Presidents up to Civil War
GEORGE WASHINGTON (1789-1797) No party
From Virginia family (Mt. Vernon)
Commander-in-chief of Continental Army
Hamilton – Sec. of Treasury
First Bank of US, "loose constructionism"
Jefferson – Sec. of State
Anti-bank, "strict constructionism"
Knox – Sec. of War
1st internal threat to new govt
Farmers (whisky producers) violently protested large tax on whiskey (part of Hamilton's plan)
Washington dispatched 15,000 troops to squelch uprising
Showed effectiveness of strong federal govt. (unlike Shays)
Inspired new Democratic-Republicans (because biased against farmers)
Farewell Address after end of second term
Neutrality – because felt young nation could not withstand a war.
John Jay’s Treaty (1794-95) (Between US and Br)
Washington didn’t want entanglement with French (preferred Britain)
To resolve issues since independence (unfair trade, Br. forts, Indian attacks)
And impressment of sailors (forcing US sailors to fight on Br. ships)
Unpopular with public
Impressment not resolved
Britain given “most favored nation” status
But Br. seriously restricted US commercial access to Br. W. Indies.
Jay even conceded that Br. could seize US goods bound for France if they
Pinckney's Treaty (Treaty of San Lorenzo) (1795)
Spain feared close relationship between U.S. and Britain (Jay's Treaty)
Gave U.S. free navigation on Mississippi River
Settled border between Spain and U.S.
JOHN ADAMS (1797-1801) Federalist
Alien and Sedition Acts
Fined/imprisoned people who criticized govt.
Deportation of foreigners who were threat to national security
Extended naturalization from 5-14 years.
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions (1798-99)
Written by Jefferson and Madison
Gave states power to repeal (nullify) unconstitutional laws
Like Sedition Act above which violates 1st Amenment rights to free speech.
Not accepted nationally but helped strengthen Dem-Rep. Party
Adams expanded number of judges
Adams appointed new judges up to midnight on last night in office.
Including Chief Justice John Marshall (served from 1801-1835)
XYZ Affair (1797-98)
US representatives sent to France to negotiate with Fr. foreign minister, Talleyrand
Three French officials (nicknamed Mr. X, Mr. Y, Mr. Z) demanded bribes and loans to introduce Americans to Talleyrand.
Americans offended and left without negotiations.
Embarrassed pro-French Democratic-Republicans.
Led to undeclared quasi-war with France (1798-1800)
THOMAS JEFFERSON (1801-1809) Democratic-Republican
Wrote Declaration of Independence
Helped encourage France to join colonists in American Revolution
Secretary of State under George Washington
With Madison, wrote Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions (1798-99) (above)
Rivalry with Alexander Hamilton (Federalist)
Strict constructionist interpretation of constitution
Government could only do what was stated in constitution.
Favored agriculture over industry
Favored France over Britain
Favored state rights over federal rights
Favored small government
Question: To what extent was Jefferson true to his own ideals?
ELECTION OF 1800
Jefferson ran as president, Aaron Burr for VP
Because of election laws, Jefferson and Burr won equal number of votes (73 each)
Election was decided by House of Representatives
Hamilton urged supporters to vote for Jefferson over Burr
Election laws changed in 12th Amendment 1804
Challenged Hamilton to duel/ killed him 1804
"Revolution of 1800"
First transfer of power from one party to another. – no bloodshed
Reduced size of govt. (only 130 employed by exec. branch)
Louisiana Purchase 1803
Bought territory from Napoleon
Violation of "strict constructionism"
Sponsored Lewis and Clark expedition to explore new territory to the West
Marshall Court (see court cases)
Marbury v. Madison, 1801 - established judicial review for Supreme Court
First Barbary war.
Muslim principalities on Mediterranean: Tripoli (Libya), Tunis, Algiers, Morocco.
Privateers (pirates) took European merchant ships and held seamen for ransom.
Merchant countries forced to pay "protection money" for free passage.
US had small navy (see above)
Barbary pirates took 309 captives from Philadelphia frigate (ship)
Marines led by Stephen Decatur sent to Tripoli (see Marine Corps hymn)
Prisoners freed after $60,000 settlement
US officially neutral (profits trading with both sides)
British and French economic warfare against each other
British Orders in Council - no neutral ships in Britain unless through British port.
French Continental System - blocked British trade to European continent.
French seized 500 U.S. ships, British seized 1,000 and impressed 10-20,000 seamen
British-born seamen preferred to sail on U.S. ships because paid 3 times more.
Chesapeake incident -British boarded US navy ship and killed 18 sailors
Reaction = Embargo of 1807
Forbade US ships to go to foreign ports, no imports/exports
Caused hardship in U.S.
Non-Intercourse Act 1809
Passed in last few days of Jefferson's presidency.
Replaced Embargo 1807.
Opened trade with all nations except Britain and France
MADISON (1809-1817) Democratic-Republican
Madison considered "Father of the Constitution" (Helped draft Constitution and Bill of Rights)
Owned 100s of slaves in Montpelier, VA
Drafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions with Jefferson (see above)
Jefferson's Secretary of State (1801-1809)
First Bank charter expired 1811 (Madison, like Jefferson was against bank)
But Madison chartered a second bank to help finance war with Britain.
Bank began operating in 1816 with a 20-year charter (1816-1836) and 25 branches nationwide by 1832.
Macon's Bill No 2 (1810)
Lifted embargo on Britain and France for 3 months
If either attacked U.S. ships, the US would end trade with the other.
France agreed --> U.S. embargo on Britain
War of 1812 ("Madison's War")
ERA OF GOOD FEELINGS
JAMES MONROE (1817-1825) Democratic-Republican
From Virginia dynasty
Was an Anti-Federalist
ELECTION 1816 and 1820
Easily won 80% of electoral votes
Federalists weakened by Hartford Convention
Panic of 1819
First financial crisis due to:
Burst bubble of land speculation (speculators can't sell land they bought on credit)
Second Bank of U.S., wary about unregulated wildcat lending practices, called in loans to local banks which forced the local banks to recall loans from clients.
Resulting in foreclosures and bankruptcies.
Panic was also caused by dropping prices due to competition from foreign goods that flooded the U.S. market after the War of 1812
Marked end of post-war economic prosperity and end of Era of Good Feelings
Missouri Compromise 1820
Missouri became slave state, Maine was free and no slavery north of 36°30′
McCulloch v. Maryland (1819) (see court cases)
Decided whether Maryland had the right to tax the national bank.
Supreme Court said "no"
Also said that Second Bank of US WAS constitutionally valid.
Gibbons v. Ogden (1824) (see court cases)
Decided if NY could grant a company a monopoly on transport between NY and NJ.
Supreme Court said "no" because it was "interstate commerce" (between two states, not within one state) - See Article 1, Section 8 of Constitution.
Treaty of 1818
Decided boundary between U.S. and Br. Canada at 49th parallel
Included shared Oregon Country.
Adams Onis Treaty (1819)
Treaty between US and Spain
Florida to U.S. (Florida was burden to Spain)
Before treaty, American slaves fled to Florida to join Seminole Indians.
Andrew Jackson fought Seminoles 1816-1819
Settled border between U.S. and New Spain
U.S. gave up claim on parts of Spanish Texas and other areas.
Founded as a colony in West Africa to resettle former African-American slaves.
By American Colonization Society
Monroe Doctrine (1823)
By 1821, Latin American countries had become independent from Spain
European countries threatened to re-colonize Latin America
Monroe Doctrine opposed European colonialism in Western Hemisphere.
And promised that U.S. wouldn't interfere with Europe.
Written mostly by then-Sec. of State JQ Adams
JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (1825-1829) Dem.-Rep.; Natl. Rep.
Son of John Adams (who was a Federalist)
Won after the "Corrupt Bargain" of 1824
4 candidates, all Dem-Reps.
Clay (Speaker of House) had least # of votes, Crawford had stroke
No one had majority
Election to HOR, Clay (Speaker) influenced House to vote for J.Q. Adams
Adams made Clay "Secretary of State" (position of most presidents had before election)
Enacted Henry Clay's "American System"
Erie canal completed in 1825 (financed by New York)
1st American railroads built 1827 (built by mining companies)
Funded by high tariffs (Tariff of 1828 or "Tariff of Abominations")
And a national bank
ANTEBELLUM PERIOD (Leading to Civil War)
ANDREW JACKSON (1829-1837) Democrat
Nicknamed "Old Hickory"
Tough and aggressive personality
Hero of Battle of New Orleans 1815
Came from a Scots-Irish family that had just moved to South Carolina
Jackson was orphaned at 14 and had no formal education
Invaded the Seminole Indians in Florida in 1818 (led to Adams-Onis Treaty).
Lost election to J.Q. Adams in 1824 because of the "Corrupt Bargain"
Took part in five duels, once killed opponent.
(see Jefferson v. Jackson) Against undemocratic aristocracy
Defended the common person against the wealthy elites in government.
Believed in Manifest Destiny.
In favor of small, limited federal government and states rights
But a strong presidency
Believe in "strict" constructionist interpretation of Constitution
ELECTION OF 1828
Increased voting - Jacksonian Democracy
To attract people, young states in the west extended the right to vote to all free adult white males.
Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, Missouri --> no property requirement to vote.
Mass politics/politics of the Common Man
Politics was source of entertainment.
Jackson won in a landslide against J.Q. Adams
Suffrage had been expanded as new Western states gave vote to all white men regardless of property. (1824, 355,000 voted, 1828, 1.1 million voted).
Jackson won 178 of 261 electoral votes.
Supporters from rural West and South
Expanded spoils system
Putting political supporters in appointed positions.
Civil servants should be rotated in office with new presidents.
Created the Democrat Party.
Indian Removal Act 1830
Congress providing funds to move Native Americans in NC, GA, FL, Alabama and Mississippi to Indian land (present-day Oklahoma)
Cherokee ("Civilized Tribes") had become farmers, established schools, written laws, constitution
Jackson and Georgia ignored ruling
Trail of Tears
Native American tribes are forced to relocate, 1000s die.
Nullification Crisis 1832
South Carolina threatened to secede (leave the U.S) because of 1828 Tariff of Abominations.
Jackson proposed Tariff of 1832 (reduced tariff from 45% to 35% - still too high)
John C. Calhoun (Jackson's VP) secretly wrote South Carolina Exposition and Protest
Defining state's rights to nullify a federal law.
Force Bill ("An Act further to provide for the collection of duties on imports")
Jackson declared states do not have the right to nullify federal laws
Despite his belief in strong states.
Force bill authorized president to use whatever force necessary to enforce federal tariffs.
Compromise Tariff of 1833 proposed by Clay and Calhoun to gradually reduce tariffs.
Dismantled the Second Bank of the U.S.
Rivalry with Bank president Nicholas Biddle.
"The bank is trying to kill me but I will kill it"
Moved bank funds into "pet banks"
Closing of the Second Bank allowed state banks to print paper money without regulation.
Contributed to the Panic of 1837 (see Specie Circular)
Specie Circular 1836
Government would only accept gold and silver ("specie") in exchange for public lands.
Caused rise in price of land and ultimately, the Panic of 1837
MARTIN VAN BUREN (1837-1841) Democrat
Son of a Dutch tavern keeper
Secretary of State under Andrew Jackson (1829-1831)
Vice President under Jackson (1833-1837)
Helped create the Democratic Party
After his presidency, he ran again in the 1848 presidential election on the Free Soil Party ticket
Won with endorsement of Andrew Jackson and Democratic Party
Didn’t want to annex Texas (Annexed by Tyler)
Panic of 1837
Caused by inflation (state banks printing too much money - no regulation from 2nd BUS)
And specie circular
Drained of gold and silver, several NY banks announced they would no longer redeem their notes in specie.
Speculators found themselves holding paper money that was not accepted.
By 1841 28,000 business declared bankruptcy.
Riots in cities.
8 western state governments defaulted on debts.
Van Buren approved the Independent Treasury (not bank) to deal with the crisis
Government took money out of pet banks
And would keep its money in its own vaults.
Separated federal government from the nation's banking system.
What was needed was more money into the economy, not burying it.
Independent Treasury was repealed in 1841 under Whigs and brought back again in 1846 under Polk.
Van Buren (as Democrat) believed that govt. should not alleviate popular suffering (small government)
Depression lasted until 1843
“Martin van Ruin” was blamed for depression.
WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON (Mar. to Apr. 1841) Whig
Military hero of Battle of Tippecanoe against Indians
Running mate was John Tyler
"Tippecanoe and Tyler too"
Promoted as a "log cabin" candidate.
Voter turnout was 80%
Died on 32nd day in office (pneumonia)
Sparked constitutional crisis
JOHN TYLER (1841-1845) Whig (Apr.- Sept 1841, then no party)
Ran as a Whig although he held views totally opposed to Whigs
He was chosen as Harrison's running mate to expand Whig base in the South.
Believed in strict constructionism
To power when Harrison died (called "His Accidency")
Caused constitutional crisis over his status (Title? "acting president")
25th amendment (1967) dictates succession if president dies
Tyler had many problems with Whigs in government
Especially Clay who hoped to control Harrison from behind the scenes.
Tyler's appointments were rejected by Congress.
Tyler vetoed American System measures (Bank, Improvements, Tariff)
Didn't want to raise tariffs (stuck with 1833 Compromise Tariff)
Tried to veto 2nd Bank in 1841 - but was first president to have veto overridden.
Caused Tyler's cabinet to resign in 1841
House of Representatives began impeachment process (it didn't go through)
Dorr Rebellion in Rhode Island (1841-1842)
Middle class residents of Rhode Island wanted broader democracy.
Rhode Island was still using colonial charter of 1663 requiring men to own $134 in property to vote
Led by Thomas Wilson Dorr
New law in 1843: all native born adult males, regardless of race, who could pay poll tax of $1 could vote (non-natives still had property requirements)
USS Princeton Disaster
Cruise down Potomac, Tyler was on board
Cannon fired ceremonially but malfunctioned. many were killed.
Tyler was safe on the bottom deck.
Tyler was firm believer in Manifest Destiny.
Webster-Ashburton Treaty (Br) (1842)
Boundary dispute b/w Maine and Canadian New Brunswick (lost Ben Franklin map)
And line west of Lake Superior
U.S. helping Canadian rebels
And illegal slave trade.
Borders determined between Maine and Canada
Annexation of Republic of Texas 1845
Texas had declared itself independent from Mexico 1836
END OF TERM
No hope of reelection
Created a 3rd party
JAMES POLK (1845-1849) Democrat
Had been governor of Tennessee
In Congress for 14 years (several of those as Speaker of the House)
Leading Jacksonian Democrat
Very strict and dull: against alcohol, dancing and playing cards
Polk (Jacksonian Democrat ticket) was "dark horse" (surprise) candidate.
Opposed high tariffs
Against another national bank
In favor of independent treasury (non-government banks)
Wanted Texas (which he considered part of Louisiana Purchase).
And all of Oregon ("54 40 or fight")
Defeated Henry Clay (Whig)
Clay still campaigning for American System
And was against annexation of Texas
Had campaigned for U.S. to take all of Oregon ("56' 50" or fight")
As president, reached settlement with Britain at 49th latitude (an extension of the Webster-Ashburton line)
"Mr. Polk's War"
Mexican-American War (1846-1848)
Ended with Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo
END OF TERM
Polk had promised to serve only one term
Died 3 months after he left office
ZACHARY TAYLOR (1849-1850) Whig
Only president to come from Louisiana
Hero Mexican-American War
Hero of Buena Vista
Southern slave owner (but didn't push for expansion of slavery)
Taylor was reluctant to be nominated and didn't have strong political beliefs
Beat Lewis Cass (Democrat) and Martin Van Buren (Free-soil)
Taylor's VP was Millard Fillmore
State of Deseret created in Utah by Mormons
Compromise of 1850
Died in office
Because of combo of medicine given to him for a stomach problems
MILLARD FILLMORE (1850-1853) Whig
Compromise of 1850
Taylor’s VP, Fillmore became president when he died
Most unmemorable president
FRANKLIN PIERCE (1853-1857) Democratic
Pronounced name "Purse"
Charming pro-Southern Democrat
Son died after elected
Depended on friend Jefferson Davis (his sec. of war, future president of the Confederacy in Civil War)
Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)
Created by Stephen Douglas to build a railroad from his home state (Illinois) to the Pacific Ocean.
In order to build a railroad, the territories of Kansas and Nebraska had to become states.
He suggested popular sovereignty - which violated Missouri Compromise of 1820
Bleeding Kansas (1855-1861)
Caning of Charles Sumner by Preston Brooks
Sumner "Crime against Kansas" speech identified two Democratic senators as main culprits: Stephen Douglas and Andrew Butler (S.C)
"a mistress, who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him... the harlot, Slavery"
Brooks, a relative of Sumner, beat Sumner with a cane.
Supported "Young American" movement of Democratic Prty
Wanted to spread democracy across globe and add additional territory
Gadsden Purchase 1853
Bought land from Mexico in part of AZ and New Mexico
Opened way for transcontinental railway from New Orleans to Los Angeles
Ostend Manifesto 1854
Document described rationale for U.S. to buy Cuba from Spain
And declare war if Spain refused.
Goal of slaveholders and some people in Cuba.
Plan was dismissed after outbreak of violence after Kansas-Nebraska Act.
JAMES BUCHANAN (1857-1861) Democratic
Was Minister to Russia under Andrew Jackson
Secretary of State under Polk
Helped draft Ostend Manifesto
Only president who remained a bachelor.
ELECTION OF 1856
Parties had reoriented along sectional lines
New Republican Party platform
Denounced Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854
Demanded that federal govt. prohibit slavery in all territories
Called for federal subsides for transcontinental railroads
To win American Party (Know Nothings) votes:
Wanted to ban foreign immigrants and imposed high tariff on foreign manufactures.
Nominated Colonel John C. Fremont
Free-soiler who had won fame in conquest of Mexican California (Bear Republic)
American Party/Know-Nothing Party (nativists)
Also split along section lines over slavery
Southern faction nominated former Whig president Millard Fillmore
Northern contingent endorsed Fremont (Republican)
Reaffirmed support for popular sovereignty and Kansas-Nebraska Act.
Dred Scott Decision 1857 (see court cases)
Buchanan pressured court to side with southerners over Scott.
Dred Scott deemed still a slave (even though his master had taken him to free areas)
"Negroes" could not be citizens.
Slaves considered "property"
States could not deprive white people of their "property"
Deemed all laws prohibiting slavery unconstitutional (Missouri Compromise etc.)
Buchanan ignored fact that majority of citizens in Kansas were anti-slavery.
In 1859 urged Congress to admit Kansas as a slave state (accepting Lecompton constitution)
Kansas became free state in 1861 - during Civil War.
Lincoln-Douglas Debate 1858
Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas campaigning to be Senator of Illinois
Lincoln: House Divided Speech
Douglas: Freeport Doctrine
CIVIL WAR (see post)
Lincoln is elected president (Nov. 8, 1860)
Crittendon Compromise (Dec. 18, 1860)
Attempt to avoid civil war
Included six proposed constitutional amendments
And four proposed Congressional resolutions
Would have guaranteed the permanent existence of slavery in the slave states
By reestablishing the free-slave demarcation line drawn by the 1820 Missouri Compromise
Rejected by Northern Republicans -- incl. Lincoln.1862
South Carolina secedes (Dec. 21, 1860)
ABRAHAM LINCOLN (1861-1865) Republican
From family of yeoman farmers.
moved from Kentucky, to Indiana, to Illinois.
Became store clerk, read Shakespeare, sudied law.
Married Mary Todd (aristocratic daughter of Kentucky banker) in 1842
Abandoned Whigs to become Republican in Illinois
Lincoln-Douglas Debates (1856) - Senate of Illinois (Lincoln lost)
Douglas: "This govt. was made by our fathers, by white men for the benefit of white men"
Attacked Lincoln for supporting "negro equality"
Freeport Doctrine: territories could exclude slavery by not adopting laws to protect it.
Lincoln: "A house divided against itself cannot stand... [the U.S.] cannot endure permanently half slave and half free... it will become all one thing, or all the other."
Disagreed with human bondage but didn't believe federal govt. had authority to tamper with slavery.
Voted for Wilmot Proviso (banning slavery in territories from Mexico)
Favored sending free blacks to AFrica.
Transcontinental RR (Began 1861, completed 1869)
Morrill Land Grant Act (1862)
Homestead Act (1862)
CIVIL WAR (see post)
Confederates began Civil War by firing on Ft. Sumter Apr. 12, 1861
Victory at Antietam
Lincoln issues Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (signed Jan.1, 1863)
Gettysburg Address, Nov. 1863
Reiterated Dec. of Indep.,
Civil War as struggle for preservation of the Union sundered by secession crisis, with a “new birth of freedom”
“Four score and seven Years ago = Amer. Revolution 1776
Suspended Writ of Habeas Corpus.
1866 Ex Parte Milligan – Constitution not suspended in wartime
ANDREW JOHNSON (1865-1869) Democrat
Born in North Carolina then moved to Tennessee
Grew up poor
Illiterate as adult
Asked a schoolteacher to teach him to read and write (she became his wife)
Became congressman and senator
Had owned a few slaves but hated secessionist cotton planters
Only southerner to refuse walk out of Senate in 1861
Wanted harsh punishment of Confederate leaders
Was happy with "Emancipation Proclamation" not because it freed slaves but because it punished wealthy plantation owners.
Ran as Lincoln's Vice President (to get votes of southern Unionists)
Johnson came to power after Lincoln was assassinated
Johnson argued that since states could not legally secede, they never legally left the union so there was no need for a process to let them reenter
Johnson pardoned 13,000 Confederates and restored their civil rights by end of 1865
Including 4 Confederate generals, 6 members from Jefferson Davis's cabinet and Confederate VP (all served in Congress)
Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives for violating the Tenure of Office Act by firing Edwin Stanton
The Senate acquitted him.
ULYSSES S. GRANT (1869-1877) Republican
Battle of Little Bighorn 1876, Custer's last stand