The Age of Jackson summary and notes



The Age of Jackson summary and notes


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The Age of Jackson summary and notes


The Age of Jackson


Section 1 People’s President


Suffrage- the right to vote: the Corrupt Bargain- in the elections of 1824, Jackson won far more popular votes than any other candidates. Neither Jackson nor any other candidate won a majority of the electoral votes. Thus we had the “Corrupt Bargain” scandal. Enraged supporters of Jackson charged Adams and Clay with a secret agreement they called “Corrupt Bargain”.


The Election of 1828: Jackson labeled Adams an anti-social or member of the upper class. Adams struck back. He went so far as to call Jackson a barbarian and savage who could scarcely spell his own name. Jackson’s supporters believed that he represented the “common man”. He became the symbol of the growing power of democracy Jackson won by a landslide.


Section 2 A new Spirit in the White House

The Spoils System: Jackson fired many government employees. He replaces them with his own loyal supporters. Jackson believed the spoil system expanded democracy. Changing office holders, argued Jackson, gave more people a chance to take part in government.


Kitchen Cabinet: Jackson angered many people by relying upon a group of his own personal advisors, nicknamed the Kitchen Cabinet.


War with the Bank: the bank had complete control over credit. It also decided how much money state banks received. Farmers and merchants hated the bank. So did Jackson.


Footnote: Andrew Jackson was the first President born in a log cabin.


In the election of 1832, Jackson defeated Henry Clay, the common people handed Jackson a swiping victory. Jackson found a way to hurt the National Bank, whose charter wouldn’t run out until 1886. Jackson ordered Secretary of the Treasury Roger Taney to put federal funds into certain state banks known as pet banks, instead of the Bank of U.S.


Section 3 Crisis and Conflict


The Tariff of Abominations: Jackson’s crisis grew out of a tariff or tax on imported goods, passed by Congress in 1828, just before Jackson took office. Northern manufacturers and Western farmers liked the tariff. High prices on foreign goods made it easier for them to sell their products to American buyers. Southern planters however hated the tariff. Because the South used many imported goods, the tariff raised the price of nearly everything Southerners purchased.

Unhappy Southerners nicknamed the protective tariff the Tariff of Abominations. The South turned to John Calhoun, Jackson’s Vice President to battle against it.

Calhoun said each state has the right to nullify, or cancel federal law- such as the tariff- that it was considered unconstitutional. Calhoun favored states-rights- the belief that an individual state may restrict federal authority.


Jackson vs. Calhoun: Southerners hoped that Jackson- a planter and slaveholder- might side with them. But he didn’t. Jackson locked eyes with his Vice President John Calhoun and said southerners “Our Federal Union-it must be preserved.” Calhoun placed the “liberty of a state” above the union.

In December 1832, Calhoun resigned before his term as Vice President ended Martin Van Buren became Jackson’s Vice President and the next President.


Nullification Crisis: South Carolina passed the Nullification Act. This law declared the tariff “null and void” and not a law. The people of South Carolina threatened to secede if the federal government challenged the state law. Congress passed a compromise tariff proposed by Henry Clay. The tariff lowered rates only slightly, but South Carolina accepted the proposal.


A tragic Policy for Native Americans: Jackson believed that the Native Americans should give up their lands to settlers. He also believed that Native Americans could live more freely in the Indian Territory- or present day Oklahoma.


Resistance: The Cherokee claimed that federal treaties protected Native Americans as sovereign, self-ruling nation. They tried to form their own nation, and elected John Ross as their President. They also wrote a constitution that set up a representative form of government. They were denied.


Indian Removal Act of 1830: This act provided funds for the federal government to remove Native Americans from the Eastern United States. The Cherokee held out until 1838. Then they too agreed to move west. That Fall John Ross led 13,000 of his people on a forced march to Indian Territory. The brutal weather of the Great Plains claimed thousands of lives. Over 4,000 men, women, and children died on the trail. The Cherokee called their sorrowful trek the “Trail of Tears.”


Section 4 The End of Jackson Era:


The Election of 1836: Jackson used his influence to win the Democratic nomination for his hand picked succession, Martin Van Buren. He promised to walk in the footsteps of President Jackson. This helped him win the election.


Problems left to Van Buren: In 1836 the charter for the Bank of the United States ran out. Individual banks all over the country set their own rules for operating. Many state banks began to loan money freely. They printed many paper notes as money, more than they could back up by specie.


Specie: is hard cash in the form of gold or silver.


Problems for Banks and Business: with banks facing cash money problems, people began to fear that banknotes would lose there value. People rushed to exchange their paper money for gold or silver coins. Banks began to shutdown.


The Panic of 1837: Several important banks in the East closed their doors and went out of business. The government would no longer deposit its money with private individual banks. Instead the government would store its money in the federal treasury.


The Election of 1840:


William Henry Harrison: was the hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe. Harrison had little time to enjoy his victory. Harrison died of pneumonia one month after taking office.


Log Cabin Campaign: Harrison came from a well to do Virginia family. He enjoyed a good education and lived in a 16 room mansion on 3,000 acres of land. Most Americans had no way of knowing about Harrison’s background. The Whigs therefore bombarded the nation with advertisements and posters that presented Harrison as a humble Ohio farmer born in a log cabin.

The Whigs took the campaign on the road. In towns all over the U.S. they organized rallies, parades and barbeques. The strategy paid off. In 1840 a huge voter turnout gave Harrison a swamping victory. Harrison walked away with 234 electoral votes, compared to only 60 electoral votes by Van Buren.


 Death of President Harrison: Harrison had little time to enjoy his victory while giving his inaugural speech, he caught a cold. Harrison dies of pneumonia one month later. Harrison’s death thrust Tyler into the Presidency. Tyler would change the course of history by following a policy of westward expansion that even Jackson would have approved. John Tyler was the first Vice President to become President upon the death of an elected President. Since Tyler in 1841, six other Vice Presidents have become President because a President died in office.


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