British fleet at Put-in-Bay.
- 10.5.1813 General Harrison beat the Indians and the British at the Battle of Thames River.
- 11.11.1813 Wilkinson lost the battle of Chrysler’s Farm near Montreal.
- In 1814 the British took the offensive and increased pressure on the Canadian frontier, coastal settlements and New Orleans.
- British sent warships to harass the coastal areas of the Chesapeake.
- 8.24.1814 a small British marines group burned Washington, D.C.
- Then they launched a full-scale attack on Baltimore. Surprisingly the Americans held out and the British gave up the operation. This inspired the writing of the Star Spangled Bannar.
- The Battle of New Orleans shouldn’t have taken place since the Europeans were negotiating a peace treaty at that time and the war was pretty much over already.
- Andrew Jackson became a minor hero because of his victory at New Orleans.
The Hartford Convention: The Demise of the Federalists
- In 1814, a group of high-ranking Northeast politicians, mostly moderate
- Federalists met to discuss relations between them and the rest of the US
- in the Hartford Convention.
- They were angered and hurt by the embargo and the War of 1812. Although they didn't advocate secession, they recommended a series of Amendments to the Constitution.
- They wanted representation in the House of Representatives to be based on white males alone, not blacks as well according to the 3/5 Rule.
- They also insisted on a 2/3 majority for Congress to declare war, pass commercial regulations, or add new states.
- They wanted to stop the Virginia dynasty in the Presidency by limiting the President to one term.
- They hoped that these resolutions would protect them from Northern tyranny and they sent the resolutions to Washington, D.C.
- Everyone was excited by the recent peace after the War of 1812 and the Hartford Convention was accused of disloyalty and attempting to destroy the union.
- This accelerated the end of the Federalists.
Treaty of Ghent Ends the War
- In August 1814 the US sent representatives to Ghent in Belgium to negotiate a peace treaty.
- At first, the English made impossible demands such as major territorial concessions such as the right to navigation in the Mississippi River, and a large Indian buffer state in the North West territory.
- England eventually lowered their demands and neither side surrendered any territory.
- There was no talk of impressment, and peace was the only thing that really resulted from the treaty.
- Congress decided that a stalemate was better than a conflict so they ratified the Treaty.
- Both Jefferson and Adams died on the anniversary of the signing of the declaration of independence.
Expansion and Migration
- After the War of 1812, settlements arose in the West -- OH, KY, TN, etc.
- Also there was US expansion into the Spanish territories and Florida.
- After Andrew Jackson attacked the Indians in Florida, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams told the Spanish that further conflict could be avoided only if East Florida was ceded to the US.
- One of the main motivators to move westward was increased freedom of religion.
- This causes the Mormons to migrate to the Utah territory.
Extending the Boundaries
- In 1819, Spain fell to US pressure and signed the Adams-Onis Treaty.
- This gave Florida to the US in return for the assumption of $5 million.
- Florida became a refuge for runaway slaves.
- There were tales of what the far west was like from illiterate mountain men.
- Military expeditions to the area provided more reliable data, however.
Settlement of the Mississippi
- President Jackson favored the removal of eastern Indians to lands beyond the Mississippi River.
- The US thought that to settle in this area they had to remove the natives.
- Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi voted for Jackson because they wanted quick Indian removal.
- The Cherokees were a problem to remove because they were civilized and had largely adapted to American culture.
- GA, MS, AL asserted state authority over the Indian tribes and this was against the Constitution.
- In 1830, Jackson sent a removal bill to Congress which was viewed as unconstitutional.
- The bill was passed because of Western and Southern support and in 1833 all Southeast tribes were removed except for the Cherokee.
- In 1838, federal troops rounded up the Cherokee and marched them to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears because 4,000 out of 13,000 marchers died.
- Indian removal exposed the prejudice and greed of Jacksonian Democracy.
- US Army moved most of the Indians to reservations in the Far West; to Oklahoma and the unorganized territories.
- Land speculators acquired much of the land gained through western expansion before it reached farmers.
- Financial panic in 1819 caused minimum price/acre to drop from $2.00 to $1.25 per acre of land.
Transportation and the Market Economy
- Congress passed a bill that would create a national road system.
- This was the only major transportation project undertaken by Congress at this time.
- There was a lot of disagreement and debate in Congress over whether Congress had the Constitutional right to repair and administer the national roads.
- Monroe said that it was beyond the power of Congress. Consequently, public aid for building roads and canals came mostly from state and local governments.
The Canal Boom
- After the invention of the steamboat in the 1830s, there was a growing need for water transportation to access the interior.
- Many projects to build canals were undertaken by state and local governments.
- The Erie Canal project was one of the biggest canal projects undertaken by a state.
- The Erie Canal was underwritten by the issuance of bonds.
- The Erie Canal opened in 1825 amid much public celebration.
- The 364-mile long canal was the most spectacular engineering achievement of the US at the time.
- It only took 8 years to build, without the advantages of dynamite, and only cost $7 million.
- It lowered the cost of Western products in the East and vice versa (or versa vice).
- With a small $7 million investment, the State quickly covered the costs.
- The canal also helped make New York City the commercial capital of the US.
Emergence of a Market Economy & Factories
- Larger US cities became centers for the converting of raw materials into usable goods.
- Buffalo & Rochester, NY became large Northeast milling centers.
- Cost of living decreased dramatically in NYC - this meant more profit because overhead was lowered.
- Division of labor caused factories to become more efficient.
- Large machines optimized many of the new factories.
- There was a switch over to wage labor instead of slave labor because
- Slaves are expensive and need shelter, food, etc.
- Wage workers don't need to be supported all year; they can be fired when they are not needed, thereby reducing costs.
Commerce and Banking
- As regions of the country became more specialized, a new marketing system emerged.
- Emerged from the need to obtain more capital to fund manufacturing projects.
- In 1811 NY passed the General Corporation Act, which permitted anybody to start a limited liability corporation.
- NYS was a pioneer in corporation law, which included:
- Double taxation
- Protection from financial liability.
- More manufacturing increased competition.
- In 1816 the 2nd National Bank was chartered for 20 years, but it was terminated during the Jackson administration.
The Politics of Nation Building after the War of 1812
- Geographic expansion and economic growth led different areas of the country to favor certain political ideas.
- There was a myth of national harmony.
- For a period after the War of 1812, single party politics dominated the system
- President Monroe’s two terms were labeled the Era of Good Feelingss.
- During this time, there was little political interest, but there was a lot of nationalism and a sense of American pride and purpose.
- The Republicans were now dominant and the Federalists couldn’t win an election.
- Between War of 1812 and the rise of Jacksonian Democracy there was a greater need for nationalism.
- After the War of 1812, the US signed the Rush-Baghot Treaty.
- This was an agreement for Great Lakes disarmament.
- The English feared that this unusual diplomatic agreement might not bind later American administrations but it was submitted to the Senate and got its approval in 1818.
The Republicans in Power
- After the War of 1812 the Federalists were incapable of winning any national elections.
Monroe as President
- 1816 Election was won by James Monroe (Monroe: 183 / King: 34).
- The main goal of the Monroe administration was to promote the Era of Good Feelings.
- The 1st crisis he had to deal with was the Panic of 1819.
- This panic came as a result of hyperinflation, easy credit, and a huge amount of land speculation.
- The US Bank called in all loans and demanded their redemption in cash.
- This led to an economic disaster:
- Prices fell
- Businesses failed
- Credited land was foreclosed
- In 1821 Congress responded weakly with a relief act which eased the terms for paying debts.
- Monroe had no plan because he felt no need for leadership and the voters agreed.
- He valued national pride even more than economic prosperity.
The Missouri Compromise
- In 1820, the Missouri Compromise kept the balance of power in the Senate by admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state.
- This agreement made a line for the Louisiana Purchase where North of the line would be free states and South of it would be slave states.
- It settled the argument over slavery in the territories temporarily and was an overtone for a lot of sectional strife over the condition of slavery in future states.
- The Missouri Compromise established a rule that territories above the 36th parallel would be admitted as a free states and those below it would be admitted as slave states.
- Jefferson said that this compromise was a threat to the Union's unity.
Postwar Nationalism & the Supreme Court
- The Supreme Court contributed more to nationalism than Monroe's advocacy of good feelings.
- John Marshall served as the Chief Justice from 1801 to 1835.
- He was determined to keep dissent to a minimum, and to have one opinion for each case.
- Marshall gave shape and new meaning to the Constitution.
- Placed protection of individual liberty above social, political, or economic equality.
- Between 1819 and 1824, Marshall's Court limited the power of the state legislatures by using the contract clause of the Constitution.
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Nationalism in Foreign Policy: The Monroe Doctrine
- This doctrine, which was mostly written by John-Quincy Adams in 1823.
- The US was opposed to European colonization of the Americas.
- The doctrine had 3 basic principles:
- Europeans were no longer allowed to establish colonies in the Americas.
- The United States would not interfere in European affairs.
- It called for North America being composed of two separate independent republics.
- Although it made little impression on Europe, the Monroe Doctrine symbolized the huge amount of independence and self-confidence in the American attitude toward the Old World.
- The Doctrine was instated because Monroe felt that European colonization was a threat to US sovereignty.
- Europe followed the Monroe Doctrine because England backed it with their navy.
- England wanted open trade with Latin America.
- Europe was too involved in its own affairs to colonize.
- The Doctrine does not state that the US won’t colonize in North America.
- The UN has recognized it today as international law.
- It makes assumptions that Europe is authoritarian, backward, sleazy, corrupt, and dishonest.
- The US however, is more rational and honest. This is similar to today’s foreign policy.
Democracy in Theory & Practice
In the 1820s and 1830s democracy came to be knows as the standard by which American systems operated. The Jacksonian view was that people were completely sovereign and could do no wrong. Democracy also served as a advocate of social leveling. This enabled the "self-made man" to occupy more public offices than before. This led to an equal opportunity for all men but not equal rewards for all men. The gap between rich/poor widened during this period.
The Democratic Ferment
President Andrew Jackson's election in 1828 symbolized the triumph of Democracy. By 1830, every U.S. State had universal male suffrage. This was not the intention of the founding fathers. Electors were selected by popular vote, not state legislatures. Jackson was a self-made man and he made himself a fortune. He came from rude circumstances to being a landowner with money and slaves. He was a common man: illiterate and an alcoholic. Jacksonian Democracy represented the failure by the Constitution to prevent the rise of democracy.
Democracy & Society
People increasingly believed that equality was the root of American society. There was an increasing amount of civil servants who refused to be treated as 2nd class citizens and demanded to eat at the same table as their masters, work short periods of time, etc.
Much of the art in the new democratic era focused on the common person. The romantic movement was also very popular in America and Europe. There was a rise in popular literature because of improved printing technology and a rise in literacy. Still, most believed that the woman’s place was in the home. Theatre also became increasingly popular during the Jacksonian era. Architecture and sculpture also saw great improvements in the 1820s and 1830s.
Jackson & the Politics of Democracy
- Andrew Jackson symbolized the triumph of democracy.
- He reshaped politics in a more democratic mold.
The Election of 1824 & J.Q. Adam’s Administration
- Republican Party could not agree on who would be president after Monroe.
- Initially, Jackson was not seen as a real candidate because he wasn’t really involved in politics, but he was a hero of the Battle of New Orleans.
- None of the candidates got the required majority to win the presidency.
- The vote was thrown to the House, where they eventually elected John Quincy Adams. The other candidates were Clay and Crawford.
- Adams had a difficult presidency. The new Congress that was elected in 1826 was clearly hostile towards the Adams administration.
- The tariff was the main issue of the time. Jackson’s supporters were confident that they could promote a high tariff as long as it was "judicious."
Jackson Comes to Power
- Jackson’s 1828 campaign actually began with Adam’s election in 1824.
- By late 1827 there was a Jacksonian committee in almost every city.
- Many politicians who ran against him in 1824 sought to create a coalition with Jackson.
- Francis Blair and Amos Kendall worked to counteract Henry Clay’s "American System."
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- President Jackson favored the removal of eastern Indians to lands beyond the Mississippi River.
- Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi voted for Jackson because they wanted quick Indian removal.
- The Cherokees were a problem to remove because they were civilized and had largely adapted to American culture.
- Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama asserted state authority over the Indian tribes and this was against the Constitution.
- Jackson supported them and called for Cherokee removal. In 1830, Jackson sent a removal bill to Congress, which was controversial because it was against the Constitution.
- The bill was passed because of Western and Southern support and in 1833 all of the Southeast tribes were removed except for the Cherokee.
- In 1838, federal troops rounded up the Cherokee and marched them to Oklahoma on what was later called the Trail of Tears because 4,000 out of 13,000 marchers died.
- Indian removal exposed the prejudice and greed of Jacksonian Democracy.
- The Nullification Crisis was a sectional difference between the North and the South.
- In the 1820s, the South became increasingly fearful about the decreasing rights of the states. South Carolina, led by Vice President John Calhoun, was opposed to the protective tariff, which they called the Tariff of Abominations.
- Jackson was opposed to nullification. In 1832, Congress passed a new lower tariff and the SC Convention voted to nullify the tariffs.
- Jackson prepared for military action because he called the nullification treason. In 1833, Jackson supported Henry Clay's lower tariff and it was passed.
- South Carolina feared the Jackson military so they backed down. This nullification philosophy had implied the rights of secession.
- Jackson was pro-slavery but against state sovereignty.
- Jackson passed the Gag Rule, which banned any mention of slavery in Congress.
The Emergence of the Whigs
- The coalition that had censured Jackson became the nucleus for a new party: the Whigs. Leadership for the party came from National republicans under Henry Clay and Northeast x-Federalists under Daniel Webster. Southern proponents of state rights also supported them.
- The Whigs absorbed the Anti-Masonic party who was against Jacksonian methods because they tolerated diverse lifestyles.
- Unlike the Federalists and the Republicans, the Whigs and Democrats were not seen as temporary parties and they competed on fairly equal terms.
- Whig supporters were mostly Protestant merchants, industrialists, and others who had successfully adapted to the market economy.
- The Whigs favored a market economy and active government participation in the economy but wanted to restrain individualism and disorder using moral values.
- They favored a loose construction of the Constitution. The Whig's basic principle was orderly progress under the guidance of an enlightened elite.
- A market economy benefits everyone they said.
The Pursuit of Perfection
- In the winter of 1830-1831, a revival of religion swept the northern states. The most successful was in Rochester, New York. Large crowds heard evangelist Charles G. Finney preach that each person had the power to choose Christ and a godly life. Many converted, and in turn got friends and relatives to do so.
- While this led to mass conversion in Rochester, not every place was so lucky.
- People were trying to stop others from gambling, drinking, smoking, and irregular church attendance, but were unsuccessful.
The Rise of Evangelicalism
- Separation of church and state was now thriving. Government funding for religious institutions would soon end. Many groups welcomed this religious freedom, because they hoped for new converts.
- However, pious Protestants were worried about secular human beliefs and urges, it was detrimental to the existence of religion.
- Revivalism provided the solution to extend religious values and build up church membership. These people capitalized on the growing willingness of Americans to form voluntary organizations. These revivals usually led people to get others to reform, so as reformers increased algebraically, more increased geometrically.
The Second Great Awakening: The Frontier Phase
- The Second Great Awakening began in earnest on the southern frontier around the turn of the century.
- In 1801, a group of about 50,000 gathered at Cane Ridge, Kentucky.
- Such "camp meetings" were more than typical, because they were run by Methodists or Baptists, and even sometimes by Presbyterians.
- At these meetings, ministers preached, usually for mass conversion, especially of hecklers in the crowd.
- These meetings were especially popular in the south, usually run by the local churches. However, these meetings were a paradox, because they preached improved morals in social reform, but yet they didn't mind slavery.
The Second Great Awakening in the North
- Reformist tendencies were quite evident in the north, especially in New England and New York.
- These revivals were very emotional, but nothing compared to the "camp meetings" of the south.
- The reform movement in New England began as an effort to defend Calvinism against the liberal views of religion fostered by the Enlightenment.
- Reverend Timothy Dwight, who became president of Yale in 1795, was alarmed by the younger generation's growing acceptance of the belief that the deity was the benevolent master architect of a rational universe rather than an all-powerful, mysterious God. Dwight was especially alarmed by those religious liberals whose rationalism reached the point of denying the doctrine of the Trinity and who proclaimed themselves to be "Unitarians."
- To Dwight's horror, these Unitarians captured many New England congregations and even won control of the Harvard Divinity School. His response was to preach to the undergraduates that they were living in sin.
- A younger generation of Congregational ministers arose and reshaped New England Puritanism to increase its appeals to those who were still optimistic about human capabilities.
- The main theologian of early 19th-century neo-Calvinism was Nathaniel Taylor; a disciple of Dwight, thought that every person was free to overcome his or her inclination to sin.
- The first great practitioner of the new evangelical Calvinism was Lyman Beecher, another of Dwight's pupils. He helped promote a series of revivals before and after the War of 1812. Using his own mind, he convinced thousands to acknowledge their sinfulness and surrender to God.
- Eventually, Beecher was forced to confront the ideas of Charles G. Finney, who thought that Beecher and his followers had made up an unqualified concept of free will. However, he did believe that by feeling the power of Christ people could become totally free of sin.
- Beecher didn't agree with Finney on just about every point he made, and wanted to put a stop to Finney. He even threatened that if Finney would try to go to Connecticut, he would stand on the state line and prevent him from crossing. But to no avail, Finney and his followers were stronger than ever.
From Revivalism to Reform
- The northern wing, unlike the southern, inspired a great movement for social reform. Converts were organized into voluntary associations that sought to stamp out sin and social evil and win the world for Christ.
- A very active Christianity was going on. Their generally optimistic and forward-looking attitudes led to hopes that a wave of conversions would save the nation and the world.
- In New England, Beecher and crew were behind the establishment of a great network of missionary and benevolent societies.
- In 1810, Presbyterians and Congregationalists founded a Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and soon dispatched two missionaries to India.
- In 1816, Reverend John Mills founded the American Bible Society, which by 1821 had distributed 140,000 Bibles, mostly in the west where there was a lack of church and clergy.
- Another effort was made by the American Tract Society, founded in 1825. This group targeted those out of reach, namely seamen, Indians, and the urban poor.
- In 1816 to 1817, women would get together in societies to spread the gospel.
- Mostly, these were all missions aimed at ending things like dueling, gambling, and prostitution.
- In New York in 1831, a zealous young clergyman published a sensational report claiming there were 10,000 prostitutes waiting to surprise innocent, young men. An effort was then started to end prostitution. One plan was publish a list of all those seen entering brothels, but this plan was turned down by those who thought that the cause of virtue would be better served by suppressing public discussion and investigation of sexual vices.
- Beecher was especially successful in his mission. He strove to end drinking of alcohol. His was an especially tough battle, because whiskey was the most popular drink at the time, one reason being its cheap price (cheaper than milk or beer and safer than water). People drank liquor with meals, even at breakfast, and kids often drank with the adults.
- It was so effective, that people all over were taking oaths of abstinence, and trying to convince others to stop drinking too.
- A new ethic of self-control and self-discipline was being instilled in the middle class, equipping individuals to confront a new world of economic growth and social mobility without losing their cultural and moral bearings.
Domesticity and Changes in the American Family
- The evangelical culture of the 1820s and 1830s influenced the family as an institution and inspired new conceptions of its role in American society.
- For many parents, child rearing was quite important.
- Women, in general, were regarded as particularly susceptible to religious and moral influences, and were confined to the domestic circle, but assumed a greater important within it.
Marriage and Sex Roles
- Many changes occurred at this time.
- One such change was the concept of marriage for love. Parents now took less precaution when letting their children choose mates. It became easier for sons to marry while their father was alive, and for daughters to marry before their older sister is married.
- The desire to protect family property and maintain social status remained strong, but mutual affection was now considered essential to a proper union.
- Wives soon became more like companions to their husbands and less like their servants or children.
- By the early nineteenth century, names and terms of endearment like "honey" or "darling" became popular, as opposed to the husband calling his wife "my dear child" in the eighteenth. Wives assumed a more egalitarian role.
- The change should not be exaggerated though. In conflicts and altercations, the husband remained the unchallenged head of the household. True independence or equality for women was impossible because men held exclusive legal property and children. Divorce was difficult for all, but easier on a husband to divorce on grounds of adultery.
- Such powers that women exerted within the home came from ability to affect the decisions of men who had learned to respect their moral qualities and good sense.
- The revivals granted women many powers of religion; not only did they give them the power to convert men, but they also made a Christ with stereotypical feminine characteristics the main object of worship.
- Historians describe the woman's new role as the "Cult of True Womanhood" or the "ideology of domesticity." In the view of most men, a woman's place was in the home on the pedestal, or in the kitchen.
- Due to the expansion of the time, factories were the commonplace, and the husbands would leave for the factory each morning leaving the wife home to tend the kids and house.
- Now this might seem like male dominance, but women then did not feel oppressed.
The Discovery of Childhood
- The nineteenth century has been called "the century of the child." Childhood was now seen as the period when the special and sustained attention of adults was needed.
- The family now became "child-centered" as opposed to the past when children were sent away at a very young age for education or apprenticeship.
- However, now, children were staying at home much longer and receiving much more attention from parents, especially mothers.
- Almost completely abandoned was the colonial custom of naming a living child after a sibling who had died in infancy. Each child was now considered as a unique and irreplaceable individual.
- New customs and fashions were now geared toward children. Books rolled hot off the press, new fancy clothes sewed, etc.
- Firm discipline remained at the core of "family government." However, corporal punishment was now partially replaced by shaming or withholding of affection. Disobedient children were now more likely to be sent to their room to think about their sin than receive a thrashing.
- Child centered families meant smaller families, because if families were as large as they used to be, it would be impossible to lavish so much attention to each child. Average childbirth per woman dropped from 7.04 in 1800 to 5.42 in 1850. This was partially caused by the new concept and methods of birth control. Abortion was also ever more popular, approximately 1:5 or 1:6.
The Extension of Education
- From 1820 to 1850, there was a great expansion of free public schools. Children were in school for a larger portion of their lives. Schools began to focus on shaping ideal citizens, and purely intellectual training was shunned.
- Prior to 1820, the wealthy would send their children to private schools, and the poorer would send their children to "charity" schools. New England had a small amount of public education, and in the south there was barely any.
- Schools began as a result of working-class rebellion. The most influential of these protesters was Horace Mann. In 1837, he persuaded legislature to redesign the schools, and he became the secretary of education until 1848. He felt that children were "clay" and had to be "molded to perfection" by their teachers.
- He disagreed with the popular opinion that school tax infringed on property rights, because he felt that one’s property belonged to the commonwealth. He preached the teaching of moral discipline to all classes.
- In practice, however, schools alienated the lower class. In Massachusetts, compulsory attendance laws deprived poor families of wage earners.
- Public schools taught from "McGuffy Readers," which held moral tales. Adult education consisted of lyceums, debating societies, or mechanics’ institutes.
Discovering the Asylum
The 1820s and ‘30s also bought an increase of crime. Reformers established institutions to house those incapable of self-discipline. Prior to this, the existence of "crazies" was viewed as divine punishment, but they were all curable. The ‘20s and ‘30s brought the concept of reformation to the forefront.
In practice, asylums were terrible places for single sexes, or at least strict segregation. There were rigid daily routines, which were intended to encourage self-discipline.
Prisons, asylums, and poorhouses did not achieve the aims of their founders. Public support was inadequate, and personnel were often untrained. They used violence, and, if not for Dorothea Dix, conditions would have been unbearable.
Between 1838 and the Civil War, Dix devoted her energy to publicizing the inhumane treatment in such asylums.
Divisions in the Benevolent Empire
Early 19th-century reformers devoted themselves to changing attitudes and practices, but by the mid 1830s, a new mood developed.
In 1836, the Temperance society split over two issues: whether or not the abstinence pledge should include beer and wine and whether pressure should be applied to producers and sellers of alcoholic beverages as well as consumer.
Movement to the Far West
- 1830s and 1840s Americans began to move as far west as the Pacific.
- Reasons for moving included economic opportunity, material gain, adventure, religious freedom, etc.
- Many people began to call their lives in the 1840s and 1850s that of "Young America." The first to do so was Ralph Waldo Emerson.
- More than a slogan, and less than a movement, it stood for a positive attitude toward the market economy and industrial growth, a more aggressive and belligerent foreign policy, and a celebration of America's unique strengths and virtues.
- These "Young Americans" thrived on expansion and constant technological advancements.
- In 1845, a relatively young James K. Polk, running on a platform of expansionism, got elected president. Polk said that he will "dare to take antiquity by the beard, and tear the cloak from hoary-headed hypocrisy."
- New music and literature came out at the time, expressing such feelings. One organization, the Literary World, founded in 1847, sprouted Walt Whitman and Herman Melville.
Movement to the Far West
- Many were attracted to the benefits of the west, and there was a vast migration.
Borderlands of the 1830s
- Expansionists directed their ambitions to the west, and it soon became apparent that Mexico and Canada might be next.
- Many conflicts over borders came to be. Due to much strife at the Mexican border, America sent in troops, and they conquered much of northern Mexico.
- A similar argument took place at the Maine-New Brunswick border. In 1842, Secretary of State Daniel Webster made an agreement with the British government, represented by Lord Ashburton.
- In the Webster-Ashburton Treaty, the U.S. got over half of the land in dispute, and there was now a definitive border. Another such dispute took place in Oregon, which was claimed by both the U.S. and Britain. This one would be resolved later in 1846.
The Texas Revolution
- In the early 1820s, Mexico enticed American citizens to settle in Texas. They had granted the land to Stephen F. Austin, son of a one-time Spanish citizen, in hopes he would attract people to live there. Many other people received grants like so, and soon Texas had a population of 2,021. Many immigrants were now excited at the prospect of the fertile land in Texas.
- Soon there was strife between Mexico and the Anglo-Americans over the status of slavery and the Catholic church's authority. This led to a dispute over whether these citizens were Anglo-American or Mexican, which had freed its slaves, and had firm beliefs in the Roman Catholic church.
- A Mexican government commission, in 1829, reported that most Texans were American, and they refused to emancipate slaves, pay duties on goods from the U.S., and failed to convert to Catholicism. Mexico then made a law prohibiting further American immigration and importation of slaves to Texas.
- These laws weren't enforced well, and the citizens weren't willing to listen either. They didn't like their representation in the Mexican government, as they were a joint state with Coahuila, and were outnumbered in the state legislature 3:1.
- Americans showed their displeasure by protesting and rioting. This was brought to a climax when a Mexican commander, arrested several Americans.
- Stephen F. Austin visited Mexico City and other places in Texas in order to appease both sides. His efforts failed, and he was soon arrested because it was discovered that he wrote a letter to some protesters and told them to establish their own government without the permission of Mexico.
- More protests were made against the Mexican government with claims of oppression. This was a false claim, and the only possibility is that it was either inefficient or corrupt. The Texans claimed they wanted liberty, but yet they still wanted slavery to be legal!!!
- Soon, in 1834, their status as "tolerated guests" changed. In that year, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna made himself dictator and abolished the federal system of government. Americans revolted when he decided to enforce tariffs with military force. He sent in more troops, but before anything could be done, an American troop, led by W.B. Travis captured the Mexican garrison without firing a shot. These soldiers were eventually freed when Austin and some more men surrounded San Antonio, who surrendered.
The Republic of Texas
- After much debate, delegates decided that Texas should become independent. It got its own constitution, which was very much alike the American one.
- A new government was quickly set up to aid the military effort. It was really a battle between America and Mexico, but many "in-betweens" called "Tejanos" aided the American effort, because they wanted to rid themselves of the rule of Santa Anna. This same hatred backfired on them later, when it was turned against them, and they were driven off their land, most notably their leader Juan Seguin.
- They quickly declared themselves a republic.
- The famous battle of the "Alamo" was then fought. Much folklore has come from it, but it was all based on the fact that 187 rebels fought a far larger number of Mexicans. What is not true is that not all the people, like Davy Crockett, fought to their death. Also, the rebels fought from inside a fortress while the army was unprotected. But from there came they renowned cry of "Remember the Alamo."
- Many battles went back and forth, American then Mexican victors.
- On April 21, 1836, the main Texas army, under General Sam Houston, assaulted Santa Anna's troops during their siesta. Santa Anna himself was marched to Velasco, where the Texas government went, and forced to sign treaties and documents that granted Texas independence, freedom, and a claim to its territory.
- It worked, although a small strip of land would be disputed in the next ten years, no other Mexican dominance over Texas would continue.
- Sam Houston became the first president of Texas. He ran on a platform of annexation with the U.S., but due to the fear of immediate war with Mexico, Jackson had to refuse. All he could offer was acknowledgment of Texas sovereignty.
- There was a vast migration to Texas, mainly due to the offer of 1,280 free acres to white heads of families. Population went from 30,000 to 142,000.
Trails of Trade and Settlement
- After New Mexico opened its trade to American merchants, there was a constant flow of goods that ran from Missouri to Santa Fe.
- The first merchant to reach Santa Fe was William Becknell, in 1821. Others followed rapidly.
- To protect themselves from Indians, whose land they crossed, they often traveled in large groups. The federal government assisted by supplying troops when needed, and allocating funds to pay Indian tribes for rights of passage.
- Even so, the risk of doing so was still great. However, profit rate was so high, that it was worth the risk.
- This trade to Santa Fe soured American-Mexican relations again. When an expedition of Texas merchants and soldiers made its way to Santa Fe, they were greatly alarmed. They even arrested the group. Texans responded by attacking the soldiers along the way to Santa Fe.
- Mexico retaliated by banning certain goods, and the export of gold and silver. Further restrictions were made in 1843.
- The famous Oregon Trail began at this time. When a few families completed the trip, and others saw the results, there was a huge migration. With so many living there, there was a new call for the complete American ownership of Oregon.
The Mormon Trek
- A group of such migrators stopped at the Great Salt Lake. These were Mormons, members of the largest religious denomination founded on American soil--the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
- The background of these people was a history of persecution. Joseph Smith, its founder, got much opposition when in Palmyra, New York, in 1830, that he had received a divine revelation. He claimed that the lost tribes of Israel had come the New World and founded Christian civilization, only to be exterminated by the heathen tribes (Indians).
- Smith and those he converted were committed to restoring a western Zion where they could practice their faith unmolested, and try to convert the Native Americans too.
- In the 1830s they established communities in Ohio and Missouri, but one went bankrupt, and one was the cause of constant violence.
- More conflict was created when Smith authorized polygamy. Smith was killed in 1844, by an angry mob, while being held in jail.
- Brigham Young then took over and led the Mormons to the Great Salt Lake.
- The main problem was that when they got there it was still in Mexican hands, and when the U.S. annexed it, they sought to have U.S. jurisdiction (and no polygamy). The Mormons rebelled, and when President Buchanan's troops couldn't attack because of a large snow, he offered an olive branch to those who would agree.
Manifest Destiny and the Mexican War
- Settler rush of the 1830s & 40s prompted politicians to want to annex areas occupied by immigrants.
- Many claimed that Manifest Destiny was to include all of N. America.
Tyler and Texas
- Tyler took over for Harrison in 1841, and he initiated the politics of Manifest Destiny.
- Tyler was pro-slavery from VA.
- Tyler didn’t favor Clay’s American system of internal improvements and tariffs.
- Made the annexation of Texas the main issue so that he could get re-elected by his own right in 1844.
- He thought that this would be a good idea because the Southerners would support it, especially because it was favorable to slavery.
- Tyler chose Calhoun because he would help unite the South and it would counteract the Abolitionist movement.
- 1843 the Tyler administration launched a propaganda campaign based on reports from an unofficial British agent in Texas.
- Tyler used propaganda that England was engaging in secret negotiations with Texas to abolish slavery in Texas in exchange for independence.
- Americans falsely believed that although England knew that abolition was a stupid economic policy, they wanted to abolish slavery in the U.S. to hurt the American economy.
- The annexation plan appealed to northern nationalists.
- Congress didn’t pass the treaty because of opposition by Northern Whigs.
The Triumph of Polk and Annexation
- The annexation of Texas was a major issue in the 1844 election.
- Van Buren was against the annexation because he didn’t want war with Mexico so he made a deal with Henry Clay to keep the issue out of the election.
- This angered Southern Democrats and they nominated James K. Polk, a Jackson protégéé, for the presidency.
- Clay waffled on the issue because it was so popular and this cost him Northern Whig support.
- Polk won narrowly and the annexation was approved just before he took office. Slavery played a big role in the annexation of Texas.
- The North feared it because they didn’t want Texas, which would become a slave state to upset the balance of national power.
- Polk got Northerners to agree with annexation by promising to bring in Oregon, a free-state.
The Doctrine of Manifest Destiny
- In the mid 1840'a, some Americans said that it was the Manifest Destiny of the U.S. to expand and capture Canada and Mexico.
- President Tyler initiated this idea by attempting to annex Texas.
- The term was coinded after Polk’s election and the annexation of Texas by John L. O’Sullivan who wa editor of United States Magazine and Democratic Review.
- There are three main ideas of manifest destiny:
- Puritan idea that God is on the side of American expansion and that it is a god given right to expand.
- Free Development - the idea that American expansion is the expansion of freedom.
- The US’s population increase requires expansion to prevent social classes from forming.
Polk and the Oregon Question
- In 1845 and 46 the US avoided a near-military conflict with British N. America.
- Polk used the slogan "54 40 or Fight" to refer to his will to get Oregon from the British.
- England previously had a joint-occupation agreement with the US.
- Polk went too far and England wouldn’t agree and Polk was forced to get only half of Oregon.
- England got temporary navigation rights on the Columbus River as well as Vancouver Island.
- The U.S. came very close to war with England over this issue - this agreement gave the U.S. it’s first deep water port.
- This led to the Northern belief that Polk was part of a Southern conspiracy to make the U.S. a slave-union because Polk fought for Texas but not for Oregon.
War with Mexico
- When the U.S. annexed Texas, it took up its claim, and Mexico prepared for war.
- Polk sent troops to Louisiana and dispatched an emissary to Mexico City who wasn’t received by the Mexicans.
- In Jan. 1846, Polk ordered Zachary Taylor to advance toward the Rio Grande.
- In April, Mexicans encountered a small American force and killed 11 and captured the rest.
- When Congress declared war on 5/13/46, American agents in CA were stirring up dissension against Mexican rule-the Mexicans refused to make peace.
- Taylor quickly won a few battles, but refused to advance further in fear of the conditions in the deep Mexican desert w/o reinforcements.
- Polk then ordered General Scott to attack Vera Cruz to get to Mexico City.
- Taylor held his position, and won a final battle at Buena Vista in Feb 1847.
- Taylor was hailed as a national hero.
- The Kearny expedition captured Santa Fe, and proclaimed the annexation of NM by the U.S. By the beginning of 1847, Americans had taken control of CA.
- Scott took Vera Cruz in 3/47, and started for Mexico City. Scott met Santa Anna at Cerro Gordo on 4/17 and 4/18.
- A flanking maneuver enabled Scott to win the victory that opened up the road to Mexico City.
- After a temporary armistice, Scott ordered the assault that captured the city on 9/14. On 2/2/48, Trist (the negotiator) signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ceded NM and CA to the U.S. for 15 mil, established the Rio Grande as a border, and promised that the U.S. would assume the claims of American citizens against Mexico.
- The treaty provided that Mexican residents of the territories would become U.S. citizens.
- The Senate approved the treaty on 3/10/48. The US gained CA, UT, NM, NV, AZ, and parts of CO and WY. Pressure for a southern route for a railroad led to the Gadsden Purchase, which the U.S. acquired the southernmost parts of AZ and NM.
- Merk says that the US didn’t take all of Mexico because it was a race issue - that the US couldn’t take territories that weren’t mainly occupied by Anglo-Saxons.
- Many Northerners felt that the purpose of the war was to spread slavery and strengthen the South.
- Young American expansionists saw a clear link between acquisition of new territory and other forms of material growth and development.
- In 1844, Samuel F. B. Morse perfected the telegraph.
- Also, the railroad was becoming increasingly important in transporting people and goods.
- After gold was discovered in newly acquired California in 1848, many people moved west. The gold found spurred the economy, and was the cause of telegraph lines, and railroads to the west coast.
- Despite their best efforts, the cries of Young Americans calling for "Manifest Destiny" died down after the Mexican War. All energy now went to internal development.
- The nation stopped growing in size, but advanced greatly technologically.
The Triumph of the Railroad
- The railroad transformed America.
- The technology for it came from England, but in 1830-1831 two companies began commercial operation with it in the U.S.-the Charleston and Hamburg in South Carolina and the Baltimore and Ohio in Maryland. Soon, many more railroads got started.
- Canals, however, proved to be strong competitors. By 1840, there was 2,818 miles of track in the U.S., as much as there were canals, but the canals still got most of the business. Speed was all trains had to offer, while canals offered cheap prices. Also, states like NY and PA had invested in canals, and did not want to compete with them. Also, the places where railroads were located weren't ideal for business.
- The miles of track soon reached 9,000+ miles by 1850, and about 30,000 by 1860. By 1860, all states east of the Mississippi had railroads, and technically, a person could go from New York to Chicago by way of Memphis. Soon, even NY and PA succumbed to building railroads.
- The new railroad industry spurned a need for iron and the creation of a U.S. iron industry.
- Most businesses at the time were family owned, therefore, they needed money, and they would get it either by flat out loaning money, or by the following three options:
Chance for L/G
"dibs" when bankrupt
No chance for loss or gain
- Of the three, common stock is most like being an owner (with voting rights), while a bond is most like being a lender---while preferred stock is in-between.
- Since the government decided that railroads were so important, large land grants were made. This set the precedent for the massive land grants of the post-Civil War era.
The Industrial Revolution Takes Off
- Not only in transportation, but now in all other fields industry was being improved, such as in the wool manufacturing process. Also, those producing coal, iron, firearms, clocks, and sewing machines.
- The essential features that caused this were the gathering of supervised work force in a single place, the payment of cash wages to workers, the use of interchangeable parts, and manufacture by "continuous process."
- Elias Howe's invention of the sewing machine revolutionized the idea of ready to wear clothes. Charles Goodyear figured out how to vulcanize rubber, creating the overshoe.
- Most notably, were the new tools, and the new processes for making tools.
- John Deere's steel plow, invented in 1837 and mass produced by the 1850s, enabled midwestern farmers to cultivate the tough prairie soils that had resisted cast-iron implements.
- The mechanical reaper, patented by Cyrus McCormick in 1834, offered an enormous saving in the labor required for harvesting grain; by 1851, he was producing more than a thousand a year.
- Other new farm inventions included seed drills, cultivators, and threshing machines.
Mass Immigration Begins
- The main reason for the Industrial Revolution was that new devices were needed because cheap labor was hard to get.
- Since it was hard to attract real workers, women and children were used a lot. These work opportunities now available due to the new machinery and building crews for the railroads, attracted many immigrants.
- Now immigrants were coming from all over, not just Britain and Germany.
- The arrival of all these immigrants exacerbated the already serious problems of America's rapidly growing cities. Now, with railroads and horsedrawn streetcars, the rich could move to the suburbs.
- American cities became slums.
The New Working Class
- A majority of immigrants ended up as wage workers in factories, mines, and construction camps, or as casual day laborers doing the many unskilled tasks required for urban and commercial growth.
- Now, gradually, foreigners began to replace the native-born workers.
- In 1836, only 3.7 percent of the workers in one Lowell mill were foreign born; most members of the labor force at that time were young unmarried women from New England farms. By 1860, immigrants constituted 61.7 percent of the work force. An increase was discovered in men who worked machines, because Irish men were willing to do work thought of by native-born men as women's work.
- Now, with the abundance of employees available, employer's conditions weren't as nice. Long days, and instead of the former paternalism that evoked a spirit of cooperation in the workers had been replaced by a cost-conscious form of management.
- During the depression that followed, employers attempted to reduce expenses and increase productivity by cutting wages, increasing the speed of machinery, and giving each worker more machinery to operate.
- The result was a new concept of labor militancy involving both male and female workers. Ergo, unions were organized protesting the long workdays. Some laws were passed, but little was done.
- Employers were able to put in clauses of contracts of future employees that said they wouldn't protest the long hours, etc. Also, foreign workers, for example from Ireland who had just experienced the potato famine, were less likely to complain about bad working conditions.
- However, even so, the reforms of industrialism weren't so effective. Tardiness, absenteeism, drunkenness, and loafing on the job were all common.
- By 1860, the industrial expansion created a working class of people destined for a life of low-paid wage labor.
- In Southern society, all whites were free, but there were class rankings.
- By the time of the civil war, the rich plantation owners only made up 4% of the white population in the South.
- The planters had great influence on southern life, and set the tone for others to imitate. Most of the great planters were self-made men.
- To be successful, a planter had to be a shrewd businessman who kept an eye on the market, the prices of slaves and land, and the extent of his indebtedness.
- Insider information could help him, but he had to be diligent.
- Running a plantation required much work. Running a huge household kept women busy.
- Some of the richest owners were regarded as equals by English nobility.
- They had sense of pride and honor. Planters’ sons were discouraged from trade, and their daughters were trained to be ladies.
- Planters owned more than half the slaves in the South and set standards for treatment and management.
- Most planters liked to think of themselves as fathers, and treated the Blacks kindly. The slaves reproduced faster than any other slaves anywhere else, ever. Rising slave prices inhibited physical abuse.
- A good return on planters’ investments enabled them to divert a significant portion of their profits to slave maintenance.
- However, some planters overworked the slaves and let their tempers control them, and abused the slaves. Planters conceded that their basis of authority was the slaves’ fear of force.
- Slaves had no legal protection against abuse. Abolitionists were correct in condemning slavery because it gave one human absolute power over another.
- There was something wrong with an institution that made a monster possible. Some small farmers owned one or two slave families. They didn’t live that well, and relations could be very good or very bad.
- Most slaves opted for the plantations. Marginal slaveholders sank into poverty and sold their slaves. Below these farmers were yeomen who owned land that they worked themselves.
- In parts of the South, many people were tenants and farmers. In regions with fertile land, yeomen concentrated, giving rise to the white counties that complicated southern politics.
- That lack of transportation limited the prosperity of the yeomen. They had to grow their own food. Their main source of cash was hogs. But southern livestock was of poor quality. Most yeomen hated abolitionism.
- Most yeomen were Jacksonians were resented aristocratic pretensions, and didn’t like the planters, but they didn’t attack the planters because they hoped to get power (slaves) one day.
- Also, most yeomen hated blacks, and went along with the planters. The planters felt threatened from the yeomen and the blacks. Beginning in the 1830s, the planters used their power to create a mood that all southern whites were of a single mind on the slavery issue.
- The argument that slavery was good won.
- This was based on three propositions.
- Enslavement was the status for blacks.
- Slavery was sanctioned by the Bible and Christianity.
- Slavery was consisted with the humanitarian spirit of the 19th century. Blacks needed caring for.
- In the 1850s, this argument had begun to attack the free labor system of the North.
- Slaves had security against unemployment and a guarantee of care in old age. Worker insecurities led to strikes and class conflicts, while slave societies could protect property rights and traditional values.
- Southerners attempted to seal off their region from antislavery ideas. Whites who criticized slavery were persecuted.
- When abolitionists tried to send their literature through mail, it was publicly burned.
- Such denials of free speech and civil liberties were inspired by fears that slaves and yeomen would get subversive ideas about slavery.
- They were afraid of slave rebellions. Free blacks were denied civil liberties and were the object of harassment.
- Southerners had become convinced that safety from abolitionism required secession.