Segments descriptions
      American Presidents Series
      Young Nation, Part 2

                       Description: Jefferson

Young Nation, Part 2 
:     sampler  3’44”    (63’ lecture)

During Madison’s presidency what is the surprise ending
of the disastrous War of 1812 which lets the US to ignore
its lessons that come back to haunt the US in later
play sampler




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 stronger.



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.