A Short History of the United States
by Edward Channing
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b. Was the reduction of the navy wise? What conditions make a large navy necessary?

Sec.Sec. 241-244.—a. When and how had Louisiana changed hands since its settlement? Why were the Spaniards poor neighbors?

b. How did the United States acquire Louisiana?

c. Trace on a map the boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase. Compare its value to-day with the price paid.

d. What important discoveries did Lewis and Clark make?

Sec.Sec. 245, 246.—a. Give instances which illustrate the disadvantages of the old way of electing the President and Vice-President.

b. Explain carefully the changes made by the Twelfth Amendment, and show how a President may be elected by a minority of the voters.


Sec.Sec. 247.—a. Describe the doings of the African pirates. Why had Washington and Adams paid them?

b. Describe Jefferson's action and state the results.

Sec.Sec. 248, 249.—a. Compare the power of France and Great Britain at this time.

b. How did they try to injure one another? How did they treat American ships?

c. Explain the impressment of sailors by the British.

Sec.Sec. 250, 251.—a. Describe the difficulties of Jefferson's position.

b. Give instances of refusal to buy British goods and the results.

c. Explain the Embargo Act. Why was it a failure?

d. Describe the outrage on the Chesapeake. Was the offer of the British government enough? What more should have been promised?

Sec.Sec. 252, 253.—a. What were Jefferson's objections to a third term? What custom was established by these early Presidents?

b. Where have we found Madison prominent before?

c. Explain the difference between the Embargo Act and the Non-Intercourse Act.

Sec.Sec. 254, 255.—a. Describe the attempt to renew friendly intercourse with Great Britain.

b. What do you think of Napoleon's treatment of the United States?

Sec.Sec. 256.—a. What caused the trouble with the Indians?

b. Describe Harrison's action. How were the British connected with this Indian trouble?

Sec.Sec. 257-259.—a. How did all these affairs affect the relations between the United States and Great Britain?

b. Explain the attitude of Clay and Calhoun.

c. What is meant by the "rising spirit of nationality"?

d. Illustrate, by facts already studied, the reasons given in Madison's message.


a. How has machinery influenced the history of the United States?

b. Draw a map showing the extent of the United States in 1802 and 1804.

c. What were the four most important things in Jefferson's administrations? Why do you select these?


a. Robert Fulton or Eli Whitney.

b. Exploration of the Northwest.

c. War with the African pirates.

d. Life and manners in 1800.


The purchase of Louisiana and the early development of the West are leading points in this period. With the latter must be coupled the important inventions which made such development possible. Commercial questions should receive adequate attention and should be illustrated by present conditions.

Jefferson's attitude toward both the Louisiana Purchase and the enforcement of the Embargo Act is an illustration of the effect which power and responsibility have on those placed at the head of the government. This can also be illustrated by events in our own time.


WAR AND PEACE, 1812-1829

Books for Study and Reading

References.—Higginson's Larger History, 365-442; Scribner's Popular History, IV; Lossing's Field-Book of the War of 1812; Coffin's Building the Nation, 149-231.

Home Readings.—Barnes's Yankee Ships; Roosevelt's Naval War of 1812; Seawell's Midshipman Paulding; Holmes's Old Ironsides; Goodwin's Dolly Madison.



[Sidenote: American plan of campaign, 1812.]

[Sidenote: Objections to it.]

260. Plan of Campaign, 1812.—The American plan of campaign was that General Hull should invade Canada from Detroit. He could then march eastward, north of Lake Erie, and meet another army which was to cross the Niagara River. These two armies were to take up the eastward march and join a third army from New York. The three armies then would capture Montreal and Quebec and generally all Canada. It was a splendid plan. But there were three things in the way of carrying it out: (i) there was no trained American army; (2) there were no supplies for an army when gathered and trained; and (3) there was a small, well-trained and well-supplied army in Canada.

[Sidenote: Hull's march to Detroit.]

[Sidenote: His misfortunes.]

[Sidenote: He surrenders Detroit, 1812.]

261. Hull's Surrender of Detroit, 1812.—In those days Detroit was separated from the settled parts of Ohio by two hundred miles of wilderness. To get his men and supplies to Detroit, Hull had first of all to cut a road through the forest. The British learned of the actual declaration of war before Hull knew of it. They dashed down on his scattered detachments and seized his provisions. Hull sent out expedition after expedition to gather supplies and bring in the scattered settlers. Tecumthe and the other Indian allies of the British captured one expedition after another. The British advanced on Detroit, and Hull surrendered. By this disaster the British got control of the upper lakes. They even invaded Ohio.

[Sidenote: Battle of Lake Erie 1813. McMaster, 234-235.]

[Sidenote: Battle of the Thames, 1813.]

262. Perry's Victory on Lake Erie, 1813.—But the British triumph did not last long. In the winter of 1812-13 Captain Oliver Hazard Perry built a fleet of warships on Lake Erie. They were built of green timber cut for the purpose. They were poor vessels, but were as good as the British vessels. In September, 1813, Perry sailed in search of the British ships. Coming up with them, he hoisted at his masthead a large blue flag with Lawrence's immortal words, "Don't give up the ship" (p. 212), worked upon it. The battle was fiercely fought. Soon Perry's flagship, the Lawrence, was disabled and only nine of her crew were uninjured. Rowing to another ship, Perry continued the fight. In fifteen minutes more all the British ships surrendered. The control of Lake Erie was now in American hands. The British retreated from the southern side of the lake. General Harrison occupied Detroit. He then crossed into Canada and defeated a British army on the banks of the river Thames (October, 1813).

[Sidenote: The Constitution.]

[Sidenote: Chased by a British fleet, 1812.]

[Sidenote: She escapes.]

263. The Frigate Constitution.—One of the first vessels to get to sea was the Constitution, commanded by Isaac Hull. She sailed from Chesapeake Bay for New York, where she was to serve as a guard-ship. On the way she fell in with a British squadron. The Constitution sailed on with the whole British fleet in pursuit. Soon the wind began to die away. The Constitution's sails were soaked with water to make them hold the wind better. Then the wind gave out altogether, Captain Hull lowered his boats and the men began to tow the ship. But the British lowered their boats also. They set a great many boats to towing their fastest ship, and she began to gain on the Constitution. Then Captain Hull found that he was sailing over shoal water, although out of sight of land, so he sent a small anchor ahead in a boat. The anchor was dropped and men on the ship pulled in the anchor line. This was done again and again. The Constitution now began to gain on the British fleet. Then a sudden squall burst on the ships. Captain Hull saw it coming and made every preparation to take advantage of it. When the rain cleared away, the Constitution was beyond fear of pursuit. But she could not go to New York, so Captain Hull took her to Boston. The government at once ordered him to stay where he was; but, before the orders reached Boston, the Constitution was far away.

[Sidenote: Constitution and Guerriere, 1812.]

[Sidenote: Reasons for the victory.]

264. Constitution and Guerriere, 1812.—For some time Hull cruised about in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. One day he sighted a British frigate—the Guerriere—one of the ships that had chased the Constitution. But now that Hull found her alone, he steered straight for her. In thirty minutes from the firing of the first gun the Guerriere was a ruinous wreck. All of her masts and spars were shot away and most of her crew were killed or wounded. The Constitution was only slightly injured, and was soon ready to fight another British frigate, had there been one to fight. Indeed, the surgeons of the Constitution went on board of the Guerriere to help dress the wounds of the British seamen. The Guerriere was a little smaller than the Constitution and had smaller guns. But the real reason for this great victory was that the American ship and the American guns were very much better handled than were the British ship and the British guns.

[Sidenote: Wasp and the Frolic]

[Sidenote: Effect of these victories.]

265. The Wasp and the Frolic, 1812.—At almost the same time the American ship Wasp captured the British brig Frolic. The Wasp had three masts, and the Frolic had only two masts. But the two vessels were really of about the same size, as the American ship was only five feet longer than her enemy, and had the lighter guns. In a few minutes after the beginning of the fight the Frolic was a shattered hulk, with only one sound man on her deck. Soon after the conflict a British battleship came up and captured both the Wasp and her prize. The effect of these victories of the Constitution and the Wasp was tremendous. Before the war British naval officers had called the Constitution "a bundle of sticks." Now it was thought to be no longer safe for British frigates to sail the seas alone. They must go in pairs to protect each other from "Old Ironsides." Before long the Constitution, now commanded by Captain Bainbridge, had captured the British frigate Java, and the frigate United States, Captain Decatur, had taken the British ship Macedonian. On the other hand, the Chesapeake was captured by the Shannon. This victory gave great satisfaction to the British. But Captain Lawrence's last words, "Don't give up the ship," have always been a glorious inspiration to American sailors.

[Sidenote: Plan of campaign, 1814.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Lundy's Lane, 1814.]

266. Brown's Invasion of Canada, 1814.—In the first two years of the war the American armies in New York had done nothing. But abler men were now in command. Of these, General Jacob Brown, General Macomb, Colonel Winfield Scott, and Colonel Ripley deserve to be remembered. The American plan of campaign was that Brown, with Scott and Ripley, should cross the Niagara River and invade Canada. General Macomb, with a naval force under McDonough, was to hold the line of Lake Champlain. The British plan was to invade New York by way of Lake Champlain. Brown crossed the Niagara River and fought two brilliant battles at Chippewa and Lundy's Lane. The latter battle was especially glorious because the Americans captured British guns and held them against repeated attacks by British veterans. In the end, however, Brown was obliged to retire.

[Sidenote: Invasion of New York.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Plattsburg, 1814.]

267. McDonough's Victory at Plattsburg, 1814.—General Prevost, with a fine army of veterans, marched southward from Canada, while a fleet sailed up Lake Champlain. At Plattsburg, on the western side of the lake, was General Macomb with a force of American soldiers. Anchored before the town was McDonough's fleet. Prevost attacked Macomb's army and was driven back. The British fleet attacked McDonough's vessels and was destroyed. That put an end to Prevost's invasion. He retreated back to Canada as fast as he could go.

[Sidenote: Burning of Washington, 1814.]

[Sidenote: "The Star-Spangled Banner."]

268. The British in the Chesapeake, 1814.—Besides their operations on the Canadian frontier, the British tried to capture New Orleans and the cities on Chesapeake Bay. The British landed below Washington. They marched to the capital. They entered Washington. They burned the Capitol, the White House, and several other public buildings. They then hurried away, leaving their wounded behind them. Later on the British attacked Baltimore and were beaten off with great loss. It was at this time that Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner." He was detained on board one of the British warships during the fight. Eagerly he watched through the smoke for a glimpse of the flag over Fort McHenry at the harbor's mouth. In the morning the flag was still there. This defeat closed the British operations on the Chesapeake.

[Sidenote: Jackson's Creek campaign, 1814.]

269. The Creek War.—The Creek Indians lived in Alabama. They saw with dismay the spreading settlements of the whites. The Americans were now at war. It would be a good chance to destroy them. So the Creeks fell upon the whites and murdered about four hundred. General Andrew Jackson of Tennessee commanded the American army in the Southwest. As soon as he knew that the Creeks were attacking the settlers, he gathered soldiers and followed the Indians to their stronghold. He stormed their fort and killed most of the garrison.

[Sidenote: Battle of New Orleans, 1815.]

[Sidenote: Hero Tales, 139-147.]

270. Jackson's Defense of New Orleans, 1814-15.—Jackson had scarcely finished this work when he learned of the coming of a great British expedition to the mouth of the Mississippi River. He at once hastened to the defense of New Orleans. Below the city the country greatly favored the defender. For there was very little solid ground except along the river's bank. Picking out an especially narrow place, Jackson built a breastwork of cotton bales and rubbish. In front of the breastwork he dug a deep ditch. The British rushed to the attack. Most of their generals were killed or wounded, and the slaughter was terrible. Later, they made another attack and were again beaten off.

[Sidenote: Naval combats, 1814.]

271. The War on the Sea, 1814.—It was only in the first year or so of the war that there was much fighting between American and British warships. After that the American ships could not get to sea, for the British stationed whole fleets off the entrances to the principal harbors. But a few American vessels ran the blockade and did good service. For instance, Captain Charles Stewart in the Constitution captured two British ships at one time. But most of the warships that got to sea were captured sooner or later.

[Sidenote: The privateers. Hero Tales, 129-136.]

272. The Privateers.—No British fleets could keep the privateers from leaving port. They swarmed upon the ocean and captured hundreds of British merchantmen, some of them within sight of the shores of Great Britain. In all, they captured more than twenty-five hundred British ships. They even fought the smaller warships of the enemy.

[Sidenote: Treaty of peace, 1814.]

273. Treaty of Ghent, 1814.—The war had hardly begun before commissioners to treat for peace were appointed by both the United States and Great Britain. But they did nothing until the failure of the 1814 campaign showed the British government that there was no hope of conquering any portion of the United States. Then the British were ready enough to make peace, and a treaty was signed at Ghent in December, 1814. This was two weeks before the British disaster at New Orleans occurred, and months before the news of it reached Europe. None of the things about which the war was fought were even mentioned in the treaty. But this did not really make much difference. For the British had repealed their orders as to American ships before the news of the declaration of war reached London. As for impressment, the guns of the Constitution had put an end to that.

[Sidenote: New England Federalists.]

[Sidenote: Hartford Convention, 1814.]

274. The Hartford Convention, 1814.—While the New commissioners were talking over the treaty of peace, other debaters were discussing the war, at Hartford, Connecticut. These were leading New England Federalists. They thought that the government at Washington had done many things that the Constitution of the United States did not permit it to do. They drew up a set of resolutions. Some of these read like those other resolutions drawn up by Jefferson and Madison in 1798 (p. 175). The Hartford debaters also thought that the national government had not done enough to protect the coasts of New England from British attacks. They proposed, therefore, that the taxes collected by the national government in New England should be handed over to the New England states to use for their defense. Commissioners were actually at Washington to propose this division of the national revenue when news came of Jackson's victory at New Orleans and of the signing of the Treaty of Ghent. The commissioners hastened home and the Republican party regained its popularity with the voters.

[Sidenote: Gains of the war.]

[Sidenote: The American nation.]

275. Gains of the War.—The United States gained no territory after all this fighting on sea and land. It did not even gain the abolition of impressment in so many words. But what was of far greater importance, the American people began to think of itself as a nation. Americans no longer looked to France or to England as models to be followed. They became Americans. The getting of this feeling of independence and of nationality was a very great step forward. It is right, therefore, to speak of this war as the Second War of Independence.



[Sidenote: Monroe elected President, 1816, 1820.]

[Sidenote: Characteristics of the Era of Good Feeling. McMaster, 260.]

276. The Era as a Whole.—The years 1815-24 have been called the Era of Good Feeling, because there was no hard political fighting in all that time—at least not until the last year or two. In 1816 Monroe was elected President without much opposition. In 1820 he was reelected President without any opposition whatever. Instead of fighting over politics, the people were busily employed in bringing vast regions of the West under cultivation and in founding great manufacturing industries in the East. They were also making roads and canals to connect the Western farms with the Eastern cities and factories. The later part of the era was a time of unbounded prosperity. Every now and then some hard question would come up for discussion. Its settlement would be put off, or the matter would be compromised. In these years the Federalist party disappeared, and the Republican party split into factions. By 1824 the differences in the Republican party had become so great that there was a sudden ending to the Era of Good Feeling.

[Sidenote: Hard times, 1816-18.]

[Sidenote: Emigration to the West, 1816-18. McMaster, 241, 266-273.]

[Sidenote: Four states admitted, 1816-1819]

[Sidenote: Maine and Missouri apply for admission.]

277. Western Emigration.—During the first few years of this period the people of the older states on the seacoast felt very poor. The shipowners could no longer make great profits. For there was now peace in Europe, and European vessels competed with American vessels. Great quantities of British goods were sent to the United States and were sold at very low prices. The demand for American goods fell off. Mill owners closed their mills. Working men and women could find no work to do. The result was a great rush of emigrants from the older states on the seaboard to the new settlements in the West. In the West the emigrants could buy land from the government at a very low rate, and by working hard could support themselves and their families. This westward movement was at its height in 1817. In the years 1816—19, four states were admitted to the Union. These were Indiana (1816), Mississippi (1817), Illinois (1818), and Alabama (1819). Some of the emigrants even crossed the Mississippi River and settled in Missouri and in Arkansas. In 1819 they asked to be admitted to the Union as the state of Missouri, or given a territorial government under the name of Arkansas. The people of Maine also asked Congress to admit them to the Union as the state of Maine.

[Sidenote: Objections to the admission of Missouri.]

278. Opposition to the Admission of Missouri.—Many people in the North opposed the admission of Missouri because the settlers of the proposed state were slaveholders. Missouri would be a slave state, and these Northerners did not want any more slave states. Originally slavery had existed in all the old thirteen states. But every state north of Maryland had before 1819 either put an end to slavery or had adopted some plan by which slavery would gradually come to an end. Slavery had been excluded from the Northwest by the famous Ordinance of 1787 (p. 135). In these ways slavery had ceased to be a vital institution north of Maryland and Kentucky. Why should slavery be allowed west of the Mississippi River? Louisiana had been admitted as a slave state (1812). But the admission of Louisiana had been provided for in the treaty for the purchase of Louisiana from France. The Southerners felt as strongly on the other side. They said that their slaves were their property, and that they had a perfect right to take their property and settle on the land belonging to the nation. Having founded a slave state, it was only right that the state should be admitted to the Union.

[Sidenote: This Missouri Compromise, 1820. Higginson, 254-256; Eggleston, 258-261.]

[Sidenote: Both states admitted, 1820. McMaster,274-276.]

279. The Missouri Compromise, 1820.—When the question of the admission of Maine and Missouri came before Congress, the Senate was equally divided between the slave states and the free states. But the majority of the House of Representatives was from the free states. The free states were growing faster than were the slave states and would probably keep on growing faster. The majority from the free states in the House, therefore, would probably keep on increasing. If the free states obtained a majority in the Senate also, the Southerners would lose all control of the government. For these reasons the Southerners would not consent to the admission of Maine as a free state unless at the same time Missouri was admitted as a slave state. After a long struggle Maine and Missouri were both admitted—the one as a free state, the other as a slave state. But it was also agreed that all of the Louisiana purchase north of the southern boundary of Missouri, with the single exception of the state of Missouri, should be free soil forever. This arrangement was called the Missouri Compromise. It was the work of Henry Clay. It was an event of great importance, because it put off for twenty-five years the inevitable conflict over slavery.

[Sidenote: Reasons for the purchase of Florida.]

[Sidenote: Jackson invades Florida, 1818.]

[Sidenote: The Florida purchase, 1819.]

280. The Florida Treaty, 1819.—While this contest was going on, the United States bought of Spain a large tract of land admirably suited to negro slavery. This was Florida. It belonged to Spain and was a refuge for all sorts of people: runaway negroes, fugitive Indians, smugglers, and criminals of all kinds. Once in Florida, fugitives generally were safe. But they were not always safe. For instance, in 1818 General Jackson chased some fleeing Indians over the boundary. They sought refuge in a Spanish fort, and Jackson was obliged to take the fort as well as the Indians. This exploit made the Spaniards more willing to sell Florida. The price was five million dollars. But when it came to giving up the province, the Spaniards found great difficulty in keeping their promises. The treaty was made in 1819, but it was not until 1821 that Jackson, as governor of Florida, took possession of the new territory. Even then the Spanish governor refused to hand over the record books, and Jackson had to shut him up in prison until he became more reasonable.

[Sidenote: Formation of the Holy Alliance.]

[Sidenote: It interferes in Spanish affairs.]

[Sidenote: The Spanish Americans colonists rebel against Spain.]

[Sidenote: Russian attempts at colonization.]

281. The "Holy Alliance."—Most of the people of the other Spanish colonies were rebelling against Spain, and there was a rebellion in Spain itself. There were rebellions in other European countries as well as in Spain. In fact, there seemed to be a rebellious spirit nearly everywhere. This alarmed the European emperors and kings. With the exception of the British king, they joined together to put down rebellions. They called their union the Holy Alliance. They soon put the Spanish king back on his throne. They then thought that they would send warships and soldiers across the Atlantic Ocean to crush the rebellions in the Spanish colonies. Now the people of the United States sympathized with the Spanish colonists in their desire for independence. They also disliked the idea of Europeans interfering in American affairs. "America for Americans," was the cry. It also happened that Englishmen desired the freedom of the Spanish colonists. As her subjects Spain would not let them buy English goods. But if they were free, they could buy goods wherever they pleased. The British government therefore proposed that the United States and Great Britain should join in a declaration that the Spanish colonies were independent states. John Quincy Adams, son of John Adams, was Monroe's Secretary of State. He thought that this would not be a wise course to follow, because it might bring American affairs within European control. He was all the more anxious to prevent this entanglement, as the Czar of Russia was preparing to found colonies on the western coast of North America and Adams wanted a free hand to deal with him.

[Sidenote: The Monroe Doctrine, 1822. McMaster, 262-265]

[Sidenote: Action of Great Britain. End of European interference in America.]

282. The Monroe Doctrine, 1823.—It was under these circumstances that President Monroe sent a message to Congress. In it he stated the policy of the United States as follows: (1) America is closed to colonization by any European power; (2) the United States have not interfered and will not interfere in European affairs; (3) the United States regard the extension of the system of the Holy Alliance to America as dangerous to the United States; and (4) the United States would regard the interference of the Holy Alliance in American affairs as an "unfriendly act." This part of the message was written by Adams. He had had a long experience in diplomacy. He used the words "unfriendly act" as diplomatists use them when they mean that such an "unfriendly act" would be a cause for war. The British government also informed the Holy Allies that their interference in American affairs would be resented. The Holy Alliance gave over all idea of crushing the Spanish colonists. And the Czar of Russia agreed to found no colonies south of fifty-four degrees and forty minutes north latitude.

[Sidenote: Meaning of the Monroe Doctrine.]

283. Meaning of the Monroe Doctrine.—The ideas contained in Monroe's celebrated message to Congress are always spoken of as the Monroe Doctrine. Most of these ideas were not invented by Monroe or by Adams. Many of them may be found in Washington's Neutrality Proclamation, in Washington's Farewell Address, in Jefferson's Inaugural Address, and in other documents. What was new in Monroe's message was the statement that European interference in American affairs would be looked upon by the United States as an "unfriendly act," leading to war. European kings might crush out liberty in Europe. They might divide Asia and Africa among themselves. They must not interfere in American affairs.



[Sidenote: End of Monroe's administrations.]

284. End of the Era of Good Feeling.—The Era of Good Feeling came to a sudden ending in 1824. Monroe's second term as President would end in 1825. He refused to be a candidate for reelection. In thus following the example set by Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, Monroe confirmed the custom of limiting the presidential term to eight years. There was no lack of candidates to succeed him in his high office.

[Sidenote: J.Q. Adams]

285. John Quincy Adams.—First and foremost was John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts. He was Monroe's Secretary of State, and this office had been a kind of stepping-stone to the presidency. Monroe had been Madison's Secretary of State; Madison had been Jefferson's Secretary of State; and Jefferson had been Washington's Secretary of State, although he was Vice-President when he was chosen to the first place. John Quincy Adams was a statesman of great experience and of ability. He was a man of the highest honor and intelligence. He was nominated by the legislatures of Massachusetts and of the other New England states.

[Sidenote: W.H. Crawford.]

[Sidenote: Tenure of Office Act.]

[Sidenote: The Crawford machine.]

286. William H. Crawford.—Besides Adams, two other members of Monroe's cabinet wished to succeed their chief. These were John C. Calhoun and William H. Crawford. Calhoun soon withdrew from the contest to accept the nomination of all the factions to the place of Vice-President. Crawford was from Georgia and was Secretary of the Treasury. As the head of that great department, he controlled more appointments than all the other members of the cabinet put together. The habit of using public offices to reward political friends had begun in Pennsylvania. Washington, in his second term, Adams, and Jefferson had appointed to office only members of their own party. Jefferson had also removed from office a few political opponents (p. 187). But there were great difficulties in the way of making removals. Crawford hit upon the plan of appointing officers for four years only. Congress at once fell in with the idea and passed the Tenure of Office Act, limiting appointments to four years. Crawford promptly used this new power to build up a strong political machine in the Treasury Department, devoted to his personal advancement. He was nominated for the presidency by a Congressional caucus and became the "regular" candidate.

[Sidenote: Henry Clay.]

[Sidenote: Andrew Jackson.]

287. Clay and Jackson.—Two men outside of the cabinet were also put forward for Monroe's high office. These were Andrew Jackson of Tennessee and Henry Clay of Kentucky. Clay and Calhoun had entered politics at about the same time. They had then believed in the same policy. Calhoun had abandoned his early ideas. But Clay held fast to the policy of "nationalization." He still favored internal improvements at the national expense. He still favored the protective system. He was the great "peacemaker" and tried by means of compromises to unite all parts of the Union (p. 222). He loved his country and had unbounded faith in the American people. The legislatures of Kentucky and other states nominated him for the presidency. The strongest man of all the candidates was Andrew Jackson, the "Hero of New Orleans." He had never been prominent in politics. But his warlike deeds had made his name and his strength familiar to the voters, especially to those of the West. He was a man of the people, as none of his rivals were. He stood for democracy and the Union. The legislatures of Tennessee and other states nominated Jackson for the presidency.

[Sidenote: The election of 1824.]

[Sidenote: It goes to the House of Representatives.]

[Sidenote: The House chooses Adams.]

288. Adams chosen President, 1824.—The election was held. The presidential electors met in their several states and cast their votes for President and Vice-President. The ballots were brought to Washington and were counted. No candidate for the presidency had received a majority of all the votes cast. Jackson had more votes than any other candidate, next came Adams, then Crawford, and last of all Clay. The House of Representatives, voting by states, must choose one of the first three President. Clay, therefore, was out of the race. Clay and his friends believed in the same things that Adams and his friends believed in, and had slight sympathy with the views of Jackson or of Crawford. So they joined the Adams men and chose Adams President. The Jackson men were furious. They declared that the Representatives had defeated the "will of the people."

[Sidenote: Adams appoints Clay Secretary of State.]

[Sidenote: Charges of a bargain.]

[Sidenote: Weakness of Adams's administration.]

289. Misfortunes of Adams's Administration.—Adams's first mistake was the appointment of Clay as Secretary of State. It was a mistake, because it gave the Jackson men a chance to assert that there had been a "deal" between Adams and Clay. They called Clay the "Judas of the West." They said that the "will of the people" had been defeated by a "corrupt bargain." These charges were repeated over and over again until many people really began to think that there must be some reason for them. The Jackson men also most unjustly accused Adams of stealing the nation's money. The British government seized the opportunity of Adams's weak administration to close the West India ports to American shipping.

[Sidenote: Early tariff laws.]

[Sidenote: The tariff of 1816.]

[Sidenote: Tariff of 1824.]

290. Early Tariffs.—Ever since 1789 manufactures had been protected (p. 155). The first tariff rates were very low. But the Embargo Act, the non-intercourse law, and the War of 1812 put an end to the importation of foreign goods. Capitalists invested large amounts of money in cotton mills, woolen mills, and iron mills. With the return of peace in 1815, British merchants flooded the American markets with cheap goods (p. 220). The manufacturers appealed to Congress for more protection, and Congress promptly passed a new tariff act (1816). This increased the duties over the earlier laws. But it did not give the manufacturers all the protection that they desired. In 1824 another law was drawn up. It raised the duties still higher. The Southerners opposed the passage of this last law. For they clearly saw that protection did them no good. But the Northerners and the Westerners were heartily in favor of the increased duties, and the law was passed.

[Sidenote: Agitation for more protection, 1828.]

[Sidenote: Scheme of the Jackson men.]

[Sidenote: Tariff of 1828.]

291. The Tariff of Abominations, 1828.—In 1828 another presidential election was to be held. The manufacturers thought that this would be a good time to ask for even higher protective duties, because the politicians would not dare to oppose the passage of the law for fear of losing votes. The Jackson men hit upon a plan by which they would seem to favor higher duties while at the same time they were really opposing them. They therefore proposed high duties on manufactured goods. This would please the Northern manufacturers. They proposed high duties on raw materials. This would please the Western producers. But they thought that the manufacturers would oppose the final passage of the bill because the high duties on raw materials would injure them very much. The bill would fail to pass, and this would please the Southern cotton growers. It was a very shrewd little plan. But it did not work. The manufacturers thought that it would be well at all events to have the high duties on manufactured goods—perhaps they might before long secure the repeal of the duties on raw materials. The Northern members of Congress voted for the bill, and it passed.

[Sidenote: Election of 1828.]

[Sidenote: Jackson elected President. McMaster, 301.]

292. Jackson elected President, 1828.—In the midst of all this discouragement as to foreign affairs and this contest over the tariff, the presidential campaign of 1828 was held. Adams and Jackson were the only two candidates. Jackson was elected by a large majority of electoral votes. But Adams received only one vote less than he had received in 1824. The contest was very close in the two large states of Pennsylvania and New York. Had a few thousand more voters in those states cast their votes for Adams, the electoral votes of those states would have been given to him, and he would have been elected. It was fortunate that Jackson was chosen. For a great contest between the states and the national government was coming on. It was well that a man of Jackson's commanding strength and great popularity should be at the head of the government.



Sec.Sec. 260-262.—a. Explain by a map the American plan of campaign and show its advantages and disadvantages.

b. Describe Perry's victory. How did this turn the scale of war?

Sec.Sec. 263-265.—a. Describe the escape of the Constitution from the British fleet. Describe the destruction of the Guerriere and of the Frolic. What was the reason for the American successes?

b. Why was the effect of these victories so great?

c. Why did the capture of the Chesapeake cause so much delight in England? Why are Lawrence's words so inspiring?

Sec.Sec. 266, 267.—a. Compare the second plan for the invasion of Canada with the earlier one.

b. Discuss the events of Brown's campaign and its results.

c. Compare Prevost's campaign with Burgoyne's. Why was it unsuccessful?

d. What do Perry's and McDonough's victories show?

Sec.Sec. 268.—a. Why were the British attacks directed against these three portions of the country?

b. Describe the attack on Washington. Was the burning of the public buildings justifiable?

c. Read the "Star-Spangled Banner" and explain the allusions.

Sec.Sec. 269, 270.—a. Describe Jackson's plans for the defense of New Orleans. Why were they so successful?

b. Why did not this success of the Americans have more effect on the peace negotiations?

Sec.Sec. 271, 272.—a. Why were most of the naval conflicts during the first year of the war? What is a blockade? What is a privateer?

b. What work did the privateers do?

Sec. 273.—a. Why was so little advance made at first toward a treaty of peace?

b. Why was the news of the treaty so long in reaching Washington?

c. What was settled by the war?

Sec. 274.—a. Were the Federalists or the Republicans more truly the national party?

b. What propositions were made by the Hartford Convention? If such proposals were carried out, what would be the effect on the Union?

c. Compare the principles underneath these resolutions with those of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.

Sec.275.—a. Note carefully the effect of this war.

b. Why is it called the Second War of Independence?


Sec.Sec. 276, 277.—a. What is meant by the Era of Good Feeling? Is this period more important or less important than the period of war which preceded it? Why?

b. What matters occupied the attention of the people?

c. What shows the sudden increase in Western migration?

Sec.Sec. 278, 279.—a. State carefully the objections to the admission of Missouri on the part of the Northerners. Why did the Southerners object to the admission of Maine?

b. Trace on a map the line between the free states and the slave states. Why was slavery no longer of importance north of this line? Why was it important south of this line?

c. Why were the free states gaining faster than the slave states?

d. Explain the Missouri Compromise. How did the Compromise postpone the conflict over slavery?

Sec. 280.—a. Why was Florida a danger to the United States?

b. What people in the United States would welcome the purchase of Florida?

c. What does this section show you as to Jackson's character?

Sec. 281.—a. Why was the Holy Alliance formed? What did the allies propose as to America?

b. How was this proposal regarded by Americans? Why?

c. How was it regarded by Englishmen? Why?

Sec.Sec. 282, 283.—a. Explain carefully the four points of Monroe's message.

b. Were these ideas new? What is an "unfriendly act"?

c. What action did Great Britain take? What was the result of the declarations of the United States and Great Britain.

d. What was the new point in Monroe's message?

e. Do we still keep to the Monroe Doctrine in all respects?


Sec.Sec. 284-288.—a. Who were the candidates for President in 1824? Describe the qualities and careers of each of them. For whom would you have voted had you had the right to vote in 1824?

b. How were these candidates nominated? What is a caucus?

c. Describe the Tenure of Office Act. Should a man be given an office simply because he has helped his party?

d. In what respects was Jackson unlike the early Presidents?

e. What was the result of the election? Who was finally chosen? Why? If you had been a Representative in 1824, for whom would you have voted? voted? Why?

f. What is a majority? A plurality?

Sec. 289.—a. Why was the appointment of Clay a mistake?

b. What charges were made against Adams?

c. Describe the misfortunes of Adams's administration.

Sec.Sec. 290, 291.—a. How are manufactures protected?

b. Why were the protective tariffs of no benefit to the Southerners?

c. Why was an attempt for a higher tariff made in 1828?

d. Explain the plan of the Jackson men. Why did the plan fail?

Sec. 292.—a. Describe the election of 1828.

b. How was Jackson fitted to meet difficulties?


a. Why was the navy better prepared for war than the army?

b. Why did slaveholders feel the need of more slave territory in the Union?

c. Jackson has been called "a man of the people." Explain this title.


a. Early life of Andrew Jackson (to 1828).

b. A battle of the War of 1812, e.g. Lake Erie, Lundy's Lane, Plattsburg, New Orleans, or a naval combat.

c. The frigate Constitution.

d. The career of Clay, of Calhoun, of J.Q. Adams, or of Monroe.


The results of the War of 1812 should be carefully studied and compared with the proposals of the Hartford Convention. These last can be taught by comparison with the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions.

To the Missouri Compromise much time and careful explanation should be given. Touch upon the economic side of slavery, and explain how the continued supremacy of the slave power was threatened.

The Monroe Doctrine is another difficult topic; but it can be explained by recent history.

The election of 1824 can be carefully employed to elucidate the mode of electing President, and the struggle over the tariffs can be illustrated by recent tariff contests.



Books for Study and Reading

References.—Scribner's Popular History, IV; Lodge's Webster; Coffin's Building the Nation, 251-313.

Home Readings.—Roosevelt's Winning of the West; Hale's Stories of Inventions; Wright's Stories of American Progress.



[Sidenote: Changes in conditions.]

293. A New Race.—Between the election of President Jefferson and the election of President Jackson great changes had taken place. The old Revolutionary statesmen had gone. New men had taken their places. The old sleepy life had gone. Everywhere now was bustle and hurry. In 1800 the Federalists favored the British, and the Republicans favored the French. Now no one seemed to care for either the British or the French. At last the people had become Americans. The Federalist party had disappeared. Every one now was either a National Republican and voted for Adams, or a Democratic Republican and voted for Jackson.

[Sidenote: Population, 1830.]

[Sidenote: Area, 1830.]

[Sidenote: Growth of the cities.]

[Sidenote: Settlement of the West.]

294. Numbers and Area.—In 1800 there were only five and one-half million people in the whole United States. Now there were nearly thirteen million people. And they had a very much larger country to live in. In 1800 the area of the United States was about eight hundred thousand square miles. But Louisiana and Florida had been bought since then. Now (1830) the area of the United States was about two million square miles. The population of the old states had greatly increased. Especially the cities had grown. In 1800 New York City held about sixty thousand people; it now held two hundred thousand people. But it was in the West that the greatest growth had taken place. Since 1800 Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri had all been admitted to the Union.

[Sidenote: Difficulties of transport over the Alleghanies. McMaster, 252, 280-282.]

[Sidenote: The Cumberland Road.]

295. National Roads.—Steamboats were now running on the Great Lakes and on all the important rivers of the West. The first result of this new mode of transport was the separation of the West from the East. Steamboats could carry passengers and goods up and down the Mississippi and its branches more cheaply and more comfortably than people and goods could be carried over the Alleghanies. Many persons therefore advised the building of a good wagon road to connect the Potomac with the Ohio. The eastern end of this great road was at Cumberland on the Potomac in Maryland. It is generally called, therefore, the Cumberland Road. It was begun at the national expense in 1811. By 1820 the road was built as far as Wheeling on the Ohio River. From that point steamboats could steam to Pittsburg, Cincinnati, St. Louis, or New Orleans. Later on, the road was built farther west, as far as Illinois. Then the coming of the railroad made further building unnecessary.

[Sidenote: The Erie Canal, 1825. McMaster, 282-284.]

[Sidenote: De Witt Clinton.]

[Sidenote: Results of the building of the Erie Canal.]

296. The Erie Canal.—The best way to connect one steamboat route with another was to dig a canal. The most famous of all these canals was the one connecting the Hudson River with Lake Erie, and called the Erie Canal. It was begun in 1817 and was completed so that a boat could pass through it in 1825. It was De Witt Clinton who argued that such a canal would benefit New York City by bringing to it the produce of the Northwest and of western New York. At the same time it would benefit the farmers of those regions by bringing their produce to tide water cheaper than it could be brought by road through Pennsylvania. It would still further benefit the farmers by enabling them to buy their goods much cheaper, as the rates of freight would be so much lower by canal than they were by road. People who did not see these things as clearly as De Witt Clinton saw them, spoke of the enterprise most sneeringly and called the canal "Clinton's big ditch." It very soon appeared that Clinton was right. In one year the cost of carrying a ton of grain from Lake Erie to the Hudson River fell from one hundred dollars to fifteen dollars. New York City soon outstripped all its rivals and became the center of trade and money in the United States. Other canals, as the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, were marvels of skill. But they were not so favorably situated as the Erie Canal and could not compete with it successfully.

[Sidenote: The first railroads. McMaster, 285-289.]

297. Early Railroads.—The best stone and gravel roads were always rough in places. It occurred to some one that it would be better to lay down wooden rails, and then to place a rim or flange on the wagon wheels to keep them on the rails. The first road of this kind in America was built at Boston in 1807. It was a very rude affair and was only used to carry dirt from the top of a hill to the harbor. The wooden rails soon wore out, so the next step was to nail strips of iron on top of them. Long lines of railroads of this kind were soon built. Both passengers and goods could be carried on them. Some of them were built by private persons or by companies. Others were built by a town or a state. Any one having horses and wagons with flanged wheels could use the railway on the payment of a small sum of money. This was the condition of affairs when the steam locomotive was invented.

[Sidenote: Invention of the locomotive, 1830.]

[Sidenote: Hardships of early railroad travel.]

298. The Steam Locomotive.—Steam was used to drive boats through the water. Why should not steam be used to haul wagons over a railroad? This was a very easy question to ask, and a very hard one to answer. Year after year inventors worked on the problem. Suddenly, about 1830, it was solved in several places and by several men at nearly the same time. It was some years, however, before the locomotive came into general use. The early railroad trains were rude affairs. The cars were hardly more than stagecoaches with flanged wheels. They were fastened together with chains, and when the engine started or stopped, there was a terrible bumping and jolting. The smoke pipe of the engine was very tall and was hinged so that it could be let down when coming to a low bridge or a tunnel. Then the smoke and cinders poured straight into the passengers' faces. But these trains went faster than canal boats or steamboats. Soon the railroad began to take the first place as a means of transport.

[Sidenote: Use of hard coal.]

[Sidenote: Growth of the cities.]

299. Other Inventions.—The coming of the steam locomotive hastened the changes which one saw on every side in 1830. For some time men had known that there was plenty of hard coal or anthracite in Pennsylvania. But it was so hard that it would not burn in the old-fashioned stoves and fireplaces. Now a stove was invented that would burn anthracite, and the whole matter of house warming was completely changed. Then means were found to make iron from ore with anthracite. The whole iron industry awoke to new life. Next the use of gas made from coal became common in cities. The great increase in manufacturing, and the great changes in modes of transport, led people to crowd together in cities and towns. These inventions made it possible to feed and warm large numbers of persons gathered into small areas. The cities began to grow so fast that people could no longer live near their work or the shops. Lines of stagecoaches were established, and the coaches were soon followed by horse cars, which ran on iron tracks laid in the streets.

[Sidenote: Growth of the school system.]

[Sidenote: Webster's "Dictionary."]

[Sidenote: American men of letters.]

[Sidenote: American men of science.]

300. Progress in Letters.—There was also great progress in learning. The school system was constantly improved. Especially was this the case in the West, where the government devoted one thirty-sixth part of the public lands to education. High schools were founded, and soon normal schools were added to them. Even the colleges awoke from their long sleep. More students went to them, and the methods of teaching were improved. Some slight attention, too, was given to teaching the sciences. In 1828 Noah Webster published the first edition of his great dictionary. Unfortunately he tried to change the spelling of many words. But in other ways his dictionary was a great improvement. He defined words so that they could be understood, and he gave the American meaning of many words, as "congress." American writers now began to make great reputations. Cooper, Irving, and Bryant were already well known. They were soon joined by a wonderful set of men, who speedily made America famous. These were Emerson, Lowell, Longfellow, Holmes, Hawthorne, Prescott, Motley, Bancroft, and Sparks. In science, also, men of mark were beginning their labors, as Pierce, Gray, Silliman, and Dana. Louis Agassiz before long began his wonderful lectures, which did much to make science popular. In short, Jackson's administration marks the time when American life began to take on its modern form.



[Sidenote: Jackson's early career.]

[Sidenote: His "kitchen cabinet".]

301. General Jackson.—Born in the backwoods of Carolina, Jackson had early crossed the Alleghanies and settled in Tennessee. Whenever trouble came to the Western people, whenever there was need of a stout heart and an iron will, Jackson was at the front. He always did his duty. He always did his duty well. Honest and sincere, he believed in himself and he believed in the American people. As President he led the people in one of the stormiest periods in our history. Able men gathered about him. But he relied chiefly on the advice of a few friends who smoked their pipes with him and formed his "kitchen cabinet." He seldom called a regular cabinet meeting. When he did call one, it was often merely to tell the members what he had decided to do.

[Sidenote: Party machines.]

[Sidenote: The Spoils System.]

302. The Spoils System.—Among the able men who had fought the election for Jackson were Van Buren and Marcy of New York and Buchanan of Pennsylvania. They had built up strong party machines in their states. For they "saw nothing wrong in the principle that to the victors belong the spoils of victory." So they rewarded their party workers with offices—when they won. The Spoils System was now begun in the national government. Those who had worked for Jackson rushed to Washington. The hotels and boarding-houses could not hold them. Some of them camped out in the parks and public squares of the capital. Removals now went merrily on. Rotation in office was the cry. Before long Jackson removed nearly one thousand officeholders and appointed political partisans in their places.

[Sidenote: The North and the South. McMaster, 301-304.]

303. The North and the South.—The South was now a great cotton-producing region. This cotton was grown by negro slaves. The North was now a great manufacturing and commercial region. It was also a great agricultural region. But the labor in the mills, fields, and ships of the North was all free white labor. So the United States was really split into two sections: one devoted to slavery and to a few great staples, as cotton; the other devoted to free white labor and to industries of many kinds.

[Sidenote: The South and the tariff, 1829.]

[Sidenote: Calhoun's "Exposition."]

304. The Political Situation, 1829.—The South was growing richer all the time; but the North was growing richer a great deal faster than was the South. Calhoun and other Southern men thought that this difference in the rate of progress was due to the protective system. In 1828 Congress had passed a tariff that was so bad that it was called the Tariff of Abominations (p. 231). The Southerners could not prevent its passage. But Calhoun wrote an "Exposition" of the constitutional doctrines in the case. This paper was adopted by the legislature of South Carolina as giving its ideas. In this paper Calhoun declared that the Constitution of the United States was a compact. Each state was a sovereign state and could annul any law passed by Congress. The protective system was unjust and unequal in operation. It would bring "poverty and utter desolation to the South." The tariff act should be annulled by South Carolina and by other Southern states.

[Sidenote: Hayne's speech, 1830.]

[Sidenote: Webster's reply to Hayne.]

305. Webster and Hayne, 1830.—Calhoun was Vice-President and presided over the debates of the Senate. So it fell to Senator Hayne of South Carolina to state Calhoun's ideas. This he did in a very able speech. To him Daniel Webster of Massachusetts replied in the most brilliant speeches ever delivered in Congress. The Constitution, Webster declared, was "the people's constitution, the people's government; made by the people and answerable to the people. The people have declared that this constitution ... shall be the supreme law." The Supreme Court of the United States alone could declare a national law to be unconstitutional; no state could do that. He ended this great speech with the memorable words, "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable."

[Sidenote: Tariff of 1832.]

[Sidenote: "Nullified" by South Carolina, 1833.]

[Sidenote: Jackson's warning.]

[Sidenote: He prepares to enforce the law.]

[Sidenote: The Force Bill, 1833.]

306. Nullification, 1832-33.—In 1832 Congress passed a new tariff act. The South Carolinians decided to try Calhoun's weapon of nullification. They held a convention, declared the act null and void, and forbade South Carolinians to obey the law. They probably thought that Jackson would not oppose them. But they should have had no doubts on that subject. For Jackson already had proposed his famous toast on Jefferson's birthday, "Our federal Union, it must be preserved." He now told the Carolinians that he would enforce the laws, and he set about doing it with all his old-time energy. He sent ships and soldiers to Charleston and ordered the collector of that port to collect the duties. He then asked Congress to give him greater power. And Congress passed the Force Bill, giving him the power he asked for. The South Carolinians, on their part, suspended the nullification ordinance and thus avoided an armed conflict with "Old Hickory," as his admirers called Jackson.

[Sidenote: Tariff of 1833.]

307. The Compromise Tariff, 1833.—The nullifiers really gained a part of the battle, for the tariff law of 1832 was repealed. In its place Congress passed what was called the Compromise Tariff. This compromise was the work of Henry Clay, the peacemaker. Under it the duties were to be gradually lowered until, in 1842, they would be as low as they were by the Tariff Act of 1816 (p. 231).

[Sidenote: Second United States Bank, 1816.]

[Sidenote: Jackson's dislike of the bank.]

308. The Second United States Bank.—Nowadays any one with enough money can open a national bank under the protection of the government at Washington. At this time, however, there was one great United States Bank. Its headquarters were at Philadelphia and it had branches all over the country. Jackson, like Jefferson (p. 163), had very grave doubts as to the power of the national government to establish such a bank. Its size and its prosperity alarmed him. Moreover, the stockholders and managers, for the most part, were his political opponents. The United States Bank also interfered seriously with the operations of the state banks—some of which were managed by Jackson's friends. The latter urged him on to destroy the United States Bank, and he determined to destroy it.

[Sidenote: Jackson, Clay, and the bank charter.]

[Sidenote: Constitution, Art. I, sec. 7, par. 3.]

[Sidenote: Reelection of Jackson, 1832.]

309. Struggle over the Bank Charter.—The charter of the bank would not come to an end until 1836, while the term for which Jackson had been elected in 1828 would come to an end in 1833. But in his first message to Congress Jackson gave notice that he would not give his consent to a new charter. Clay and his friends at once took up the challenge. They passed a bill rechartering the bank. Jackson vetoed the bill. The Clay men could not get enough votes to pass it over his veto. The bank question, therefore, became one of the issues of the election of 1832. Jackson was reflected by a large majority over Clay.

The people were clearly on his side, and he at once set to work to destroy the bank.

[Sidenote: The bank and the government.]

[Sidenote: Removal of the deposits, 1833. McMaster, 305-308.]

310. Removal of the Deposits.—In those days there was no United States Treasury building at Washington, with great vaults for the storing of gold, silver, and paper money. There were no sub-treasuries in the important commercial cities. The United States Bank and its branches received the government's money on deposit and paid it out on checks signed by the proper government official. In 1833 the United States Bank had in its vaults about nine million dollars belonging to the government. Jackson directed that this money should be drawn out as required, to pay the government's expenses, and that no more government money should be deposited in the bank. In the future it should be deposited in certain state banks. The banks selected were controlled by Jackson's political friends and were called the "pet banks."

[Sidenote: Speculation in Western lands. McMaster, 309.]

[Sidenote: The specie circular, 1836.]

311. Jackson's Specie Circular, 1836.—The first result of the removal of the deposits was very different from what Jackson had expected. At this time there was active speculation in Western lands. Men who had a little spare money bought Western lands. Those who had no money in hand, borrowed money from the banks and with it bought Western lands. Now it happened that many of the "pet banks" were in the West. The government's money, deposited with them, tempted their managers to lend money more freely. This, in turn, increased the ease with which people could speculate. Jackson saw that unless something were done to restrain this speculation, disaster would surely come. So he issued a circular to the United States land officers. This circular was called the Specie Circular, because in it the President forbade the land officers to receive anything except gold and silver and certain certificates in payment for the public lands.

[Sidenote: Payment of the national debt. McMaster, 309-310.]

312. Payment of the Debt, 1837.—The national debt had now all been paid. The government was collecting more money than it could use for national purposes. And it was compelled to keep on collecting more money than it could use, because the Compromise Tariff (p. 248) made it impossible to reduce duties any faster than a certain amount each year. No one dared to disturb the Compromise Tariff, because to do so would bring on a most bitter political fight. The government had more money in the "pet banks" than was really safe. It could not deposit more with them.

[Sidenote: Distribution of the surplus.]

[Sidenote: Van Buren elected President, 1836.]

313. Distribution of the Surplus, 1837.—A curious plan was now hit upon. It was to loan the surplus revenues to the states in proportion to their electoral votes. Three payments were made to the states. Then the Panic of 1837 came, and the government had to borrow money to pay its own necessary expenses. Before this occurred, however, Jackson was no longer President. In his place was Martin Van Buren, his Secretary of State, who had been chosen President in November, 1836.



[Sidenote: Causes of the Panic.]

[Sidenote: Hard times, 1837-39.]

314. The Panic of 1837.—The Panic was due directly to Jackson's interference with the banks, to his Specie Circular, and to the distribution of the surplus. It happened in this way. When the Specie Circular was issued, people who held paper money at once went to the banks to get gold and silver in exchange for it to pay for the lands bought of the government. The government on its part drew out money from the banks to pay the states their share of the surplus. The banks were obliged to sell their property and to demand payment of money due them. People who owed money to the banks were obliged to sell their property to pay the banks. So every one wanted to sell, and few wanted to buy. Prices of everything went down with a rush. People felt so poor that they would not even buy new clothes. The mills and mines were closed, and the banks suspended payments. Thousands of working men and women were thrown out of work. They could not even buy food for themselves or their families. Terrible bread riots took place. After a time people began to pluck up their courage. But it was a long time before "good times" came again.

[Sidenote: The national finances.]

[Sidenote: The Sub-Treasury plan.]

[Sidenote: Independent Treasury Act, 1840.]

315. The Independent Treasury System.—What should be done with the government's money? No one could think of depositing it with the state banks. Clay and his friends thought the best thing to do would be to establish a new United States Bank. But Van Buren was opposed to that. His plan, in short, was to build vaults for storing money in Washington and in the leading cities. The main storehouse or Treasury was to be in Washington, subordinate storehouses or sub-treasuries were to be established in the other cities. To these sub-treasuries the collectors of customs would pay the money collected by them. In this way the government would become independent of the general business affairs of the country. In 1840 Congress passed an act for putting this plan into effect. But before it was in working order, Van Buren was no longer President.

[Sidenote: New parties.]

[Sidenote: The Democrats.]

[Sidenote: The Whigs.]

316. Democrats and Whigs.—In the Era of Good Feeling there was but one party—the Republican party. In the confused times of 1824 the several sections of the party took the names of their party leaders: the Adams men, the Jackson men, the Clay men, and so on. Soon the Adams men and the Clay men began to act together and to call themselves National Republicans. This they did because they wished to build up the nation's resources at the expense of the nation. The Jackson men called themselves Democratic Republicans, because they upheld the rights of the people. Before long they dropped the word "Republican" and called themselves simply Democrats. The National Republicans dropped the whole of their name and took that of the great English liberal party—the Whigs. This they did because they favored reform.

[Sidenote: "A campaign of humor." Higginson, 269; McMaster, 315-316.]

[Sidenote: Harrison and Tyler elected, 1840.]

317. Election of 1840.—General William Henry Harrison was the son of Benjamin Harrison of Virginia, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. General Harrison had moved to the West and had won distinction at Tippecanoe, and also in the War of 1812 (pp. 202, 209). The Whigs nominated him in 1836, but he was beaten. They now renominated him for President, with John Tyler of Virginia as candidate for Vice-President. Van Buren had made a good President, but his term of office was associated with panic and hard times. He was a rich man and gave great parties. Plainly he was not a "man of the people," as was Harrison. A Democratic orator sneered at Harrison, and said that all he wanted was a log cabin of his own and a jug of cider. The Whigs eagerly seized on this description. They built log cabins at the street corners and dragged through the streets log cabins on great wagons. They held immense open-air meetings at which people sang songs of "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too." Harrison and Tyler received nearly all the electoral votes and were chosen President and Vice-President.

[Sidenote: Death of Harrison, 1841.]

318. Death of Harrison, 1841.—The people's President was inaugurated on March 4, 1841. For the first time since the establishment of the Spoils System a new party came into control of the government. Thousands of office-seekers thronged to Washington. They even slept in out-of-the-way corners of the White House. Day after day, from morning till night, they pressed their claims on Harrison. One morning early, before the office-seekers were astir, he went out for a walk. He caught cold and died suddenly, just one month after his inauguration. John Tyler at once became President.

[Sidenote: President Tyler.]

[Sidenote: His contest with the Whigs.]

319. Tyler and the Whigs.—President Tyler was not a Whig like Harrison or Clay, nor was he a Democrat like Jackson. He was a Democrat who did not like Jackson ideas. As President, he proved to be anything but a Whig. He was willing to sign a bill to repeal the Independent Treasury Act, for that was a Democratic measure he had not liked; but he refused to sign a bill to establish a new Bank of the United States. Without either a bank or a treasury, it was well-nigh impossible to carry on the business of the government. But it was carried on in one way or another. Tyler was willing to sign a new tariff act, and one was passed in 1842. This was possible, as the Compromise Tariff (p. 248) came to an end in that year.

[Sidenote: Northeastern boundary dispute.]

[Sidenote: The Ashburton Treaty, 1842.]

320. Treaty with Great Britain, 1842.—Perhaps the most important event of Tyler's administration was the signing of the Treaty of 1842 with Great Britain. Ever since the Treaty of Peace of 1783, there had been a dispute over the northeastern boundary of Maine. If the boundary had been run according to the plain meaning of the Treaty of Peace, the people of Upper Canada would have found it almost impossible to reach New Brunswick or Nova Scotia in winter. At that time of the year the St. Lawrence is frozen over, and the true northern boundary of Maine ran so near to the St. Lawrence that it was difficult to build a road which would be wholly in British territory. So the British had tried in every way to avoid settling the matter. It was now arranged that the United States should have a little piece of Canada north of Vermont and New York and should give up the extreme northeastern corner of Maine. It was also agreed that criminals escaping from one country to the other should be returned. A still further agreement was made for checking the slave trade from the coast of western Africa.

[Sidenote: The Morse code.]

[Sidenote: First telegraph line, 1844.]

[Sidenote: Usefulness of the telegraph, McMaster, 372.]

321. The Electric Telegraph.—Benjamin Franklin and Joseph Henry made great discoveries in electricity. But Samuel F. B. Morse was the first to use electricity in a practical way. Morse found out that if a man at one end of a line of wire pressed down a key, electricity could be made at the same moment to press down another key at the other end of the line of wire. Moreover, the key at the farther end of the line could be so arranged as to make an impression on a piece of paper that was slowly drawn under it by clockwork. Now if the man at one end of the line held his key down for only an instant, this impression would look like a dot. If he held it down longer, it would look like a short dash. Morse combined these dots and dashes into an alphabet. For instance, one dash meant the letter "t," and so on. For a time people only laughed at Morse. But at length Congress gave him enough money to build a line from Baltimore to Washington. It was opened in 1844, and proved to be a success from the beginning. Other lines were soon built, and the Morse system, greatly improved, is still in use. The telegraph made it possible to operate long lines of railroad, as all the trains could be managed from one office so that they would not run into one another. It also made it possible to communicate with people afar off and get an answer in an hour or so. For both these reasons the telegraph was very important and with the railroads did much to unite the people of the different portions of the country.

[Sidenote: Problems of what growing.]

[Sidenote: The McCormick reaper, 1831. McMaster, 31-372.]

[Sidenote: Results of this invention.]

322. The McCormick Reaper.—Every great staple depends for its production on some particular tool. For instance, cotton was of slight importance until the invention of the cotton gin (p. 185) made it possible cheaply to separate the seed from the fiber. The success of wheat growing depended upon the ability quickly to harvest the crop. Wheat must be allowed to stand until it is fully ripened. Then it must be quickly reaped and stored away out of the reach of the rain and wet. For a few weeks in each year there was a great demand for labor on the wheat farms. And there was little labor to be had. Cyrus H. McCormick solved this problem for the wheat growers by inventing a horse reaper. The invention was made in 1831, but it was not until 1845 that the reaper came into general use. By 1855 the use of the horse reaper was adding every year fifty-five million dollars to the wealth of the country. Each year its use moved the fringe of civilization fifty miles farther west. Without harvesting machinery the rapid settlement of the West would have been impossible. And had not the West been rapidly settled by free whites, the whole history of the country between 1845 and 1865 would have been very different from what it has been. The influence of the horse reaper on our political history, therefore, is as important as the influence of the steam locomotive or of the cotton gin.



Sec.Sec. 293, 294.—Compare the condition of the United States in 1830 and 1800 as to (1) extent, (2) population, (3) interests and occupation of the people. Illustrate these changes by maps, diagrams, or tables.

Sec.Sec. 295, 296.—a. How had the use of steamboats increased?

b. Why had this led to the separation of the West and the East? How was it proposed to overcome this difficulty?

c. Do you think that roads should be built at national expense? Give your reasons.

d. Mark on a map the Erie Canal, and show why it was so important. Describe the effects of its use.

Sec.Sec. 297, 298.—a. Do you think that railroads should be carried on by the state or by individuals? Why?

b. What influence has the railroad had upon the Union? Upon people's minds? Upon the growth of cities? (Take your own city or town and think of it without railroads anywhere.)

Sec.Sec. 299, 300.—a. Explain how one discovery or invention affected other industries (as shown, for instance, in the use of anthracite coal).

b. How did these inventions make large cities possible?

c. Why is the education of our people so important?

d. What were the advantages of Webster's "Dictionary"?


Sec.Sec. 301, 302.—a. Why is this chapter called the "Reign of Andrew Jackson"? Do you think that a President should "reign"?

b. In what respects was Jackson fitted for President?

c. What is meant by his "kitchen cabinet"?

d. What is a "party machine"? How was it connected with the "spoils system"?

e. Did the "spoils system" originate with Jackson?

Sec.Sec. 303, 304.—a. Compare carefully the North and the South. Why was the North growing rich faster than the South?

b. Where have you already found the ideas expressed in Calhoun's Exposition? Why was this doctrine so dangerous? Are the states "sovereign states"?

Sec. 305.—a. What view did Webster take? How does his speech show the increase of the love of the Union?

b. What is the "supreme law of the land"? Whose business is it to decide on the constitutionality of a law? Is this wise?

Sec.Sec. 306, 307.—a. How did South Carolina oppose the Act of 1832?

b. How did Jackson oppose the South Carolinians?

c. Would a state be likely to nullify an act of Congress now? Give your reasons.

Sec.Sec. 308, 309.—a. Was the United States Bank like the national banks of the present day?

b. Why did Jackson dislike and distrust the United States Bank?

c. If a bill is vetoed by the President, how can it still be made a law?

Sec.Sec. 310.—a. Where did the United States government keep its money?

b. How did Jackson try to ruin the United States Bank?

Sec.Sec. 311-313.—a. Why did people wish to buy Western lands? How did the favoring the "pet banks" increase speculation?

b. What was done with the surplus? What was the effect of this measure?

c. How did Jackson try to stop speculation?


Sec.Sec. 314, 315.—a. Why did "prices go down with a rush"?

b. Describe the Independent Treasury plan. Where is the nation's money kept to-day?

Sec.Sec. 316, 317.—a. State briefly the reasons for the split in the Republican party. Had you lived in 1840, for whom would you have voted? voted? Why?

b. Give an account of the early life of Harrison.

c. Describe the campaign of 1840, and compare it with the last presidential campaign.

Sec.Sec. 318, 319.—a. What party came into power in 1841? Under the spoils system what would naturally follow?

b. To what party did Tyler belong?

c. Why was it difficult for the government to carry on its business without a bank or a treasury?

Sec.Sec. 320.—a. What dispute had long existed with Great Britain?

b. Why did the British object to the boundary line laid down in the Treaty of 1783? Show on a map how the matter was finally settled.

Sec.Sec. 321, 322.—a. Explain carefully the application of electricity made by Morse. Of what advantage has the telegraph been to the United States?

b. How did the McCormick reaper solve the difficulty in wheat growing? What were the results of this invention?

c. Compare its influence upon our history with that of the cotton gin.


a. Why is the period covered by this division so important?

b. Give the principal events since the Revolution which made Western expansion possible.

c. Explain, using a chart, the changes in parties since 1789.

d. What were the good points in Jackson's administration? The mistakes?


a. Select some one invention between 1790 and 1835, describe it, explain the need for it, and the results which have followed from it.

b. The Erie Canal.

c. The career of Webster, Clay, or Calhoun.

d. Life and works of any one of the literary men of this period.

e. The Ashburton Treaty, with a map.


The personality of Andrew Jackson, representing as he does a new element in social and political life, deserves a careful study. The financial policy of his administration is too difficult for children. With brief comparisons with present-day conditions the study of this subject can be confined to what is given in the text. Jackson's action at the time of the nullification episode may well be compared with Buchanan's inaction in 1860-61. The constitutional portions of Webster's great speeches are too hard for children, but his burning words of patriotism may well be learned by the whole class. The spoils system may be lightly treated here. It can best be studied in detail later in connection with civil service reform.



Books for Study and Reading

References.—Scribner's Popular History, IV; McMaster's With the Fathers, Coffin's Building the Nation, 314-324.

Home Readings.—Wright's Stories of American Progress; Bolton's Famous Americans; Brooks's Boy Settlers; Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin; Lodge's Webster.



[Sidenote: Antislavery sentiments of the Virginians.]

[Sidenote: Slavery in the far South.]

[Sidenote: Source-book, 244-248, 251-260.]

323. Growth of Slavery in the South.—South of Pennsylvania and of the Ohio River slavery had increased greatly since 1787 (p. 136). Washington, Jefferson, Henry, and other great Virginians were opposed to the slave system. But they could find no way to end it, even in Virginia. The South Carolinians and Georgians fought every proposition to limit slavery. They even refused to come into the Union unless they were given representation in Congress for a portion at least of their slaves. And in the first Congress under the Constitution they opposed bitterly every proposal to limit slavery. Then came Whitney's invention of the cotton gin. That at once made slave labor vastly more profitable in the cotton states and put an end to all hopes of peaceful emancipation in the South.

[Sidenote: Proposal to end slavery with compensation.]

[Sidenote: The Liberator.]

324. Rise of the Abolitionists.—About 1830 a new movement in favor of the negroes began. Some persons in the North, as, for example, William Ellery Channing, proposed that slaves should be set free, and their owners paid for their loss. They suggested that the money received from the sale of the public lands might be used in this way. But nothing came of these suggestions. Soon, however, William Lloyd Garrison began at Boston the publication of a paper called the Liberator. He wished for complete abolition without payment. For a time he labored almost alone. Then slowly others came to his aid, and the Antislavery Society was founded.

[Sidenote: Anti-abolitionist sentiment in the North. Higginson, 268.]

[Sidenote: Disunion sentiment of abolitionists.]

[Sidenote: The Garrison riot, 1835. Source-Book, 248-251.]

325. Opposition to the Abolitionists.—It must not be thought that the abolitionists were not opposed. They were most vigorously opposed. Very few Northern men wished to have slavery reestablished in the North. But very many Northern men objected to the antislavery agitation because they thought it would injure business. Some persons even argued that the antislavery movement would bring about the destruction of the Union. In this idea there was a good deal of truth. For Garrison grew more and more outspoken. He condemned the Union with slaveholders and wished to break down the Constitution, because it permitted slavery. There were anti-abolitionist riots in New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire. In Boston the rioters seized Garrison and dragged him about the streets (1835).

[Sidenote: Nat Turner's Rebellion, 1831.]

[Sidenote: Incendiary publications in the mails. McMaster, 313-314.]

326. Slave Rebellion in Virginia, 1831.—At about the time that Garrison established the Liberator at Boston, a slave rebellion broke out in Virginia. The rebels were led by a slave named Nat Turner, and the rebellion is often called "Nat Turner's Rebellion." It was a small affair and was easily put down. But the Southerners were alarmed, because they felt that the Northern antislavery agitation would surely lead to more rebellions. They called upon the government to forbid the sending of the Liberator and similar "incendiary publications" through the mails.

[Sidenote: Right of petition.]

[Sidenote: J.Q. Adams and antislavery petitions, 1836. Hero Tales, 151-159.]

[Sidenote: The "gag-resolutions." McMaster, 314-315.]

327. The Right of Petition.—One of the most sacred rights of freemen is the right to petition for redress of grievances. In the old colonial days the British Parliament had refused even to listen to petitions presented by the colonists. But the First Amendment to the Constitution forbade Congress to make any law to prevent citizens of the United States from petitioning. John Quincy Adams, once President, was now a member of the House of Representatives. In 1836 he presented petition after petition, praying Congress to forbid slavery in the District of Columbia. Southerners, like Calhoun, thought these petitions were insulting to Southern slaveholders. Congress could not prevent the antislavery people petitioning. They could prevent the petitions being read when presented. This they did by passing "gag-resolutions." Adams protested against these resolutions as an infringement on the rights of his constituents. But the resolutions were passed. Petitions now came pouring into Congress. Adams even presented one from some negro slaves.

[Sidenote: Growth of antislavery feeling in the North.]

328. Change in Northern Sentiment.—All these happenings brought about a great change of sentiment in the North. Many people, who cared little about negro slaves, cared a great deal about the freedom of the press and the right of petition. Many of these did not sympathize with the abolitionists, but they wished that some limit might be set to the extension of slavery. At the same time the Southerners were uniting to resist all attempts to interfere with slavery. They were even determined to add new slave territory to the United States.



[Sidenote: The Mexican Republic, 1821.]

[Sidenote: Texas secedes from Mexico, 1836, McMaster, 320-322; Hero Tales, 173-181.]

329. The Republic of Texas.—The Mexicans won their independence from Spain in 1821 and founded the Mexican Republic. Soon immigrants from the United States settled in the northeastern part of the new republic. This region was called Texas. The Mexican government gave these settlers large tracts of land, and for a time everything went on happily. Then war broke out between the Mexicans and the Texans. Led by Samuel Houston, a settler from Tennessee, the Texans won the battle of San Jacinto and captured General Santa Anna, the president of the Mexican Republic. The Texans then established the Republic of Texas (1836) and asked to be admitted to the Union as one of the United States.

[Sidenote: Question of the admission of Texas to the Union.]

330. The Southerners and Texas.—The application of Texas for admission to the Union came as a pleasant surprise to many Southerners. As a part of the Mexican Republic Texas had been free soil. But Texas was well suited to the needs of the cotton plant. If it were admitted to the Union, it would surely be a slave state or, perhaps, several slave states. The question of admitting Texas first came before Jackson. He saw that the admission of Texas would be strongly opposed in the North. So he put the whole matter to one side and would have nothing to do with it. Tyler acted very differently. Under his direction a treaty was made with Texas. This treaty provided for the admission of Texas to the Union. But the Senate refused to ratify the treaty. The matter, therefore, became the most important question in the presidential election of 1844.

[Sidenote: Candidates for the presidency, 1844.]

[Sidenote: The Liberty party.]

[Sidenote: Polk elected.]

331. Election of 1844.—President Tyler would have been glad of a second term. But neither of the great parties wanted him as a leader. The Democrats would have gladly nominated Van Buren had he not opposed the acquisition of Texas. Instead they nominated James K. Polk of Tennessee, an outspoken favorer of the admission of Texas. The Whigs nominated Henry Clay, who had no decided views on the Texas question. He said one thing one day, another thing another day. The result was that the opponents of slavery and of Texas formed a new party. They called it the Liberty party and nominated a candidate for President. The Liberty men did not gain many votes. But they gained enough votes to make Clay's election impossible and Polk was chosen President.

[Sidenote: Texas admitted by joint resolution, 1845. McMaster, 325.]

332. Acquisition of Texas, 1845.—Tyler now pressed the admission of Texas upon Congress. The two houses passed a joint resolution. This resolution provided for the admission of Texas, and for the formation from the territory included in Texas of four states, in addition to the state of Texas, and with the consent of that state. Before Texas was actually admitted Tyler had ceased to be President. But Polk carried out his policy, and on July 4, 1845, Texas became one of the United States.

[Sidenote: Southern boundary of Texas.]

[Sidenote: Taylor on the Rio Grande.]

[Sidenote: War declared, 1846. Lowell in Source-Book, 271-276.]

333. Beginning of the Mexican War, 1846.—The Mexicans had never acknowledged the independence of Texas. They now protested against its admission to the United States. Disputes also arose as to the southern boundary of Texas. As no agreement could be reached on this point, President Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to march to the Rio Grande and occupy the disputed territory. Taylor did as he was ordered, and the Mexicans attacked him. Polk reported these facts to Congress, and Congress authorized the President to push on the fighting on the ground that "war exists, and exists by the act of Mexico herself."

[Sidenote: The three parts of the Mexican War.]

[Sidenote: Taylor's campaign. McMaster, 326-327.]

[Sidenote: Battle of Buena Vista, 1847.]

334. Taylor's Campaigns.—The Mexican War easily divides itself into three parts: (1) Taylor's forward movement across the Rio Grande; (2) Scott's campaign, which ended in the capture of the City of Mexico; and (3) the seizure of California. Taylor's object was to maintain the line of the Rio Grande, then to advance into Mexico and injure the Mexicans as much as possible. The battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma (May 8, 9, 1846) were fought before the actual declaration of war. These victories made Taylor master of the Rio Grande. In September he crossed the Rio Grande. So far all had gone well. But in the winter many of Taylor's soldiers were withdrawn to take part in Scott's campaign. This seemed to be the Mexicans' time. They attacked Taylor with four times as many men as he had in his army. This battle was fought at Buena Vista, February, 1847. Taylor beat back the Mexicans with terrible slaughter. This was the last battle of Taylor's campaign.

[Sidenote: Scott's campaign. Eggleston, 284-286; McMaster, 327-328.]

[Sidenote: He captures City of Mexico, 1847.]

335. Scott's Invasion of Mexico.—The plan of Scott's campaign was that he should land at Vera Cruz, march to the city of Mexico,—two hundred miles away,—capture that city, and force the Mexicans to make peace. Everything fell out precisely as it was planned. With the help of the navy Scott captured Vera Cruz. He had only about one-quarter as many men as the Mexicans. But he overthrew them at Cerro Gordo, where the road to the City of Mexico crosses the coast mountains (April, 1847). With the greatest care and skill he pressed on and at length came within sight of the City of Mexico. The capital of the Mexican Republic stood in the midst of marshes, and could be reached only over narrow causeways which joined it to the solid land. August 20, 1847, Scott beat the Mexicans in three pitched battles, and on September 14 he entered the city with his army, now numbering only six thousand men fit for active service.

[Sidenote: California.]

[Sidenote: The "Bear Republic," 1846.]

[Sidenote: California seized by American soldiers.]

336. Seizure of California.—California was the name given to the Mexican possessions on the Pacific coast north of Mexico itself. There were now many American settlers there, especially at Monterey. Hearing of the outbreak of the Mexican War, they Set up a republic of their own. Their flag had a figure of a grizzly bear painted on it, and hence their republic is often spoken of as the Bear Republic. Commodore Stockton with a small fleet was on the Pacific coast. He and John C. Fremont assisted the Bear Republicans until soldiers under Colonel Kearney reached them from the United States by way of Santa Fe.

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