The Era of the Common Man
Andrew Jackson vs.
John Quincy Adams
 Jackson was billed as
the “common man”
while Adams was
portrayed as an
“aristocratic elitist”
 Jackson won both the
popular and electoral
vote in a majority
1767 – 1845
7th president
Nicknamed “Old Hickory,”
a tribute to his background
as a frontiersman
War hero from both War of
1812 and Seminole Indian
First president to survive
an assassination attempt
Suffrage extended to any
adult white male
 Jackson was 1st president
to come from background
of poverty, so he was the
hero of the common man
 Still, Jackson hated Native
Americans and supported
Jackson began new
tradition of dismissing what
had been career
government officials and
replacing them with his
party’s loyal followers
 This still happens today –
Presidents reward their
supporters with important
government jobs
1800 – 1831
Virginia slave who had
religious “visions”
 Practiced as a Baptist
preacher (nicknamed
“The Prophet” by other
 Believed that God
called on him to lead a
slave rebellion
August 21, 1831
Slave uprising that
resulted in the deaths of 56
whites in VA
 Quickly suppressed by the
militia, dozens of slaves
(including Turner) were
executed for their roles in
the rebellion
 Led to harsher slave
codes- bans throughout
the South on educating
slaves and allowing slaves
to freely assemble without
white supervision
1832: South Carolina declared
new tariffs unconstitutional
and thereby nullified
 John C. Calhoun resigned as
Vice-President to support SC
position as a senator
 Jackson considered this
treasonous and prepared to
use military force on SC to
enforce the tariffs
 SC threatened to secede
(leave the US) if high tariffs
weren’t repealed
Henry Clay delayed
passage of the Force Bill
which would give Jackson
permission to take military
action against SC until he
could force through a bill
that would gradually
reduce tariffs over the next
10 years
Once this compromise
tariff was passed, SC
repealed its nullification
and crisis was averted
Jackson disliked the Bank
Congress passed a bill
extending the Bank’s
charter in 1832, but
Jackson vetoed; instead,
Jackson withdrew all of the
federal governments
deposits from the Bank and
moved them to state
banks or “pet banks”
 National Bank no longer
had money to lend and
Turn to page 257
Look at “Analyzing
Political Cartoons”
Answer 1 & 2
1834: National Republican
Party changed its name to
the Whig Party
“Whigs” in England were
people who opposed the
power of the king;
American Whigs felt that
Andrew Jackson had been
abusive of his power as
Jackson supported his VP
Martin Van Buren as his
Van Buren easily won the
Democratic nomination at
convention (1st time
national party convention
Whigs could not settle on
one candidate to run and
so their votes were split;
Van Buren won
1782 – 1862
8th President (1837-41)
Former Vice-President
and Secretary of State
under Jackson
 Lost presidential
elections of 1840 and
State banks loaned
money freely without the
National Bank to oversee
Loaned more money than
they had, leading to
failure of many of the
Inflation soared,
unemployment rose,
businesses closed, many
people lost everything
Ruined Van Buren’s
Whigs nominated war
hero William Henry
Harrison after Henry
Clay and Daniel
Webster each proved
too divisive to win
majority support within
the party
 Harrison easily
defeated Van Buren
1773 – 1841
9th President (1841)
Nicknamed “Old
Tippecanoe” from his fame
as hero of Northwest
Indian War
Shortest tenure in US
history – president for only
32 days before dying of
1808: Congress banned
the importation of new
1820: 1.5 million slaves in
1850: 4 million slaves in
Demand for slaves grew
as demand for cotton
1850: South’s white
pop = 6 million
1850: South’s slave pop
= 3.6 million
350,000 slave owners
37,000 owned 20+
8,000 owned 50+ slaves
11 owned 500+ slaves
1825 – 1855: 5 million
European immigrants
 Arrived poor,
concentrated in ethnic
 Created a cheap labor
force for Northern
 NYC Immigrant Central
Many Americans began
to oppose immigration
and promote the rights
of “Native” Americans
 Resented immigrants
taking jobs from
American citizens
1840s – 1850s
Anti-Catholic nativist group
To be a member, had to be a
male Protestant of English
descent over the age of 21
 If questioned about the group,
members would reply, “I know
 Briefly became a political party,
with some success in
Massachusetts and Illinois
 Broke apart due to divisions
over slavery issue
Didn’t want to
compete with freed
slaves for jobs, so
supported Southern
slave owners!
 Many Irish, in fact,
would fight for the
South in the Civil War
Causes of growth:
Urbanization: people
move from country to
 Immigration: European
immigrants arrived at
northern ports, tended
to stay in north or go
Number of seats in the House
of Representatives is based
purely on population, so
North was gaining control of
one house of Congress
 Slaves only counted as 3/5ths
of a person in the 3/ 5ths
 naturalized immigrants
counted as a whole person
for population counts
Economy based on the “factory
system”: manufacturing and
Relied on plentiful immigrant
Favored high tariffs that
protected US industries
Wanted a strong federal
government to build
transportation networks,
protect trade, and regulate the
Economy based on the
“plantation system”: largescale farming of cash crops
 Relied on slave labor
 Opposed to high tariffs –
imported many European
goods, feared Europeans
would retaliate by putting
tariffs on Southern agricultural
 Favored strong state
government, feared a strong
federal government would
restrict slavery
3 events/people that promoted
2 events/people that promoted
1 example of how nativism brought
division to the country