Jacksonian democracy

Jacksonian democracy was a 19th-century political philosophy in the United States that expanded suffrage to most white men over the age of 21, and restructured a number of federal institutions. Originating with the seventh President Andrew Jackson, and his supporters, it became the nation's dominant political worldview for a generation.

This era, called the Jacksonian Era (or Second Party System) by historians and political scientists, lasted roughly from Jackson's 1828 election as president until slavery became the dominant issue in 1854 and the political repercussions of the American Civil War dramatically reshaped American politics. It emerged when the long-dominant Democratic-Republican Party became factionalized around the 1824 election. Jackson's supporters began to form the modern Democratic Party and his rivals John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay created the National Republican Party, which would afterward combine with other anti-Jackson political groups to form the Whig Party.

Broadly speaking, the era was characterized by a democratic spirit and built upon Jackson's equal political policy (subsequent to ending what he termed a "monopoly" of government by elites). Even before the Jacksonian era began, suffrage had been extended to a majority of white male adult citizens, a result the Jacksonians celebrated.[1] Jacksonian democracy also promoted the strength of the presidency and executive branch at the expense of Congress, while also seeking to broaden the public's participation in government. The Jacksonians demanded elected (not appointed) judges and rewrote many state constitutions to reflect the new values. In national terms, they favored geographical expansion, justifying it in terms of manifest destiny. There was usually a consensus among both Jacksonians and Whigs that battles over slavery should be avoided.

Jackson's expansion of democracy was largely limited to Americans of European descent and voting rights were extended to adult white males only. There was little or no progress (and in some cases, a regression) for the rights of African Americans and Native Americans during the extensive period of Jacksonian Democracy, spanning from 1829 - 1860.[2] Jackson's biographer Robert V. Remini argues:

[Jacksonian Democracy] stretches the concept of democracy about as far as it can go and still remain workable. ... As such it has inspired much of the dynamic and dramatic events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in American history—Populism, Progressivism, the New and Fair Deals, and the programs of the New Frontier and Great Society.[3]

Jacksonian Democrats
Historical leadersAndrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
James K. Polk
Thomas Hart Benton
Stephen A. Douglas
Founded1825
Dissolved1854
Split fromDemocratic-Republican Party
IdeologyAgrarianism
Manifest destiny
Populism
Spoils system
Social conservatism
National affiliationDemocratic Party
Colors     Blue

Philosophy

General principles

William S. Belko in 2015 summarizes "the core concepts underlying Jacksonian Democracy" as:

equal protection of the laws; an aversion to a moneyed aristocracy, exclusive privileges, and monopolies, and a predilection for the common man; majority rule; and the welfare of the community over the individual.[4]

Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., in 1945 argues Jacksonian democracy was built on the following:[5]

  • Expanded suffrage – The Jacksonians believed that voting rights should be extended to all white men. By the end of the 1820s, attitudes and state laws had shifted in favor of universal white male suffrage[6] and by 1856 all requirements to own property and nearly all requirements to pay taxes had been dropped.[7][8]
  • Manifest destiny – This was the belief that Americans had a destiny to settle the American West and to expand control from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and that the West should be settled by yeoman farmers. However, the Free Soil Jacksonians, notably Martin Van Buren, argued for limitations on slavery in the new areas to enable the poor white man to flourishthey split with the main party briefly in 1848. The Whigs generally opposed Manifest Destiny and expansion, saying the nation should build up its cities.[9]
  • Patronage – Also known as the spoils system, patronage was the policy of placing political supporters into appointed offices. Many Jacksonians held the view that rotating political appointees in and out of office was not only the right, but also the duty of winners in political contests. Patronage was theorized to be good because it would encourage political participation by the common man and because it would make a politician more accountable for poor government service by his appointees. Jacksonians also held that long tenure in the civil service was corrupting, so civil servants should be rotated out of office at regular intervals. However, patronage often led to the hiring of incompetent and sometimes corrupt officials due to the emphasis on party loyalty above any other qualifications.[10]
  • Strict constructionism – Like the Jeffersonians who strongly believed in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, Jacksonians initially favored a federal government of limited powers. Jackson said that he would guard against "all encroachments upon the legitimate sphere of State sovereignty". However, he was not a states' rights extremistindeed, the Nullification Crisis would find Jackson fighting against what he perceived as state encroachments on the proper sphere of federal influence. This position was one basis for the Jacksonians' opposition to the Second Bank of the United States. As the Jacksonians consolidated power, they more often advocated expanding federal power, presidential power in particular.[11]
  • Laissez-faire – Complementing a strict construction of the Constitution, the Jacksonians generally favored a hands-off approach to the economy as opposed to the Whig program sponsoring modernization, railroads, banking and economic growth.[12][13] The chief spokesman amongst laissez-faire advocates was William Leggett of the Locofocos in New York City.[14][15]
  • Opposition to banking – In particular, the Jacksonians opposed government-granted monopolies to banks, especially the national bank, a central bank known as the Second Bank of the United States. Jackson said: "The bank is trying to kill me, but I will kill it!" and he did so.[16] The Whigs, who strongly supported the Bank, were led by Henry Clay, Daniel Webster and Nicholas Biddle, the bank chairman.[17] Jackson himself was opposed to all banks because he believed they were devices to cheat common peoplehe and many followers believed that only gold and silver should be used to back currency, rather than the integrity of a bank.
Andrew Jackson
Portrait of Andrew Jackson by Thomas Sully (1824)

Election by the "common man"

An important movement in the period from 1800 to 1830—before the Jacksonians were organized—was the gradual expansion of the right to vote from only property owning men to include all white men over 21.[18] Older states with property restrictions dropped them, namely all but Rhode Island, Virginia and North Carolina by the mid 1820s. No new states had property qualifications although three had adopted tax-paying qualifications—Ohio, Louisiana and Mississippi, of which only in Louisiana were these significant and long lasting.[19] The process was peaceful and widely supported, except in the state of Rhode Island. In Rhode Island, the Dorr Rebellion of the 1840s demonstrated that the demand for equal suffrage was broad and strong, although the subsequent reform included a significant property requirement for anyone resident but born outside of the United States. However, free black men lost voting rights in several states during this period.[20]

The fact that a man was now legally allowed to vote did not necessarily mean he routinely voted. He had to be pulled to the polls, which became the most important role of the local parties. They systematically sought out potential voters and brought them to the polls. Voter turnout soared during the 1830s, reaching about 80% of adult male population in the 1840 presidential election.[21] Tax-paying qualifications remained in only five states by 1860 – Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Delaware and North Carolina.[22]

One innovative strategy for increasing voter participation and input was developed outside the Jacksonian camp. Prior to the presidential election of 1832, the Anti-Masonic Party conducted the nation's first presidential nominating convention. Held in Baltimore, Maryland, September 26–28, 1831, it transformed the process by which political parties select their presidential and vice-presidential candidates.[23]

Factions

The period from 1824 to 1832 was politically chaotic. The Federalist Party and the First Party System were dead and with no effective opposition, the old Democratic-Republican Party withered away. Every state had numerous political factions, but they did not cross state lines. Political coalitions formed and dissolved and politicians moved in and out of alliances.[24]

Most former Republicans supported Jackson, while others such as Henry Clay opposed him. Most former Federalists, such as Daniel Webster, opposed Jackson, although some like James Buchanan supported him. In 1828, John Quincy Adams pulled together a network of factions called the National Republicans, but he was defeated by Jackson. By the late 1830s, the Jacksonian Democrats and the Whigs politically battled it out nationally and in every state.[25]

Formed the Democratic Party

Jacksonian democracy

The modern balaam and his ass
1837 cartoon plays on "Jackson" and "jackass", showing the Democratic Party as a donkey, which remains its cartoon symbol into the 21st century

The spirit of Jacksonian democracy animated the party from the early 1830s to the 1850s, shaping the era, with the Whig Party the main opposition.[26] The new Democratic Party became a coalition of poor farmers, city-dwelling laborers and Irish Catholics.[27]

The new party was pulled together by Martin Van Buren in 1828 as Jackson crusaded against the corruption of President John Quincy Adams. The new party (which did not get the name Democrats until 1834) swept to a landslide. As Mary Beth Norton explains regarding 1828:

Jacksonians believed the people's will had finally prevailed. Through a lavishly financed coalition of state parties, political leaders, and newspaper editors, a popular movement had elected the president. The Democrats became the nation's first well-organized national party.[28]

The platforms, speeches and editorials were founded upon a broad consensus among Democrats. As Norton et al. explain:

The Democrats represented a wide range of views but shared a fundamental commitment to the Jeffersonian concept of an agrarian society. They viewed a central government as the enemy of individual liberty and they believed that government intervention in the economy benefited special-interest groups and created corporate monopolies that favored the rich. They sought to restore the independence of the individual—the artisan and the ordinary farmer—by ending federal support of banks and corporations and restricting the use of paper currency.[29]

Jackson vetoed more legislation than all previous presidents combined. The long-term effect was to create the modern strong presidency.[30] Jackson and his supporters also opposed reform as a movement. Reformers eager to turn their programs into legislation called for a more active government. However, Democrats tended to oppose programs like educational reform and the establishment of a public education system. For instance, they believed that public schools restricted individual liberty by interfering with parental responsibility and undermined freedom of religion by replacing church schools.

Jackson looked at the Indian question in terms of military and legal policy, not as a problem due to their race.[31] In 1813, Jackson adopted and treated as his own son a three-year-old Indian orphan—seeing in him a fellow orphan that was "so much like myself I feel an unusual sympathy for him".[32] In legal terms, when it became a matter of state sovereignty versus tribal sovereignty he went with the states and forced the Indians to fresh lands with no white rivals in what became known as the Trail of Tears.

Among the leading followers was Stephen A. Douglas, senator from Illinois, who was the key player in the passage of the compromise of 1850, and was a leading contender for the 1852 Democratic presidential nomination. According to his biographer Robert W. Johanssen:

Douglas was preeminently a Jacksonian, and his adherence to the tenants of what became known as Jacksonian democracy grew as his own career developed. ... Popular rule, or what he called would later call popular sovereignty, lay at the base of his political structure. Like most Jacksonians, Douglas believed that the people spoke through the majority, that the majority will was the expression of the popular will.[33]

Reforms

1832bank1
A Democratic cartoon from 1833 shows Jackson destroying the Bank with his "Order for the Removal", to the annoyance of Bank President Nicholas Biddle, shown as the Devil himself. Numerous politicians and editors who were given favorable loans from the Bank run for cover as the financial temple crashes down. A famous fictional character Major Jack Downing (right) cheers: "Hurrah! Gineral!"

Jackson fulfilled his promise of broadening the influence of the citizenry in government, although not without vehement controversy over his methods.[34]

Jacksonian policies included ending the bank of the United States, expanding westward and removing American Indians from the Southeast. Jackson was denounced as a tyrant by opponents on both ends of the political spectrum such as Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun. This led to the rise of the Whig Party.

Jackson created a spoils system to clear out elected officials in government of an opposing party and replace them with his supporters as a reward for their electioneering. With Congress controlled by his enemies, Jackson relied heavily on the power of the veto to block their moves.

One of the most important of these was the Maysville Road veto in 1830. A part of Clay's American System, the bill would have allowed for federal funding of a project to construct a road linking Lexington and the Ohio River, the entirety of which would be in the state of Kentucky, Clay's home state. His primary objection was based on the local nature of the project. He argued it was not the federal government's job to fund projects of such a local nature and or those lacking a connection to the nation as a whole. The debates in Congress reflected two competing visions of federalism. The Jacksonians saw the union strictly as the cooperative aggregation of the individual states, while the Whigs saw the entire nation as a distinct entity.[35]

Carl Lane argues "securing national debt freedom was a core element of Jacksonian democracy." Paying off the national debt was a high priority which would make a reality of the Jeffersonian vision of America truly free from rich bankers, self-sufficient in world affairs, virtuous at home, and administered by a small government not prone to financial corruption or payoffs.[36]

What became of Jacksonian Democracy, according to Sean Wilentz was diffusion. Many ex-Jacksonians turned their crusade against the Money Power into one against the Slave Power and became Republicans. He points to the struggle over the Wilmot Proviso of 1846, the Free Soil Party revolt of 1848, and the mass defections from the Democrats in 1854 over the Kansas–Nebraska Act. Others Jacksonian leaders such as Chief Justice Roger B. Taney endorsed slavery through the 1857 Dred Scott decision. Southern Jacksonians overwhelmingly endorsed secession in 1861, apart from a few opponents led by Andrew Johnson. In the North, Jacksonians Stephen A. Douglas and the War Democrats fiercely opposed secession, while Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and the Copperheads did not.[37]

Jacksonian Presidents

In addition to Jackson, his second Vice President and one of the key organizational leaders of the Jacksonian Democratic Party, Martin Van Buren, served as President. Van Buren was defeated in the next election by William Henry Harrison. Harrison died just 30 days into his term and his Vice President John Tyler quickly reached accommodation with the Jacksonians. Tyler was then succeeded by James K. Polk, a Jacksonian who won the election of 1844 with Jackson's endorsement.[38] Franklin Pierce had been a supporter of Jackson as well. James Buchanan served in Jackson's administration as Minister to Russia and as Polk's Secretary of State, but he did not pursue Jacksonian policies. Finally, Andrew Johnson, who had been a strong supporter of Jackson, became President following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in 1865, but by then Jacksonian democracy had been pushed off the stage of American politics.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Engerman, pp. 15, 36. "These figures suggest that by 1820 more than half of adult white males were casting votes, except in those states that still retained property requirements or substantial tax requirements for the franchise – Virginia, Rhode Island (the two states that maintained property restrictions through 1840), and New York as well as Louisiana."
  2. ^ Warren, Mark E. (1999). Democracy and Trust. Cambridge University Press. pp. 166–. ISBN 9780521646871.
  3. ^ Robert V. Remini (2011). The Life of Andrew Jackson. HarperCollins. p. 307. ISBN 9780062116635.
  4. ^ William S. Belko, "'A Tax On The Many, To Enrich A Few': Jacksonian Democracy Vs. The Protective Tariff." Journal of the History of Economic Thought 37.2 (2015): 277-289.
  5. ^ Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Age of Jackson (1945)
  6. ^ Engerman, p. 14. "Property- or tax-based qualifications were most strongly entrenched in the original thirteen states, and dramatic political battles took place at a series of prominent state constitutional conventions held during the late 1810s and 1820s."
  7. ^ Engerman, pp. 16, 35. "By 1840, only three states retained a property qualification, North Carolina (for some state-wide offices only), Rhode Island, and Virginia. In 1856 North Carolina was the last state to end the practice. Tax-paying qualifications were also gone in all but a few states by the Civil War, but they survived into the 20th century in Pennsylvania and Rhode Island."
  8. ^ Alexander Keyssar, The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2nd ed. 2009) p 29
  9. ^ David S. Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler, Manifest Destiny (Greenwood Press, 2003).
  10. ^ M. Ostrogorski, Democracy and the Party System in the United States (1910)
  11. ^ Forrest McDonald, States' Rights and the Union: Imperium in Imperio, 1776–1876 (2002) pp 97-120
  12. ^ William Trimble, "The social philosophy of the Loco-Foco democracy." American Journal of Sociology 26.6 (1921): 705-715. in JSTOR
  13. ^ Louis Hartz, Economic Policy and Democratic Thought: Pennsylvania, 1776–1860 (1948)
  14. ^ Richard Hofstadter, "William Leggett, Spokesman of Jacksonian Democracy." Political Science Quarterly 58.4 (1943): 581-594. in JSTOR.
  15. ^ Lawrence H. White, "William Leggett: Jacksonian editorialist as classical liberal political economist." History of Political Economy 18.2 (1986): 307-324.
  16. ^ Melvin I. Urofsky (2000). The American Presidents: Critical Essays. Taylor & Francis. p. 106. ISBN 9780203008805.
  17. ^ Bray Hammond, Banks and Politics in America, From the Revolution to the Civil War (1957)
  18. ^ Keyssar, The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2009) ch 2
  19. ^ Engerman, p. 8–9
  20. ^ Murrin, John M.; Johnson, Paul E.; McPherson, James M.; Fahs, Alice; Gerstle, Gary (2012). Liberty, Equality, Power: A History of the American People (6th ed.). Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. p. 296. ISBN 978-0-495-90499-1.
  21. ^ William G. Shade, "The Second Party System". in Paul Kleppner, et al. Evolution of American Electoral Systems (1983) pp 77-111
  22. ^ Engerman, p. 35. Table 1
  23. ^ William Preston Vaughn, The Anti-Masonic Party in the United States: 1826–1843 (2009)
  24. ^ Richard P. McCormick, The Second American Party System: Party Formation in the Jacksonian Era (1966).
  25. ^ Michael F. Holt, Political Parties and American Political Development: From the Age of Jackson to the Age of Lincoln (1992).
  26. ^ Lee Benson in 1957 dated the era from 1827 to 1853, with 1854 as the start of a new era. Lee Benson (2015). The Concept of Jacksonian Democracy: New York as a Test Case. p. 128. ISBN 9781400867264.
  27. ^ Sean Wilentz, The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln (2005).
  28. ^ Mary Beth Norton; et al. (2014). A People and a Nation, Volume I: to 1877. Cengage Learning. p. 348. ISBN 9781285974675.
  29. ^ Mary Beth Norton; et al. (2007). A People and a Nation: A History of the United States, Volume I: To 1877. Cengage Learning. p. 327. ISBN 978-0618947164.
  30. ^ John Yoo, "Andrew Jackson and Presidential Power." Charleston Law Review 2 (2007): 521+ online.
  31. ^ Prucha, Francis Paul (1969). "Andrew Jackson's Indian policy: a reassessment". Journal of American History. 56 (3): 527–539. doi:10.2307/1904204. JSTOR 1904204.
  32. ^ Michael Paul Rogin (1991). Fathers and Children: Andrew Jackson and the Subjugation of the American Indian. Transaction Publishers. p. 189. ISBN 9781412823470.
  33. ^ Robert Walter Johannsen (1973). Stephen A. Douglas. University of Illinois Press. p. 137. ISBN 9780252066351.
  34. ^ Donald B. Cole, The Presidency of Andrew Jackson (1993)
  35. ^ Wulf, Naomi (2001). "'The Greatest General Good': Road Construction, National Interest, and Federal Funding in Jacksonian America". European Contributions to American Studies. 47: 53–72.
  36. ^ Carl Lane, "The elimination of the national debt in 1835 and the meaning of Jacksonian democracy." Essays in Economic & Business History 25 (2012) pp. 67-78.
  37. ^ Sean Wilentz, "Politics, Irony, and the Rise of American Democracy." Journal of The Historical Society 6.4 (2006): 537-553, at p. 538, summarizing his book The rise of American democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln (2006).
  38. ^ "James K. Polk: Life in Brief". Miller Center. Archived from the original on June 13, 2016. Retrieved June 16, 2016.

References and bibliography

  • Adams, Sean Patrick, ed. A Companion to the Era of Andrew Jackson (2013). table of contents
  • Altschuler, Glenn C.; Blumin, Stuart M. (1997). "Limits of Political Engagement in Antebellum America: A New Look at the Golden Age of Participatory Democracy". Journal of American History. Organization of American Historians. 84 (3): 855–885 [p. 878–879]. doi:10.2307/2953083. JSTOR 2953083.
  • Baker, Jean (1983). Affairs of Party: The Political Culture of Northern Democrats in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-585-12533-6.
  • Benson, Lee (1961). The Concept of Jacksonian Democracy: New York as a Test Case. New York: Atheneum. ISBN 978-0-691-00572-0. OCLC 21378753.
  • Bugg, James L., Jr. (1952). Jacksonian Democracy: Myth or Reality?. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Short essays.
  • Cave, Alfred A. (1964). Jacksonian Democracy and the Historians. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press.
    • Cave, Alfred A. "The Jacksonian movement in American historiography" (PhD, U Florida, 1961) online free; 258pp; bibliog pp 240–58
  • Cheathem, Mark R. (2011). "Andrew Jackson, Slavery, and Historians" (PDF). History Compass. 9 (4): 326–338. doi:10.1111/j.1478-0542.2011.00763.x.
  • Cheathem, Mark R. and Terry Corps, eds. Historical Dictionary of the Jacksonian Era and Manifest Destiny (2nd ed. 2016), 544pp
  • Cole, Donald B. (1984). Martin Van Buren And The American Political System. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-04715-7.
  • Cole, Donald B. (1970). Jacksonian Democracy in New Hampshire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-46990-7. Uses quantitative electoral data.
  • Engerman, Stanley L.; Sokoloff, Kenneth L. (2005). "The Evolution of Suffrage Institutions in the New World" (PDF): 14–16.
  • Formisano, Ronald P. (1971). The Birth of Mass Political Parties: Michigan, 1827-1861. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-04605-1. Uses quantitative electoral data.
  • Formisano, Ronald P. (1983). The Transformation of Political Culture: Massachusetts Parties, 1790s-1840s. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-503124-9. Uses quantitative electoral data.
  • Formisano, Ronald P. (1999). "The 'Party Period' Revisited". Journal of American History. Organization of American Historians. 86 (1): 93–120. doi:10.2307/2567408. JSTOR 2567408.
  • Formisano, Ronald P. (1969). "Political Character, Antipartyism, and the Second Party System". American Quarterly. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 21 (4): 683–709. doi:10.2307/2711603. JSTOR 2711603.
  • Formisano, Ronald P. (1974). "Deferential-Participant Politics: The Early Republic's Political Culture, 1789-1840". American Political Science Review. American Political Science Association. 68 (2): 473–487. doi:10.2307/1959497. JSTOR 1959497.
  • Hammond, Bray (1958). Andrew Jackson's Battle with the "Money Power". American Heritage. summary of Chapter 8, an excerpt from his Pulitzer-prize-winning Banks and Politics in America: From the Revolution to the Civil War (1954).
  • Hofstadter, Richard (1948). The American Political Tradition. Chapter on AJ.
  • Hofstadter, Richard. "William Leggett: Spokesman of Jacksonian Democracy." Political Science Quarterly 58#4 (December 1943): 581-94. in JSTOR
  • Hofstadter, Richard (1969). The Idea of a Party System: The Rise of Legitimate Opposition in the United States, 1780-1840.
  • Holt, Michael F. (1999). The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party: Jacksonian Politics and the Onset of the Civil War. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-505544-3.
  • Holt, Michael F. (1992). Political Parties and American Political Development: From the Age of Jackson to the Age of Lincoln. Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8071-1728-6.
  • Howe, Daniel Walker. What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815–1848 (Oxford History of the United States) (2009), Pulitzer Prize; surveys era from ant-Jacksonain perspective
  • Howe, Daniel Walker (1991). "The Evangelical Movement and Political Culture during the Second Party System". Journal of American History. Organization of American Historians. 77 (4): 1216–1239. doi:10.2307/2078260. JSTOR 2078260.
  • Kohl, Lawrence Frederick (1989). The Politics of Individualism: Parties and the American Character in the Jacksonian Era. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-505374-6.
  • Kruman, Marc W. (1992). "The Second American Party System and the Transformation of Revolutionary Republicanism". Journal of the Early Republic. Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. 12 (4): 509–537. doi:10.2307/3123876. JSTOR 3123876.
  • Lane, Carl. "The Elimination of the National Debt in 1835 and the Meaning Of Jacksonian Democracy." Essays in Economic & Business History 25 (2007). online
  • McCormick, Richard L. (1986). The Party Period and Public Policy: American Politics from the Age of Jackson to the Progressive Era. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-503860-6.
  • McCormick, Richard P. (1966). The Second American Party System: Party Formation in the Jacksonian Era. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. Influential state-by-state study.
  • McKnight, Brian D., and James S. Humphreys, eds. The Age of Andrew Jackson: Interpreting American History (Kent State University Press; 2012) 156 pages; historiography
  • Mayo, Edward L. (1979). "Republicanism, Antipartyism, and Jacksonian Party Politics: A View from the Nation's Capitol". American Quarterly. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 31 (1): 3–20. doi:10.2307/2712484. JSTOR 2712484.
  • Marshall, Lynn (1967). "The Strange Stillbirth of the Whig Party". American Historical Review. American Historical Association. 72 (2): 445–468. doi:10.2307/1859236. JSTOR 1859236.
  • Myers, Marvin (1957). The Jacksonian Persuasion: Politics and Belief. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Pessen, Edward (1978). Jacksonian America: Society, Personality, and Politics.
  • Pessen, Edward (1977). The Many-Faceted Jacksonian Era: New Interpretations. Important scholarly articles.
  • Remini, Robert V. (1998). The Life of Andrew Jackson. Abridgment of Remini's 3-volume biography.
  • Remini, Robert V. (1959). Martin Van Buren and the Making of the Democratic Party.
  • Rowland, Thomas J. Franklin B. Pierce: The Twilight of Jacksonian Democracy (Nova Science Publisher's, 2012).
  • Sellers, Charles (1991). The Market Revolution: Jacksonian America, 1815-1846. Influential reinterpretation
  • Shade, William G. "Politics and Parties in Jacksonian America," Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography Vol. 110, No. 4 (October 1986), pp. 483–507 online
  • Shade, William G. (1983). "The Second Party System". In Kleppner, Paul; et al. Evolution of American Electoral Systems. Uses quantitative electoral data.
  • Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr (1945). The Age of Jackson. Boston: Little, Brown & Company. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History.
  • Sellers, Charles (1958). "Andrew Jackson Versus the Historians". Mississippi Valley Historical Review. Organization of American Historians. 44 (4): 615–634. doi:10.2307/1886599. JSTOR 1886599.
  • Sharp, James Roger (1970). The Jacksonians Versus the Banks: Politics in the States after the Panic of 1837. Uses quantitative electoral data.
  • Silbey, Joel H. (1991). The American Political Nation, 1838-1893.
  • Silbey, Joel H. (1973). Political Ideology and Voting Behavior in the Age of Jackson.
  • Simeone, James. "Reassessing Jacksonian Political Culture: William Leggett's Egalitarianism." American Political Thought 4#3 (2015): 359-390. in JSTOR
  • Syrett, Harold C. (1953). Andrew Jackson: His Contribution to the American Tradition.
  • Taylor, George Rogers (1949). Jackson Versus Biddle: The Struggle over the Second Bank of the United States. Excerpts from primary and secondary sources.
  • Van Deusen, Glyndon G. (1963). The Jacksonian Era: 1828-1848. Standard scholarly survey.
  • Wallace, Michael (1968). "Changing Concepts of Party in the United States: New York, 1815-1828". American Historical Review. American Historical Association. 74 (2): 453–491. doi:10.2307/1853673. JSTOR 1853673.
  • Ward, John William (1962). Andrew Jackson, Symbol for an Age.
  • Wellman, Judith. Grassroots Reform in the Burned-over District of Upstate New York: Religion, Abolitionism, and Democracy (Routledge, 2014).
  • Wilentz, Sean (1982). "On Class and Politics in Jacksonian America". Reviews in American History. The Johns Hopkins University Press. 10 (4): 45–63. doi:10.2307/2701818. JSTOR 2701818.
  • Wilentz, Sean (2005). The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln. Highly detailed scholarly synthesis.
  • Wilson, Major L. (1974). Space, Time, and Freedom: The Quest for Nationality and the Irrepressible Conflict, 1815-1861. Intellectual history of Whigs and Democrats.

Primary sources

  • Blau, Joseph L., ed. Social Theories of Jacksonian Democracy: Representative Writings of the Period 1825–1850 (1954) online edition
  • Eaton, Clement ed. The Leaven of Democracy: The Growth of the Democratic Spirit in the Time of Jackson (1963) online edition

External links

1828 United States elections

The 1828 United States elections elected the members of the 21st United States Congress. It marked the beginning of the Second Party System, and the definitive split of the Democratic-Republican Party into the Democratic Party (organized around Andrew Jackson) and the National Republican Party (organized around John Quincy Adams and opponents of Jackson). While the Democrats cultivated strong local organizations, the National Republicans relied on a clear national platform of high tariffs and internal improvements. Political scientists such as V.O. Key, Jr. consider this election to be a realigning election, while political scientists such as James Reichley instead see the election as a continuation of the Democratic-Republican tradition. Additionally, this election saw the Anti-Masonic Party win a small number of seats in the House, becoming the first third party to gain representation in Congress.

In a re-match of the 1824 Presidential election, Democratic General Andrew Jackson won a large victory over incumbent National Republican President John Quincy Adams. Adams again won New England, but Jackson took most of the rest of the country. Jackson was the first successful presidential candidate who had not served as secretary of state or vice president in the preceding administration (aside from George Washington). Adams was the first President to lose re-election since his father, John Adams, lost re-election in 1800. John C. Calhoun was re-elected vice president, making him the second and last vice president to serve under two different presidents. Jackson's election as president marked the start of Jacksonian democracy, and an ongoing expansion in right to vote saw a dramatic increase in the size of the electorate.In the House, Democrats won several seats, increasing their majority. The Anti-Masonic Party won a small number of seats, gaining representation in Congress for the first time.In the Senate, opponents of Jackson won minor gains, but Democrats retained control of the chamber.

1828 United States presidential election

The 1828 United States presidential election was the 11th quadrennial presidential election, held from Friday, October 31, to Tuesday, December 2, 1828. It featured a re-match of the 1824 election, as President John Quincy Adams of the National Republican Party faced Andrew Jackson of the nascent Democratic Party. Unlike in 1824, Jackson defeated Adams, marking the start of Democratic dominance in federal politics. Adams was the second president to lose re-election, following his father, John Adams.

Jackson had won a plurality of the electoral and popular vote in the 1824 election, but had lost the contingent election that was held in the House of Representatives. In the aftermath of the election, Jackson's supporters accused Adams and Henry Clay of having reached a "corrupt bargain" in which Clay helped Adams win the contingent election in return for the position of Secretary of State. After the 1824 election, Jackson's supporters immediately began plans for a re-match in 1828.

As the once-dominant Democratic-Republican Party collapsed, Jackson and allies such as Martin Van Buren and Vice President John C. Calhoun laid the foundations of the Democratic Party. Opponents of Adams coalesced around Jackson, and, unlike the 1824 election, the 1828 election became a two-way contest. Adams's supporters rallied around the president, calling themselves National Republicans in contrast to Jackson's Democrats. Jackson's cause was aided by the passage of the Tariff of 1828, referred to by its opponents as the Tariff of Abominations, which raised tariffs on imported materials and goods from abroad. With the ongoing expansion of the right to vote to most white men, the election marked a dramatic expansion of the electorate, with 9.5% of Americans casting a vote for President, compared with 3.4% in 1824.Passage of the unpopular tariff helped Jackson carry much of the South, and Jackson also swept the Western states. Adams swept New England but won only three states outside of his home region. Jackson became the first president whose home state was neither Massachusetts nor Virginia. The election ushered Jacksonian Democracy into prominence, thus marking the transition from the First Party System to the Second Party System. Historians debate the significance of the election, with many arguing that it marked the beginning of modern American politics with the decisive establishment of democracy and the permanent establishment of a two-party electoral system.

Baby kissing

Baby kissing is a practice where politicians kiss babies in order to garner public support. In order of kissing babies, the political party appears to be affectionate and caring with the act of gaining votes in being elected as the prime representative of the country. The practice appears to have originated during the era of Jacksonian democracy along with other techniques such as "banners, badges, parades, barbecues, free drinks and baby kissing [which were used] in an effort to 'get out the vote'".City and county office candidates may frequently practice baby kissing on the campaign trail, but on the state and federal levels this is rare or even discouraged, as expressed by the administrations of U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and recently Donald Trump.

Bernard Connolly (New Jersey)

Bernard Connolly (December 1804 – June 9, 1880) was an American newspaperman, politician and writer based in Freehold, New Jersey.

As a boy in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, Bernard Connolly learned the printing business at the Westmoreland Republican, becoming proficient in both newspaper and book printing.

At 21, he moved to Princeton, New Jersey, where he entered into a partnership in a printing house already in business there. While living in Princeton he married Hannah Ann Downie.

In 1834 he moved to Freehold, where he founded a weekly newspaper, the Monmouth Democrat, with an editorial policy supporting Jacksonian democracy. This quickly became the most successful newspaper circulating in Monmouth County at the time. Connolly was proprietor of the Democrat until January 1854, when he sold the business.

Capture of New Orleans

The capture of New Orleans (April 25 – May 1, 1862) during the American Civil War was an important event for the Union. Having fought past Forts Jackson and St. Philip, the Union was unopposed in its capture of the city itself, which was spared the destruction suffered by many other Southern cities. However, the controversial and confrontational administration of the city by its U.S. Army military governor caused lasting resentment. This capture of the largest Confederate city was a major turning point and an incident of international importance.

Copperhead (politics)

In the 1860s, the Copperheads, also known as Peace Democrats, were a faction of Democrats in the Northern United States of the Union who opposed the American Civil War and wanted an immediate peace settlement with the Confederates.

Republicans started calling anti-war Democrats "Copperheads", likening them to the venomous snake. Those Democrats accepted the label, reinterpreting the copper "head" as the likeness of Liberty, which they cut from Liberty Head large cent coins and proudly wore as badges. By contrast, Democratic supporters of the war were called War Democrats. The Copperheads represented the more extreme wing of the Northern Democrats. Notable Copperheads included two Democratic Congressmen from Ohio: Clement L. Vallandigham and Alexander Long. Republican prosecutors accused some prominent Copperheads of treason in a series of trials in 1864.Copperheadism was a highly contentious grass-roots movement. It had its strongest base in the area just north of the Ohio River as well as in some urban ethnic wards. Some historians have argued that it represented a traditionalistic element alarmed at the rapid modernization of society sponsored by the Republican Party and that it looked back to Jacksonian democracy for inspiration. Weber (2006) argues that the Copperheads damaged the Union war effort by opposing conscription (the "draft"), encouraging desertion and forming conspiracies, but other historians say that the draft was already in disrepute and that the Republicans greatly exaggerated the conspiracies for partisan reasons.

Historians such as Wood Gray and Jennifer Weber argue that the Copperheads were inflexibly rooted in the past and were naive about the refusal of the Confederates to return to the Union. Convinced that the Republicans were ruining the traditional world they loved, they were obstructionist partisans. In turn, the Copperheads became a major target of the National Union Party in the 1864 presidential election, where they were used to discredit the main Democratic candidates. Copperhead support increased when Union armies did poorly and decreased when they won great victories. After the fall of Atlanta in September 1864, Union military success seemed assured and Copperheadism collapsed.

History of the United States (1789–1849)

George Washington, elected the first president in 1789, set up a cabinet form of government, with departments of State, Treasury, and War, along with an Attorney General (the Justice Department was created in 1870). Based in New York, the new government acted quickly to rebuild the nation's financial structure. Enacting the program of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, the government assumed the Revolutionary war debts of the states and the national government, and refinanced them with new federal bonds. It paid for the program through new tariffs and taxes; the tax on whiskey led to a revolt in the west; Washington raised an army and suppressed it. The nation adopted a Bill of Rights as 10 amendments to the new constitution. The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the entire federal judiciary, including the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court became important under the leadership of Chief Justice John Marshall (1801–1835), a federalist and nationalist who built a strong Supreme Court and strengthened the national government.

The 1790s were highly contentious, as the First Party System emerged in the contest between Hamilton and his Federalist party, and Thomas Jefferson and his Republican party. Washington and Hamilton were building a strong national government, with a broad financial base, and the support of merchants and financiers throughout the country. Jeffersonians opposed the new national Bank, the Navy, and federal taxes. The Federalists favored Britain, which was embattled in a series of wars with France. Jefferson's victory in 1800 opened the era of Jeffersonian democracy, and doomed the upper-crust Federalists to increasingly marginal roles.

The Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon in 1803 opened vast Western expanses of fertile land, which exactly met the needs of the rapidly expanding population of yeomen farmers whom Jefferson championed.

The Americans declared war on Britain (the War of 1812) to uphold American honor at sea, and to end the Indian raids in the west, as well as to seize Canadian territory. Despite incompetent government management, and a series of defeats early on, Americans found new generals like Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, and Winfield Scott, who repulsed British invasions and broke the alliance between the British and the Indians that held up settlement of the Old Northwest. The Federalists, who had opposed the war to the point of trading with the enemy and threatening secession, were devastated by the triumphant ending of the war. The remaining Indians east of the Mississippi were kept on reservations or moved via the Trail of Tears to reservations in what later became Oklahoma.

The spread of democracy opened the ballot box to nearly all white men, allowing the Jacksonian democracy to dominate politics during the Second Party System. Whigs, representing wealthier planters, merchants, financiers, and professionals, wanted to modernize the society, using tariffs and federally funded internal improvements; they were blocked by the Jacksonians, who closed down the national Bank in the 1830s. The Jacksonians wanted expansion—that is "Manifest Destiny"—into new lands that would be occupied by farmers and planters. Thanks to the annexation of Texas, the defeat of Mexico in war, and a compromise with Britain, the western third of the nation rounded out the continental United States by 1848.

Howe (2007) argues that the transformation America underwent was not so much political democratization but rather the explosive growth of technologies and networks of infrastructure and communication—the telegraph, railroads, the post office, and an expanding print industry. They made possible the religious revivals of the Second Great Awakening, the expansion of education and social reform. They modernized party politics and sped up business by enabling the fast, efficient movement of goods, money, and people across an expanding nation. They transformed a loose-knit collection of parochial agricultural communities into a powerful cosmopolitan nation. Economic modernization proceeded rapidly, thanks to highly profitable cotton crops in the South, new textile and machine-making industries in the Northeast, and a fast developing transportation infrastructure.

Breaking loose from European models, the Americans developed their own high culture, notably in literature and in higher education. The Second Great Awakening brought revivals across the country, forming new denominations and greatly increasing church membership, especially among Methodists and Baptists. By the 1840s increasing numbers of immigrants were arriving from Europe, especially British, Irish, and Germans. Many settled in the cities, which were starting to emerge as a major factor in the economy and society. The Whigs had warned that annexation of Texas would lead to a crisis over slavery, and they were proven right by the turmoil of the 1850s that led to the Civil War.

Jacksonian

Jacksonian may refer to:

Jacksonian Democrats, party faction

Jacksonian democracy, American political philosophy

Jacksonian seizure, in neurology

Jacksonian (stage), a regional stratigraphic stage used in the southeastern US, part of the upper Eocene series.

Jeffersonian democracy

Jeffersonian democracy, named after its advocate Thomas Jefferson, was one of two dominant political outlooks and movements in the United States from the 1790s to the 1820s. The term was commonly used to refer to the Democratic-Republican Party (formally named the "Republican Party"), which Jefferson founded in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton. The Jeffersonians were deeply committed to American republicanism, which meant opposition to what they considered to be artificial aristocracy, opposition to corruption, and insistence on virtue, with a priority for the "yeoman farmer", "planters", and the "plain folk".They were antagonistic to the aristocratic elitism of merchants, bankers, and manufacturers, distrusted factory workers, and were on the watch for supporters of the dreaded British system of government. Jeffersonian democracy persisted as an element of the Democratic Party into the early 20th century, as exemplified by the rise of Jacksonian democracy and the three presidential candidacies of William Jennings Bryan. Its themes continue to echo in the 21st century, particularly among the Libertarian and Republican parties.At the beginning of the Jeffersonian era, only two states (Vermont and Kentucky) had established universal white male suffrage by abolishing property requirements. By the end of the period, more than half of the states had followed suit, including virtually all of the states in the Old Northwest. States then also moved on to allowing popular votes for presidential elections, canvassing voters in a more modern style. Jefferson's party, known today as the Democratic-Republican Party, was then in full control of the apparatus of government—from the state legislature and city hall to the White House.

John Alexander McClernand

John Alexander McClernand (May 30, 1812 – September 20, 1900) was an American lawyer and politician, and a Union general in the American Civil War. He was a prominent Democratic politician in Illinois and a member of the United States House of Representatives before the war. McClernand was firmly dedicated to the principles of Jacksonian democracy and supported the Compromise of 1850.

McClernand was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers in 1861. His was a classic case of the politician-in-uniform coming into conflict with career Army officers, graduates of the United States Military Academy. He served as a subordinate commander under Ulysses S. Grant in the Western Theater, fighting in the battles of Belmont, Fort Donelson, and Shiloh in 1861–62.

A close friend and political ally of Abraham Lincoln, McClernand was given permission to recruit a force to conduct an operation against Vicksburg, Mississippi, which would rival the effort of Grant, his department commander. Grant was able to neutralize McClernand's independent effort after it conducted an expedition to win the Battle of Arkansas Post, and McClernand became the senior corps commander in Grant's army for the Vicksburg Campaign in 1863. During the Siege of Vicksburg, Grant relieved McClernand of his command by citing his intemperate and unauthorized communication with the press, finally putting an end to a rivalry that had caused Grant discomfort since the beginning of the war. McClernand left the Army in 1864 and served as a judge and a politician in the postbellum era.

John L. O'Sullivan

John Louis O'Sullivan (November 15, 1813 – March 24, 1895) was an American columnist and editor who used the term "manifest destiny" in 1845 to promote the annexation of Texas and the Oregon Country to the United States. O'Sullivan was an influential political writer and advocate for the Democratic Party at that time and served as US Minister to Portugal during the administration of President Franklin Pierce (1853–1857), but he largely faded from prominence soon thereafter. He was rescued from obscurity in the twentieth century after the famous phrase "manifest destiny" was traced back to him.

He was born at sea, the son of John Thomas O'Sullivan, an American diplomat and sea captain, and Mary Rowly. He descended from a long line of colorful Irish expatriates and soldiers of fortune, and had a strong sense of personal destiny. His father, third baronet of the O'Sullivan name, had been naturalized a US citizen and had served as US Consul to the Barbary States. John Louis O'Sullivan graduated from Columbia College (1831) and became a lawyer. His most successful venture came in 1837 when he founded and edited The United States Magazine and Democratic Review, based in Washington. It espoused the more radical forms of Jacksonian Democracy and published essays by the most prominent writers in America, including and the cause of a democratic, American literature. Contributors included Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, John Greenleaf Whittier, William Cullen Bryant, and Walt Whitman. O'Sullivan was an aggressive reformer in the New York State Legislature, where he led the unsuccessful movement to abolish capital punishment. By 1846, investors were dissatisfied with his poor management, and he lost control of his magazine.

Joseph T. Williams

Joseph T. Williams (July 21, 1842 – 1910) was a Democratic assemblyman and state senator. He was a supporter of the Jacksonian democracy.Williams was born in 1842 in Conway, Arkansas as the son of a planter. The ancestors of his father originated in Wales and the ancestors of his mother in France. His father died when Williams was young. He moved to Calaveras County, California at age seventeen by crossing the Great Plains. He didn't know any people over there and started working in the mining business. In 1862, he moved to Nevada Territory and became a silver miner. Williams went with Governor Lewis R. Bradley to Austin, Nevada the next year during the Reese River excitement. He helped with organizing Nye County, Nevada and resided in the county since then. In September 1870, Williams married Sophie Ernst.On November 5, 1878, he was elected member of the Nevada Assembly, where he and W. B. Taylor represented Nye County. Williams' term started the next day and ended after the elections of 1880.At those elections, he was elected Nevada State Senator and succeeded Harry T. Creswell. Williams represented Nye County during two regular sessions until his mandate ended in November 1884. One of his most important accomplishments was the Williams Resolution of 1881, that he authored. This resolution regulated the freights and fares of the railroads in Nevada. In 1882, when he was a senator, he was thought to be a candidate for Governor of Nevada, but he denied these claims. The Belmont Courier called him "undoubtedly a very strong and popular man".The book History of Nevada (1881) stated that back then Williams was in the mining business and owned some mining claims, a hotel, and 500 acres of land, where he made hay. At that time, he lived in Hot Creek, now a Nevada ghost town. In February 1890, Williams became a charter member of the Board of Trade of Nye County.

List of United States major party presidential tickets

In the United States, political parties nominate one candidate each for President of the United States and for Vice President of the United States. These candidates attempt to win presidential elections by taking a majority of the electoral vote. The two candidates together are known as a ticket. Note that many states did not hold popular votes for the presidential election prior to the advent of Jacksonian Democracy in the 1820s. Also note that prior to the ratification of the 12th Amendment in 1804, electors cast two votes for president rather than one vote for president and one vote for vice president. Under the pre-12th Amendment Constitution, the candidate with the most votes became president and the candidate with the second most votes became vice president; hence, all candidates were technically running against each other. The listed ages are as of election day; for races prior to 1845, December 1st is considered election day for the purposes of the list.

Po-ca-hon-tas, or The Gentle Savage

Po-ca-hon-tas, or The Gentle Savage (subtitled "An Original Aboriginal Erratic Operatic Semi-civilized and Demi-savage Extravaganza") is a two-act musical burlesque by John Brougham (words) and James Gaspard Maeder (music). It debuted in 1855 and became an instant hit. Po-ca-hon-tas remained a staple of theatre troupes and blackface minstrel companies for the next 30 years, typically as an afterpiece.

The play parodies the Indian narratives that were popular at the time in the United States, particularly those featuring Indian heroines in the Noble Savage mould. The burlesque is usually credited with bringing the fad for Indian narratives to an end.The plot very loosely follows events in the life of the historical Pocahontas. It begins with the arrival of white men led by John Smith, who says they are there to "ravage the land and steal gold". Smith and company raid the "Tuscarora Finishing School of Emancipated Maidens" and there meet Pocahontas. The remainder of the play revolves around the love triangle formed by Pocahontas, Smith, and John Rolfe, concluding with a card game between Smith and Rolfe for the hand of the Indian princess.

However, Brougham's narrative merely adds some action to what is otherwise a collection of gags and puns rapidly delivered in the form of rhymed couplets. For example:

Pocahontas rushing in heroineically distressed and dishevelled, followed by sailors.

POCAHONTAS

Husband! for thee I scream!

SMITH

Lemon or Vanilla?

POCAHONTAS

Oh! Fly with me, and quit those vile dominions!

SMITH

How can I fly, beloved, with these pinions?

Many of these jokes hinge upon the play's cavalier approach to historical accuracy. For example, in a scene where Smith attempts to win the affections of the Native American princess, she denies him with an appeal to historian George Bancroft:

POCAHONTAS

Stop! One doubt within my heart arises!

A great historian before us stands,

Bancroft himself, you know, forbids the banns!

SMITH

Bancroft be banished from your memory's shelf,

for spite of fact, I'll marry you myself.

Even the stage directions are written for farce. Upon one entrance of Pocahontas, "her overburdened soul bursts forth in melody." Other directions parody Italian opera: "GRAND SCENA COMPLICATO, In the Anglo-Italiano Style".Musical numbers to the tunes of popular songs punctuate the jokes. Some of these reiterate the play's theme of the white man despoiling virgin America:

Grab away

While you may

In this game, luck is all

And the prize

Tempting lies

In the rich City Hall.

Grab away

While you may,

Every day there's a job.

It's a fact,

By contract

All intact you may rob.Theatre companies and orchestra leaders took great liberties with the music, often substituting popular songs with little or no connection to the plot. For an 1860 staging in New Orleans, for example, Mrs. John Wood performed "Dixie" for a concluding scene featuring a Zouave march.

Taney Court

The Taney Court refers to the Supreme Court of the United States from 1836 to 1864, when Roger Taney served as the fifth Chief Justice of the United States. Taney succeeded John Marshall as Chief Justice after Marshall's death in 1835. Taney served as Chief Justice until his death in 1864, at which point Salmon P. Chase took office. Taney had been an important member of Andrew Jackson's administration, an advocate of Jacksonian democracy, and had played a major role in the Bank War, during which Taney wrote a memo questioning the Supreme Court's power of judicial review. However, the Taney Court did not strongly break from the decisions and precedents of the Marshall Court, as it continued to uphold a strong federal government with an independent judiciary. Most of the Taney Court's holdings are overshadowed by the Dred Scott decision, in which the court ruled that African-Americans could not be citizens. However, the Taney Court's decisions regarding economic issues and separation of powers set important precedents, and the Taney Court has been lauded for its ability to adapt regulatory law to a country undergoing remarkable technological and economic progress.

The United States Magazine and Democratic Review

The United States Magazine and Democratic Review was a periodical published from 1837 to 1859 by John L. O'Sullivan. Its motto, "The best government is that which governs least", was famously paraphrased by Henry David Thoreau in "Resistance to Civil Government", better known as Civil Disobedience, and is often erroneously attributed to Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Hart Benton (politician)

Thomas Hart Benton (March 14, 1782 – April 10, 1858), nicknamed "Old Bullion", was a United States Senator from Missouri. A member of the Democratic Party, he was an architect and champion of westward expansion by the United States, a cause that became known as Manifest Destiny. Benton served in the Senate from 1821 to 1851, becoming the first member of that body to serve five terms.

Benton was born in Harts Mill, North Carolina. After graduating from the University of North Carolina, he established a law practice and plantation near Nashville, Tennessee. He served as an aide to General Andrew Jackson during the War of 1812 and settled in St. Louis, Missouri, after the war. Missouri became a state in 1821 and Benton won election as one of its inaugural pair of United States Senators. The Democratic-Republican Party fractured after the 1824 and Benton became a Democratic leader in the Senate, serving as an important ally of President Jackson and President Martin Van Buren. He supported Jackson during the Bank War and proposed a land payment law that inspired Jackson's Specie Circular executive order.

Benton's prime concern was the westward expansion of the United States. He called for the annexation of the Republic of Texas, which was accomplished in 1845. He pushed for compromise in the partition of Oregon Country with the British and supported the 1846 Oregon Treaty, which divided the territory along the 49th parallel. He also authored the first Homestead Act, which granted land to settlers willing to farm it.

Though he owned slaves, Benton came to oppose the institution of slavery after the Mexican–American War, and he opposed the Compromise of 1850 as too favorable to pro-slavery interests. This stance damaged Benton's popularity in Missouri, and the state legislature denied him re-election in 1851. Benton won election to the United States House of Representatives in 1852 but was defeated for re-election in 1854 after he opposed the Kansas–Nebraska Act. Benton's son-in-law, John C. Frémont, won the 1856 Republican Party nomination for president, but Benton voted for James Buchanan and remained a loyal Democrat until his death in 1858.

Universal manhood suffrage

Universal manhood suffrage is a form of voting rights in which all adult males within a political system are allowed to vote, regardless of income, property, religion, race, or any other qualification. It is sometimes summarized by the slogan, "one man, one vote."

Whig Party (United States)

The Whig Party was a political party active in the middle of the 19th century in the United States. Four presidents belonged to the party while in office. It emerged in the 1830s as the leading opponent of Jacksonian democracy, pulling together former members of the National Republican (one of the successors of the Democratic-Republican Party) and the Anti-Masonic Party. It had some links to the upscale traditions of the long-defunct Federalist Party. Along with the rival Democratic Party, it was central to the Second Party System from the early 1840s to the mid-1860s. It originally formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson (in office 1829–1837) and his Democratic Party. It became a formal party within his second term, and slowly receded influence after 1854.

In particular terms, the Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization, banking and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing. It appealed to entrepreneurs, planters, reformers and the emerging urban middle class, but had little appeal to farmers or unskilled workers. It included many active Protestants and voiced a moralistic opposition to the Jacksonian Indian removal. Party founders chose the "Whig" name to echo the American Whigs (aka the Patriots) of the 18th century who fought for independence. The political philosophy of the American Whig Party was not related to the British Whig party. Historian Frank Towers has specified a deep ideological divide:

The Whig Party nominated several presidential candidates in 1836. General William Henry Harrison of Ohio was nominated in 1840, former Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky in 1844, General Zachary Taylor of Louisiana in 1848, General Winfield Scott of New Jersey in 1852 and the last nominee, former President Millard Fillmore from New York in 1856. In its two decades of existence, the Whig Party had two of its candidates, Harrison and Taylor, elected president and both died in office. John Tyler succeeded to the presidency after Harrison's death in 1841, but was expelled from the party later that year. Millard Fillmore, who became President after Taylor's death in 1850, was the last Whig President.

The party fell apart because of internal tension over the expansion of slavery to the territories. With deep fissures in the party on this question, the anti-slavery faction prevented the nomination for a full term of its own incumbent President Fillmore in the 1852 presidential election—instead, the party nominated General Scott. Most Whig Party leaders eventually quit politics (as Abraham Lincoln did temporarily) or changed parties. The Northern voter base mostly gravitated to the new Republican Party. In the South, most joined the Know Nothing Party, which unsuccessfully ran Fillmore in the 1856 presidential election, by which time the Whig Party had become virtually defunct having merely endorsed Millard Fillmore's candidacy. Some former Whigs became Democrats. The Constitutional Union Party experienced significant success from conservative former Whigs in the Upper South during the 1860 presidential election. Whig ideology as a policy orientation persisted for decades, and played a major role in shaping the modernizing policies of the state governments during Reconstruction.

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