Saturday, July 14, 2018

The History of the United States Part 3 (1789-1849)

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The History of the United States Part 3 (1789-1849)

Extraordinary and exciting moments have always prodigiously existed in American history. Times have incredibly changed during this era of American history too. For sixty years, from 1789 to 1849, America burgeoned in its infrastructure, yet it maintained the twin injustices of slavery and the pernicious oppression against Native American people. That is exemplified in the passage of the evil Fugitive Slave Act and the execution of the Trail of Tears (that basically destroyed the human rights of so many indigenous human beings). After the Bill of Rights was created, cities and towns flourished in the South, in the East Coast, and in the Midwest. Growing pains developed in the midst of a new nation. People talked about slavery, there were more conflicts with Britain (culminating in the War of 1812), and multiple disputes transpired with Native Americans. The North and the South became increasingly divided on politics, social attitudes, slavery, and economic interests. The modern day Democratic and Republican parties commenced after the end of the Anti-Federalist plus the Federalist Parties. Abolitionists of diverse backgrounds fought to end slavery once and for all. They included courageous people like: Frances Harper, David Walker, Elijah Lovejoy, Lucy Stone, Sojourner Truth, James Forten, and other human beings. The United States of America back then was slow to embrace abolitionism and women's rights, but social movements did spread far and wide in order to make real, legitimately progressive social change. The more that things change, the more that they stay the same though. Courageous people back then like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and others continuously fought for justice. This time period saw monumental events plus tragedies like the splitting up of black families of the antebellum period and the implementation of dilapidated reservations. Viciously racist Presidents like the notorious Andrew Jackson harmed communities nationwide with their reactionary policies. Likewise, there were those people who desired a great, equitable society. Therefore, the journey of life goes forth like a river and the truth is on our side.

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America's Start

Early American society started with new changes. By 1789, the Federalists had their peak of political power from that year until 1800. 1789 was a year of new beginnings in the American nation. George Washington was the first President of the United States under the new Constitution in 1789. Before he came into NYC, Washington said the following words on April 16, 1789, "About ten o'clock I bade farewell to Mount Vernon, to private life, and to domestic felicity, and with a mind oppressed with more anxious and painful sensation than I have words to express, set out for New York." The early government had its first capital in New York City. This time was a time of new beginnings. He was once the American Revolutionary War general and commander in chief of the Continental Army. The Judiciary Act of 1789 established the federal judiciary system. James Madison made sure that the law was established as he was part of the first Congress being part of the House of Representatives.  John Jay was appointed by George Washington as the first Chief of the United States Supreme Court. The Cabinet system grew with the State, Treasury, and War departments (James Knox was the Secretary of War, Thomas Jefferson led the Department of State, and Alexander Hamilton was the Secretary of Treasury). There was the Attorney  General who was Edmund Randolph.

The United States Bill of Rights was established by 1791. The national capital moved from New York City to Philadelphia in 1790 and finally into Washington, D.C. in 1800. The Washington administration expanded the national government. After the Revolutionary War, the U.S. had a national debt of $52 million from the Confederation. America was a mostly farm economy with 3 million people. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton assumed the debts of the states (the debt holders received federal bonds) and created the Bank of the United States. He wanted to stabilize the financial system. He created a system of tariffs or taxes on imports and other taxes to pay off the debt and grow the financial infrastructure. Hamilton wanted to tax the American people, mostly farmers, to pay for the debts. Hamilton wanted a loose construction of the Constitution (or giving the Constitution more latitude to enact laws via the implied powers) while Jefferson wants a strict construction of the Constitution (or limiting the federal government power solely on what is mentioned literally in the Constitutional text). Alexander Hamilton was a leader of his political party of the Federalist Party. Hamilton's plan for the national bank was approved by Congress in 1791. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison formed the opposition Republican Party (or the Democratic-Republican Party). During the early years of the French Revolution, George Washington passed the Proclamation of Neutrality in 1793. It wanted neutrality in the midst of European wars. Thomas Jefferson would go on to support the French Revolution. In the same year, the Citizen Genet affair came about. This was when a French diplomat recruited Americans in order to support the French. This would violate the policy of neutrality. Samuel Slater opened a textile mill in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Hamilton and Washington formed the Jay Treaty in 1794 which reestablished good relations with Britain. Jefferson and his followers protested this and the voters aligned behind one party or the other to form the First Party System. Jefferson was more sympathetic with the French Revolution too. Federalists promoted business, financial and commercial interests and wanted more trade with Britain. Republicans accused the Federalists of plans to establish a monarchy, turn the rich into a ruling class, and making the United States a pawn of the British. The treaty passed, but politics became intensely heated. The Anti-Federalists were heavily popular among farmers and many slave owners.Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin in 1794 that revolutionized cotton production and increased slavery throughout especially the South. In the same year, the U.S. involvement in the foreign slave trade was prohibited with the Slave Trade Act of 1794.

The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 was about western settlers protesting against a federal tax on liquor. This was one of the early tests of the federal government. It started in western Pennsylvanian mountains. It was about about the difficulty in transporting large bushels of grain to eastern markets. Rural farmers didn't like the excise taxes on whiskey. It reminded them of British taxes given to them before the American Revolutionary War. The farmers started to attack and intimidate tax collectors. Hamilton commanded 12,000 militiamen to stop the Whiskey Rebellion.

Later, Washington called out the state militia and personally led an army to end the rebellion (as the insurgents left) and the national government’s power was established. Most people didn't resist, but stayed home or ran away. Hamilton arrested 20 suspects, but only 2 were convicted. Jefferson didn't like Hamilton's views and mocked Hamilton's actions.The opposition to Hamilton led by Jefferson and Hamilton grew stronger. This later evolved into the political divisions that we see today. Jefferson and Madison supported the Democratic societies that opposed the Federalists while Washington criticized these societies as a threat to the republic. The Federalists had leaders like Alexander Hamilton and John Adams while the Democratic Republicans (who had support among farmers) were led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Most Federalists (who had support among merchants) were in the North and most Democratic Republicans were in the South, but both parties had members of every class including people of every region of America.

George Washington didn’t want to have more than 2 terms. He gave his famous farewell address. He promoted the benefits of the federal government, he claimed to promote ethics and morality (when he hypocritically owned slaves) and warned against foreign alliances. He opposed the formation of political parties as divisive. Pinckney's Treaty or the Treaty of San Lorenzo was signed with Spain. It established borders, allowed navigation of the Mississippi River, and granted access to New Orleans. The treaty encouraged westward migration and weakened Native American resistance to the theft of their lands. From 1790-1794, there was a conflict among Native Americans and Americans over the fertile Ohio valley region. This land saw an increase of settlers after the Treaty of Paris. In 1790, Native Americans (led by the war chief Little Turtle) defeated a small force sent by President Washington to stop attacks against settlers.  The British gave Little Turtle weapons to defeat a larger American force which was commanded by the American General Arthur St. Clair, in 1791. In August of 1794, American General Anthony Wayne defeated the Native American confederacy at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. It's named after the fallen trees at the battle location. Wayne's victory caused the Native Americans to sign a peace treaty. The Treaty of Greenville caused the Native American leaders to give up most of present state of Ohio to the U.S. government. This opened up the Northwest Territory to settlement. By 1793, Britain and France resumed war and America tried to maintain neutrality. In 1795, America signed a treaty with Spain. This caused more American settlers to move down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. Goods could travel from New Orleans into the East.

John Adams was a Federalist. The national election of 1796 was very contentious. The Federalist and Republican parties fought for power. Neither side didn't want to embrace political parties per se since they viewed them as a form of conspiracy against legitimate government. John Adams defeated Thomas Jefferson in the 1796 election to be the 2nd President of America. Thomas Jefferson was elected the 2nd Vice President under John Adams. By this time of 1796, George Washington issued his famous Farewell Address where he will not serve a third term and he advised caution in foreign affairs (i.e. he didn't want unnecessary foreign entanglements).

The French Revolution began in 1789. Anti-Federalists regretted the executions in France, but supported it as a fight against monarchy. Thomas Jefferson praised the French Revolution as "the most sacred cause that ever man was engaged in." The Federalists mainly opposed the French revolutionaries as bloody anarchists wanting to destroy religion and social order. War loomed with France (with the French Revolution and the Haitian Revolution) and the Federalists used the opportunity to try to silence the Republicans with the Alien and Sedition Acts, build up a large army with Hamilton at the head, and prepare for a French invasion. However, the Federalists became divided after Adams sent a successful peace mission to France that ended the Quasi-War of 1798. This came about the XYZ Affair when French officials humiliated U.S. diplomats. Many Americans demanded war. Adams was completely wrong to sign the anti-democratic Alien and Sedition Acts. These acts extended the period of residency for foreign immigrants applying for naturalization. It empowered the President to deport or imprison foreigners. It also criminalized what was deemed, "malicious" writings that criticized the government. So, these acts were against free speech overtly. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison anonymously author the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, exploring ways for states to resist the Alien and Sedition Acts. The KY legislature adopted additional resolutions in 1799. One journalist named James Callender was prosecuted for sedition for criticizing President Adams.

From 1789 to 1849, slavery was very prominent in American society. During the first two decades after the Revolutionary War, there was an increase of freed African Americans. Many northern states abolished slavery being inspired by the ideals of equality (and some states were economically less reliant on slavery). Some states of the Upper South made manumission easier. There was, as a result, an increase in the proportion of free black people in the Upper South (as a percentage of the total non-white population) from less than one percent in 1792 to more than 10 percent by 1810. By that date, a total of 13.5 percent of all black people in the United States were free. After that date, with the demand for slaves on the rise because of the Deep South's expanding cotton cultivation, the number of manumissions declined sharply; and an internal U.S. slave trade became an important source of wealth for many planters and traders. In 1809, President James Madison severed the US's involvement with the Atlantic slave trade.

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The early 1800's

By the turn of the century, Thomas Jefferson was finally elected President in 1800. This came about John Adams doing unique changes. He didn't expand the army. He sent new diplomats to France to eek peace. Many Federalists were angry like Hamilton, who tried to stop Adams' reelection campaign. Adams lost the 1800. Also, in 1800, almost 4000,000 Americans lived beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Many of his policies influenced America to this very day. He was contradictory. He claimed to want a small government with independent yeoman farmers and planters living comfortably in a republican society. Yet, he allowed a massive expansion of government to exist with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. This allowed U.S. settlers to travel west beyond the Mississippi River. Jefferson distrusted cities, factories, and banks. He distrusted the federal government and judges. So, he was like a Tea Party member before the Tea Party ever existed. Jefferson wanted to cut the deficit by cutting down the Army and Navy, streamlining the government's bureaucracy, and increased revenues from imports. He wanted to weaken the judiciary. Yet, he didn’t prevail. He met his match in John Marshall, a Federalist from Virginia. Ironically, John Marshall was Thomas Jefferson's cousin. Jefferson was a Democratic Republican and John Marshall was a Federalist. Although the Constitution specified a Supreme Court, its functions were vague until Marshall, the Chief Justice (1801–35), defined them, especially the power to overturn acts of Congress or states that violated the Constitution, first enunciated in 1803 in Marbury v. Madison. That decision ruled the Judiciary Act of 1789 unconstitutional. Chief justice John Marshall wrote that the court has the power of judicial review or declaring laws unconstitutional if they don't correspond to the essence of the Constitution. This check of the Supreme Court in dealing with laws is called judicial review.

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He or Thomas Jefferson allowed Lewis and Clark to lend their expedition to explore lands west of the Mississippi River. Thomas Jefferson wanted this since he believed that white Americans have the right to use farms as a means to spread his republican ideals in the North American continent as Jefferson was a racist and didn't believe in true human equality. Jefferson wanted the to use the Louisiana Territory to expand America into the Pacific. The Louisian Territory was controlled by Spain, then by France via Napoleon Banoparte. By 1803, Napoleon sold the lands of the Lousisian Territory to Thomas Jefferson. America paid $15 million for it.Tripoli declared war on America in 1801 starting the Barbary Wars. In 1804, Thomas Jefferson allowed the Mreiwether Lewis and William Clark expedition to exist .  Both men met Native Americans, studied animal species, and saw the diversity of the environments of the American lands. One Native Americans who worked with them was a woman named Sacagawea. She was a Lemhi Shoshone woman, who helped Lewis and Clark in their objectives.

America defeated Tripoli in the first Barbary Wars by 1805. These war started after the Barbary States of North Africa (as found in Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli) wanted to increase the price for Americans to travel near their lands. The Washington and Adams administration paid the Barbary states protection money before. Jefferson though that the protection money was too expensive, so a war existed. This caused the Americans to have access in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1807, the United States Congress a law banning U.S. involvement in the foreign slave trade by January 1, 1808. In that year, the Chesapeake affair existed. This was when a British naval vessel searched for deserters, but fired on an American frigate. Robert Fulton started steamboat transportation on the Hudson River (in New York state) in 1807. Jefferson signed an embargo against Britain in 1807 for the reason of impressment of the British taking American sailors and forcing them to serve in the British navy. The embargo failed and harmed the American economy, so Congress ended the embargo very quickly. In 1808, James Madison was elected President and he was from Virginia. Congress passed the 1809 Intercourse Act that bans American trading with Britain and France. It allowed trading with other nations. The Supreme Court in Fletcher v. Peck said that states may invalidate contracts.

U.S. Army forces defeat Native Americans at the Battle of Tippecanoe in Indiana on November 7, 1811. Back then in Indiana, Native Americans wanted to preserve their lands and culture. The Shawnee leaders of the prophet Tenskwatawa and the warrior Tecumseh fought for their lands.  Governor William Henry Harrison of the Indiana Territory organized troops to defeat the Native American forces. James Madison was re-elected President on 1812.

The War of 1812 existed because of many reasons. One was that many Americans were angry at the British violation of Americans ships’ neutral rights in order to hurt France. The British used the seizure of 10,000 American sailors via the Royal Navy in order to fight Napoleon. That act was controversial. The British supported Native Americans in attacking American settlers in the Midwest. Some of the British may wanted to annex part or all of British North America. Many young war hawks like John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, Henry Clay of Kentucky, Felix Grundy of Kentucky, and others wanted war with Britain. Despite strong opposition from the Northeast, especially from Federalists who did not want to disrupt trade with Britain, Congress declared war on Britain on June 18, 1812. The war was brutal among both sides. Both sides invaded each other and were repulsed. The Americans forces struggled to defeat the British until late in the war.  Jefferson was an advisor to James Madison. Jefferson was wrong to assume that American forces could defeat Canada and there would be no need of a larger militia. Americans tried to invade Canada, but they were defeated during the early parts of the War of 1812. In 1813, Americans recaptured Detroit. In 1814, General Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek Native Americans in Alabama. The American militia was weakened since many of their soldiers didn’t want to leave their homes and invade Canada. The British used a blockade in the Atlantic Ocean.

This ruined American commerce and bankrupted the Treasury. New Englanders smuggled supplies to Britain in anger.  The Americans under General William Henry Harrison finally gained naval control of Lake Erie and defeated the Native Americans under Tecumseh in Canada, while Andrew Jackson defeated many Native American forces in the Southeast. The Native American aspect to the War on 1812, involving settler expansion into the Midwest, was permanently ended. The British invaded and occupied much of Maine. The British raided and burned Washington, but were repelled at Baltimore in 1814 – where the "Star Spangled Banner" was written to celebrate the American success. That anthem was created by the slave owner Francis Scott Key. The anthem originally supported slavery. In upstate New York, a major British invasion of New York State was turned back. Finally in early 1815, Andrew Jackson decisively defeated a major British invasion at the Battle of New Orleans, making him the most famous war hero in the eyes of many. Napoleon was gone. Both sides came into the peace table. Prewar boundaries remain. Americans claimed victory on February 18, 1815 as news came almost simultaneously of Jackson's victory of New Orleans and the peace treaty that left the prewar boundaries in place. Americans swelled with pride at success in the "second war of independence"; the naysayers of the antiwar Federalist Party were put to shame and the party never recovered. The Native Americans were defeated as they never gained the independent nationhood Britain had promised them and no longer posed a serious threat as settlers poured into the Midwest. New states developed like Indiana in 1816, Mississippi in 1817, Illinois in 1818, and Alabama in 1819.

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A New Era

Soon, the Era of Good Feelings transpired. The Federalists were strong opponents of the War of 1812. Therefore, they held the Hartford Convention of 1814. Some hinted at disunion. There was national euphoria after the victory at New Orleans. The Federalists lost their power as a political party. President Madison and most Republicans realized that they couldn’t end the Bank of the United States since they had to finance the war. They used foreign bankers to charter the Second Bank of the United States in 1816. The Republicans also imposed tariffs designed to protect the infant industries that had been created when Britain was blockading the U.S. With the collapse of the Federalists as a party, the adoption of many Federalist principles by the Republicans, and the systematic policy of President James Monroe in his two terms (1817–25) to downplay partisanship, the nation entered an Era of Good Feelings. This era existed with far less partisanship than before (or after), and closed out the First Party System. The Missouri Compromise came about in 1820. It made Missouri a slave state. Maine would be a free state. Slavery was no longer allowed north of latitude 36 30 of Missouri's southern border. James Monroe by 1820 was re-elected as President without much opposition. The Federalist Party ends completely by this time. Most national politicians are Republican. James Monroe formed his Monroe Doctrine by 1823. It was the view describing the United States' opinion that European powers should no longer colonize or interfere in the Americas. This was a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States. The Monroe Doctrine was adopted in response to American and British fears over Russian and French expansion into the Western Hemisphere. By the 1820's, railroads existed in America. The transportation was in full bloom with canals, roads, railroads, steamboats, etc. The Industrial Revolution flourished along with fights for economic justice and labor rights. In 1837, Samuel F. B. Morse invented the electric telegraph. Groups like the Workingmen Party promoted labor unions in order to defend the interests of working people.

By the time of 1822, America recognized the independence of Latin American nations. Stephen F. Austin established a colony in Mexican controlled Texas. Mexico wanted them to come initially for economic reasons. The settlers live in the northern territories of then Mexican controlled Texas. They give land to the settlers in the empresario system. The Mexican political leaders want the settlers to be Mexican citizens, but desire them to adopt Catholicism and give up slavery. The Mexicans were right to oppose slavery as slavery was immoral, but wrong to try to force the settlers to be Roman Catholics since religious freedom dictates that people don't have to be Catholic if he or she wants doesn't want to. The Americans settlers take up the offer, but they refuse to convert to Catholicism or embrace emancipation.

In 1824, John Quincy Adams was elected President. The election was decided in the House of Representatives when no candidate won an electoral majority. Andrew Jackson won the popular vote. He accused Adams of getting his office by a corrupt bargain when the Speaker of the House Henry Clay was named secretary of state. In 1825, President John Quincy Adams proposed an expansive programs of internal improvements like a national university, a national observatory, and the adoption of metric system. He wanted the construction of roads and canals. The Erie Canal is fined in 1825. This canal linked the Great Lakes across New York to the Hudson River and new York City. It was a project funded by state and private investments. it was the most successful canal of that time period. Communities grew canal all over America afterwards. In 81826, the U.S. anti-Masonry movement existed. This came after the disappearance and murder of the former Freemason William Morgan. The Anti-Masonic Party came about in 1828 to oppose the views and political influence of Freemasonry. It had nominating convention and other things , but it was short lived. John Quincy Adams was a public dissident of Freemasonry.

Image result for andrew jacksonBust of Jackson in military uniform. Hair is wavy and falls partway down the forehead.

The Reactionary Andrew Jackson (and more events)

In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected President. He was a Democrat who lived in Tennessee. He was wounded during the American Revolution and his campaign manager was Martin Van Buren. Jackson was an early leader of the Democratic Party. During that year, Congress passed a protective tariff and construction started on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  Later, the nullification crisis existed. This was when John C. Calhoun promoted this doctrine in his "South Carolina Exposition and Protest" agenda. He wanted states to judge the tariff law as unconstitutional since it favors northerner manufacturing at the expense of southern agriculture. Calhoun was a supporter of slavery and one of the most racist men in American history. In 1829, Jackson stared the spoils system of appointing federal officials. This was done in Jackson's mind to prevent corruption, but the chief criterion for selection was loyalty to Jackson. People should have loyalty to the truth. There was the Webster-Hayes debates in 1830 on tariff policy. Daniel Webster (from MA) and Robert Y. Hayne (from SC) discuss about the nature of the union, the power of the states, and the structure of federalism.

One of the most important events of American history was the Nat Turner rebellion of 1831. It was about Nat Turner and his allies fighting slavery in Southampton County, Virginia. Virginia had a large slave population. Turner used spiritual inspiration in order to fight for the freedom of our people. He knew of the risk involved and he gathered his supporters to plan and enact the rebellion. Many people died and Nat Turner plus many of his followers were captured. Later, Nat Turner was executed. the events in Southampton County caused Virginia and other places to enact even stricter pro-slavery laws in fear of more rebellions made by black people. It also encouraged the growth of the abolitionist movement too.

In 1832, President Andrew Jackson, 7th President of the United States, ran for a second term under the slogan "Jackson and no bank" and did not renew the charter of the Second Bank of the United States of America, ending the Bank in 1836.  Jackson was convinced that central banking was used by the elite to take advantage of the average American, and instead implemented state banks, popularly known as "pet banks." His policies ruined the U.S. economy for years. He was a slave owner, a racist, and a brutal enemy of the Native American people. The 1832 bank war was about Jackson refusing to believe that the federal government should have a concrete role in banking. Presidential candidate Henry Clay and Second Bank of the United States (or the SBUS) president Nicholas Biddle attempted to recharter the SBUS four years early. Jackson was very anti-SBUS. Jackson vetoed the recharter bill even though the SBUS was popular. Many people support his position. The Supreme Court decision of 1832 in Worcester v. Georgia ruled that Georgia laws don't apply to Cherokee lands. Justice Marshall said hat the Cherokee are, "domestic dependent nation." Andrew Jackson refused to follow the Supreme Court ruling and he pushed for the removal of the Cherokee from their lands anyway. The Tariff of 1832 is passed. The Blackhawk War comes about which is about U.S. forces fighting Native Americans in the upper Midwest and near the Mississippi River.

Andrew Jackson was so racist that he allowed Congress to pass the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This law authorized the President to negotiate treaties that exchanged Native American tribal lands in the eastern states for the lands west of the Mississippi River. In order words, it wanted to remove Native Americans (including the Five Civilized Tribes) from the American Southeast into the reservations of the West. Jacksonian Democrats wanted the forcible removal of native populations who refused to acknowledge state laws in the West. Andrew Jackson was a racist and he said the following words about Native Americans: "...What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic?" Southern whites wanted lands where Native Americans lived at. From 1827 to 130, governments in Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama unilaterally stole lands from Native Americans. The Native Americans appealed this policy to the federal courts. John Marshall's Supreme Court tired to help the Native Americans. in the decision Worcester v. Georgia, the Court ruled that Georgia's land seizure was unconstitutional. The Court said that federal law was superior to state law, but president Jackson violated policy to still forced Native Americans to leave their homes and go into the West. Jackson was a cruel nationalist and favored states' rights. Whigs and religious people rightfully opposed the move as inhumane. Thousands of deaths resulted from the relocations, as seen in the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Many of the Seminole Native Americans in Florida refused to move west; they fought the Army for years in the Seminole Wars.

Andrew Jackson was a disgraceful man to put it lightly. Soon, the Second Party System would exist after the First Party System of Federalists and Republicans ended in the 1820’s. The new party system was created from the well-organized local parties that appealed for the votes of almost all adult white men. Back then, most of the rights in America were given to adult white men for the most part. Black people, women, people of color in general, and the poor were not given equal rights back in those days in America. The former Jeffersonian (Democratic-Republican) party split into 2 factions. They split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe, and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party were heavily pro-states’ rights, pro-slavery, and believed in coalitions by 1828. The opposing faction was led by Henry Clay to help create the Whig Party. The Democratic Party had a small but decisive advantage over the Whigs until the 1850’s. The Whigs fell apart over the issue of slavery. The Democrats were diverse, but they believed in the Jeffersonian concept of an agrarian society, opposition to a central government, and opposed federal support to banks and corporations.They were like the far right movement of today's generation.  Some Democrats opposed educational reform or even a public educational system. Jackson and other Democrats had no sympathy for American Native Americans too (i.e. They organized the Trail of Tears).

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Social Movements including the Abolitionist Movement

The Second Great Awakening spread from ca. 1790 to the 1840’s. It was led by Protestants to promote church growth. During that period, membership grew rapidly among Baptists and Methodist congregations. Preachers led the movement. Millions became Christians and others formed new denominations. The Second Great Awakening influenced the development of many reform movements like abolitionists and temperance activists. The temperance movement wanted to stop alcoholism and try to discourage people from drinking alcohol in general. Some wanted to eliminate evil before the anticipated Second Coming of Jesus Christ. In 1816, the African Methodist Episcopal Church was founded and the black preacher Richard Allen was named as its first bishop. It is no secret that many African Americans were part of the Second Great Awakening. One black minister named Lemuel Haynes back in 1785 was perhaps the first African American to be ordained by am mainstream Protestant church.


Sister Mary Meachum was a famous abolitionist. 

Many Black Americans used spirituals and folk music to not only show joy, but to use coded language in trying to promote freedom from slavery. Many spirituals referenced the North Star as a way to know how to go into the North plus Canada. By 1826, the AME had almost 8,000 members. Many Jewish people faced discrimination back then too, which was wrong. By the early 1800,'s, only 2,000 Jewish people lived in America mostly in Rhode Island, New York , and Pennsylvania. More came by the 1840's. In the same year, the American Bible Society was founded to distribute the Bible. In Indiana, Richard Owen created an utopian community. In 1830, preacher Charles Finney started many revivals in Rochester, New York. Finney is famous for his preaching style being emotional and promoting the spreading of the Holy Spirit. In that same year, Joseph Smith published the book entitled, the Book of Mormon. It is the foundational text of the Mormons who are also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints. Mormons would spread far from New York state, Illinois (where Joseph Smith would be killed by a mob in 1844), and into Utah. In 1836, Ralph Waldo Emerson published, "Nature and" and founded the Transcendental Club to explore the philosophy of transcendentalism. Education was developed by Noah Webster and Horace Mann. Dorothea Dix promoted humane treatment for people with mental health issues. She helped to form mental hospitals in 15 states and Canada. She fought to improve prisons.

The abolitionist movement has existed for centuries. It grew into the next level by the 1800’s in America. By 1830, 2 million African Americans and Africans were slaves in America from Maryland to Texas. About one-third of slaves back then were children under the age of 10. Slaves worked all day and experienced whippings, murder, torture, assaults, rape, and separation from family members. In 1822, freeman Denmark Vesey wanted to organize a Charleston, South Carolina slave revolt. His planned ended by authorities and he was hanged including some of his followers. Free African Americans lived in American in many jobs. Some came into Liberia while others stayed in America. Some like David Walker attacked slavery.

The goal of the abolitionist movement wanted to end slavery completely worldwide. It had support among secularists, religious people, black people, women, etc. Some became abolitionists as a product of the Second Great Awakening.  In 1845, the author Edgar Allen Poe published his poem called "The Raven" It focused on the American romanticism literary movement. In that year of 1845 also, Frederick Douglas published his autobiography entitled, "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave." It was a book that captivated the nation and inspired the anti-slavery movement in America to go into new heights of power plus influence.

William Lloyd Garrison, a militant abolitionist, published the most influential of the many anti-slavery newspapers, The Liberator, while Frederick Douglass, an ex-slave, began writing for that newspaper around 1840 and started his own abolitionist newspaper North Star in 1847. William Lloyd Garrison worked with the American Anti-Slavery Society to use newspapers, speeches, and other forms of activism to fight slavery. Theodore weld married Angelina Grimke and they were both abolitionists too.  Southerners weren't the only ones who opposed abolitionism. Many northerners opposed it too. In fact, abolitionists were assaulted in Philadelphia back in 1838, Illinois, and in other places. Abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy was killed by a mob in Illinois back in 1837. It was divided too. Some anti-slavery activists were moderates like Abraham Lincoln. Others were progressives like Garrison, Douglass, and others who wanted slavery to immediately end.   From 1800 to 1849, Westward expansion increased too. As the American colonies and the new nation grew in population and area, many lands of the Native Americans were gone. This process ended by 1890-1912 when the last major farmlands and ranch lands were settled. Many Native American tribes resisted the imperialism of Manifest Destiny militarily. Yet, they were repelled by the U.S. Army and settlers. Many were relocated to reservations in the West.

The Manifest Destiny myth was a racist view that that settlers (especially settlers of European descent) had the God-given right to conquer the West literally irrespective of the original people living in those lands for thousands of years. Frederick Jackson Turner was a historian on the West who omitted the multicultural nature of the frontier. The real truth is that the West wasn't just made up of settlers. The West back then had black people, Native Americans, women, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and other human beings who lived in complex lives. Many markets were formed. Cultures merged. The modern West was created by conflicts, migration, and cultural diversity. The first settlers of the West, other than the Native Americans, were the Spanish in New Mexico. They were U.S. citizens by 1848. The Latinx population in California (or Californios) was overwhelmed by over 100,000 gold rush miners. California grew explosively. San Francisco by 1880 had become the economic hub of the entire Pacific Coast with a diverse population of a quarter million. From the early 1830's to 1869, the Oregon Trail and its many offshoots were used by over 300,000 settlers. '49ers (in the California Gold Rush), ranchers, farmers, and entrepreneurs and their families headed to California, Oregon, and other points in the far west. Wagon-trains took five or six months on foot; after 1869, the trip took 6 days by rail.

A massive increase of immigration characterize the early 19th century too. By the 1840's, farmers and a growing middle class developed in America. Also, the working class increasingly became composed of immigrants. Before 1840, most white immigrants were Protestants from England and Scotland. After 1840, things would be different. By the 1830's, 600,000 immigrants came into America and during the 1840's, 1,500,000 immigrants came into America. By the 1850's, 2,800,000 people came into America. By the 1840's, many immigrants came into America from Ireland and Germany. Ireland suffered the potato famine. A fungus destroyed potato crops, so many Irish people left America. Thousands of Irish starved to death . Corn, livestock, and other food was imported to England from Ireland. 1 million Irish people died of starvation. 1 million traveled into North America, and Australia. Germans came into America because of political revolution in Germany back then. Most Irish immigrants were Catholics while most German immigrants were both Catholic and Protestant. Many of them came into the seaports of the Northeast. Some Germans came into farmland. Very few came into the South. Other German and Irish immigrants traveled into the Midwest into cities like Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, and Cincinnati. New immigrants experience new social and economic realities. Some experienced poverty and lived in crowded neighborhoods. Some experienced discrimination and prejudice. Others competed for jobs and housing with free African Americans. Many racists in cities (including some but not all immigrants) attacked African Americans and killed some black people plus burned other's homes. Catholic immigrants experienced discrimination from some Protestants. Many Protestants back then viewed the Catholic Church as hostile to republicanism since in Catholicism the Pope is the earthy head of that church. I am not a member of the Roman Catholic church, but Catholics shouldn't be discrimination against unfairly. Protestant workers competed with immigrants for jobs too. Riots between Catholics and Protestants happened in Philadelphia in 1844 and in Baltimore in 1854. The movie Gangs of New York didn't lie. It was that violent out there back then. Many Whigs exploited ethnic tensions to promote xenophobic policies (they being nativists) like immigration restrictions. In response, many immigrants would join the Democratic party.

As early as 1838, Sarah Grimke wrote about women's right in her entitled, "Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Women." Many abolitionists supported women's rights and some didn't. That is why there were other abolitionists who after 1840's continued to advanced women's equality legitimately. Backthen, women couldn't vote, many women were denied educational opportunities. Some women couldn't own a business or loan money without a man's permission. It was terrible for women back then. In 1849, there was the Seneca Falls Conventions on women's rights. It was led by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. It called for equality for women. Its Declaration of Sentiments paralleled the Declaration of Independence in structure. It wanted voting rights, family law reforms, and greater access to education. It also wanted women to have leadership positions in civil and church institutions.

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War and Tensions

Manifest Destiny was rejected by modernizers like many Whigs (including Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln) who wanted to build cities and factories not more farms. Democrats strongly favored the expansion of slavery (and the inclusion of Texas), and won the key election of 1844. After a bitter debate in Congress the Republic of Texas was annexed in 1845, leading to war with Mexico, who considered Texas to be a part of Mexico due to the large numbers of Mexican settlers. Mexico was freed from Spanish imperialism and became an independent country. White settlers came into Texas later (which back then, Texas was part of Mexico). Many of these white settlers had slaves with them. War existed in part because of the dispute over the border between Texas and Mexico. Mexicans believed that the border was at the Neuces River while the Texas settlers considered the Rio Grande to be the border of Mexico. The Mexican–American War (1846–48) broke out with the Whigs opposed to the war, and the Democrats supporting the war. This was the second time when Congress declared war. Mexico has a dispute about its border. The U.S. wants the territories of Alta California and Nuevo Mexico. Mexico didn't want U.S. diplomats. Near the border, the war starts between Mexico and America. Author Henry David Thoreau was placed into jail for a night for refusing to pay for taxes in opposition to slavery and the Mexican-American War. In 1846, he gave speeches in favor of civil disobedience which is about opposing unjust governmental policies via peaceful social resistance. Congressman David Wilmot offered the Wilmot Proviso which would ban slavery in New Mexico in exchange for peace. Wilmot tries to send the policy to the treaty in ending the war, but he is unsuccessful. President Polk feared Whig power. In 1848, the new President would be Zachary Taylor.

Abraham Lincoln was a known critic of the war. back then in 1847, Abraham Lincoln was a Whig. The U.S. army, using regulars and large numbers of volunteers, defeated the Mexican armies, invaded at several points, captured Mexico City and won decisively. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war in 1848. the treaty also the United States to gain the areas of the Mexican Cessian, which includes 7 new states and an expansion of the Texas border. Many Democrats wanted to annex all of Mexico, but that idea was rejected by southerners who argued that by incorporating millions of Mexican people, mainly of multiracial heritage, would undermine the United States since many Democrats wanted America to be an exclusively white republic (back then, many white politicians were very overtly racist. Obviously, America was never exclusively white back then and today. Human beings of many colors living in America is a blessing). Instead, the U.S. took Texas and the lightly settled northern parts (California and New Mexico). The Latinx residents were given full citizenship and the Mexican Native Americans became Native Americans. The Free Soil Party existed by 1848 and they wanted to end slavery in territories. Simultaneously, gold was discovered in California in 1849, attracting over 100,000 men to northern California in a matter of months in the California Gold Rush. The gold rush involved long travel, racial tensions (as many Latinos and Asians Americans suffered racism and violence at the hands of racists during that time period). A peaceful compromise with Britain gave the U.S. ownership of the Oregon Country, which was renamed the Oregon Territory. That area would evolve into Oregon. 1849 was a beginning of the end of the early era of America. Tensions among the North and the South would evolve into the Civil War. After 1849, there was no turning back. The disagreements between the North and the South would carry over into the bloodiest war on American soil.

By Timothy

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