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tv   Lectures in History Jonathan Barth on the Presidency of Andrew Jackson  CSPAN  August 21, 2018 12:19pm-1:16pm EDT

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ride. and friday, civil rights from the zoot suit riots to the women's movement. on lectures in history. arizona state university professor jonathan barth teaches a class about the rise of andrew jackson and his presidency. he fouke ucuses on jackson's cl with people such as andrew webster in the banks of the '30s. his lecture is about 30 minutes. >> well, good morning, everybody, and welcome to american history. my name is jonathan barth. you all know me as professor barth. and i am a history professor at arizona state university in conjunction with two very stellar world class programs, and there they are on the
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screen. the school of historical, philosophical and religious studies. quite a mouthful, so we call this shprs. great program. also the center for political thought and leadership, or ptl, another stellar program. if this lecture intrigues you, you should check out our center. we're doing some big things. and finally, if you are interested in learning more about yours truly, you can read about me on that website. well, a generation of politicians has passed. alexander hamilton dies in a duel in 1804. james madison, picture there on the right, retires from politics
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and dies in 1836. john adams and thomas jefferson die on the same day, july 4th, 1826, 50 years to the day of the signing of the declaration of independence. pretty incredible. you can't make something like that up. america is changing. a market revolution is sweeping the young republic. mass commercialization. profit making. new opportunities for investment. inventions. entrepreneurship. a burst in the population. look at that population explosion from 1 million in 1750 to 13 million by 1830. this is a young population, average age about 17 years old.
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aggressive, energetic, highly individualistic, oftentimes reckless. a burgeoning population. factories have popped up all across the north, especially new england, producing textiles and other manufacturing goods. outside the cities, outside of new england, an agricultural boom. in ohio, in pennsylvania, wheat exports off the charts. in the south, cotton, that drug of a plant creating that soft, durable textile. spreading all throughout the south, entrenching that slave system deeper and deeper. in the south, cotton takes off. if you're going to have textiles, if you're going to have cotton, if you're going to have wheat, you need transportation. we have roads built, turnpikes,
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turning into waterways in port cities. ste steamboats in the late 1820s and '30s steaming up and down the river. canals built all across the country, the most famous being the erie canal completed in 1825 connecting the hudson river to lake erie. what an accomplishment that is. if you have canals, if you have plantations and factories, you need credit. and here, too, we have lots and lots of credit. banks sprouting up all across the united states. from three banks in 1790 to several hundred banks in the 1820s. banks are chartered by the states, stay within that particular state's boundary and showing their own currency. but sitting on top of those state banks is the mother bank, right? the chief bank, the central
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bank, the bank of the united states. and this is the second bank of the united states because, as you recall, from earlier in the semester, there was a first bank of the united states. 1791, alexander hamilton pushes through congress a bank of the united states. this bank, a private bank with stockholders and dividends. this bank, hamilton says, will benefit not only financial -- private financial interests but will benefit the country, the public. how will it benefit the public? because the treasury, the u.s. treasury, will deposit money in the bank, money coming in from taxes and the treasury can also borrow money from the bank. this bank has a 20-year charter but it has lots of opponents. you remember that chief opponent, thomas jefferson,
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hates the bank. the bank, jefferson believes, is an institution that imperils american liberty by elevating to power a nonproductive elite. jefferson comes to power in 1800. so does his authority. that first bank, the charter expires in 1811, but one year later a war erupts with britain. that war is a very expensive war. the national government finds itself in tremendous fiscal straits. so after the war is finished five years later, the democratic republicans, the party of jefferson, charter a second bank of the united states, and this second bank, much like the first, also will have a 20-year charter. this charter will run out in 1836, and presumably congress and the president, in good faith, will renew the charter.
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so there you have it. and there were bumps along the road, right? after the banks were chartered, you'll recall after the last lecture, the panic of 1819 explodes. this massive bubble in western land speculation, a bubble caused largely by the bank, by all this new bank currency creates a bubble, then the burst. but the country recovers from the panic of 1819 fairly quickly, so the second bank to the united states survives that panic and goes into the 1820s with very little opposition. most americans by the mid-1820s have come to accept the bank. the market revolution is fully underway. but it's not just the economy that is changing. it is the political arena that is changing. two new political parties, the
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wi whigs and the democrats. who are these whigs and democrats? representing new england for the whigs, we have daniel webster, a lawyer from massachusetts, one of the most brilliant orators in u.s. congressional history. quite an impressive figure daniel webster is. we also have, in massachusetts, john quincy adams, son of the second president of the united states, john adamdams. he, too, is a whig. most famously we have henry clay hailing from the state of kentucky. henry clay -- well, clay ends up running for president five times. just can't get in. can't seem to do it, but, nonetheless, henry clay is one of the most important political figures in american history. what does clay do? well, clay has a program, a
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system, an american system. and that american system is threefold. henry clay says, first we need to have protective tariffs on american manufacturing. and sure enough, henry clay, when he became secretary of state under president john quincy adams, adams signs into law a new tariff, the tariff of 1828, raising the tariff from 25% to 45%. why do they do that? to protect american manufacturers and textile goods. clay also says we need federally funded internal improvements. using federal dollars to finance the building of roads, canals, bridges and so forth.
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and then finally clay says, we need to recharter that bank of the united states. unlike jefferson -- excuse me, unlike hamilton, however, clay frames his defense of the bank of the united states in common man rhetoric. hamilton said the bank is good for financial interests, all right? clay says the bank is good for farmers. the bank is good for mechanics, for manufacturers. the bank is good for the country. as a whole we need to recharter this bank and there is the whig platform, the whigs support the american system, the whigs support utilizing the powers of the federal government to stimulate economic activity and they adopt a broad
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interpretation of the constitution. the federal government, the whigs say, does have the right to engage in this activity, and most of the whigs will come from new england because of the tariffs, right, the factories in new england, and also the west. hamilton makes appeals to the west. clay is from the west. and clay's internal improvements in the bank, he hopes, will get some western votes. but they have opposition, and there is that democratic party, the dparty,. the democrats adopt a strict view. the democrats appeal to farmers, to wealthy plantation owners in the south, but also to common, ordinary people, to wage earners, to working class laborers in places like new york. new york definitely a hotbed for democratic activity, the south and the west.
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new york we have martin van buren, a democrat, later president of the united states. he later leaves the democratic party and joins the anti-slavery free soil party. we'll get to that in a future lecture. representing the south for the democrats, we have another legendary figure, john c. calhoun. calhoun a rabid defender of slavery. but also a rabid opponent of the tariff. he hates that tariff so much, in fact, that calhoun calls the tariff of 1828 the tariff of abominations. this tariff, he says, discriminates against the south. calhoun that same year, 1828, authors in secret, and he does so in secret because he's vice
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president of the united states at the same time, just to give you an idea of how muddy the political world was back then. calhoun nullifies this law. he can nullify anything he deems unconstitutional. well, from the list, we have andrew jackson. there he is. the man. probably the most colorful president in u.s. history. a giant of a figure. tall. he stood 6'1". that was very tall for that day
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and age. 6'1". skinny. bush bushy eyebrows. hair brushed high above a very large forehead with piercing blue eyes. look at those eyes. jackson was a hot-tempered man. he was a bit stubborn and oftentimes bullheaded. he had strong convictions and he knew when he was opposed to something. when he was opposed, he stood up to that system. well, he had a few nicknames, in fact, as well, andrew jackson. he went by the name old hickory. tough as old hickory wood. his second nickname -- you won't believe this -- shark knife. how would you like to have a nickname like shark knife? andrew jackson has a nickname like shark knife.
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andrew jackson was born in 1867 in california. his parent died when he was a very early age, so he was an orphan raised with no parental restraints. as a young boy he got into brawls and fights. he wasn't all that interested in learning or reading. jackson was nine years old at the time of the american revolution, and you'll see young andy right there in the middle. nine years old. at age 13, he joined a militia as a messenger. at one point he ran into a british officer and the british officer told young andy, clean my boots. andy said, i ain't cleaning your boots. the officer took his sword and slashed young andy, leaving a permanent scar on his left hand and the left side of his head. well, jackson went on to help
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found the state of tennessee. got married in 1806. someone insulted his life. he challenged the man to a duel, shot him. just shot him. the only president in the united states who has ever killed a man. that's andrew jackson. shark knife. well, andrew jackson joins the military. he joins the military and fights the creek indians in 1814. fights the seminole indians in 1817. and then in 1815, earns his fame through the battle of new orleans, this spectacular victory against the british even though, again, as you remember, the war was already over. that doesn't seem to matter because this elevates andrew jackson to celebrity status. and that is, indeed, what jackson is, a celebrity. he has some political experience. he serves about two years in the u.s. senate, but that's really
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all. jackson is also very wealthy. very, very wealthy. there's his plantation, the hermitage. the hermitage starts out 1804. jackson has nine slaves. by the 1830s, jackson has well over 100 slaves and slaves are very expensive. most common people can't afford any at all. jackson has over 100. eads a very wealthy man, very well-to-do. jackson enters the senate in 1823. in 1824 he runs for the presidency. a four-way race between jackson, adams, william crawford and henry clay. jackson wins the popular vote, 42%. jackson also wins the most electoral votes, but jackson does not win a majority of electoral votes. and so the contest goes to the house of representatives. henry clay is speaker of the house.
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henry clay cannot stand andrew jackson, his rival in the west. henry clay strikes a deal with john quincy adams. he says, tell you what. i'll get the votes you need in house of representatives if you make me secretary of state. the deal is made. adams wins in the house of representatives, become president, clay is elevated to secretary of state. andrew jackson furious with his corrupt bargain, this rigged election. jackson vows, i will get my revenge in four years. sure enough, he does. 1828, two-man contest. jackson versus adams. jackson wins in a landslide. and look at that electoral map. quite an impressive victory. landslide victory. and how does he do it? how does he do it? the answer is very simple. democracy. democracy.
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jackson benefits from universal male suffrage. we call this period jacksonian democracy. property qualifications for all free men in the united states are eliminated. no property required to vote. double the number of voters in 1828 than you saw in 1824. jackson uses this to his advantage and wages a political campaign that utilizes a form of politics we call populism. populism. and populism is a political term that has come up quite a bit in the last few years. what is populism? well, populism is not an idealogy per se. you can find populism on the left, you can find populism on
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the right. populism is a style of politics, a style of politics that speaks to the interests, to the hopes, to the fears of common, ordinary people. populists tend to pit the people versus the elites, the people versus the establishment. populists tend to warn of nefarious forces in positions of power, whether those positions of power are in government or in the corporate world. nefarious forces. and the cherry on top, populists often benefit from charismatic personalities. very often with populism, you'll see populists emerge who uses the sheer force of personality to rally people around them and then to use that charisma to attack what he claims, at least,
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in his defense, to attack, corrupt, entrench interests. that's what populism is. andrew jackson is a populist. andrew jackson inaugerated into the presidency in 1829. in celebration of his presidency, he throws a party. opens up the white house lawn to the public. hundreds of people from around the country pour into the white house lawn. shopkeepers, wage earners, common, ordinary, everyday americans sleeping on hotel room floors and in hallways. they pack in on the white house la lawn. a spiked punch bowl and whiskey is being passed around. it's one heck of a party and jackson is stoked. the people are ready for a jackson administration, and as you can imagine, these guys don't like it one bit. they look at what's going on,
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and oh, this disgusts them. can you imagine what daniel webster thought of something like this? he's not going to like it too much. jackson is ready and is the country ready for jackson? that's the real question. what is this man going to do? there is no telling. he's a loose cannon, right? what's going to happen? well, henry clay says, all right. well, we lost that election. that's fine, clay says. i'm going to push through my american system. and he begins with internal improvements. clay says, we need a road. we've got all these farmers from my home state of kentucky. we need a road that stretches from lexington, kentucky to maysville, kentucky right there along the ohio river. and i want to use federal
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dollars to build that road. the bill goes on -- arrives on jackson's desk after it flies through congress. jackson responds and vetoes the bill. the maysville bill veto, one of the most famous vetoes in presidential history. clay very upset. but this is just the beginning. this is just the beginning. all right, he says. you vetoed my internal improvements bill. let's try another plan of the american system. let's try a new tariff, the tariff of 1832. this is a strange tariff because it seems to contradict clay's program. the tariff of 1832 lowers the tariff from 45% to 35%.
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why does clay do this? well, you'll recall that tariff of abominations in 1828. south carolina and other states in the south are very angry about this. clay fears that maybe 45% is pushing it too much. let's lower it a little bit. high enough still but just a little bit in order to soften some of that opposition. the bill arrives on andrew jackson's desk. president jackson signs the bill. signs the bill. all sounds good. oh, well, south carolina isn't so pleased with this bill. south carolina nullifies the tariff of 1832. why would they do this? it lowered the tariff. south carolina says not enough. not enough. this tariff is unconstitutional. we have a right to declare this tariff null and void, and if you
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do not respect our nullification of this bill, of this tariff, we will secede from the united states. unbelievable. what's going to happen? what's andrew jackson going to do? calhoun is a democrat. well, jackson gets word of this, and jackson could not be more furious with john c. calhoun. for jackson this is an affront to his authority as president. jackson signed a bill. jackson says, quote, to say that any state may at pleasure secede from the union is to say the united states is not a nation. jackson asked congress to pass a force bill. this bill will permit the
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president to send 50,000 u.s. troops into south carolina. jackson prepares the u.s. navy. the u.s. navy now off the coast of south carolina. jackson is ready to invade the state of south carolina. what's going to happen? the nullification process. henry clay in desperation proposes a compromised tariff in the midst of this crisis, a compromised tariff that lowers the tariff gradually in a 10-year period. at the end of the 10 years in stages, that tariff will only be 25% between this compromised tariff and between jackson's force bill. south carolina, that's off, and accepts the tariff.
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calhoun does not like jackson. he doesn't like jackson any more than henry clay does. south carolina backed off. jackson called their bluff. just to prove a point, though. the south carolina legislature nullified the force bill. jackson is like, okay, whatever. well, henry clay looks at jackson and says, well, i never thought i would say this, andrew, but thank you. jackson goes, oh, clay. oh, clay. i'm not done. clay says, you're not done? what do you mean you're not done? what else is there? jackson says, there is one other thing. the bank. clay looks up. the bank? it's funny you mention that,
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andrew, because i was thinking maybe we would go ahead and just recharter this bank a little early. why not? we don't need to wait till the last moment. it's 1832. let's get going. let's recharter this bank. you're on board with that, right, mr. president? jackson says, well, not only am i not on board, mr. clay, but i am ready to wage war against this bank of the united states, and here we have it, the bank war. one of the most dramatic events in united states history. the charter of that second bank will expire very shortly. whigs in congress wish to
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recharter it early. skwak s jackson, to their surprise, they didn't expect this. declares his opposition to the bank. why does this come from? it seems to come out of nowhere. jackson did not run his campaign in 1828 against the bank. in fact, jackson made no mention of the bank in his presidential campaign. there was no hint he was going to do anything like this. now all of a sudden jackson unleashes a torrent of insults. first of all, jackson says the bank is unconstitutional. the bank, jackson says, is a monopoly. an unconstitutional monopoly. not only is it a monopoly, jackson says, it's a monster, and those are quotes. the monster, jackson says. jackson warns that if this bank is rechartered, we will see in this nation the creation of a
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new monied aristocracy, a money policy that will overtake the country. we must stop this thing, the den of vipers as he calls it. he also calls it the hydra of corruption. jackson says, this is a hydra of corruption. what other evidence does he have? is this bank truly corrupt? as evidence jackson points out 59 members of congress, jackson says, and he's corrected us. 59 members of congress own stock in the bank of the united states. they have a financial interest in pushing this recharter through. not only that, daniel webster, while he's serving in the senate, is also a director of this private bank, a hydra of corruption from jackson's point
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of view and i, andrew jackson, am going to take this bank down. henry clay cannot believe it. you're mad, henry clay says. jackson says, clay says. jackson says, no, you're mad! i can't believe you're doing this, jackson. jackson looks at clay, oh, yeah. clay, how many times are you going to run for president, clay, huh? two times? three times, four times? five times? how many times does a guy lose, clay, before you realize that you can't win. you can't win, clay. clay is out of his mind. can't believe this is going on. you're bluffing, clay says. oh, i'm not bluffing, mr. clay. i'm not bluffing. i'm going to take this bank down if it's the last thing i do, believe me, i'm going to do it. clay does not believe jackson. congress is an uproar, all of a sudden, what is going to happen? should we side with clay?
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should we side with jackson? should the bank be rechartered. the number one issue on everyone's mind. and jackson has some enemies, not just clay, but the president of the bank himself, nicholased biel -- biddle. a man who really could not be more opposite from andrew jackson. they shared something in common. they were both very determined, very stubborn and bull-headed. but biddle was extremely well educated. jackson didn't have a college education. the only president in our history, before or sense, accepting george washington, who did not have a college education. biddle, at age 10, admitted into the university of pennsylvania. age 10! five years later, if that wasn't
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enough, biddle transfers to princeton university, at age 15. and he is a genius. a financial wizard. he knows what he's talking about. but that's also biddle's downfall. he's elitist. he's arrogant. he's a bit -- well, a bit? uh, pretentious. and because of that pretentiousness, well, he -- he looks at someone like jackson and is like, is this really going on? jackson, he doesn't know anything he's talking about. he sees jackson as an unsophisticated dim wit, all right? and i just need to ride over this guy. he doesn't have any idea what he's talking about. but the country, in an age of ja jacksonnian democracy, who are hay going to fight with? nicholas biddle earns the
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nickname, czar nicholas. here's a pro-jackson cartoon. it's a bit faded, so you'll have to forgive me. old hickory and bully nick, going at it. bully nick. well, not only do we have nicholas biddle, well, we also have an election coming up. jackson versus clay. the presidential election of 1832. what an election! the drama. look at this. unbelievable! the future of the country fits, financially speaking, hanging in the balance. you cannot find two greater opponents. clay, in conjunction with daniel webster, well, he has a plan for his election. clay pushes through congress that summer, just a few months
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before election day, a bill to re-charter the bank of the united states. why does clay do this? clay says, i think jackson's bluffing. he's -- there's no way. in an election year, he would do something so risky and so bold as to reject a bill like this. the bank bill passes the house. the bank bull passes the senate. the bank bill arrives on the president's desk, veto. jackson stuns the world and vetoes the bill, unleashing a veto message in which he rails against that bank of the united states. reprinted in newspapers all across the country. now we have an election. just a few months away from the election, and again, this question of the bank is on everybody's mind. it's the number one issue everyone's talking about it. here's another cartoon. look at that cartoon.
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got to love that cartoon. pro-jackson cartoon. remember the hydra? that hydra of corruption. jackson going up -- going up against that financial beast. and while jackson, it's a hard campaign for jackson. nicholas biddle flexes his muscle. nicholas biddle, on behalf of the bank, gives henry clay a $50,000 campaign donation. quite a lot of money for those days. not only that, but the bank, for years already, has been funding and loaning money to newspapers all across the country. and that press, that press all of a sudden, in the couple months before the election, just piling on to jackson, things look really bad. jackson, what's he going to do? what's he going to do? is he going to win? things don't look so good, but jackson is confident. jackson is confident. and in the midst of this trial,
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jackson says, quote, the bank is trying to kill me, but i will kill it, jackson says. i will kill it! and, well, what happens? the election occurs, election day comes about, victory for jackson. jackson wins the election in a landslide. clay wins four -- or excuse me, five states. jackson takes the bulk of the states. you'll notice south carolina refuses to vote for jackson in the middle of that nullification crisis. jackson wins the election and victory for the jacksonians. this cartoon here, 1833, pretty interesting cartoon. i took just a little backstory. when i was in graduate school, i took a digital history course. and we had an assignment. we had to take an old photograph or an old black and white
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cartoon and we had to use photo shop to color it in. and i had never used photo shop before, so i taught myself how to use photo shop and i really thought this cartoon is interesting and it's kind of in bad shape. so i did -- i took this cartoon and did that. not bad, right? not bad, for a beginner, right? but look at the imagery in this cartoon. pretty incredible. there standing behind jackson, the common man, enthusically patting him on the back. the bankers, the financiers running away in fear. and oh, look at that, the newspapers, the press, all spread out on the ground. they've been defeated. and then, look at the demon face, right? oh, and look at the columns, the falling columns. what's that all about? well, if you're familiar with the gospels, you'll know that there was one time, this one time that jesus became violent.
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when was that? when jesus pulled out his whip and drove out the money changers from the temple. jesus saying, get out of my temple, to those money changers. jackson, like christ, has driven the money changers out of the temple. this is a phenomenal victory for jacksonian democracy. but it's not over. it's not over. jackson, it's 1833, you'll notice, the charter doesn't run out until 1836. jackson says, oh, i got to put up with this bank for three more years? i can't do that. there's no telling what these guys are going to try to pull. i've got to kill this bank now. and sure enough, jackson, after he wins the election, removes all federal deposits, all treasury deposits, from the
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bank, starving the bank to death, removing those federal deposits early and then transferring them to state banks, to pro-jackson state banks. the bank must shut down these pro-jackson state banks by jackson's opponents are called pet banks. these are pets of andrew jackson, the wigs, understandably are very, very furious with jackson. this is a wig cartoon. look at that. king andrew i trampling on the u.s. constitution. and you see there, the constitution, internal improvements, the u.s. bank, overstepping his constitutional authority, the wigs say, born to command. and many people are opposed to jackson. some democrats are opposed to jackson, not just calhoun. they believe, oh, this guy has taken some dictator-like steps. he's two king-like, they say.
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and, well, but jackson wins this victory. you'll notice, what's that document jackson's holding up? driving the bankers out? order of the removal of the public moneys deposited from the u.s. bank. so that's in remference to the removal of federal deposits. years later, when jackson's on his death bed, he's asked, jackson, what was your -- what's your most proud accomplishment? jackson has four words. i killed the bank. that's it. i killed the bank. his proudest accomplishment. and sure enough, from 1836 to 1913, 77 years in this country, no central bank, no central bank. in 1913, the congress chartered a new central bank, a central
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bank called the federal reserve. this federal reserve, well, you could teach a whole class on the federal reserve, right? but in short, one of the country's wealthiest financiers in u.s. history, jpmorgan, just prior to his death, designed the federal reserve. the federal reserve pushed through congress. the federal reserve prints our money. prints our money. a mostly private bank. it prints the money or actually, nowadays, what it does is it digitizes money creation, more often than printing. and then it loans out the money, usually at 1 or 2% interest. that's where the interest rate is right now, to leading banks. to goldman sachs, to jpmorgan, to bank of america, all those banks. and they lend it out at a higher rate of interest making profit from the difference to ordinary people like you, to businesses. more often than not, they'll use
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that money created by the federal reserve and they'll lend it to hedge funds, to wall street speculators, in the stock market, in equities, in futures, in derivatives. and so, it's a very important institution. a cornerstone of the current day banking system. a cornerstone of the currency. and that's why if you look very closely at a $1 billion, it doesn't say "u.s. strtreasury n" on the top, does it? it says federal reserve note. same if you look at a $5 bill, right? or a $10 bill. or a $20 bill. >> oh, look at that! there he is. >> there he is. andrew jackson himself. that's strange. what is he doing on a bill? i mean, oh, no, call me crazy,
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but that almost looks intentional. am i right? that almost looks intentional. almost like a gotcha. we win, we win. kind of like if you went -- if you're a big game hunter, right, if you're a hunter and you kill some big game, you take that head and you mount it on the wall as a trophy. this is kind of laike a trophy. or maybe i'm wrong. maybe they just forgot that jackson would be totally opposed for everything this stood for. anyway, one or another, pretty interesting story. wanted in the short-term after jack's presidency? the democrats win in 1836. martin van buren, vice president, defeats daniel webster in the 1836 election. but martin van buren, he runs into some troubles, a new financial panic sweeps the country. the panic of 1837. all those pet banks, those state banks that receive those federal
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deposits, use those deposits, pyramid from them, create new credit, over speculation in western land, creates a land bubble. the bubble pops in 1837. the democrats become extremely unpopular across the country. now it's the wig's turn, right? the wigs finally have their chance. and in 1840, the wigs run against martin van buren. and you would think, maybe they're going to run henry clay again. but the wigs say, no, we're going to play it safe. we're going to run a war hero. because everybody loves war heros, right? the hero of the battle of tippy cano in 1811. william henry harrison. and while to be safe, we're also going to put on harrison's ticket a democrat. a democrat who was very critical of jackson. john tyler, who's a virginia planter, and he was a jeffersonian, but he thought that jackson was too king like. so we'll throw a democrat on
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there. that's going to make this a safe, moderate ticket. no problem here. and they were right. look at that landslide for the wigs. wigs overwhelmingly win the election. not only that, but the wigs for the first time control the house, control the senate, control the presidency. henry clay, rubbing his hands. hays ready to go. william henry harrison delivers his inauguration speech. a storm comes through washington, d.c., pouring down rain. during the speech, in that rain, william henry harrison, 68 years old, comes down with pneumonia and dies one month later. unbelievable, clay says. now john tyler is president, totally not what we plan, clay says. well, that's okay. we're going to -- i mean, tyler's not jackson, at least. jackson's not in office. we're going to push through a new bill. clay pushes through a new bill
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for a bank. this time he calls it something different, because the bank in the united states has been a bit stained, right? the name of that. he calls it the fiscal bank. the fiscal bank. it flies through the house. it flies through the senate. gets on john tyler's bill, veto. we'll call it the fiscal corporation. it's the same thing. we just rename it. fiscal corporation. it goes through the house, goes through the senate, reaches tyler's desk, veto again. john tyler vetoes the bank bill twice. claim can't believe this is happening. we're going to have to wait four more years, clay says, this is just unbelievable that we have to put up with this. they wait four years, finally, clay says, all right, i'm doing it this time.
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i can't trust anybody but myself. 1844, he runs for president against james k. polk and loses the election. poor, poor henry clay. so that's the bank war episode. and it's a, that's a fun episode, i think. however you feel about the bank war, right? maybe it was good, maub it's bad, but it was an interesting event, right? well, there was a darker side to jackson. a darker side to his presidency, a darker side to populism. and andrew jackson during his administration, we have one of the harshest, one of the cruelest events in u.s. history. and that, of course, is the trail of tears. the removal of roughly 100,000
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native americans from the old southwest. cotton is the -- is the big fad of the day. cotton plantations spreading all across the south. and while standing in the way of those cotton plantations are 125 native americans. the creek, the cherokee, the seminole, other groups. in 1830, both the wigs and the democrats push through congress, which signatures the indian removal act. removing or giving the president permission to negotiate with indian tribes, to remove them from the old southwest into a new territory, indian territory. what is today, oklahoma. jackson defends this by saying, oh, look, you know, i want to preserve indian culture. indian culture is at risk. so we're going to move them,
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forcibly, into oklahoma, where they will forever be able to live in peace. of course, a few years later, settlers arrive in oklahoma and want that land as well. but jackson does run into an opponent. and that opponent is the supreme court. because until 1831, in 1831, the cherokee sue the state of georgia, goes all the way to the supreme court, and chief justice john marshall rules in favor of the cherokee. he says removing their land is unconstitutional. so it looks like the plan is done. andrew jackson, in typical manner, in very jacksonian matter responds to chief justice marshall and he says, justice marshall has made his decision, quote, now let him enforce it. and he completely ignores the
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decision and the indian removal goes through. the most infamous act -- episode in this removal was the trail of tears in 1838. 1839. 15,000 cherokee and actually, next lecture, we'll look a little closer at this cherokee civilization, because they made a strong effort to try to comply. wasn't enough. wasn't enough. the cherokee, 15,000 of them removed from georgia to oklahoma on a journey, on foot, that was 116 days. terrible conditions. roughly one in four cherokee die of disease or malnutrition. that's 4,000 cherokee. just to give you an idea, there's the -- there's the route of the indian removal. this will give you an idea of
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how bad things were, there was a confederate soldier after the civil war from the state of georgia and he had this to say about the trail of tears. he said, i fought the war between the states and have seen many men shot, but the cherokee removal was the cruelest work i ever knew. and so, in conclusion, what can we say about jackson. what can we say about democracy. what can we say about populism? there's a lot of lessons here, right? and i think democracy can do a lot of good. populism can do a lot of good. strong personalities can do a lot of good. but all three of those things can also do a lot of bad, as well. populism, or a jacksonian-style democracy is risky.
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it's almost like rolling the dice, right? you don't know how it's going to turn out. things can happen that are good, but you don't know. you don't know. and most of the time, people don't go for populist, but during times of uncertainty, but during times in which things, there's a sense that there's a corrupt elite system, that often will give an avenue to populist, good or bad, demagogue or well meaning, whatever have you and that avenue can often be exploited. and so you have to be careful. you have to be very careful in moments like that. jackson, what do we make of him? i'm not sure, right? interest guy. definitely an interesting guy. well, next class we have a new republic. a new republic. the republic of texas.
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and that republican of texas will apply for statehood in the united states and that's going to cause its own controversy. so that does it. enjoy your weekend. and i will see you on monday. we're focusing today on the seventh u.s. president, andrew jackson. coming up, a university of tennessee history lecture on andrew jackson and the politics of the mid-19th century. then we take you on a tour of andrew jackson's historical mansion in nashville, tennessee, called the hermitage. these are american history tv programs normally only seen on weekends here on c-span3. while the house is on break nths month, we're showing you highlights from our weekend programming. tonight we have live coverage as arizona state university professor jonathan
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barth talks about andrew jackson's presidency. he'll also answer live questions. our live viewer call-in program begins tonight at noon eastern here on c-span3. if you miss any of this week's american history tv programs, you can find them anytime online at c-span's video library. american history tv weekdays continues until labor day. on wednesday, historical interpretations of reconstruction after the civil war. thursday, the history of the vietnam war and operation rolling thunder, which is the same name as the current annual veterans memorial day motorcycle ride. and friday, civil rights, from the riots to the women's movement. >> sunday night on q&a, national constitution center president and ceo, jeffrey rosen, talks about his biography of william howard taft. >> he never learned politics. he never learned politics. he told his aide, archie butt,
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who served both roosevelt and taft as an intimate aide, i will not play a part for popularity. if the people want to reject me, that's their prerogative. he has this madisonian view. his heros are the authors of the federalist papers and john arthur. and they believe that majorities should rule, but only slowly and thoughtfully over time. so that reason, rather than passion, could prevail. and taft believes that the entire system is set up to slow the direct expression of popular passion, so that the people can be governed in the public interest, rather than through faction. that is mobs that favor self-interest rather than the public good. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern, on c-span's q&a. >> next, university of tennessee professor daniel feller and his class talk about andrew jackson and the politics of the


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