BIBLIOGRAPHIES. - W. E. Foster, References to Presidential Administrations, 20-22; Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, VII. 346-348; Channing and Hart, Guide, secs. 179-180.

HISTORICAL MAPS. - No. 5, this volume (Epoch Maps, No 10); Scribner's Statistical Atlas, Plates 14, 15; school histories of Channing and Johnston.

GENERAL ACCOUNTS. - H. Von Hoist, Constitutional History, I. 409-458; James Schouler, United States, III. 336-450; Geo. Tucker, United States, III. 409-515.

SPECIAL HISTORIES. - Josiah Quincy, Life of John Quincy Adams, chap. vii.; J. T. Morse, John Quincy Adams, 164-225; W. H. Seward, Life of John Quincy Adams, 137-201; C. Schurz, Henry Clay, I. 203-310; W. G. Sumner, Andrew Jackson, 73-135; E. M. Shepard, Martin Van Buren, 84- 150; H. C. Lodge, Daniel Webster, 129-171; J. L. Bishop, History of American Manufactures, II. 298-332.

CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTS. - J. Q. Adams, Memoirs, VII., VIII. (chapter xiv.); H. Niles, Weekly Register; T. H. Benton, Thirty Years's View, I. 44-118; Josiah Quincy, Figures of the Past; N. Sargent, Public Men and Events, I. 56-160; Ben Perley Poore, Perley's Reminiscences, 1-87; John Trumbull, Autobiography; J. French, Travels, Mrs. Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans. - Reprints in American History told by Contemporaries, III.


[Old statesmen gone.]

The United States was in 1825 half a century old, and the primitive political methods of the early republic were disappearing. Most of the group of Revolutionary statesmen were dead; Jefferson and John Adams still survived, and honored each other by renewing their ancient friendship; on July 4, 1826, they too passed away. The stately traditions of the colonial period were gone: since the accession of Jefferson, the Presidents no longer rode in pomp to address Congress at the beginning of each session; and inferior and little-known men crept into Congress.

[New constitutions.]

The constitutions framed during or immediately after the Revolution had been found too narrow, and one after another, most of the States in the Union had adopted a second, or even a third. Each change was marked by a popularization of the government, especially with regard to the suffrage. Immigrants had begun to have a sensible effect upon the community. In 1825 there were ten thousand, and the number more than doubled in five years. These changes were reflected in the management of State politics; the greater the number of voters, the greater the power of organization. Hence there had sprung up in the States a system of political chiefs, of whom Aaron Burr is a type.

[Political proscription.] [Four Years' Tenure Act.]

Three new political devices had now become general among the States. The first was the removal of administrative officers because they did not agree in politics with the party which had elected a governor. This system was in use in Pennsylvania as early as 1790; it was introduced into New York by 1800, and gradually spread into other States. At first it was rather a factional weapon: when the adherents of the Livingstons got into power, they removed the friends of the Clintons; when the Clintonians came in, they turned out the Livingstons. Later, it was a recognized party system. In 1820 Secretary Crawford secured the passage by Congress of an apparently innocent act, by which most of the officers of the national government who collected and disbursed public money were to have terms of four years. The ostensible object was to secure more regular statements of accounts; it was intended and used to drop from the public service subordinates of the Treasury department who were not favorable to Crawford's Presidential aspirations.

[The Gerrymander.]

The second device appears to have been the invention of Elbridge Gerry, when governor of Massachusetts in 1812, and from him it takes the name of Germander, The Federalists were gaining in the State; the Republican legislature, before it went out, therefore redistricted the State in such fashion that the Republicans with a minority of votes were able to choose twenty-nine senators, against eleven Federalists. No wonder that the "New England Palladium" declared this to be "contrary to republicanism and to justice."

[Political organization.]

A third and very effective political device was the caucus. The term was applied particularly to a conference of the members of each party in Congress, which had taken upon itself the nomination of the Presidents. The influence of the extending suffrage, and of political tricks and devices, had as yet little effect in national politics. It was evident, however, that the principles of political manipulation could be applied in national elections. The Republican party of New York was in 1825 managed by a knot of politicians called the Albany Regency. Of these, the ablest was Martin Van Buren, and four years later he succeeded in building up a national political machine.

132. THE TARIFF OF 1824 (1816-1824).

[Effect of the tariff.]

An evidence of political uneasiness was the Tariff Act of May 22, 1824. The tariff of 1816 had not brought about the good that was expected of it: importations of foreign goods were indeed cut down from $129,000,000 in 1816 to $50,000,000 in 1823; but the balance of trade was still rather against the United States, and in 1819 there was a financial crisis. In 1820 an act to raise the duties passed the House, but was lost in the Senate by a single vote. Manufactures had been growing, although profits were not large, and public sentiment was beginning to change in New England. The Western vote was now larger than eight years earlier, and was in favor of protection. Exports of agricultural products had fallen off, and the agricultural States hoped to find a better market among the manufacturers.

[Act of 1824.]

It was a favorable time for a tariff act, inasmuch as the friends of none of the Presidential candidates were willing to commit themselves against it. Clay came forward as the champion of the protective system: "The object of this bill," said he, "is to create thus a home market, and to lay the foundation of a genuine American policy." The South now strongly and almost unanimously opposed the tariff; even Webster spoke against it, declaring "freedom of trade to be the general principle, and restriction the exception." A combination of the Middle and Western States with a part of New England furnished the necessary majority. The tariff increased the duties on metals like iron and lead, and on agricultural products like wool and hemp, but gave little additional protection to woollen and cotton goods. As the bill approached its passage, John Randolph violently protested: "There never was a constitution under the sun in which by an unwise exercise of the powers of the government the people may not be driven to the extremity of resistance by force."

133. THE ELECTION OF 1824.

[Era of good feeling.] [Presidential candidates.]

The ground was now cleared for the choice of a successor to Monroe. The Federalist organization had entirely disappeared, even in the New England States; all the candidates called themselves Republicans or Democrats, - the terms were considered synonymous, - and there was little difference in their political principles. The second administration of Monroe has been called the "Era of Good Feeling," because there was but one party; in fact it was an era of ill feeling, because that party was broken up into personal factions. Three of the cabinet ministers and the Speaker of the House of Representatives were candidates for the succession to Monroe. Calhoun, Secretary of War, who still believed that it was to the interest of the nation and of the South to have a strong national government, came forward early, but quietly accepted an undisputed nomination for the Vice- Presidency. John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State, was nominated by New England legislatures early in the year 1824. William H. Crawford of Georgia, Secretary of the Treasury, succeeded in obtaining the formal nomination of the party caucus on Feb. 14, 1824; less than a third of the Republican members were present, and the character of the nomination rather injured than aided Crawford. Henry Clay was nominated by the legislatures of Kentucky and four other States; he was very popular in Congress and throughout the West. All three of the candidates just mentioned were in ability and experience well qualified to be President.

[Andrew Jackson.]

A fourth candidate, at that time a Senator from Tennessee, was Gen. Andrew Jackson. He was a rough frontiersman, skilled in Indian wars, but so insubordinate in temper that in 1818 he had invaded Florida without instructions; and Calhoun as Secretary of War had suggested in the cabinet that he be court-martialed. Jackson himself at first held back, but in 1822 he received the nomination of the Tennessee legislature, and in 1824 that of the legislature of Pennsylvania. Benton has called him "the candidate of the people, brought forward by the masses;" he was really brought forward by one of his neighbors, Major Lewis, who was convinced that he had the elements of popularity, and who managed his campaign with great skill. But no combination could be made for him with the Albany Regency; Van Buren's organ, the "Argus," said of him: "He is respected as a gallant soldier, but he stands, in the minds of the people of this State, at an immeasurable distance from the Executive Chair."

[Electoral vote.]

The election showed that Jackson had ninety-nine electoral votes, Adams eighty-four, Crawford forty-one, and Henry Clay thirty-seven, The popular vote, so far as it could be ascertained, was 150,000 for Jackson, and about 110,000 for Adams. There was no clear indication of the people's will, and under the Constitution the House of Representatives was to choose the President from the three candidates who had received most electoral votes. Several Clay electors had changed their votes to Crawford; the result was that Crawford, and not Clay, was third on the list, and that Clay was made ineligible.

134. THE ELECTION OF 1825.

[Clay favors Adams.]

Crawford's influence had now much declined, so that Clay and his friends held the balance of power between Jackson and Adams. On Jan. 8, 1825, Clay advised his friends to vote for Adams, who was in every way the more suitable candidate; he represented principles acceptable to the large majority of voters; he favored a tariff; he was an enthusiastic advocate of internal improvements; he desired to make the influence of the United States felt in South and Central America.

[Election in the House.]

The vote in the House showed thirteen States for Adams, seven for Jackson, and four for Crawford. Jackson accepted the result calmly, - indeed Adams had always shown a friendly spirit toward him, and had defended him in 1818. Within a few days a rumor went abroad that Clay had sold his support of Adams for the appointment as Secretary of State.

["Corrupt bargain."]

He denied it, Adams denied it, and there has never been any proof to show that there had been an understanding between them or their friends. Jackson's supporters, however, were quick to see the damaging effect of such a charge, and began to publish abroad the assertion that there had been a corrupt bargain, or, as John Randolph put it, "a coalition of Blifil and Black George, - a combination, unheard of until now, of the Puritan and the blackleg." Once persuaded that the charge was true, it was impossible to disabuse Jackson's mind, and during the next four years his friends continued to assert that he had been deprived of the Presidency by a trick.

["Demos Krateo".]

Another equally baseless and equally injurious charge was that the House had violated the spirit of the Constitution by selecting a candidate who had a less number of electoral votes than Jackson. "The election of Mr. Adams," said Benton, "was also a violation of the principle, Demos Krateo." In consequence, many members of Congress who had voted for Adams lost their seats.

135. THE PANAMA CONGRESS (1825-1826).

[Adam's cabinet.]

The new President was handicapped from the beginning of his administration by his inability to make up a strong cabinet. Clay was eager and venturesome; the other members, except Wirt, were not men of great force. Adams manfully withstood the pressure put upon him to remove the adherents of Crawford and of Jackson in the public service; a high-minded and magnanimous man, he was determined that his administration should not depend upon the political services of office-holders.

[Proposed Spanish-American Congress.]

In December, 1824, Gen. Simon Bolivar had issued invitations to the Spanish American governments to send delegates to a Congress at Panama, and the invitation was later extended to the United States. One of the questions to be discussed was "resistance or opposition to the interference of any neutral nation" (sec. 129). Another was "the manner in which the colonization of European Powers on the American continent shall be resisted." The evident purpose of the proposed meeting was to secure some kind of joint agreement that the Monroe Doctrine should be enforced. In such a meeting the United States might naturally expect to have a preponderating influence; and Clay accepted the invitation a few days before the first Congress under Adams's administration assembled.

[Objections to the Congress.]

The proposition was taking, and it was undoubtedly in line with the policy of the preceding administration. Nevertheless it was resolved by the opponents of Adams to make a stand against it, and it was not until March 14, 1826, that the nominations of the envoys were confirmed by the Senate. The first objection to the scheme was that it would commit the United States to a military defence of its neighbors. To this, Adams replied that he intended only an "agreement between all the parties represented at the meeting, that each will guard by its own means against the establishment of any future European colony within its borders." Among the powers invited to send delegates was Hayti, a republic of revolted slaves as yet unrecognized by the United States government. To Southern statesmen, association with Hayti meant an encouragement to slave-insurrection in the United States.

[Connection with Monroe Doctrine.]

The controversy was now transferred to the House, where an informal resolution was passed that the United States "ought not to become parties ... to any joint declaration for the purpose of preventing the interference of any of the European powers." The necessary appropriations were with difficulty secured, and the envoys despatched Before they reached Panama the Congress had adjourned, and it never reassembled. The instability of the Spanish-American governments was such that any joint agreement must have obliged the United States to assume great responsibilities, without any corresponding advantage.


[Monroe's veto.]

The failure of the bonus bill in 1817 (Section 121) had only checked the progress of internal improvements. The Cumberland road had been slowly extended westward, and up to 1821 $1,800,000 had been appropriated for it; but on May 4, 1822, Monroe vetoed a bill for its preservation and repair. The technical objection was that tolls were to be charged; in fact, the veto was, like Madison's, a warning to Congress not to go too far.

[First harbor bill.] [Preliminary surveys.] [Stock subscriptions.]

Nevertheless, on March 3, 1823, a clause in a lighthouse bill appropriated $6,150 for the improvement of harbors. Up to this time the States had made such improvements, reimbursing themselves in part out of dues laid by consent of Congress on the shipping using the harbor. The next year another step in advance was taken by appropriating $30,000 for preliminary surveys: the expectation was that the whole ground would be gone over, and that the most promising improvements would be undertaken and finished first. A third step was the act of March 3, 1825, by which the United States subscribed $300,000 to the stock of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.


At the beginning of Adams's administration, therefore, the country seemed fully committed to the doctrine that, under the Constitution as it stood, Congress might build works, or subscribe money to aid in their construction, and ought to look forward to completing a general system. Clay had declared, Jan. 17, 1825, that he considered the question of carrying into effect "a system of internal improvements as amounting to the question whether the union of these States should be preserved or not;" and in his inaugural address, March 4, 1825, Adams urged the continuance of the system. Here again appeared opposition, partly sectional, and partly intended to embarrass Adams. The Virginia legislature declared internal improvements unconstitutional; and on Dec. 20, 1826, Van Buren introduced a resolution denying the right of Congress to construct roads and canals within the States.

[Land grants.] [Distribution.]

An effort was now made to avoid the question of appropriating money by setting apart public lands. Grants of eight hundred thousand acres of land were made for the construction of canals in Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois, and such gifts continued at irregular intervals down to 1850. Since the debt was rapidly disappearing, another suggestion was that the surplus revenue should be periodically divided among the States. It satisfied no one. As Hayne of South Carolina said: "We are to have doled out to us as a favor the money which has first been drawn from our own pockets,... keeping the States forever in a state of subserviency."

[The system losing ground.]

Although $2,310,000 were appropriated for internal improvements during Adams's administration, on the whole the system was growing unpopular. Calhoun, who as Secretary of War in 1819 had recommended a judicious system of roads and canals, in 1822 said that on mature consideration he did not see that the requisite power was given to Congress in the Constitution. On the whole, Adams's enemies opposed the appropriations.


[Tribal governments.] [Difficulty with Georgia.]

Another difficulty inherited by Adams's administration arose out of the promise of the United States in 1802 to remove the Indians from within the limits of Georgia as soon as possible. The two principal tribes were the Creeks and the Cherokees, both partially civilized and settled on permanent farms, and both enjoying by treaty with the United States a tribal government owing no allegiance to Georgia. On Feb. 12, 1825, a treaty had been signed by a few Creek chiefs without the authority or consent of the nation, by which they purported to give up lands of the tribe in Georgia. In defiance of the government at Washington, the Georgia authorities proceeded to survey the lands, without waiting to have the treaty examined; and Governor Troup called upon the legislature to "stand to your arms," and wrote to the Secretary of War that "President Adams makes the Union tremble on a bauble." In a sober report to the legislature it was urged that the time was rapidly approaching when the Slave States must "confederate."

[Conflict of authority.]

The survey was suspended; but on Nov. 8, 1825, Governor Troup advised the legislature that "between States equally independent it is not required of the weaker to yield to the stronger. Between sovereigns the weaker is equally qualified to pass upon its rights." On Jan. 24, 1826, a new treaty was negotiated, by which a considerable part of the disputed territory was given to Georgia. Again the State attempted to survey the lands before the transfer was completed, and again Adams interposed. On Feb. 17, 1827, Governor Troup called out the State militia to resist the United States troops. Congress was rather pleased at the humiliation to the President, and declined to support him; he was obliged to yield.

[The Cherokees subdued.]

The Cherokees, more highly civilized and better organized than the Creeks, could not be entrapped into any treaty for surrendering their lands. Georgia, therefore, proceeded to assert her jurisdiction over them, without reference to the solemn treaties of the United States. Each successive legislature from 1826 passed an Act narrowing the circle of Indian authority. In December, 1826, Indian testimony was declared invalid in Georgia courts. The Cherokees, foreseeing the coming storm, and warned by the troubles of their Creek neighbors, proceeded to adopt a new tribal constitution, under which all land was to be tribal property. The Georgia legislature replied, in 1827, by annexing part of the Cherokee territory to two counties; the purpose was to drive out the Cherokees by making them subject to discriminating State laws, and by taking away the land not actually occupied as farms. The issue raised was whether the United States or Georgia had governmental powers in Indian reservations. By a close vote the House intimated its sympathy with Georgia, and in December, 1828, Georgia proposed to annex the whole Cherokee country. Adams was powerless to defend the Indians; in order to humiliate the President, the national authority had successfully been defied.


[Commercial treaties.] [Woollen bill.]

In one respect Adams was successful; he negotiated almost as many commercial treaties as had been secured during the previous fifty years. Trade had sprung up with the Spanish American States. England had meanwhile begun to relax her system of protection, and encouraged manufactures by importing raw materials on very low duties; woollens were therefore so cheapened that they could again be sold in the United States in competition with American manufacturers. In October, 1826, the Boston woollen manufacturers asked "the aid of the government." A bill was accordingly introduced, which Adams would doubtless have signed, increasing the duties on coarse woollens. It passed the House in 1827, but was lost in the Senate by the casting vote of the Vice-President, Calhoun. His change of attitude is significant; it showed that the most advanced Southern statesman had abandoned the policy of protection, as he had abandoned the policy of internal improvements. The Boston petition marked another change. New England had at last settled down to manufacturing as her chief industry, and insisted on greater protection.

[Tariff agitation.]

The narrow failure of the Woollens Bill in 1827 encouraged a protectionist convention at Harrisburg, which suggested very high duties; but the main force behind the movement was a combination of the growers and manufacturers of wool, including many Western men. It is probable that Clay was glad to make the tariff a political issue, hoping thus to confound the anti-Adams combination.

[Tariff on raw materials.] [The act passed.]

A new bill was reported, introducing the novel principle that the raw materials of manufactures should be highly protected; the purpose was evidently to frame a tariff unacceptable to New England, where Adams had his chief support, and to draw the votes of the South and West. The Western Jackson men favored it because it raised the tariff; and the Southern anti-tariff men expected to kill Adams with the bill, and then to kill the bill. They therefore voted for enormous duties: the duty on hemp was raised from $35 to $60 a ton; on wool from about thirty per cent to about seventy per cent. In vain did the Adams men attempt to reframe the bill: when it came to a vote, sixteen of the thirty-nine New England members felt compelled to accept it, with all its enormities, and it thus passed the House. Even Webster voted for it in the Senate, and his influence secured its passage. On May 24, 1828, Adams signed it. Throughout the debate the influence of the approaching campaign was seen. John Randolph said of it: "The bill referred to manufactures of no sort or kind except the manufacture of a President of the United States."

[Southern protests.]

Notwithstanding these political complications the South saw clearly that the act meant a continuance of the protective system. Five States at once protested in set terms against the law and against the passage by Congress of protective acts. Calhoun came forward as the champion of this movement, and he put forth an argument, known as the South Carolina Exposition, in which he suggested a convention of the State of South Carolina. "The convention will then decide in what manner they [the revenue acts] ought to be declared null and void within the limits of the State, which solemn declaration would be obligatory on our own citizens." The period of the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions seemed to have returned.


It has been seen that on most of the great questions which arose in Adams's administration there was a division, not so much on principle, as between the friends and opponents of the President. The four years of his administration were really a long drawn Presidential campaign. The friends of Jackson sought in every possible way to make Adams odious in the public mind.

[Executive patronage.] [Retrenchment.]

One of the early evidences of this personal opposition was a report brought in, May 4, 1826, by a Select Committee on Executive Patronage; it included Benton and Van Buren, who had heartily given in his adhesion to Jackson. They reported that the exercise of great patronage by one man was dangerous, and they proposed that a constitutional amendment be secured, forbidding the appointment of senators or representatives to office. In the next Congress, from 1827 to 1829, the Jackson men had a majority in both Houses, and an attempt was made to prejudice Adams by showing that the government was extravagant. Resolutions were adopted calling for a retrenchment; but no misuse of the public money could be brought home to the President.

The so-called investigations were only political manoeuvres: a President who permitted his political enemies to remain in office was upbraided for abusing the appointing power, a President who had never removed one person for political reason was accused of a misuse of the removing power. Nevertheless, the steady waning of Adams's popularity shows that he was not in accord with the spirit of the people of his time.

[Jackson's campaign.] [The Democrats.]

Meanwhile, a formidable combination had been formed against him. In October, 1825, Jackson had been re-nominated by the Tennessee legislature. Crawford's health had failed, and his followers, chiefly Southern men, threw in their lot with Jackson. Van Buren prepared to renew the combination of Southern and Middle State votes which had been so successful in 1800. His organizing skill was necessary, for the Jackson men lacked both coherence and principles. Strong bank men, anti-bank men, protectionists, and free-traders united in the support of Jackson, whose views on all these points were unknown. Towards the end of Adams's administration the opposition began to take upon itself the name of the Democratic party; but what the principles of that party were to be was as yet uncertain.


[Adams's policy.] [New political forces.]

John Quincy Adams's principles of government were not unlike those of his father: both believed in a brisk, energetic national administration, and in extending the influence and upholding the prestige of the United States among foreign powers. John Adams built ships; John Quincy Adams built roads and canals. Both Presidents were trained statesmen of the same school as their English and French contemporaries. The outer framework of government had little altered since its establishment in 1789; within the nation, however, a great change had taken place. The disappearance of the Federalists had been followed by a loss of the political and social pre- eminence so long enjoyed by the New England clergy; and in 1835 the Congregational Church was disestablished in Massachusetts. The rise of manufactures had hastened these changes, both by creating a new moneyed class, and by favoring the increase of independent mill-hands having the suffrage and little or no property. Cities were growing rapidly, especially in the Middle States: in 1822 Boston gave up the town-meeting; in 1830 New York had two hundred thousand inhabitants, and Philadelphia one hundred and seventy thousand; and the voters in the cities were more easily controlled by a few master minds. In the South alone was the old principle of government by family and influence preserved; but even here the suffrage was widely extended, and the small planters had to be tenderly handled.

[Power of the West.]

The West was the most important new element in the government. The votes of the States west of the mountains elected Jefferson in 1800, and Madison in 1812, and gave Jackson his preponderance of electoral votes over Adams in 1824. The West was at this time what the colonies had been half a century earlier, - a thriving, bustling, eager community, with a keen sense of trade, and little education. But, unlike the colonies, the West was almost without the tradition of an aristocracy; in most of the States there was practically manhood suffrage. Men were popular, not because they had rendered the country great services, but because they were good farmers, bold pioneers, or shrewd lawyers. Smooth intriguers, mere demagogues, were not likely to gain the confidence of the West, but a positive and forcible character won their admiration. It was a people stirred by men like Henry Clay, great public speakers, leaders in public assemblies, impassioned advocates of the oppressed in other lands. It was a people equally affected by the rough and ruthless character of men like Jackson. An account which purports to come from Davy Crockett illustrates the political horse-play of the time. In 1830 he was an anti-Jackson candidate for re-election to Congress. He was beaten, by his opponents making unauthorized appointments for him to speak, without giving him notice. The people assembled, Crockett was not there to defend himself, his enemies said that he was afraid to come, and no later explanations could satisfy his constituents.

[General ticket system.]

The political situation was still further complicated by the adoption in nearly all the States of the general ticket system of choosing electors; a small majority in New York and Pennsylvania might outweigh large majorities in other States. In a word, democracy was in the saddle; the majority of voters preferred a President like themselves to a President of superior training and education. Sooner or later they must combine; and once combined they would elect him.

[Democracy vs. tradition.]

There was practically but one issue in 1828, - a personal choice between John Quincy Adams and Jackson. Not one of the voters knew Jackson's opinions on the tariff or internal improvements, - the only questions on which a political issue could have been made. It was a strife between democracy and tradition. A change of twenty-six thousand votes would have given to John Quincy Adams the vote of Pennsylvania and the election; but it could only have delayed the triumph of the masses. Jackson swept every Southern and Western State, and received six hundred and fifty thousand popular votes, against five hundred thousand for Adams. It was evident that there had risen up "a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph."