Events: Age of Jackson
In 1824 there were four candidates for the presidency of the United States: John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts, Henry Clay of Kentucky, Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, and William Henry Crawford of Georgia. Each candidate represented a different section of the country. It was a close race, and none of the four received a majority of the electoral votes although Andrew Jackson received more popular and electoral votes than did any of the other three. When no candidate has a majority, the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution states that the House of Representatives decides who will be president from the top three candidates. Henry Clay was Speaker of the House of Representatives and thus had a huge influence on the vote. In what became known as the “Corrupt Bargain,” Clay supported John Quincy Adams. John Quincy Adams became President, and Clay secured a new job as the Secretary of State for himself in the process when Adams appointed him to that position.
After losing the presidential election of 1824 in the House of Representatives, Andrew Jackson ran once more against John Quincy Adams for President in 1828. Jackson ran as a Democrat and Adams ran as a Whig. Jackson was one of the first candidates to personally campaign for the presidency. He traveled the country visiting taverns and talking to people. He portrayed himself as a “common man.” With this persona, and increased male suffrage (voting) by non-landowners, Jackson easily won the election. Jackson supported limited government powers and hands-off government. He used the spoils system to reward political supporters with government jobs.
The Nullification Crisis of 1828-1832 was a conflict between the national government and Southern state governments over the issue of tariffs. John C. Calhoun, Vice President of the United States, wrote the South Carolina Exposition and Protest in response to what the South called the “Tariff of Abominations.” He argued that a state could nullify (declare invalid) a federal law it saw as unconstitutional. President Andrew Jackson argued for national sovereignty, and Calhoun argued for state sovereignty. South Carolina threatened nullification and secession (to officially withdraw from the U.S.) unless the Tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were repealed. Congress repealed the tariffs but passed the Force Bill allowing the President to send troops to enforce its laws. South Carolina nullified the Force Bill. Although a compromise was reached, the threat of Civil War loomed over the country.
The Trail of Tears was the result of the forced removal of Indians living in the Southeastern United States from their ancestral lands to the Oklahoma Territory. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 had authorized the removals. During the march west the Indians were guarded by state and local militia. Thousands died due to disease, starvation, and exposure during the winter. The removal of the Native Americans resulted in opening approximately 25 million acres of land for settlement and agricultural expansion in the South.
This term refers to the 1832-1836 conflict between supporters of the Second Bank of the U.S. and Andrew Jackson. President Andrew Jackson vetoed (rejected) Congress’ re-charter of the Bank of the United States, thus forcing it to close. He had the U.S. government’s money removed from the National Bank and deposited in state banks called “pet banks.” This led to an economic panic.