4. James Madison,
1809-1817, 2 terms.
Great stature in his years preceding the presidency. He is
Jefferson’s secretary of state. Concerned about dictatorial powers
of a strong federal government. Author of the Constitution,
emphasizing the separation of powers, the ¾ clause which upholds
slavery to gain ratification. Protection of individual rights
omitted, but a promise to add those guarantees later. Co-author of
the Federalist Papers arguing for the Constitution’s ratification
with its balance of power. The presidency. War of 1812.
Madison sends ultimatum to the English and French who have been
stopping American ships. England and France both acquiesce, but the
English reply is delayed, and Madison declares war on England. That
the war is declared although support for it was sharply divided,
supports the belief that the real cause is not freedom of the seas
but American expansionism with an eye on Canada. America is
militarily unprepared, and the war is an unmitigated disaster. The
Battle of New Orleans in 1815 is an enormous victory for America,
ironically fought after the war is ended, but news of the treaty of
1814 does not reached the U.S. The American people remember only
the one victory at New Orleans but not the disaster of the war
itself. This leads to American ultra-nationalism in the future.
5. James Monroe,
1818-1825, 2 terns,
Planter class, follows Southern slaveholding tradition. As
president his view is national and plays down sectional
differences. Despite States’ Rights argument, he advocates strong
federal government, need for federal bank, federal responsibility
for infrastructure. Federal government’s role in encourage
business. The Monroe Doctrine of 1823, while Latin American
countries are breaking free of colonial rule, rejects future
European colonization in the Western Hemisphere, the “New World.”
America not strong enough to enforce this, but England’s navy is the
enforcer to keep out competition to her own trade. Expansionist
point of view that America is also laying the groundwork for its own
dominance of the hemisphere in the future when the nation is
6. John Quincy Adams,
1825-1829, 1 term.
Follows the pattern of the secretary of state of the previous
administration become the next president. In the election, four
candidates in one party which later becomes the Democratic Party.
Andrew Jackson gets plurality of popular and electoral votes, is
then decided by the House of Representative, and Adams is elected in
a disputed election, outraging Jackson. Adams’ probable role in the
Monroe Doctrine while Secretary of State. He is a nationalist,
rises above sectional differences, believes in a strong federal
role, support for the business community, major advocate for federal
role in the infrastructure, all thwarted by Jacksonian revenge. His
advocacy of a national university is also thwarted. After leaving
the presidency, he later defends mutinous slaves who take over a
ship and with his help are free to settle in the free North. He
also runs for Congress and serves in the House of Representative for
a number of terms, becoming a strong voice against slavery.
7. Andrew Jackson,
1929-1837, 2 terms.
Hero of Battle of New Orleans. He is from frontier state,
Tennessee, he loves to kill Indians. The presidency. He
chooses to be an active president. Tariffs as source of revenue as
well as protection element. North wants high tariff to protect its
emerging manufacturing, South, low or no tariff because of a cozy
relationship with England. South Carolina invokes the States Rights
Doctrine to disobey the high tariff law. Jackson a Southerner,
defends federal power and laws, forcing South Carolina to comply.
Native Americans. Georgia throws Cherokees off their land in
violation of their treaty with the federal government. Supreme
Court upholds the treaty, but Jackson does not enforce it, a popular
position, leading to the “Trail of Tears.” Jackson is financially
burned in banking relations while a land speculator in Tennessee
before his presidency. He vetoes the 1832 law re-chartering the 2nd
National Bank, and kills it. This leads to severe depression in
1837. In the long run, though, intentional or not, Jackson’s more
liberal, risky banking policy encourages significant growth, later
giving rise to the industrial leaders. The image of “Jacksonian
Democracy,” the democratic shift from the elites to the people, is
not clearly established.
8. Martin Van Buren,
1837-1841, 1 term.
He is blamed for the
1837 depression, initiated by Jackson’s economic policies. He is
from upstate NY, a Democrat, strongly anti-slavery, a military
hero. He has a reputation as a politico, a wheeler-dealer, from his
prior participation in NY power politics.
9. William H.
Harrison, 1841, 1 term.
He dies of pneumonia 30 days after inauguration. His popularity
derives from his military career.
10. John Tyler,
1841-1845, 1 term.
He succeeds Harrison. He is a Southern slaveholder, an indication
of Southern dominance of the presidency.