tv Lectures in History CSPAN April 5, 2015 1:48pm-2:01pm EDT
jacksonian democracy and the application is politics. you can use the cliche term of age of the common man. we know the ulcerative fraud with that. that is usually how it is presented in the textbooks but i think there is something to be said for the number of people earning a franchise in this pi eriod. there is some sort of stirring of maybe the underclass in having some involvement in public political life. therefore, in that sense, you can say it is about gender or utopian visions for the millennium. it has got to pivot around something. for me, i think it is politics. somebody else might say something very different.
>> i think the age of the common man is a less problematic term than the age of jackson because a lot of these things are happening independent of jackson or the jacksonians. i think you could do worse than the age of the common man. if you want to pitch it that way. granted, native americans probably disagree with that. >> that is the thing. i am jotting down a list of the broad themes that happened 1815 to 1848. you've got enfranchisement transportation revolution, a rise in the conflict over slavery, president jackson who towers over the period for 8-12 years or so, market revolution the age of reform.
you can attach historian names to all of those themes. professor feller: well done. >> thank you. and we are trying to look for the unified field theory. it probably does not exist that ties it all together. maybe the best thing to do is here is all these themes, and andrew jackson was the big kahuna, and so jackson was the -- and andrew jackson was the big kahuna and be done and not try to figure out what we mean by "age of jackson." professor feller: i've sometimes argued we call it age of jackson because we don't know what else to call it, literally. ok, we will name it after jackson. then you have a name. you can stop there and say it is the age of jackson. >> he is a very powerful president. he expands executive authority.
he stands down the location. he needs his due at some level. there is not any executive during this period that has that sort of footprint. i would have voted for quincy adams over jackson in terms of presidents who got things done. >> outside texas? [laughter] professor feller: in a way, we have done something remarkable for good or ill. we have managed to talk about the age of jackson and jacksonian democracy for close to two hours and have not even mentioned tocqueville. i think one could make an argument that part of the origin, aside from the historians' compulsion to find a theme, a story, something to fit it all together, the idea that this was a democratic age and there was something unique about it comes from tocqueville.
not for the record tocqueville celebrated american democracy in the way a lot of americans may think he did, but he did say it -- he decidedly did not. but what he did do is he said it was distinctive. one way to elevate ourselves out of a morass of complexity and say, is there something distinctive to the united states and distinctive to this time is to look at european travelers to america. not only tocqueville, but others. looking at european travelers to america has the defect that they were on tours and did not necessarily understand what they saw. many had axes to grind on one side or the other.
and yet, if you read enough of them, they all come back and say this place is weird. [laughter] there is something going on here that is different. and that is new. which distinguishes the age of jackson from all those other periods of transformation and also distinguishes it from what is going on elsewhere. we have not talked about this. you read some of these books capitalism was something invented by certain greedy americans, as if it was not happening anywhere else.
what was that distinctive thing europeans, that distinctive characteristic they saw in the united states during exactly these years? well, for good or ill, democracy. that brings us back to square one. and on that note, am i correct? we have been talking for nearly two hours? do we want to keep talking? >> do we get to vote on a break? professor feller: i think at this point, we should call it quits or invite summary statements. ok.
>> i am in favor of quitting. [laughter] >>professor feller: next week, we will take on what will bring us back to a very different statement of the relationship between class and politics between what is going on on the shop floors and union halls and what is going on at tammany hall and in the ward clubs than we saw in schlesinger. thank you all. >> thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> you are watching "american history tv."
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leicester. he committed to the veterans affairs reform joe. and maintaining how staying away from torture is essential to the character of our democracy. at the point where we have people who are willing to cross the aisle, who are willing to make these decisions with people who they may not often agree with, that is essentially what we need to maintain the security, the integrity of our nation. >> high school students who generally rank academically in the top 1% of their states were in washington dc as part of the united states senate youth program. tonight at 8:00 eastern and pacific on c-span. >> monday night on the "communicators," on the development of clouds storage and big data and how the government is using it. >> the national security is building one of the world's largest cloud data centers in a
secure mountain facility in utah. it is doing so because its surveillance needs require that degree of storage and security. the u.s. government's chief information officer, three or four years ago, ordered u.s. government agencies to move to the cloud. and as a result, even civilian agencies are turning to cloud services. >> monday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span2. join ""american history tv" on april 9 and 12, for life ceremonies marking the 100th anniversary of the surrender at appomattox. confederate general robert in the met union general ulysses s grant, and surrendered his army
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>> welcome to tulsa, oklahoma on "american history tv." tulsa is located to the northeast of the state capital oklahoma city. with help from our cable partner, we'll take a look at the history of oklahoma second-largest city. capital of the world for most of the 20th century. >> tulsa unlike many oil towns is influenced by the east and the midwest and in particular the urban east and urban midwest. >> later, learn about the father of route 66, cyrus avery. >> america's main street was born. >> we begin with a visit to the woody guthrie center