Archive for October 8th, 2012

Chapter 13 questions

Due Monday, October 15.

Chapter 13 questions
Answer fully to prepare yourself for your next test and to improve your comprehension.

1. What two issues are going to be most important in American politics during the 1820s and 1830s? In what ways were these two issues represented by events in 1819 and 1820? Explain the events that shook America in those years.
2. What led to the reformation of the two-party system during the 1830s and 1840s? What was unusual about the presidential election of 1824? What percentage of eligible voters cast a ballot? (Look it up here: what percentage of eligible voters cast a ballot in 2008?)
3. What were each of the FOUR candidates for president like in the 1824 election? What was the effect of the 12th Amendment on this election? What was the alleged “corrupt bargain” that was struck that supposedly swayed the outcome of the election? Who was “the Judas of the West,” and what did that mean?
4. Why was John Quincy Adams’ presidency so unsuccessful? What personal flaws did JQ Adams have that limited his effectiveness?
5. What similarities did Andrew Jackson’s Democratic party have to Jefferson’s Republicans? What did Jackson’s election as president symbolize? What events had made Jackson a national figure?
6. What was the purpose behind the spoils system? What were the negative results under this system?
7. Who originally proposed the rates of the Tariff of 1828, and why did they propose it? Which section of the country was the most negatively affected? Why did this section see the Tariff as a dangerous precedent?
8. How did South Carolina (and John C. Calhoun) lead the charge against the Tariff of 1828 (and what were its other names)? When was the last time we had heard of the theory of nullification? What did the legislature threaten to do, and how did President Jackson (and Congress) specifically respond? How did Calhoun’s stance on tariffs in 1816 compare with his stance in 1828?
9. What were the results of the nullification crisis of 1832-3 and who was responsible for defusing the tension? What were the main points of argument in the Webster-Hayne debate? How did the nullification crisis end?
10. Why did Jackson support Indian removal of the southeastern tribes? What had been his previous history with Native Americans? How did the Cherokees attempt to assimilate into white culture, and what was the one aspect where they failed to adopt white cultural norms? What was the significance of the Trail of Tears? What happened with the Seminoles?
11. What were the specific reasons why Jackson and his supporters hated the Bank of the US (BUS)? What were the main events of the Bank War of 1832? Did it perform any positive functions? Why was Jackson’s veto of the recharter bill significant, and what two reasons did he give for his action?
12. What were the core beliefs of the Anti-Masonic party of 1832? What long-lasting historical significance did this party have? What other innovations occurred during the campaign of 1832?
13. What strengths did Henry Clay have in the campaign of 1832? Why did he still get “walloped?”
14. Why did Jackson decide to weaken the BUS after the 1832 election? What were the causes of “Biddle’s panic?” How did Jackson eventually kill the BUS? How did the death of the BUS lead to the Specie Circular?
15. What was the one belief that all Whigs shared in the early days of the party? What groups supported the Whigs, and why? What were the main beliefs of the Whigs? What does “cronyism” mean, and who used that term?
16. Why did Jackson choose Martin van Buren as his successor? What factors seemed to curse van Buren?
17. What were the causes of the Panic of 1837? What characteristics did the Panics we have seen so far have in common? How did van Buren attempt to respond to the Panic? Did this work? Explain. What did the Whigs suggest?
18. Why did American move into Texas in the 1820s and 1830s? Who were their leaders? Why did they get into trouble with—and eventually rebel against– Mexican authorities? How exactly did the Americans win their independence from Mexico?
19. Who was on the Whig ticket in 1840? What nicknames did they have, and why? How were the candidates made to appear like “regular joes?”
20. What were the similarities between the Democrats and the Whigs in the election of 1840?
21. Make a chart of the main controversies of the Jackson administration, and explain how he dealt with each one.
22. The Jacksonian era is often called “the era of the common man” or referred to as “Jacksonian democracy.” Explain the meaning of these terms. Were they accurate? How important was social class during this time period?
23. Was Jackson a states’ rights supporter, or a nationalist? Support your answer with examples.


Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase

The Louisiana Purchase was one of the largest land deals in history. In 1803, the United States paid approximately $15 million dollars for over 800,000 square miles of land. This land deal was arguably the greatest achievement of Thomas Jefferson’s presidency but also posed a major philosophical problem for Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson was strongly anti-federalist. While he might have written the Declaration of Independence, he definitely did not author the Constitution. Instead, that document was mainly written by James Madison. Jefferson spoke against a strong federal government and instead advocated states’ rights. He feared tyranny of any kind and only recognized the need for a strong, central government in terms of foreign affairs.

Jefferson’s philosophy concerning the role of the central government can be most clearly seen when investigating his disagreement with Alexander Hamilton over the creation of a National Bank. Hamilton was a staunch supporter of a strong central government. While it a National Bank was not expressly mentioned in the Constitution, Hamilton felt that the elastic clause (Art I., Sect. 8, Clause 18) gave the government the power to create such a body. Jefferson completely disagreed. He felt that all powers given to the National Government were enumerated. If they were not expressly mentioned in the Constitution then they were reserved to the states.

How does this relate to the Louisiana Purchase? By completing this purchase, Jefferson had to put aside his principles because the allowance for this type of transaction was not expressly listed in the Constitution. Waiting for a Constitutional amendment might cause the deal to fall through. Therefore, Jefferson decided to go through with the purchase. Luckily, the people of the United States basically agreed that this was an excellent move.

Why did Jefferson feel this deal was so necessary? Because in 1801, Spain and France signed a secret treaty ceding Louisiana to France. France suddenly posed a potential threat to America. There was a fear that if America did not purchase New Orleans from France, it could lead to war. The change of ownership of this key port resulted in its closing to Americans. Therefore, Jefferson sent envoys to France to try and secure its purchase. Instead, they returned with an agreement to buy the entire Louisiana Territory. America did not have the money to pay the $15 million outright so they instead borrowed the money from Great Britain at 6% interest.

With the purchase of this new territory, the land area of America nearly doubled. However, the exact southern and western boundaries were not defined in the purchase. America would have to deal with Spain to work out the specific details of these boundaries. Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led a small expeditionary group called the Corps of Discovery into the territory. They are just the beginning of America’s fascination with exploring the west. Whether or not America had a ‘Manifest Destiny’ to span from ‘sea to sea’ as was often the rallying cry of the early to mid 19th century, the desire to control this territory cannot be denied.

What were the effects of Jefferson’s decision to go against his own philosophy concerning a strict interpretation of the Constitution? It can be argued that his taking liberties with the Constitution in the name of need and expediency would lead to future Presidents and Congresses feeling justified with a continual increase in the elasticity of Article I, Section 8, Clause 18. Jefferson should rightly be remembered for the great deed of purchasing this enormous tract of land. But one wonders if he might regret the means in which he earned this fame.

What happened to Sacagawea’s children?

GO here to find out:

The Journey of the Corps of Discovery

Go here: for a great site from National Geographic.

Go here: for a map of their travels.