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Chapter 13 Outline

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The "Corrupt Bargain" 1824

* As the "Era of Good Feelings" under James Monroe came to an end in 1824, the old congressional caucus system or choosing presidential candidates had broken down. Four candidates towered above the others: John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, Henry Clay of Kentucky, William H. Crawford of Georgia, and Andrew Jackson of Tennessee. All four rivals professed to be "Republicans."

* Jackson won the greatest number of popular votes, but because the vote was split four ways, he lack a majority in the Electoral College. The House of Representatives had to choose from the top three. Clay was thus eliminated. Yet as Speaker of the house, he presided over the very chamber that had to pick the winner.

* Clay used his influence in the House to get Adams elected an in turn, Adams made Clay his Secretary of State.

* Masses of angry Jacksonians raised a roar of protest against this "corrupt bargain." The clamor continued for the four years of Adams' Presidency.

A Yankee Misfit in the White House

* Adam's entered his presidency with a brilliant record in statecraft, especially in foreign policy, however while he is ranked as one of the most successful secretaries of state, he became one of the least successful presidents.

* Adams was further alienated when he asked Congress for additional money for internal improvements, aid to manufacturing, and even a national university and astrological observatory.

* In 1828, Adams was able to piece together a new tariff law that generally satisfied northern manufacturers but alienated southern planters, who denounced it as a "tariff of abominations."

Going "Whole Hog" for Jackson in 1828

* Jackson's followers presented their hero as a roughhewn frontiersman and a stalwart champion of the common man. They denounced Adams as a corrupt aristocrat and argued that the will of the people had been thwarted.

* Jackson also smeared the president, accusing Adams' wife of being born out of wedlock. Adams's camp responded in kind, accusing Jackson's wife of adultery.

* Jackson wins a landslide victory in 1828, with an electoral count of 178 to 83. He won with a reputation of a war hero and a man of western frontiers.

The Spoils System

* Under Jackson the spoils system¬¬¬-that is, rewarding political supporters with public office-was introduced into the federal government on a large scale.

* Scandal inevitably accompanied the new system. Men who had openly bought their posts by campaign contributions were appointed to high office. Often times illiterate incompetents, and plain crooks were given position of public trust.

The Tricky "Tariff of Abominations"

* A tariff bill that the Jacksonites had promoted in 1824 to give a black eye to President Adams was unexpectedly passed in 1828. This new tariff had outrageous rates and was greeted with protests, especially in the South.

* In1828 South Carolina declared the "Tariff of Abominations" to be null and void within its borders, according to John C. Calhoun's Nullification Theory.

* However Andrew Jackson was the wrong president to stare down, he issued a ringing proclamation against nullification.

* Daniel Webster vs. Robert Haynes was a Senate battle where Webster attached the idea that any state could defy or leave the Union.

* In 1833 the Congress squeezed through a compromise tariff and nullification and trouble were averted.

The Trail of Tears

* In the 1790s, the Washington government recognized various Native American tribes as separate nations and agreed to acquire land from them only through formal treaties.

* Among these Native nations were the Cherokee. The Cherokees of Georgia had made especially remarkable efforts to learn the ways of the whites. For their many efforts the Cherokees-along with the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles-were known by whites as the "Five Civilized Tribes."

* However in 1828 the Georgia legislature declared the Cherokee tribal council illegal and asserted its own jurisdiction over Indian affairs and land. The Cherokee appealed this move in the Supreme Court in the Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia case. The Court favored the rights of the Indians, but President Jackson wanted white settlement refused to recognize the Court's decisions.

* In what became known as the Trail of Tears, Jackson forced the uprooting of more that 100, 000 Indians. This caused the death of thousands and the end of the "Five Civilized tribes."

The Bank War

* President Jackson held the suspicion that the Bank of the United States abused its power and served the interest of the wealthy, also believed it to be unconstitutional.

* The banks president the brilliant, but arrogant Nicholas Biddle, held an immense and to many an unconstitutional amount of power over the nation's financial affairs.

* During the election of 1832 this was a large issue. Henry Clay tried to renew the charter of the Bank with a new bill. Jackson vetoed it and the voters agreed. Jackson being the idol of the masses easily defeated Clay in the election and was on to his second term.

* The anti Masonic party also aroused around this time. It was opposed to the influence of the Masonic order and it appealed to long-standing American suspicions of secret societies.

Burying

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