National euphoria after the victory at New Orleans ruined the prestige of the Federalists and they no longer played a significant role as a political party.
So, with the assistance of foreign bankers, they chartered the Second Bank of the United States in The Republicans also imposed tariffs designed to protect the infant industries that had been created when Britain was blockading the U. With the collapse of the Federalists as a party, the adoption of many Federalist principles by the Republicans, and the systematic policy of President James Monroe in his two terms —25 to downplay partisanship, the nation entered an Era of Good Feelings , with far less partisanship than before or after , and closed out the First Party System.
The Monroe Doctrine , expressed in , proclaimed the United States' opinion that European powers should no longer colonize or interfere in the Americas. This was a defining moment in the foreign policy of the United States. In , President Andrew Jackson , 7th President of the United States, ran for a second term under the slogan "Jackson and no bank" and did not renew the charter of the Second Bank of the United States of America, ending the Bank in In , Congress passed the Indian Removal Act , which authorized the president to negotiate treaties that exchanged Native American tribal lands in the eastern states for lands west of the Mississippi River.
Jacksonian Democrats demanded the forcible removal of native populations who refused to acknowledge state laws to reservations in the West; Whigs and religious leaders opposed the move as inhumane.
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Thousands of deaths resulted from the relocations, as seen in the Cherokee Trail of Tears. After the First Party System of Federalists and Republicans withered away in the s, the stage was set for the emergence of a new party system based on well organized local parties that appealed for the votes of almost all adult white men.
The former Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican party split into factions.
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They split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe , and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren , became the Democratic Party. As Norton explains the transformation in Jacksonians believed the people's will had finally prevailed. Through a lavishly financed coalition of state parties, political leaders, and newspaper editors, a popular movement had elected the president.
The Democrats became the nation's first well-organized national party Opposing factions led by Henry Clay helped form the Whig Party. The Democratic Party had a small but decisive advantage over the Whigs until the s, when the Whigs fell apart over the issue of slavery. Behind the platforms issued by state and national parties stood a widely shared political outlook that characterized the Democrats:. The Democrats represented a wide range of views but shared a fundamental commitment to the Jeffersonian concept of an agrarian society.
They viewed the central government as the enemy of individual liberty. The "corrupt bargain" had strengthened their suspicion of Washington politics. Jacksonians feared the concentration of economic and political power. They believed that government intervention in the economy benefited special-interest groups and created corporate monopolies that favored the rich. They sought to restore the independence of the individual the "common man," i. Their definition of the proper role of government tended to be negative, and Jackson's political power was largely expressed in negative acts.
He exercised the veto more than all previous presidents combined. Jackson and his supporters also opposed reform as a movement. Reformers eager to turn their programs into legislation called for a more active government.
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But Democrats tended to oppose programs like educational reform mid the establishment of a public education system. They believed, for instance, that public schools restricted individual liberty by interfering with parental responsibility and undermined freedom of religion by replacing church schools.
Nor did Jackson share reformers' humanitarian concerns. He had no sympathy for American Indians, initiating the removal of the Cherokees along the Trail of Tears. The great majority of anti-slavery activists, such as Abraham Lincoln and Mr. Walters, rejected Garrison's theology and held that slavery was an unfortunate social evil, not a sin.
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The American colonies and the new nation grew rapidly in population and area, as pioneers pushed the frontier of settlement west. Native American tribes in some places resisted militarily, but they were overwhelmed by settlers and the army and after were relocated to reservations in the west. The highly influential " Frontier Thesis " of Wisconsin historian Frederick Jackson Turner argues that the frontier shaped the national character, with its boldness, violence, innovation, individualism , and democracy. Recent historians have emphasized the multicultural nature of the frontier.
Enormous popular attention in the media focuses on the "Wild West" of the second half of the 19th century. As defined by Hine and Faragher, "frontier history tells the story of the creation and defense of communities, the use of the land, the development of markets, and the formation of states". They explain, "It is a tale of conquest, but also one of survival, persistence, and the merging of peoples and cultures that gave birth and continuing life to America. The Hispanics in California " Californios " were overwhelmed by over , gold rush miners. California grew explosively.
San Francisco by had become the economic hub of the entire Pacific Coast with a diverse population of a quarter million. From the early s to , the Oregon Trail and its many offshoots were used by over , settlers. Wagon-trains took five or six months on foot; after , the trip took 6 days by rail. Manifest Destiny was the belief that American settlers were destined to expand across the continent. This concept was born out of "A sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example After a bitter debate in Congress the Republic of Texas was annexed in , leading to war with Mexico, who considered Texas to be a part of Mexico due to the large numbers of Mexican settlers.
The Mexican—American War —48 broke out with the Whigs opposed to the war, and the Democrats supporting the war. The U. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war in Many Democrats wanted to annex all of Mexico, but that idea was rejected by southerners who argued that by incorporating millions of Mexican people, mainly of mixed race, would undermine the United States as an exclusively white republic.
Simultaneously, gold was discovered in California in , attracting over , men to northern California in a matter of months in the California Gold Rush. A peaceful compromise with Britain gave the U. The central issue after was the expansion of slavery, pitting the anti-slavery elements in the North, against the pro-slavery elements that dominated the South.
A small number of active Northerners were abolitionists who declared that ownership of slaves was a sin in terms of Protestant theology and demanded its immediate abolition. Much larger numbers in the North were against the expansion of slavery, seeking to put it on the path to extinction so that America would be committed to free land as in low-cost farms owned and cultivated by a family , free labor, and free speech as opposed to censorship of abolitionist material in the South. Southern whites insisted that slavery was of economic, social, and cultural benefit to all whites and even to the slaves themselves , and denounced all anti-slavery spokesmen as "abolitionists".
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Defenders of slavery argued that the sudden end to the slave economy would have had a profound and killing economic impact in the South where reliance on slave labor was the foundation of their economy. They also argued that if all the slaves were freed, there would be widespread unemployment and chaos. Religious activists split on slavery, with the Methodists and Baptists dividing into northern and southern denominations. In the North, the Methodists, Congregationalists , and Quakers included many abolitionists , especially among women activists. The Catholic , Episcopal and Lutheran denominations largely ignored the slavery issue.
The issue of slavery in the new territories was seemingly settled by the Compromise of , brokered by Whig Henry Clay and Democrat Stephen Douglas ; the Compromise included the admission of California as a free state in exchange for no federal restrictions on slavery placed on Utah or New Mexico. Abolitionists pounced on the Act to attack slavery, as in the best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. The Compromise of was repealed in with the Kansas—Nebraska Act , promoted by Senator Douglas in the name of " popular sovereignty " and democracy.
It permitted voters to decide on the legality slavery in each territory, and allowed Douglas to adopt neutrality on the issue of slavery. Anti-slavery forces rose in anger and alarm, forming the new Republican Party. Pro- and anti- contingents rushed to Kansas to vote slavery up or down, resulting in a miniature civil war called Bleeding Kansas.
By the late s, the young Republican Party dominated nearly all northern states and thus the electoral college. It insisted that slavery would never be allowed to expand and thus would slowly die out. The Southern slavery-based societies had become wealthy based on their cotton and other agricultural commodity production, and some particularly profited from the internal slave trade. Northern cities such as Boston and New York, and regional industries, were tied economically to slavery by banking, shipping, and manufacturing, including textile mills.
By , there were four million slaves in the South , nearly eight times as many as there were nationwide in The plantations were highly profitable, due to the heavy European demand for raw cotton. Most of the profits were invested in new lands and in purchasing more slaves largely drawn from the declining tobacco regions.
For 50 of the nation's first 72 years, a slaveholder served as President of the United States and, during that period, only slaveholding presidents were re-elected to second terms. Slave rebellions, by Gabriel Prosser , Denmark Vesey , Nat Turner , and most famously by John Brown , caused fear in the white South, which imposed stricter oversight of slaves and reduced the rights of free blacks. The Fugitive Slave Act of required the states to cooperate with slave owners when attempting to recover escaped slaves, which outraged Northerners.
Formerly, an escaped slave that reached a non-slave state was presumed to have attained sanctuary and freedom under the Missouri Compromise. The Supreme Court's decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford ruled that the Missouri Compromise was unconstitutional; angry Republicans said this decision threatened to make slavery a national institution. After Abraham Lincoln won the election , seven Southern states seceded from the union and set up a new nation, the Confederate States of America Confederacy , on February 8, It attacked Fort Sumter , a U.
Army fort in South Carolina, thus igniting the war.