tv Lectures in History Jonathan Barth on the Presidency of Andrew Jackson CSPAN August 21, 2018 8:06pm-9:01pm EDT
conversation and answering your questions. watch lectures in history tonight at 9:00 p.m. eastern on cspan3. on lectures in history. professor jonathan barth teaches a class about the rise of andrew jackson. he features the bank wars of the 1830s. this class is about 55 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 screen. the school of historical, philosophical and religious studies quite a mouth full. so we call this shippers. great program. and then 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're interested in learning more about yours truly, www.professorbarth.com you can read about me on that website. well, a generation of politicians has passed. alexander hamilton dies in a
duo in 1803. james madison pictured there on the right. retires from politics and dies in 1836. john adams and thomas jefferson die on the same day july 4, 1826. 50 years to the day of the signing of the declaration of independence. pretty incredible you can't make something like that up. but america is changing. a market revolution is sweeping the young republic. mass commercialization. profit making, new opportunities for investment. invention, entrepreneurship. a burst in the population. look at that population explosion from 1 million in 1750 to 13 million by 1830s. this is a young population.
average age about 17 years old. aggressive, energetic, highly individualistics oftentimes reckless. factories have sprouted up all across the north especially new england. producing textiles and other manufactured goods. outside of the cities, outside of new england, an agriculture boom. wheat exports off the charts. in the south a new plant, cotton. 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. so we have roads being built.
turnpikes connecting rural markets to water ways and into atlantic port cities. steam boats of the 1820s and 1830s trucking up and down the mississippi river. canals, canal mania. canals built all across the country. the most famous being the erie canal connecting the hudson river to lake erie what a feat that is. if you have canals and factories you need credit. and here we have lots and lots of credit. banks sprouting up all across the united states. from three banks in 1790 to several hundred banks by the 1820s. banks are chartered by the states. stay within that particular state's boundary. and each one is showing their own currency. but on top of those state banks is the mother bank.
right. the chief bank. the central 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, the stockholders and dividends. this bank ham hamilton says will benefit the country, the public. how it will 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 has lots of opponents. you remember that chief
opponent. thomas jefferson hates the bank. the bank jefferson believes is an institution that imperils american liberty by elevating to power a wealthy financial elite. an unproductive elite. jefferson opposed of it. jefferson comes to power in 1800 so does his party the bank of the united states. 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 republican, 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. so there you have it. and there are bumps along the road right. after the bank is chartered. you will recall from the last lecture. the panic of 1819 explodes. this massive bubble in western speculation. the bubble caused largely by the bank. by all of this new bank currency. creates a bubble and then the burst. but the country recovers from the panic of 1819 fairly quickly so the second bank of 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 resolution is fully under way. but it's not just the economy that is changing. it is the political arena that is changing. two new political parties.
the wigs, and the democrats. bucking heads, who are these wigs and democrats. representing new england for the wigs we have daniel webster. a lawyer from massachusetts. one of the most brilliant orators. we also have john quincy adams the son of the second president of the united states quincy adams he also is a wig. and we have most famously, henry clay hailing from the state of kentucky. and clay, well, clay ends up running for president five times. 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? clay has a program. a system. an american system. that american system is threefold. henry clay says, first, we need to have protective tariffs on american manufacturing. sure enough henry clay when he becomes secretary of state under john quincy adams, adam signs into law a new tariff. the tariff of 1828 raising the tariff from 25% to 45%. that's one heck of a tariff, 45%. why do they do that? to protect american manufacturers and textile goods. clay also says, we need federally funded internal improvement. using federal dollars to
finance the building of roads, canals, bridges, and so forth. and then finally, clay says, we need to recharter that bank of the united states. unlike jefferson or 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 interest. all right. clay says the bank is good for farmers. the bank is good for mechanic, for manufacturers. the bank is good for the country as a whole, we need to recharter the bank and there's the wig party. the wigs support, utilizing the powers of the federal
government. to stimulate economic activity and they adopt a broad interpretation of the constitution. the federal government the wigs says does have the right to participate in this activity and most of the wigs are going to come from new england because of the tariffs right. those factories in new england and from the west. this is what distinguished clay from hamilton. hamilton makes no appeal to the west, clay is from the west. he hopes will get some western votes. but there's opposition and there's that democratic party. the democrats oppose the american system. the democrats adopt a strict interpretation of the constitution. a very limited view of the federal government's powers. 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
is definitely a hot bed for democratic activity. the south and the west. new york we have martin vanburen. a democrat later president of the united states. he later leaves the democratic party and joins the anti slavery presoil 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 ravid of tariffs. he calls the tariffs abomination. he says discriminates against the south and sure enough calhoun that same year in 1828 authors in secret and he does
so in secret because he's vice president of the united states at the same time just to give you an idea how muddy the political world is back then. calhoun authors in secret an essay advocating nullification. the idea that the states can nullify or make null and void any federal law they deem unconstitutional. south carolina does not nullify this tariff yet but it puts the idea in their head. well, from the west, we have andrew jackson. andrew jackson and there he is. right. the man. probably the most colorful president in united states history. i think we can state almost objectively the most colorful president in u.s. history. a giant of a figure.
tall he stood 6'1", he was very tall for that day and age. 6'1", skinny, 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 bull headed. he had strong convictions and he knew when he was opposed to something he stood up to that, that system. well, a few nicknames have been hacked as well. andrew jackson went by the name old hickory. old hick -- old hickory. old hickory, tough as old hickory wood. his other nickname, shark knife. who has a nickname like shark
knife. well jackson has the anymore neighboring shark knife. he's born and his parents died at a very young age. he's an orphan raised with no parental restraint as a young boy he got into brawls and fights. he wasn't all that interested in learning or reading. jackson was 9 years old at the time of the american revolution you will see young andy right there in the middle. 9years old at age 13 he joined
the malitia. and he was ordered one day to shine an officers boots. he said i'm not shining your boots and the officer hit him in the face leaving him with a scar. and he fights the seminole indians and in 1850 earns his fame in the battle of new -- new orleans. this elevates andrew jackson to celebrity status. and that is indeed what jackson
is a celebrity. he has some political experience. he spent two years in the u.s. senate but that's about all. jackson. he's also very wealthy. very, very wealthy. there's his plantation. the hermitage. the hermitage starts out, jackson has five slaves. by the 180s jackson has over 100 slaves and slaves are very expensive. most common people cannot afford any of all. jackson has over 100. he's a very, very wealthy man. very well to do. well jackson enters like i said, enters the senate in 1823, in 1824 he runs for the presidency, a four way race between adams, clay and jackson. jackson wins the popular vote. jackson also wins the most electoral vote but jackson does not win a majority of electoral votes so the contest goes to
the house of representatives. henry clay is the speaker of the house. if you make me secretary of state i will get you the votes you need. the deal is made. adams wins in the house of representatives becomes 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 maps, quite an impressive victory. landslide victory and how does
he do? -- how does he do it? the answer is very simple, democracy, democracy. 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 is required to vote. double the number of voters in1848 than you saw in 1912. 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 ideology per se.
you can find populism on the left. you can find populism on the right. populism is a style. populism is a style of politics that speaks to the fears of common ordinary people. populists tend to pit the people versus the accomplishment. populists tend to warn of nepherious forces. and the cherry on top. populists benefit from charismatic personalities. with populism you will see a
populist emerge a person with charisma. and using that charisma. and he opens up the lawn of the white house. hundreds of people pour into the white house lawn. wage earners, every day americans, sleeping on hotel room floors and in hall ways they pack in on the white house lawn. a spiked punch bowl and whisky 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 and ugh, its disgusts them. can you imagine what adam webster thought of something like this he's not going to like it too much. jackson was ready but is the country ready for jackson. that's a very good question. what is this man going to do. there's no telling. he's a lose cannon. what's going to happen? 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 dollars to build that road the bill goes on, jackson arrives at his desk after it flies through congress. jackson responds and vetoes the bill. the road vetoed. one of the most famous vetoes in his presidential history. clay very upset. but this is just the beginning. all right. clay says, he vetoed my internal improvements bill. let's try another plank 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%. why does clay do this? well, you will recall that tariff of abomination in 1820, 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 to soften some of that opposition. the bill arrives on andrew jackson's desk. president jackson, signs the bill. signs the bill. wow. 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 said not enough. not enough. this tariff is unconstitutional we have the right to declare
this tariff null and void and if you do not respect our nullification of this bill, of this tariff. jackson could not be more furious with calhoun. for jackson this is unaauthorititive of his presidency. jackson signed the bill. jackson said, quote to say any state may withdrawal from the union is to say the united
states is not -- jackson prepare it is 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 crisis, we're on the brink of civil war over a tariff who would have thought. henry clay at the last moment desperate passes a compromise tariff in the midst of this crisis. a compromise tariff that lowers the tariff gradually over a 10 year period by the end of 10 years, that tariff will only be 25%. this compromise tariff in
jackson, south carolina backs off. calhoun does not like jackson. right. probably didn't like jackson any more than henry clay does. but south carolina they back off. jackson called their bluff. just to prove a point though the south carolina legislature nullified the force bill. jackson said okay whatever. to -- go ahead and do that. 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 well there's one
other thing. the bank. clay looks on. the bank? funny you mention that andrew because i was thinking that maybe we would go ahead and just recharter this thing a little early right. 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 are on board with that right mr. president. jackson-- well not only am i not on board mr. clay. but i am ready to wage war against this bank of the united states. the bank war. one of the most dramatic events in united states history. the charter of that second bank will expire very shortly. wigs in congress wish to
recharter it early. jackson to his surprise, they didn't accept this. declares his opposition to the bank. where does this come from. where 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 during his presidential campaign. there was no hint he was going to do something like this. now all of a sudden, jackson unleashes a torrent of insult. and here you have some of them. 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 here is the quote, the monster jackson says . jackson
says, if this bank is rechartered we will see a financial elite that will overthrow this young republic. we must do everything we can to stop this nepharious thing. pretty strong language. also says the hydra of corruption. a hydra that mystical five headed beast. what evidence does he have? is this bank truly corrupt as he says. well as evidence, he points out 59 members of congress, jackson says and he's correct in this. 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 of view and i am going to take this bank down. henry clay, says you're mad. henry clay says i am mad. i can't believe you're doing it 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 do you have to lose clay before you realize you can't win. you can't win clay. clay is just, out of hi -- his mind. i can't believe this is going on. your 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.
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 a couple of 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 confidence. jackson is confidence and in the midst of this trial 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 five states. jackson takes the bulk of the states. you will 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 a just a little back story. when i was in graduate school i took a digital history course. we had an assignment we had to take an old photograph or an old black and white cartoon and
we had to use photo shop to color it in. i never used photo shop again so i taught myself photo shop, so i took this cartoon and did that. lovely right for a beginning. look at the imagery of this cartoon. pretty incredible. there standing behind jackson the common man. enthusiastically patting him on the back. the banker, the financiers running away in fear. the newspaper, the press all spread out on the ground. they've been defeated and think of a demon face. look at the column, the following columns what's that all about. familiar with the gospel. we all know there was one time, just one time that jesus became
violent. when was that? when jesus pulled out his whip and drove out the money changers from the temple. jesus 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 1833 you will notice the charter doesn't run out until 1836. jackson says, oh i have 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 have to kill this bank now. and sure enough, jackson after he wins the election. removes all federal deposits all treasury deposits from the
bank, starving the bank to death. removing those federal deposits early then transferring them to state banks, to projackson state banks. the bank must shut down. these projackson state banks by jackson's opponents are called pet banks. these are pets of andrew jackson, the wig. understandably are very, very furious with jackson. this is a wade cartoon. look at that. king andrew the first. trampling on the u.s. constitution. there you see there the constitution. internal improvement. the u.s. bank over stepping his constitutional authority, you might say, born to command. mr.people are opposed to jackson. many people are opposed to jackson not to calhoun.
saying he's taking dictator- like steps. he's too king like. what's that document jackson is holding up, driving the bankers out. order of the removal of the public moneys deposited from the u.s. bank. that's in reference to the removal of federal deposits. years later when jackson is on his death bed he was asked, jackson what is your most proud accomplishment. jackson looks forward, i killed the bank. i killed the bank. his proudest accomplishment 33 years in his country, no central bank. no central bank. in 1913 the congress chartered a new central bank.
the central 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 financier j.p. morgan just prior to his death designed the federal reserve. federal reserve pushed through congress. the reserve prints our money. prints our money. a mostly private bank. it prints the money, or actually nowadays what it does is it digitizing money creation more often than printing. then it loans out the money usually at one or 2% interest. that's where the interest rate is right now to leading banks. to goldman sachs, j.p. morgan, to bank of america and then they loan it out making profit to the difference to ordinary people like you or
business. more often than not, use that money to lend it to hedge funds. to wall street speculators. if you look very closely at a $1 bill it doesn't say u.s. treasury note on the top does it? it says, federal reserved 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. wow. there he is. andrew jackson himself. that's strange. what is he doing on that bill? let me -- oh no. call me crazy, but that almost
looks intentional. i mean am i right? i love that. that almost looks intentional almost like a got cha'. we win, we win. kind of like if you went, if you're a big game hunter, right. you're a hunter and you kill some big game you take that head and you mount it on the wall of a trophy right. kind of like a trophy or maybe i'm wrong. maybe i'm wrong. maybe they forgot that jackson would totally be opposed to everything. one way or another pretty interesting story. what happened in a short term after jackson's presidency. martin van buren defeats webster. but martin vanburen runs into some troubles, a new financial panic sweeps the country. the panic of 1837. all those pet banks, those state banks that received those
federal deposits used those deposits pyramid from them, create more credit. overspeculation in western land creates a land bubble. the bubble pops in 1837. the democrats become extremely unpopular across the country. now it's the wigs turn. the wigs finally have their chance. in 1840s the wigs run against martin vanburen. you would think maybe they're going to run henry clay again. the wigs say no we're going to play i -- play it safe we're going to run a war hero. because everybody loves a war hero. the hero of the battle of tippy canoe. to be safe, we're also going to put on harrison's ticket a democrat. a democrat who's very critical of jackson. john planter and he was a jeffersonian but thought
jackson was too king like. we'll throw in there. that's going to make a safe tick. and they were right. look at the landslide for the wigs. wigs win the election. the wigs for the first time control the house, control the senate, control the presidency. henry clay rubbing his hands. he's ready to go. william henry harrison delivers his 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 planned, clay says. that's okay, tyler is not jackson. jackson is not in office. we're going to push through a new bill. clay pushes through a new bill
for a bank. this time he calls it something different. the bank of the united states has been a bit stain. this time he calls it the fiscal bank. the fiscal bank flies through the house, flies through the senate. gets on john tyler's desk. veto. clay can't believe it. vetoes the bill. okay we're going to try it again. clay pushes through another bill. this time we won't even call it a bank right. that's how much the country hates banks. we're going to call it the fiscal corporation. the same thing. but we're just renaming it. fiscal corporation. goes through the house, goes through the senate, reaches tyler's desk, veto again. john tyler vetoes the bank bill twice. clay 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. i can't trust anybody but myself. 1844 he runs for president against polk and loses the election. poor poor henry clay. well, well, so that's the bank war episode and it's a, it's a fun episode i think. however you feel about the bank war right. it's 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
native americans from the old southwest. cotton is the, is the big fad of the day. cotton plantations spreading all throughout the south. and well, standing in the way of those cotton plantations are 125 native americans. the creek, the cherokee, the seminoles, other groups. in 1830, both the wigs and the democrats push through congress with jackson signatures the indian removal act. giving the president permission to negotiate with indian tribes to remove them from the old southwest into a new territory, indian territory that is today oklahoma. jackson defends this by saying, oh look, i want to preserve indian culture. indian culture is at risk so we're going to move them
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. that opponent is the supreme court. because in 1831, in 1831 the cherokee sued the state of georgia, goes all the way to the supreme court and chief justice john marshal rules in favor of the cherokee. he says, removing their land is unconstitutional. looks like the plan is done. andrew jackson in typical manner, very jacksonian manner responds to chief marshal. says justice marshal has made his decision now let him enforcement. and he completely ignores the
decision and the indian removal goes through. the most infamous act -- episode in this removal was the trail of tears. in 1838. in 1839, 15,000 cherokee and actually next lecture we will look a little closer at this cherokee civilization because they made a really 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 of this, there's the rout of the indian removal. this will give you an idea of
how bad things were. there was a confederate soldier from the state of georgia and 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 death? what can we say about democracy? what can we say about populism? there's a lot of lessons here, right. i think well, democracy can do a lot of good. right. democracy can do a lot of good. populism can do a lot of good. all three of those things can also do a lot of bad as well. populism or a jacksonian style democracy is risky.
almost like rolling the dice right. you don't know how it's going to turn out. things could happen that are good but you don't know. you don't know. and most of the time people don't, go for populism. but during times of uncertainties but during times in which things, there's a sense that there's a corrupt elite system that often will give an avenue to populists good or bad. whatever have you.
>> we have a new republic. the republic of texas. and that republic is going to vote for statehood. that is going to present a problem. enjoy your weekend and i will see you on monday. andrew jackson began his presidency in march, 1829. he served two terms, leaving the white house in 1827. he presided over eight significant years in american history. you just heard from professor jonathan barth. he is joining us here as part of our live program. it is a chance for you to ask your questions about president andrew jackson.