The Age of Jackson

"Andrew Jackson [was] both an average and an ideal American, one the
 people could identify with and still revere."



   I. Election of 1824 = "Corrupt Bargain" (?)
       A. Candidates
            1. John Q. Adams (Sec. of State) = New England
            2. William Crawford (Sec. of Treasury) = South
            3. Henry Clay (Speaker of the House) = West
            4. Andrew Jackson (war hero) = broad nat'l appeal
            5. John C. Calhoun (Sec. of War) = settles for V-P spot
       B. Jackson tops in popular vote & electoral vote
       C. House of Reps picks Adams, then Adams picks Clay
       D. Adams: honest, intelligent, stuffy, tactless
            1. Second half of father-son presidential combo
            2. Presidency marred otherwise superb career
  II. Andrew Jackson = "Aristocrat as Democrat"

 VI. The "Great Triumvirate"
       A. Daniel Webster (New Hamp & Mass)
            1. Brilliant mind; great orator; potential unfulfilled
            2. Sec. of State thrice
            3. Webster-Hayne debate (1930)
            4. Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842
       B. John C. Calhoun (South Carolina)
            1. Loner; cold personality; rigid; intense
            2. Chief political adversary was Webster
            3. Sec. of War, V-P twice, Sec. of State
            4. Nationalist initially; became ardent states' righter
                  • chief agitator in Nullification Crisis (c. 1830)
                  • resigned as V-P (under Jackson; 1 of 2 ever)
                  • advocated dual presidency (North & South)
                  • made "So Carolina" & "secession" synonymous
            5. Clemson Univ. on former plantation grounds
       C. Henry Clay (Kentucky)
            1. Charming; witty; political "wheeler-dealer"
            2. Speaker of the House & Sec. of State
            3. Lusted the White House (lost in 1824, '32, '44)
            4. "American System" = economic nationalism
                  • road & canal network (esp. Ohio Valley)
                  • protective tariff (aid eastern manufacturing)
                  • strong banking system (easy/abundant credit)
            5. "Great Pacificator"
                  • Missouri Compromise (1820)
                  • Compromise of 1850
       D. Other notable non-presidential politicians of the era
            1. North: DeWitt Clinton (New York)
            2. South: William H. Crawford (Georgia)
            3. West: Thomas Hart Benton (Missouri)
VII. Sectional political issues circa 1820s
       A. Sections of the country
            1. Northeast = Maryland north & east; manufacturing
            2. South = re: Mason-Dixon Line; agriculture/slavery
            3. West = beyond Appalachians; least cohesive
       B. Protective tariff
            1. North = generally favored
            2. South = widely rejected
                  • upped costs of northern goods bought by South
                  • leery of foreign retaliation against cotton
            3. Webster no/yes; Clay yes; Calhoun yes/no
       C. Nat'l banking system
            1. No sharp sectional lines
            2. 1816: re-chartered for 20 yrs.
            3. Webster no/yes; Clay & Calhoun yes
       D. Fed'l funding of internal improvements
            1. Transportation boom linked nation's sections
                  • 1818: Nat'l Road (Maryland...Virginia...Illinois)
                  • 1825: Erie Canal (New York)
                  • 1830: Baltimore & Ohio RR
            2. Webster no; Clay yes; Calhoun yes/no
       E. Western land policy
            1. North & South = fed'l gov't should profit well
                  • North thought cheap land might cut labor pool
                  • South feared competition for cotton production
            2. West = desired cheap land
            3. Webster no; Clay yes
       F. Slavery
            1. 1819: 22 states (11 free + 11 slave)
            2. West = "border states" tended toward slavery
            3. Webster & Clay no; Calhoun yes




  • "spoils system"
  • Martin Van Buren
  • "kitchen cabinet"
  • Indian Removal Act
  • "Five Civilized Tribes"
  • Worcester v. Georgia
  • "Trail of Tears"
  • Eaton affair
  • Thomas Hart Benton
  • John C. Calhoun
  • Henry Clay
  • Daniel Webster
  • Webster-Hayne debate
  • "Tariff of Abominations"
  • South Carolina Exposition and Protest
  • Nullification Ordinance
  • Force Bill
  • Nicholas Biddle
  • Specie Circular
  • Whig Party
  • "favorite son" candidate
  • Locofoco
  • Independent Treasury Act
  • William Henry Harrison
  • "His Accidency"

American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham
Black Mutiny: The Revolt on the Schooner Amistad by William A. Owens


  • David Crockett: Advice to Politicians (1833) & Comments on Martin Van Buren (1835)
  • Andrew Jackson: Letter to the Seminoles (1835)


1.  Discuss in what respects each of the following individuals reflected in their remarks
     and actions the viewpoint of the section of the nation from which they came—Daniel
     Webster (New England), John C. Calhoun (the South), and Henry Clay (the West).

2.  "The Age of Jackson marked the establishment of democracy in America whereas the
     Jeffersonian Revolution merely represented the arrival of a new party in political
     power." Assess the validity of this statement.

3.  To what extent did Jacksonian Democracy reflect social and economic developments
     in the United States and in what ways did Jacksonian Democracy further such social
     and economic developments?

4.  Discuss the policies of the United States toward Indians during the first four decades
     of the nineteenth century and the responses of the Indians to those policies.

5.  Discuss the rise of the Whig Party. Compare and contrast the political, social, and
     economic philosophies of the Jacksonian Democrats and the Whigs.

6.  "Although historically represented as distinct parties, the Federalists and the Whigs
     in fact shared a common political ideology, represented many of the same interest
     groups, and proposed similar programs and policies." Assess the validity of this


  1. President Andrew Jackson supported all of the following except
    1. annexation of new territory.
    2. policy of Indian Removal.
    3. use of presidential veto power.
    4. abolition of slavery.

  2. During the Jacksonian Era, the number of voters
    1. increased at a more rapid pace than did the population as a whole.
    2. decreased somewhat as a percentage of the general population.
    3. generally remained stable.
    4. fluctuated according to clarification of campaign issues by the major candidates.

  3. John C. Calhoun's South Carolina Exposition and Protest opposed the
    1. excessive use of the "spoils system" by President Andrew Jackson.
    2. government's relocation of Indians from Georgia to Oklahoma.
    3. Jacksonian movement to maintain rigorous property qualifications for voting.
    4. so-called "Tariff of Abominations."

  4. President Andrew Jackson refused to back the Supreme Court's ruling in the case of Worcester v. Georgia (1832) because he
    1. was a strong advocate of states' rights.
    2. wanted to crush the Indian tribes responsible for recent attacks on Georgia plantations.
    3. felt that Chief Justice John Marshall had become corrupt.
    4. desired the Georgia land occupied by the Indians.

  5. All of the following are true of the Whig Party except
    1. it was essentially anti-Jackson.
    2. although disorganized, the single shared element among its members was the theme of "glorification of the common man."
    3. it often relied on "favorite sons" as presidential candidates.
    4. it possessed great resources of wealth and talent.

The carving of Mount Rushmore was accomplished through laborious drilling with pneumatic hammers and controlled dynamite blasting. Astonishingly, despite the highly dangerous employ, not one casualty occurred during the entire construction process. Various items discarded by workers, such as broken drill bits and scuffed work gloves, can still be found amid the rocks below the faces. The remnants are considered part of the memorial itself, and are therefore strictly off limits to artifact hounds. Click on the faces to access LECTURE GUIDE for this unit.


 Abbie Policky '17



"The Battle of New Orleans"   by Johnny Horton