Archive for the ‘Nationalism/sectionalism’ Category

Review of Sectionalism and Expansion

Review of the various compromises made to accommodate territorial expansion and the question of slavery, etc. from our beloved Mr. Wallace!

Henry Clay and the American System

Here is a very good article from this site:

Henry Clay: National Development Must Take Precedence Over Debt Payments
by Anton Chaitkin

On Feb. 2, 3, and 6, 1832, Sen. Henry Clay of Kentucky delivered a speech, entitled “In Defense of the American System, Against the British Colonial System.” Clay defended the American System of government-guided development of industry, from the attack of British agents of influence in northern and southern states.
Henry Clay had recently completed a term as U.S. Secretary of state (1825-29), in which post he had ably advanced and defended the joint interests and independence of the new republics in North and South America, urging the adoption of the anti-colonial principles of the American Revolution for all developing nations.

The instruments of the American System included: the Bank of the United States — run by American nationalists — controlling speculators and guaranteeing cheap credit for farmers and developers; tariffs to protect home industry against foreign trade war; and growing government expenditures for the creation of roads, canals, and rail lines.

South Carolina was threatening to secede from the Union unless the protective system were ended. The anti-national (“Free Trade” or what would today be termed a “pro-free market”) movement was led by the former U.S. Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin of Switzerland. During his own long reign at the Treasury (1801-14), Gallatin had canceled the Founding Fathers’ industrial development program and had virtually dissolved the American armed forces, using the money instead to “try to pay off the national debt.”

“[The] decision on the system of policy embraced in this debate, involves the future destiny of this growing country. One way…it would lead to deep and general distress; general bankruptcy and national ruin; the other, the existing prosperity will be preserved and augmented, and the nation will continue rapidly to advance in wealth, power and greatness….
“Eight years ago, it was my painful duty to present to the other House of Congress, an unexaggerated picture of the general distress pervading the whole land. We must all yet remember some of its frightful features. We all know that the people were then oppressed and borne down by an enormous load of debt; that the value of property was at the lowest point of depression; that ruinous sales and sacrifices were everywhere made of real estate [such as forced sales of farms]; that stop laws and relief laws [i.e., debt moratoria] and paper money were adopted to save the people from impending destruction; that a deficit in the public revenue existed, which compelled Government to seize upon, and divert from its legitimate object, the appropriation to the sinking fund to redeem the national debt….

“[Today by contrast] we behold cultivation extended, the arts flourishing, the face of the country improved, our people fully and profitably employed…a People out of debt; land rising slowly in value, but in a secure and salutary degree; a ready, though not extravagant market for all the surplus productions of our industry; innumerable flocks and herds browsing and gamboling on ten thousand hills and plains, covered with rich and verdant grasses; our cities expanded, and whole villages springing up, as it were, by enchantment; our exports and imports increased and increasing; our tonnage [shipping], foreign and coastwise, swelling and fully occupied; the rivers of our interior animated by the perpetual thunder and lightning of countless steam boats; the currency sound and abundant; the public debt of two wars nearly redeemed; and, to crown all, the public treasury overflow- ing….

“This transformation of the condition of the country from gloom and distress to brightness and prosperity, has been mainly the work of American legislation, fostering American industry, instead of allowing it to be controlled by foreign legislation, cherishing foreign industry….

“It is now proposed to abolish the system, to which we owe so much of the public prosperity…I have been aware that, among those who were most eagerly pressing the payment of the public debt, and, upon that ground, were opposing appropriations to other great interests [i.e., to pay debts develop and defend the nation, there were some who cared less about the debt than [preventing] the accomplishment of other objects. But the People- of the United States, have not coupled the payment of their public debt with the destruction of the protection of their industry….If it is to be attended or followed by the subversion of the American system, and an exposure of our establishments and our productions to the unguarded consequences of the selfish policy of foreign Powers, the payment of the public debt will be the bitterest of curses. Its fruit will be like the fruit “Of that forbidden tree, whose mortal taste “Brought death into the world, and all our woe, “With loss of Eden.” ” …[There] is scarcely an interest, scarcely a vocation in society, which is not embraced by the beneficence of this system [of govemment promotion and deliberate development]…. ” …When gentlemen have succeeded in their design of an immediate or gradual destruction of the American System, what is their substitute? Free trade! Free trade! The call for free trade, is as unavailing as the cry of a spoiled child, in its nurse’s arms, for the moon or the stars that glitter in the firinament of heaven. It never has existed; it never will exist….

“Gentlemen deceive themselves. It is not free trade that they are recommending to our acceptance. It is, in effect, the British colonial system that we are invited to adopt; and, if their policy prevail, it will lead, substantially, to the recolonization of these States, under the commercial dominion of Great Britain. And whom do we find some of the principal supporters, out of Congress, of this foreign system? Mr. President, there are some foreigners who always remain exotics, and never become naturalized in our country: whilst, happily, there are many others who readily attach themselves to our principles and our institutions….

“But, Sir, the gentleman [Albert Gallatin…or Henry Kissinger?] to whom I am about to allude, although long a resident of this country, has no feelings, no attachments, no sympathies, no principles, in common with our People. Nearly fifty years ago, Pennsylvanias took him to her bosom, and warmed, and cherished, and honored him; and how does he manifest his gratitude? By aiming a vital blow at a system endeared to her by a thorough conviction that it is indispensable to its prosperity. . . .

“To [recommend] the. . . theories by Mr. Gallatin…to favorable consideration. . . [South Carolina’s Senator Robert Y. Hayne] has cited a speech by my Lord Goderich, addressed to the British Parliament, in favor of free trade….I dislike this resort to authority, and especially foreign and interested authority, for the support of principles of public policy. I would greatly prefer to meet gentlemen on the broad ground of fact, of experience, and of reason; but since they will appeal to British names and authority, I feel myself compelled to imitate their bad example. Allow me to quote from the speech of a member of the British Parliament, bearing the same family name with my Lord Goderich…: “It was idle for us to endeavor to persuade other nations to join with us in adopting the principles of what was called ‘free trade.’ Other nations knew…what we meant by ‘free trade’ was nothing more nor less than…to prevent them, one and all, from ever becoming manufacturing nations….The policy that France acted on, was that of encouraging its native manufactures, and it was a wise policy; because if it were freely to admit our manufactures, it would speedily be reduced to the rank of an agricultural nation; and therefore a poor nation, as all must be that depend exclusively upon agriculture. America acted too upon the same principle with France. America legislated for futurity — legislated for an increasing population…since the peace, France, Germany, America, and all the other countries of the world, had proceeded upon the principle of encouraging and protecting native manufactures.”

“But I have said that the system nominally called “free trade”…is a mere revival of the British colonial system, forced upon us by Great Britain during the existence of our colonial vassalage. The whole system is fully explained and illustrated in a work published as far back as 1750, entitled “The trade and navigation of Great Britain considered, by Joshua Gee”….In that work the author contends–

“That manufactures, in the American colonies, should be discouraged or prohibited…we ought always to keep a watchful eye over our colonies, to restrain them from setting up any of the manufactures which are carried on in Britain; and any such attempts should be crushed in the beginning: for, if they are suffered to grow up to maturity, it will be difficult to suppress them….

“The advantages to Great Britain from keeping the colonists dependent upon her for their essential supplies…not one-fourth part of their product redounds to their own profit: for, out of all that comes here, they only carry back clothing and other accommodations for their families; all of which is the merchandise and manufacture of this kingdom….

“All these advantages we receive by the plantations, besides the mortgages on the planters’ estates, and the high interest they pay us, which is very considerable; and therefore very great care ought to be taken, in regulating all affairs of the colonists, that the planters be not put under too many difficulties, but encouraged to go on cheerfully.”

But the British colonial authorities had taken no heed of warnings, and had squeezed the American colonists beyond their endurance. The Americans had fought back in the Revolution of 1775-1782. British cavalrymen had broken into and ransacked the house of the four-year-old Henry Clay, who watched while enemy soldiers thrust swords into the grave of his recently-dead father, looking for treasure.
Senator Clay remembered these scenes, while recommending to his countrymen the American over the British system of economics

The Crittenden Compromise

The Crittenden Compromise was perhaps the last-ditch effort to resolve the secession crisis of 1860-61 by political negotiation. Authored by Kentucky Senator John Crittenden (whose two sons would become generals on opposite sides of the Civil War) it was an attempt to resolve the crisis by addressing the concerns that led the states of the Lower South to contemplate secession. As such, it gives a window into what the politicians of the day thought the cause of the crisis to be.

The Compromise, as offered on December 18, 1860, consisted of a preamble, six (proposed) constitutional amendments, and four (proposed) Congressional resolutions. The text given here is taken from a photocopy of the Congressional Globe for December 18, 1860.

As you read, consider the following questions:
1. What exactly did Crittenden hope to accomplish with this resolution?
2. What was offered to each side?
3. How much of a chance did this have of succeeding by December of 1860? What serious events had already occured that would have hampered the willingness to compromise?

A joint resolution (S. No. 50) proposing certain amendments to the Constitution of the United States.
December, 1860

Whereas serious and alarming dissensions have arisen between the northern and southern states, concerning the rights and security of the rights of the slaveholding States, and especially their rights in the common territory of the United States; and whereas it is eminently desirable and proper that these dissensions, which now threaten the very existence of this Union, should be permanently quieted and settled by constitutional provisions, which shall do equal justice to all sections, and thereby restore to all the people that peace and good-will which ought to prevail between all the citizens of the United States: Therefore,
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, (two thirds of both Houses concurring,) That the following articles be, and are hereby, proposed and submitted as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of said Constitution, when ratified by conventions of three-fourths of the several States:

Article 1: In all the territory of the United States now held, or hereafter acquired, situate north of 36 degrees 30 minutes, slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, is prohibited while such territory shall remain under territorial government. In all the territory south of said line of latitude, slavery of the African race is hereby recognized as existing, and shall not be interfered with by Congress, but shall be protected as property by all the departments of the territorial government during its continuance. And when any territory, north or south of said line, within such boundaries as Congress may prescribe, shall contain the population requisite for a member of Congress according to the then Federal ratio of representation of the people of the United States, it shall, if its form of government be republican, be admitted into the Union, on an equal footing with the original States, with or without slavery, as the constitution of such new State may provide.

Article 2: Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery in places under its exclusive jurisdiction, and situate within the limits of States that permit the holding of slaves.

Article 3: Congress shall have no power to abolish slavery within the District of Columbia, so long as it exists in the adjoining States of Virginia and Maryland, or either, nor without the consent of the inhabitants, nor without just compensation first made to such owners of slaves as do not consent to such abolishment. Nor shall Congress at any time prohibit officers of the Federal Government, or members of Congress, whose duties require them to be in said District, from bringing with them their slaves, and holding them as such during the time their duties may require them to remain there, and afterwards taking them from the District.

Article 4: Congress shall have no power to prohibit or hinder the transportation of slaves from one State to another, or to a Territory, in which slaves are by law permitted to be held, whether that transportation be by land, navigable river, or by the sea.

Article 5: That in addition to the provisions of the third paragraph of the second section of the fourth article of the Constitution of the United States, Congress shall have power to provide by law, and it shall be its duty so to provide, that the United States shall pay to the owner who shall apply for it, the full value of his fugitive slave in all cases where the marshall or other officer whose duty it was to arrest said fugitive was prevented from so doing by violence or intimidation, or when, after arrest, said fugitive was rescued by force, and the owner thereby prevented and obstructed in the pursuit of his remedy for the recovery of his fugitive slave under the said clause of the Constitution and the laws made in pursuance thereof. And in all such cases, when the United States shall pay for such fugitive, they shall have the right, in their own name, to sue the county in which said violence, intimidation, or rescue was committed, and to recover from it, with interest and damages, the amount paid by them for said fugitive slave. And the said county, after it has paid said amount to the United States, may, for its indemnity, sue and recover from the wrong-doers or rescuers by whom the owner was prevented from the recovery of his fugitive slave, in like manner as the owner himself might have sued and recovered.

Article 6: No future amendment of the Constitution shall affect the five preceding articles; nor the third paragraph of the second section of the first article of the Constitution; nor the third paragraph of the second section of the fourth article of said Constitution; and no amendment will be made to the Constitution which shall authorize or give to Congress any power to abolish or interfere with slavery in any of the States by whose laws it is, or may be, allowed or permitted.

And whereas, also, besides those causes of dissension embraced in the foregoing amendments proposed to the Constitution of the United States, there are others which come within the jurisdiction of Congress, and may be remedied by its legislative power; and whereas it is the desire of Congress, so far as its power will extend, to remove all just cause for the popular discontent and agitation which now disturb the peace of the country, and threaten the stability of its institutions; Therefore,

1. Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That the laws now in force for the recovery of fugitive slaves are in strict pursuance of the plain and mandatory provisions of the Constitution, and have been sanctioned as valid and constitutional by the judgement of the Supreme Court of the United States.; that the slaveholding States are entitled to the faithful observance and execution of those laws, and that they ought not to be repealed, or so modified or changed as to impair their efficiency; and that laws ought to be made for the punishment of those who attempt by rescue of the slave, or other illegal means, to hinder or defeat the due execution of said laws.

2. That all State laws which conflict with the fugitive slave acts of Congress, or any other constitutional acts of Congress, or which, in their operation, impede, hinder, or delay the free course and due execution of any of said acts, are null and void by the plain provisions of the Constitution of the United States; yet those State laws, void as they are, have given color to practices, and led to consequences, which have obstructed the due administration and execution of acts of Congress, and especially the acts for the delivery of fugitive slaves, and have thereby contributed much to the discord and commotion now prevailing. Congress, therefore, in the
present perilous juncture, does not deem it improper, respectfully and earnestly to recommend the repeal of those laws to the several States which have enacted them, or such legislative corrections or explanations of them as may prevent their being used or perverted to such mischievous purposes.

3. That the act of the 18th of September, 1850, commonly called the fugitive slave law, ought to be so amended as to make the fee of the commissioner, mentioned in the eighth section of the act, equal in amount in the cases decided by him, whether his decision be in favor of or against the claimant. And to avoid misconstruction, the last clause of the fifth section of said act, which authorizes the person holding a warrent for the arrest or detention of a fugitive slave, to summon to his aid the posse comitatus, and which declares it to be the duty of all good citizens to assist him in its execution, ought to be so amended as to expressly limit the authority and duty to cases in which there shall be resistance or danger of resistance or rescue.

4. That the laws for the suppression of the African slave trade, and especially those prohibiting the importation of slaves in the United States, ought to be made effectual, and ought to be thoroughly executed; and all further enactments necessary to those ends ought to be promptly made.

Historical Analysis due November 7 (Tuesday)

Ultimately, did the Fugitive Slave Law help or harm the cause of the South?

Provide a reasoned argument with support from primary source documents for your answer.

Outline note format Chapters 15-16

Outline format Chapters 15-16

I.  How do demographics change in American society in the first half of the 19th century?

    A. Emigrants–Settlers, pioneers, fur traders, and backwoodsmen

B. The face of immigration changes and challenges what is “American”

    Irish, Germans, Catholics

    Effects of the Revolutions of 1848

    Backlash of Nativism

C. Why do new cities grow up in the West?

D. Where is “the West?” Why does it move?

II. What were the main characteristics of early industrialization?

    A. Factory system

    B. Inventions and their impacts

        Samuel Slater, Eli Whitney

            How do these two men change the economies of the North?

 Of the South?

    C. Women’s roles are challenged—at least for the poor

    D. Industrialization on the Farm

    E. Transportation revolution

        Erie Canal, Railroads, Clipper ships, Pony Express unify the country—how?

III. Why do the changes in society and technology cause an urge to reform society and literature?

    A. What were the causes of the religious flowering in the Second Great Awakening

    B. What was revivalism? How does this compare to the First Great Awakening?

        The “Burned-Over District,” millenarianism, camp meetings and “getting saved”

    C. Key figures and groups

        Circuit riders, Unitarians, Peter Cartwright, Charles Finney, Millerites, Mormons

    D. Education as a further goad to democracy

        Primary: Horace Mann, Noah Webster, McGuffey’s Readers

        Post-secondary: U of Virginia, Troy Female Seminary, Oberlin College, Mt. Holyoke

        Lyceum and critical magazines

    E.  Treatment of criminals and the mentally ill

        Dorothea Dix

    F. Prohibition and temperance

        Neal Dow and the Maine Law of 1851

    G. What factors lead to women being newly empowered?

    H. The Utopian movements and the Transcendentalists

        Brook Farm, Shakers, Oneida Community

        Emerson, Thoreau, “Self- Reliance,”

I. Further Flowering of American Literature:

the “Knickerbocker” group, Cooper, Irving, Whitman, Whittier, Lowell, Oliver W. Holmes, Alcott, Poe, Hawthorne, Melville

Historians Bancroft, Parkman, and Prescott