Archive for October 2nd, 2006

Outline format chapter 13 on Jacksonian Democracy

These are due on Monday, October 9. Make sure you explain the historical significance of items.

Do NOT simply print these out a scribble a few words around the prompts– you will receive no credit unless you actually use this as a framework for your own notes!

I. How– and why– did American politics move away from its fear of the masses and embrace an new paradigm in which the “common man” was empowered?

Compare and contrast Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy

Explain “universal white manhood suffrage”

Why do property requirements for voters become meaningless?

Economic stresses

Missouri Compromise awakens the people

The “Corrupt Bargain” and its effects

II. Poor John Quincy Adams– doomed from the start?

Was Jackson cheated?

Elected as a “minority” president

Out of touch with the people?

Miscalculations with the Tariff of 1828– an “Abomination?”

South Carolina “Exposition” and John C. Calhoun– The beginning of South Carolina causing lots of trouble

Southern complaints abut tariffs– and is nullification the answer?

“Revolution” of 1828

III. What is the significance of the presidency of Andrew Jackson?

Is Jackson a thug? Or just a “man of the people?”

Mudslinging in the campaign sets a precedent

Spoils system and “rotation in office”

Cabinet troubles– the Eaton affair
Why was Jackson so touchy about the subject?

IV. Sectionalism and Political Wrangling
What was the real cause of trouble between Jackson and Calhoun?

Webster-Hayne debates– what were they about? Nationalism v. sectionalism

Was Jackson a states’ rights man, or a federalist? The nullification crisis– and how Jackson handles it may surprise you

Limits of federal power: the BUS Controversy

Election of 1832: Jackson, Clay– and Biddle?
“pet banks”

Indian Removal: The Five Civilized Tribes and the Trail of Tears

Texas Revolution and Independence– Why didn’t we just help them out?

V. Election of the “Little Magician”

The Whig Party– why does it come into being, and what are its principles?
What do the Whigs disagree with the Jacksonians about?
What do they have in common?

Panics and Depressions– why?

The Divorce Bill and the BUS

Election of Harrison– How does he pull it off?


Hegemony and Superiority Between East and West: The debate in 1792

Almost as soon as the Americas came into contact with Europeans, a debate began as to whether America was more beautiful, more valuable, more fruitful than Europe. Thomas Jefferson wrote his Notes on the State of Virginia in part to refute claims that America had a degenerative effect on organisms.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines hegemony as “preponderant influence or authority over others: domination.” In today’s world, many countries in the Eastern Hemisphere decry the hegemony of the United States in world affairs. It is said that the United States is the “last superpower.” Even some countries in the Americas are wary regarding the influence of the United States over its neighbors.

It was not always this way. For the first two centuries after Columbus’s landfall at Hispaniola, those living in the Americas were under the dominion of various European countries. As inhabitants of the Americas began to identify themselves more with their colonies than with the mother country, a debate developed among natural historians regarding the real value of Europe’s American possessions.

On the one hand, several European philosophers made the claim that America was poorer in nearly every aspect when compared with the Eastern Hemisphere. Those whose names have come down in history as making this sort of claim include Abbé Guillaume-Thomas Raynal, a French monk who lived from1713 to 1796, and George Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, who lived from 1707 to 1788. Buffon was the author of “The Theory of American Degeneracy,” where he claimed that animals and people originating in Europe or Africa became smaller and weaker through exposure to the American climate. He claimed that Native Americans were weaker and less virile than people from the “Old World,” using the fact that many Native men had no beards as an example of their lack of manliness.

Click here to read the article on Buffon’s theory.