Common Man President?
A Democratic Autocrat
An Urbane savage, An atrocious Saint
Self made man, slave holder, Indian
Extraordinary ordinary Man?
• He became a symbol of the emerging working
class and middle class
• Born in a log cabin
• Lived in a mansion
• Never lost his rough manner
• No college degree
• Was he an egalitarian?
• Equal rights for African Americans, Indians,
• He was a frontier aristocrat and most who
served with him were wealthy—so what was
Talents and energies
What was their goal?
What/who did he hate?
Who did he champion?
A frugal Jeffersonian—interpreted the
constitution narrowly—vetoed more bills than
the total of the preceding presidents
• Maysville Road
• “Kitchen Cabinet”
• Peggy Eaton Affair
• It is debatable whether Jackson was a major
molder the events of the era, or whether he
took advantage of the democratic fever of the
times, or just a symbol of the times, but his
name is linked to the time.
The Rise of Mass Politics
• What did his inauguration look like?
• “King Mob”
• The Expanding Electorate—What does
democracy expanding look like?
• Politics moved from the wealthy homes to
the lower and middle classes.
• 1824-350,000 votes cast for President
• 1840-over 2.4 million
Reasons for Voter Participation
• New state suffrage laws-• Changes in Political parties-- Caucus to Party
• (Was power really transferred to the people?)
• Campaign methods
• Improved education
• Increase in newspaper circulation
• Dorr Rebellion in RI.
• Who was not voting regardless of all this
The Legitimatization of Party
• With the growth of an electorate and a
growing interest in politics came the need of a
two party system—political parties were
becoming desirable and even some said
• Democrats and Whigs (opposed absolute
Jackson’s theory of Democracy
• “equal protection and equal benefits” to all its
white male citizens and favor no region or class
• An assault against who?
• The Spoils System :To the Victor belongs the
Spoils—established the right of elected officials
to appoint their own followers to public office—
an established feature of American politics today.
• Rotation of officeholders
3 Major Events in Jackson’s Presidency
• Nullification Crisis
• The Removal of the Indians
• The National Bank War
Nullification Crisisor a States
Jackson--Was he a Unionist/Nationalists
Rights kind of Man??
Vice President John C. Calhoun
• Theory of Nullification-since
the federal government was the
creation of the states, the states
themselves had the final say in
a law and its constitutionality
(what does this sound like?)
Published anonymously entitled
“The South Carolina Exposition
• Tariff of Abomination 1828
• Promoted sectional differences
• Daniel Webster (Mass.) debated Robert Hayne
(S.C.) on states rights and the nature of the
federal Union under the constitution—was the
Constitution a compact between states or
between the people of the US. If it was a
compact made by the states, then each state
had the right to interpret it..
• “Our Federal Union-It must be preserved”—
• “The Union-next to our liberty most dear”—
• South Carolina turned up the war of words by
declaring the state would nullify the tariff and
threatened to secede from the Union if the
government tried to collect duties.
• Jackson insisted this was treason
• Henry Clay resolves the issue with the
Compromise Tariff of 1833
• Force Bill “Bloody Bill”—President could use
military to collect federal tariffs
The Removal of the Indians
• Attitudes went from “noble savages” to simply
“savages-uncivilized and uncivilizable
• “Five Civilized Tribes”
• Indian Removal Act 1830-appropreated
money to finance federal negotiations with
the Indians aimed at relocating them to the
• Many tribes were too weak to resist pressure
and ceded their land over.
• Not the Cherokees
• Cherokee Nation v. Georgia 1831-not a nation
therefore cannot sue in Court
• Worcester v. Georgia 1832-Georgia cannot
force the Native Americans to move west.
• “John Marshall has made his decision, now let
him enforce it”—Jackson
Trails of Tears
• Alternatives to the removal of the Indians--
Jackson and the Bank War
• Bank of the United States: Privately
owned, received federal deposits, controlled
loans made by state banks and determined
the interest rates
• President of the Bank-Nicholas Biddle—
represented everything Jackson hated.
• Jackson vetoed the new charter of the bank in
• Bank “Unconstitutional?”
• Removed the funds and put them into “Pet
Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge
• The first court decision that found in favor of
the state in challenges that invoked the
Contract Clause of the Constitution. This was a
sign of the court's shift away from the
Marshall Court's nationalism towards state's
rights. It fought against the unfairness of
implied contracts that would impede
• If Jackson was consistent on anything, it was
his consistency on expanding economic
The Changing Face of American Politics
• Whigs—United in opposition of Jackson’s
policies, committed to Clays’
American System, and believed
in active intervention by the
government to change society
Martin Van Buren-The Panic of 1837
• The Killing of the Bank
• Specie Circular
• Speculation of Western Land
The Log Cabin Campaign of 1840
• Whigs: William Henry Harrison and John Tyler
Presented themselves as the party of the
common people, slogans “Tippee Canoe and
Tyler too”- “Get the Ball Rolling”
Democrats: Martin Van “Ruin”