The third unit of American History 1 focuses on two lenses: 1) continues to examines how United States struggled to adapt to its new constitution through the lenses of leadership, power, foreign policy, and nationalism; 2: examines how the US transitioned from Era of Good Feelings to an era of political conflict and changes resulting from industrialization and social reform.
Jeffersonian Democracy and the War of 1812 (1801-1815): John Adams lost his reelection bid to his Vice President, Thomas Jefferson. This was the first time the United States would witness the transfer of political power from one party to another, which brought a shift in political ideology. Controversy surrounding Jefferson’s election would result in a change to the Constitution. And, last minute political appointments made by Adams led to a court case, Marbury v. Madison, in which Chief Justice John Marshall would define the power of the Supreme Court. As President, Jefferson secured the appeal of the Alien and Sedition Acts, acquired the Louisiana Territory* from France, and struggled to keep the United States neutral in the ongoing war between France and Britain. After two terms, Jefferson followed Washington’s lead and decided not to run for re-election. With Jefferson’s support, James Madison would take the reins.
Unfortunately for Madison, the ability to keep the country out of war was not possible. Due to pressure from younger politicians, known as the War Hawks, the British impressment of American sailors and British support of Native American attacks on the United States, the United States ended up going to war with Britain. Despite Great Britain’s enormous military advantages and the burning of the U.S. capital, the United States held its own during the War of 1812. The Treaty of Ghent settled the war with neither side gaining anything substantial. Relations between the United States and Great Britain improved and a sense of nationalism overtook the citizens of the United States.
The Era of Good Feelings (1815-1824): The nationalistic spirit that resulted after the war led to an Era of Good Feelings. The strong sense of nationalism allowed all three branches of government to increase their power and work to strengthen and connect the United States. Henry Clay’s American System* was developed to support American businesses and improve America’s infrastructure. The Monroe Doctrine established the United States as protector of the Americas from European colonization. In addition, the Missouri Compromise* was created in an attempt to keep a balance of power between slave and free states and keep sectional tensions at a minimum. Unfortunately, this Era of Good Feelings would not last long. The election of 1824 caused a serious divide in the nation, as no candidate received enough electoral votes to win. A bargain between two candidates, John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay, would lead to increased political conflict.
Political Conflict (1824-1850): The election of 1824 sets the stage for political conflict. With no one candidate receiving enough
electoral votes to win the presidency, the House of Representatives must choose the president.Though Andrew Jackson won the most popular votes, John Q. Adams was awarded the presidency after an agreement was made with Henry Clay, referred to as a corrupt bargain. Political turmoil
ensued and the one-party system dissolved. New political parties, the Democrats and the Democratic-Republicans were formed. Jackson, head of the new Democratic party, quickly vowed to ruin John Q. Adams’ presidency and win election in 1828, which he did. Thus, the era of Jacksonian
Democracy began. As president, Jackson was marked by conflict over the power and authority of the executive branch.
Andrew Jackson came from humble beginnings, which resonated with the “common man” and would lead to increased rights for poor white American males. During his terms in office, he faced a nullification crisis over the Tariff of 1828. Although the nullification crisis was resolved, the underlying issue of state’s rights remained. Wielding his power and authority as president, Jackson set out to destroy the Second Bank of the United States and move American Indians* onto reservations. After two terms in office, he was judged by his opponents as a tyrant. But, his power was still strong and he handpicked his successor. Unfortunately for Jackson’s successor, Martin Van Buren, Jackson’s move to destroy the Second Bank of the United States led to a financial crisis: the Panic of 1837.
Unit 3 Handout
Unit 3 PPT
Unit 3 Goal Sheet