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American Political System DBQ

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The political changes in democracy, republicanism, and liberalism have been thoroughly used to portray, in various ways, the development of the American political system. In particular, between 1824 and 1840, there existed a period of extraordinary growth and change for the United States. Still, Americans were able to effectively embrace the popular democracy while crises pertaining to popular rights dominated overseas. As a result, many economic and social variations transpired and the political foundations or our nation transformed. The election of 1824 was a vivid example of a primary change in our nation’s presidential olitical system and its effect on the economy.

During this time, there existed a single Democratic- Republican Party.

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Consequently, under the notion of sectionalism, there subsisted five individual candidates from each region. Preceding the election, candidate Andrew Jackson, being a former United States Senator and war hero, gained tremendous support. Meanwhile, his main adversary, John Quincy Adams, was also proving his popularity in his support of the “American System”.

Eventually, Jackson won the overall popular and electoral vote, but was still unable to achieve this presidential position. Doc. B] Since neither candidate had a majority, the decision was made by the House of Representatives, more specifically, former candidate Henry Clay.

As Speaker of the House, Clay gave his support to Adams, feeling as though he could implement the “American system” and successfully strengthen the government and spur the economy as well. During his presidency, Adams elected Henry Clay as Secretary of the State. The election of Adams marked the end of the “Era of Good Feelings” and demonstrated an act of “corrupt bargaining”. Similar to James Monroe, Adams’s policy of the “American System” would be ntended to utilize the government in a sincere effort to air the people. Here, he would enforce high tariffs, improve the United States Bank, and increase infrastructure. Adams successfully expanded the National Road to Ohio and devoted several millions of dollars to improve roads and rivers. Still, however, his internal improvements benefitted some citizens more than others and brought about the federal government in regional affairs. Therefore, loyalists of Jackson restricted numerous internal improvements of Adams that involved the economy in commerce and agriculture.

As politics increasingly became popular, there was a greater demand in reading the newspaper. [Doc. C] The paper provided libelous, scandalous, and entertaining stories for voters to base their opinions on. Voters deemed the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828 as one of great atrocity. During that time, Rhode Island and Massachusetts manufacturers were unable to compete with the British textile companies throughout America. Jackson, in support of the “American System”, and in favor of tariffs, immediately issued one known as the “Tariff of Abomination” in 1828. Consequently, itizens, especially southerners, became outraged because of the high tax on iron and textiles. In addition, inflation on raw materials for New England transpired and the cost of items produced increased as well. Furthermore, in 1832, Congress reapproved the National Bank Charter.

Jackson, in distrust of business and banks altogether, decides to veto this action. In his reelection, Jackson sought out to eliminate the national bank potential by transferring ten million dollars in state (pet) banks. Ultimately, this brought about the end of the “American System” and began a policy of laissez faire here commercial interests regulate the economy instead of the government. In 1836, Martin Van Buren becomes president and therefore adopts the looming financial crisis instigated by the bank wars. Merely one year later, the United States endures the Panic of 1837. During this time, inflation persists, unemployment reaches ten percent, and there is no government aid offered. Moreover, there was an increased use of paper money across the country. Before the end of his election, Jackson issued the Specie Circular, announcing that the government would restrict payment for public lands to hard currency.

Unfortunately, any efforts to resolve the crisis proved to be futile. Eventually there is a collapse of the banking system, leading to additional business closures and outright failures. Causing great despair, the Panic of 1837 lasted six elongated years. Prior to 1800, voting rights were limited to the elite –white property owners and taxpayers. However, as more states began to enter the union, laws pertaining to voting began to alter. [Doc. A] More specifically, laws excluding African American men from voting increased tremendously. Still, at this time, free African American voting occurred throughout most of the Northeast.

However, Democrats strongly opposed African American suffrage and in 1802, the Ohio Constitution was passed. Under this document, African Americans were unable to vote, hold public office, or testify against white men in court cases. Concurrently, racism was prevalent in the south which, in turn, prohibited all African Americans from voting. Women, however, either white or black, were considered subordinate to men. As a result, all women were denied the right to vote as well. With the growth of the textile industry in the 1820’s, there was a strong demand for an increased actory labor force. People began to look west, in hopes of expanding their companies in an effort to remain successful. Ultimately, this order led to several changes in the living conditions for both Americans and natives.

With the Indians being the mere obstacle, Jackson, during his presidency, looked to remove these people from their respective lands. In 1830, he issued the Indian Removal Act. However, two individual court cases transpired (Cherokee Nation v. Georgia 1831 & Worcester v. Georgia 1832) under which Court Justice John Marshall claimed that the natives could not be oved. [Doc D] Still, Jackson ignored this statement and successfully moved 16,000 Cherokees on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma where nearly one-fourth died before reaching their new home. Through distinct political alterations, our nation slowly began to alter both positively and negatively. As a result, the lives of the individuals occupying these historic lands changed as well. The decisions and actions of former presidents helped form the society and economy that we have today. By recognizing the achievements of these leaders we can gain a greater appreciation for our country today.

Cite this American Political System DBQ

American Political System DBQ. (2016, Dec 09). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/american-political-system-dbq/

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