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  • 1892
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would begin the construction of a canal from Albany to the Lakes; it had also large support in the South, especially in South Carolina. In the last hours of his administration Madison vetoed it. His message shows that he had selected this occasion to leave to the people a political testament; he was at last alarmed by the progress of his own party, and, like Jefferson, he insisted that internal improvements were desirable, but needed a constitutional amendment. The immediate effect of the veto was that New York, seeing no prospect of federal aid, at once herself began the construction of the Erie Canal, which was opened eight years later. [Sidenote: State improvements.] Other States attempted like enterprises; but the passes behind the Susquehanna and Potomac rivers were too high, and no permanent water way was ever finished over them.


[Sidenote: Increase of duties.]
[Sidenote: Jefferson’s attitude.]

The protection controversy had hardly appeared in Congress since the memorable debate of 1789 (Section 76). From time to time the duties had been slightly increased, and in 1799 a general administrative tariff act had been passed. The wars with the Barbary powers had necessitated a slight increase of the duties, known as the Mediterranean Fund, and this had been allowed to stand. Up to the doubling of the duties in 1812 the average rate on staple imports was only from ten to fifteen per cent, and the maximum was about thirty per cent. The whole theory of the Republican administration had been that finance consisted in deciding upon the necessary expenses of government, and then in providing the taxes necessary to meet them. This theory had been disturbed by the existence of a debt which Jefferson was eager to extinguish; and he therefore permitted the duties to remain at a point where they produced much more than the ordinary expenditure of the government.

[Sidenote: The manufacturers.]
[Sidenote: The West.]

A change had now come over the country. The incidental protection afforded by the increase of duties, and then by the war, had built up manufactures, not only in New England, but in New York and Pennsylvania. In these strongholds of capital and trade there was a cry for higher duties, and it was much enforced by the attitude of the Western members. There were a few staple crops, particularly hemp and flax, which could not be produced in the face of foreign competition, and for which Western States were supposed to be adapted. Hence a double influence was at work in behalf of a protective tariff: the established industries pleaded for a continuance of the high duties which had given them an opportunity to rise; and the friends of young industries asked for new duties, in order that their enterprises might be established.

[Sidenote: Dallas’s tariff bill.]
[Sidenote: Opponents.]
[Sidenote: Advocates.]

Accordingly, in February, 1816, Secretary Dallas made an elaborate report in favor of protective duties. John Randolph, who still posed as the defender of the original Republican doctrine, protested. “The agriculturist,” said he, “has his property, his lands, his all, his household gods to defend;” and he pointed out what was afterward to become the most effective argument against the tariff: “Upon whom bears the duty on coarse woollens and linens and blankets, upon salt and all the necessaries of life? Upon poor men and upon slaveholders.” Webster, representing the commercial interest of New England, decidedly opposed the tariff, especially the minimum principle, and succeeded in obtaining a slight reduction. One of the strongest defenders of the tariff was Calhoun. Manufactures, he declared, produced an interest strictly American, and calculated to bind the widespread republic more closely together. The chief supporter of the system was Henry Clay of Kentucky, the Speaker of the House. His argument was that the country ought to be able to defend itself in time of war, It was not expected at this time that a protective tariff would become permanent. In a few years, said a committee of the House, the country would be in a condition to bid defiance to foreign competition.

[Sidenote: Protective policy.]
[Sidenote: The minimum.]

The act as passed April 27, 1816, had favorable votes in every State in the Union except Delaware and North Carolina. The opposition was strong in the South and in New England. Madison signed the bill and accepted the policy, and even Jefferson declared that “We must now place the manufacturer by the side of the agriculturist.” The act imposed duties of twenty-five per cent upon cotton and woollen goods, and the highest ad valorem duty was about thirty per cent. In addition, no duty was to be less than six and a quarter cents a yard on cottons and woollens: hence as improvements in machinery caused a rapid lowering of the cost of production abroad, the duty grew heavier on coarse goods, in proportion to their value, till it was almost prohibitory. The act was accepted without any popular demonstrations against it, and remained in force, with some unimportant modifications, until 1824. One purpose undoubtedly was to show to foreign governments that the United States could discriminate against their trade if they discriminated against ours.


[Sidenote: Monroe’s election.]
[Sidenote: The cabinet.]

The election of 1816 proved that the Federalists could no longer keep up a national organization. They were successful only in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Delaware. On March 4, 1817, therefore, James Monroe took his seat as the President of a well-united people. Although he had been the friend and candidate of Randolph, he represented substantially the same principles as Jefferson and Madison. His cabinet was the ablest since Washington’s; he gathered about him four of the most distinguished public men in the country. His Secretary of State was John Quincy Adams, one of the negotiators of the treaty of Ghent. His Secretary of the Treasury was William H. Crawford of Georgia, who had shown financial ability in Congress and in Madison’s cabinet. For Secretary of War he chose John C. Calhoun, who had in the six years of his national public service become renowned as an active and almost a passionate advocate of the use of large national powers. His Attorney-General was William Wirt of Virginia.

[Sidenote: Party strength.]

These young men represented an eager policy, and in their national principles had advanced far beyond the old Federalists; but the people had been somewhat startled by the boldness of the preceding Congress, and many of the members who would have agreed with the President had lost their seats. Throughout the whole administration Jefferson at Monticello, and Madison at Montpelier, remained in dignified retirement; from time to time Monroe asked their advice on great public questions.

[Sidenote: Commercial treaties.]

One of the first tasks of the administration was to restore the commercial relations which had been so disturbed by the Napoleonic wars. Algiers had taken advantage of the War of 1812 to capture American vessels. In 1815 the Dey was compelled on the quarter-deck of Decatur’s ship to sign a treaty of peace and amity. All our commercial treaties had disappeared in the war, and had to be painfully renewed. In 1815 a commercial convention was made with Great Britain, and in 1818 the fishery privileges of the United States were reaffirmed. The West India trade was still denied, but a retaliatory act brought Great Britain to terms, and it was opened in 1822.


[Sidenote: Northern boundary.]
[Sidenote: Oregon.]
[Sidenote: Boundary treaty.]

The administration inherited two serious boundary controversies, one with England, and another with Spain. Some progress had been made toward running the northeast boundary, till in 1818 the commissioners disagreed. The northwest boundary had now come to be more important. A few months before the annexation of Louisiana, Jefferson had sent an expedition to explore the country drained by the Columbia River, which had been discovered by a Boston ship in 1791. This expedition, under Lewis and Clark, in 1805 reached tributaries of the Columbia and descended it to its mouth, anticipating a similar English expedition. Nevertheless, the Hudson’s Bay Company established trading-posts in the region. Monroe settled the difficulty for the time being by a treaty with Great Britain in 1818, providing that the disputed region lying between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean and extending indefinitely northward should be jointly occupied by both countries. At the same time the northern boundary was defined from the Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains.

[Sidenote: West Florida.]
[Sidenote: Spanish treaty.]

A year later another treaty with Spain gave to the United States a region which Jefferson had longed for in vain. Ever since 1803 the United States had asserted that West Florida had come to it as a part of Louisiana (§ 99). Spain steadfastly refused to admit this construction or to sell the province. In 1810 Madison by proclamation took possession of the disputed region, and a part of it was soon after added to Louisiana. East Florida could not possibly be included within Louisiana, but as a detached peninsula it was of little value to Spain. John Quincy Adams now undertook a negotiation for the settlement of all outstanding difficulties with Spain, and on Feb. 22, 1819, a treaty was signed: East Florida was ceded for a payment of about $6,500,000, and at the same time the western boundary of Louisiana was settled. An irregular line was described from the Gulf to the forty-second parallel; it was not far distant from the watershed south and west of the tributaries of the Mississippi. Then came the triumph of the whole negotiation: Adams obtained from Spain a renunciation of all claims north of the forty-second parallel, as far west as the Pacific. Our hold upon Oregon was thus much strengthened.

125. JUDICIAL DECISIONS (1812-1824).

[Sidenote: New judges.]
[Sidenote: Authority asserted.]

Two departments of the federal government had now shown their belief that the United States was a nation which ought to exercise national powers How did it stand with the judiciary department? Of the judges of the Supreme Court appointed by Washington and Adams but two remained in office in 1817; but the new justices, as they were appointed, quietly accepted the constitutional principles laid down by Marshall, their Chief Justice and leader. Among them was Joseph Story of Massachusetts, whose mastery of legal reasoning and power of statement gave him unusual influence. After the Marbury case in 1803 (§ 96) the Court refrained for some years from delivering decisions which involved important political questions. In 1809, however, it sustained Judge Peters of the Pennsylvania District Court in a struggle for authority against the governor and legislature of that State (§ 110). The courts were victorious, and the commander of the militia, who had opposed them with armed force, was punished.

[Sidenote: Appeals taken.]
[Implied powers affirmed.]

The legislation of 1815 and 1816 showed to the Court that its view of the Constitution was accepted by the people; and it now began a series of great constitutional decisions, which put on record as legal precedents the doctrines of implied powers and of national sovereignty. In the great cases of Martin _vs._ Hunter’s Lessee, and Cohens _vs._ Virginia, in 1816 and 1821, it asserted the right of the Supreme Court to take cases on appeal from the State courts, and thus to make itself the final tribunal in constitutional questions. At about the same time, in two famous cases, McCullough _vs._ Maryland in 1819, and Osborn et al. _vs._ Bank of the United States in 1824, the doctrine of implied powers was stated in the most definite manner. Both cases arose out of the attempt of States to tax the United States Bank, and the final issue was the power of Congress to charter such a bank. The doctrine laid down by Hamilton in 1791 (§ 78) was reaffirmed in most positive terms. “A national bank,” said Marshall, “is an appropriate means to carry out some of the implied powers, a usual and convenient agent…. Let the end be within the scope of the Constitution, and all means which are … plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited,… but consistent with the letter and spirit of the Constitution, are constitutional.” Although the tariff act was not tested by a specific case, the spirit of the decision reached it also.

[Sidenote: State powers limited.]
[Sidenote: Impairment of contracts.]

Having thus asserted the authority of the nation on one side, the Court proceeded to draw the boundary of the powers of the States on the other side. In a question arising out of grants of land by the Georgia legislature in the Yazoo district, it had been claimed that any such grant could be withdrawn by a subsequent legislature. The Court held in Fletcher _vs._ Peck, in 1810, that such a withdrawal was in contravention of the constitutional clause which forbade the States to impair the obligation of contracts. In 1819, in the celebrated case of Dartmouth College _vs._ Woodward, this principle was pushed to an unexpected conclusion. The legislature of New Hampshire had passed an act modifying a charter granted in colonial times to Dartmouth College. Webster, as counsel for the Board of Trustees which had thus been dispossessed, pleaded that a charter granted to a corporation was a contract which could not be altered without its consent. Much indirect argument was brought to bear upon Marshall, and eventually the Court held that private charters were contracts. The effect of this decision was to diminish the power and prestige of the State governments; but the general sentiment of the country sustained it. So united did all factions now seem in one theory of national existence that in the election of 1820 Monroe received every vote but one.


[Sidenote: Silent growth of slavery.]

Out of this peace and concord suddenly sprang up, as Jefferson said, “like a fire-bell in the night,” a question which had silently divided the Union, and threatened to dissolve it. It was the question of slavery. During the whole course of the Napoleonic wars the country had been occupied in the defence of its neutral trade; since 1815 it had been busy in reorganizing its commercial and political system. During this time, however, four new States had been admitted into the Union: of these, two–Ohio and Indiana– came in with constitutions prohibiting slavery; two–Louisiana and Mississippi–had slaves. This balance was not accidental; it was arranged so as to preserve a like balance in the Senate.

[Sidenote: Slavery profitable.]
[Sidenote: Slave-trade forbidden.]

The movement against slavery had by no means spent itself: there were still emancipation societies both North and South. In 1794 Jay appeared to suppose that cotton was not an American export (§ 85); but since the invention of the cotton-gin in 1793 the cultivation of cotton by slave labor had grown more and more profitable, and in 1820 that export was valued at nearly twenty millions. The planters of the northern belt of slaveholding States did not share in this culture, but they found an increasing sale for their surplus blacks to their Southern neighbors; they had, therefore, joined with members from the Northern States in the act of March 2, 1807, to prohibit the importation of slaves. The act was insufficient, inasmuch as the punishment provided was slight, and slaves captured while in course of illegal importation were sold for the benefit of the States into which they were brought, In 1820 the slave-trade was made piracy, so that the nominal penalty was death.

[Sidenote: Schemes of colonization.]

One evidence of the uneasiness of the country on the slavery question was the formation of the American Colonization Society in 1816. Its purpose was to encourage emancipation, and thus to reduce the evils of slavery, by drawing off the free blacks and colonizing them in Africa. It had a large membership throughout the country; James Madison and Henry Clay were among its presidents. Some States made grants of money in its aid, and after 1819 the United States assisted it by sending to the African colony slaves captured while in course of illegal importation. The whole scheme was but a palliative, and in fact rather tended to strengthen slavery, by taking away the disquieting presence of free blacks among the slaves. The Society, however, never had the means to draw away enough negroes sensibly to affect the problem; the number which they exported was replaced many times over by illegal importations from Africa.

[Sidenote: Fugitive slaves.]
[Sidenote: District of Columbia.]

In two other directions the nation had power over slavery, but declined to exercise it The Fugitive Slave Act (Section 79) was found to be ineffective. From 1818 to 1822 three bills to strengthen it were introduced and strongly pressed, but nothing could be accomplished. In the District of Columbia, where the United States had complete legislative power, slavery existed under a very harsh code. Washington was a centre for the interstate slave-trade, and John Randolph, himself a slaveholder, could not restrain his indignation that “we should have here in the very streets of our metropolis a depot for this nefarious traffic;” but Congress took no action.

[Sidenote: Status of Louisiana.]

A question had now arisen which must be decided. The whole of the Louisiana cession was slaveholding territory, and settlers had gone up the Mississippi River and its western tributaries with their slaves. In 1819 it was found necessary to provide a territorial government for Arkansas; and the people living about the Missouri River applied to be admitted as a State with a slaveholding constitution.


[Sidenote: Arkansas debate.]

The first step in the great slavery contest was a bill introduced into the House in December, 1818, providing a territorial government for Arkansas. Taylor of New York proposed that slavery be prohibited in the Territory; McLane of Delaware suggested the “fixing of a line on the west of the Mississippi, north of which slavery should not be tolerated.” The test vote on the exclusion of slavery was a tie, and Clay, as Speaker, cast his vote against it. The new Territory lay west of the Mississippi, and adjacent to Louisiana. The Northern members were, therefore, not disposed to make the issue at that point, and on March 2, 1819, an Act was passed organizing Arkansas, with no mention of slavery. Meanwhile, Illinois had been admitted, making eleven free States.

[Sidenote: Proposed restriction on Missouri.]

Side by side with this debate had proceeded a discussion on the admission of Missouri as a State. On Feb. 13, 1819, Talmadge of New York proposed as an amendment “that the further introduction of slavery or involuntary servitude be prohibited, … and that all children of slaves born within the said State after the admission thereof into the Union shall be free.” Missouri lay west of Illinois, which had just been admitted into the Union as a Free State; the Northern members, therefore, rallied, and passed the Talmadge amendment by a vote of eighty-seven to seventy-six. The Senate, by a vote of twenty-two to sixteen, refused to accept the amendment; there was no time for an adjustment, and Congress adjourned without action.

[Sidenote: Missouri bill.]
[Sidenote: Maine bill.]
[Sidenote: Compromise line.]

During 1819 the question was discussed throughout the Union. Several legislatures, by unanimous votes, protested against admitting a new Slave State, and when the new Congress assembled in 1819 it became the principal issue of the session. Alabama was at once admitted, restoring the balance of Slave and Free States. The people of Maine were now about to separate from Massachusetts, and also petitioned for entrance into the Union. A bill for this purpose passed the House on December 30, and a month later a bill for the admission of Missouri, with the Talmadge amendment, was also introduced into the House. The Senate, on Feb. 16, 1820, voted to admit Maine, provided Missouri was at the same time admitted as a Slave State. The House still refused to comply. Thomas of Illinois now proposed as a compromise the principle suggested by McLane a year earlier,–that an east and west line be drawn across the Louisiana cession, north of which slavery should be prohibited. Fourteen Northern members united with the seventy-six Southern members to form a bare majority against prohibiting slavery in Missouri; the principle was thus abandoned, and the only question was where the line should be drawn: the parallel of 36° 30′ was selected, but it was expressly provided that Missouri should be slaveholding. On March 3 the compromise became a law.

[Sidenote: Missouri constitution.]

A year later a third difficulty arose. The people of Missouri had formed a constitution which provided that free colored men should not be allowed to enter the State under any pretext. Nearly the whole Northern vote in the House was cast against admitting the State with this provision. Clay brought about a compromise by which the Missourians were to agree not to deprive of his rights any citizen of another State. Upon this understanding Missouri was finally admitted.

[Sidenote: Friends of disunion.]
[Sidenote: Advantage to the South.] [Sidenote: Advantage to the North.]

In form the compromises were a settlement of difficulties between the two Houses; in fact they were an agreement between the two sections, by which the future of slavery in every part of the Louisiana purchase was to be settled once for all. Threats were freely made that if slavery were prohibited in Missouri, the South would withdraw. Calhoun told Adams that if the trouble produced a dissolution of the Union, “the South would be from necessity compelled to form an alliance, offensive and defensive, with Great Britain.” Adams retorted by asking whether, in such a case, if “the population of the North should be cut off from its natural outlet upon the ocean, it would fall back upon its rocks bound hand and foot to starve, or whether it would not retain its powers of locomotion to move southward by land?” The compromise was, as Benton says, “conceived and passed as a Southern measure,” although Randolph called it a “dirty bargain;” nevertheless, on the final test vote thirty-five Southern members refused to admit the principle that Congress could prohibit slavery in the Territories. The South gained Missouri, and a few years later Arkansas came in as a slave State; but in the long run the advantage was to the North. The South got the small end of the triangle; the North the whole region now occupied by the States of Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, the Dakotas, and Montana, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, and Minnesota; and the final struggle over slavery was postponed for thirty years.


[Sidenote: The Spanish colonies.]
[Sidenote: Revolutions.]

While the attention of the country was absorbed by the Missouri struggle, a new question of diplomacy had arisen. In 1789 almost every part of the two American continents south of the United States, except Brazil, was subject to Spain. The American Revolution had given a shock to the principle of colonial government by European powers; the Spanish colonies refused to acknowledge the authority of the French usurpers in Spain, and in 1808 a series of revolts occurred. At the restoration of the Spanish Bourbons in 1814, the colonies returned to nominal allegiance. The new king attempted to introduce the old regime: the colonies had too long enjoyed the sweets of direct trade with other countries, and they resented the ungentle attempts to restore them to complete dependence; between 1816 and 1820 the provinces on the Rio de la Plata, Chile, and Venezuela again revolted; and by 1822 there was a revolutionary government in every continental Spanish province, including Mexico.

[Sidenote: The Holy Alliance.]
[Sidenote: Intervention proposed.]

When Europe was reorganized, after the fall of Napoleon, almost all the powers entered into a kind of a treaty, known as the Holy Alliance, framed Sept. 26, 1815. They announced the future principle of international relations to be that of “doing each other reciprocal service, and of testifying by unalterable good will the mutual affection with which they ought to be animated,” and that they considered themselves “all as members of one and the same Christian nation.” Within this pious verbiage was concealed a plan of mutual assistance in case of the outbreak of revolutions. When Spain revolted against her sovereign in 1820, a European Congress was held, and by its direction the French in 1823 a second time restored the Spanish Bourbons. The grateful king insisted that the revolution of the Spanish colonies ought to be put down by a common effort of the European powers, as a danger to the principle of hereditary government.

[Sidenote: American interests.]
[Sidenote: Russian colonization.]
[Sidenote: English proposals.]

Here the interests of the United States became involved: they were trading freely with the Spanish Americans; they sympathized with the new governments, which were nominally founded on the model of the North American republic; they felt what now seems an unreasonable fear that European powers would invade the United States. At the same time the Russians, who had obtained a foothold on the northwest coast fifty years earlier, were attempting to establish a permanent colony, and on Sept. 24, 1821, issued a ukase forbidding all foreigners to trade on the Pacific coast north of the fifty-first parallel, or to approach within one hundred Italian miles of the shore. John Quincy Adams, who had a quick eye for national rights, protested vigorously. Now came most gratifying evidence that the United States was the leading power in America: in September, 1823, the British government proposed to our minister in England that the two countries should unite in a declaration against European intervention in the colonies. The invitation was declined, but the good will of Great Britain was assured.


[Sidenote: Monroe’s message.]
[Sidenote: Colonization clause.]
[Sidenote: Intervention Clause.]

John Quincy Adams had succeeded in bringing the President to the point where he was willing, in behalf of the nation, to make a protest against both these forms of interference in American affairs. When Congress met, in December, 1823, Monroe sent in a message embodying what is popularly called the Monroe Doctrine. He had taken the advice of Jefferson, who declared that one of the maxims of American policy was “never to suffer Europe to meddle with cis-Atlantic affairs.” Madison, with characteristic caution, suggested an agreement with Great Britain to unite in “armed disapprobation.” In the cabinet meeting, Adams pointed out that intervention would result, not in restoring the colonies to Spain, but in dividing them among European nations, in which case Russia might take California. His views prevailed, and the message contained, in the first place, a clause directed against Russia: “The American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.” Against intervention there was even a stronger protest: “With the governments who have declared their independence and maintained it,… we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling in any other manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light than as a manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.”

[Sidenote: Effect.]

In every way this dignified protest was effectual: the news caused an immediate rise in the funds of the revolted States in European markets; projects of European intervention were at once abandoned; and Great Britain followed the United States in recognizing the independence of the new countries. In 1824 Russia made a treaty agreeing to claim no territory south of 54° 40′, and not to disturb or restrain citizens of the United States in any part of the Pacific Ocean.

When Monroe retired from the Presidency on March 4, 1825, the internal authority of the national government had for ten years steadily increased, and the dignity and influence of the nation abroad showed that it had become one of the world’s great powers.




BIBLIOGRAPHIES.–W. E. Foster, _References to Presidential Administrations_, 20-22; Justin Winsor, _Narrative and Critical History_, VII. 346-348; Channing and Hart, _Guide_, §§ 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.


[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: Political proscription.]
[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.”

[Sidenote: 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).

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: Era of good feeling.]
[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.”

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: “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.

[Sidenote: “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).

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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” (§ 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.

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.


[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: First harbor bill.]
[Sidenote: Preliminary surveys.]
[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: Opposition.]

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.

[Sidenote: Land grants.]
[Sidenote: 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.”

[Sidenote: 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.


[Sidenote: Tribal governments.]
[Sidenote: 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.”

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.


[Sidenote: Commercial treaties.]
[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: Tariff on raw materials.]
[Sidenote: 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.”

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: Executive patronage.]
[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: Jackson’s campaign.]
[Sidenote: 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.


[Sidenote: Adams’s policy.]
[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.

[Sidenote: 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.”