Introduction: Following the Era of Good Feelings, the Democratic-Republican Party began to break apart over sectional issues, beginning in the election of 1824 between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams

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Jacksonian Era
Introduction: Following the Era of Good Feelings, the Democratic-Republican Party began to break apart over sectional issues, beginning in the election of 1824 between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams.
In this Election, a tie between Jackson and Adams sent the final decision to the House of Representatives, led by Speaker of the House Henry Clay. Clay provided his support to Adams, who then named him Secretary of State, the stepping-stone to the Presidency. Jackson declared this a Corrupt Bargain and spent the following four years ensuring Adams served as a one-term president.
With Jackson’s election in 1828, he brought to the White House a powerful, centralized and polarizing figure, ushering in the Age of the Common Man and launching a campaign to exercise his great power as President.
Through the Nullification Crisis, Jackson showed the Federal Government would continue to trump State Government. In the Indian Removal Act, Jackson won the support of the South and West moving Indians west despite the Supreme Court’s opposition. In the Bank War, Jackson set the nation up for an economic catastrophe, yet weakened the Financial Power of the North to the excitement of the South and West. However, Jackson’s presidency, though controversial, greatly expanded the power of the Presidency but set the stage for his successors greatest challenges of Westward expansion, Indian affairs and Southern unhappiness at growing strength of the Federal Government.

Key Terms/Key Figures

You should be able to define, explain, and apply the following terms as necessary:

Andrew Jackson

Henry Clay

John Quincy Adams

Corrupt Bargain

The Common Man


Spoils System

Indian Removal Act

John Marshall

Georgia v. Cherokee

Trail of Tears

Pet Banks

Bank War

Nicholas Biddle


Nullification Crisis

Force Act

John C. Calhoun

Key Facts

  • Age of Common Man sees more white men eligible to vote

  • You no longer need to own land to vote  the wealthy are no longer the only ones who chose the president!

  • With more people voting, Presidents must appeal to EVERYONE not just the wealthy

Corrupt Bargain

  • Election of 1824 has a 4-way race between Jackson, Adams, Clay and William Crawford

  • Ultimately no clear winner with majority, so a tie between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams

  • Constitution says that the House of Representatives decides outcome; Clay runs the House as Speaker

  • Clay throws support to Adams  Adams wins  Clay is made Secretary of State (stepping stone to Presidency)

  • Jackson declares a Corrupt Bargain and for 4 years Adams is left facing a fight to get anything done

Indian Removal

  • South & West desperate for new lands to grow more cotton to increase their wealth

  • Indians have treaties with US FEDERAL government saying states wont take their land

  • Georgia takes lands from Cherokee & other tribes; Cherokee decide to sue instead of war

  • Supreme Court under John Marshall rules that a State (Georgia) can’t violate a federal treaty made with a foreign nation (Cherokee) and must return lands

  • Jackson disagrees and uses American forces to move Cherokee further west

Nullification Crisis

  • South Carolina hates the tariff that protects Northern businesses

  • Feels it violates the constitution by making a law that hurts one part of the country in favor of another

  • Declares that a state has the right to nullify any Federal Law it deems to be unconstitutional and interfere with states rights…this will be the issue of slavery in the future!

  • Vice President John C. Calhoun agrees with South Carolina & supports nullification

  • Andrew Jackson says he will use force to enforce Federal Law and invade South Carolina if needed…and threatens to hand all supporters of nullification including his own Vice President!

  • A new Tariff is passed that pleases South Carolina, but stage is set for future fights over States Rights

Bank War

  • National bank provides stability for economy but also makes it more expensive to borrow money  West hates the bank; they need to borrow money to buy the land in the west

  • Jackson does not trust the North or the National Bank and wants to let it expire and close

  • Henry Clay is running for President in 1832 so proposes approving the new bank to make Jackson fight over it and maybe lose the election

  • Jackson is popular and by closing the National Bank, he moves all money into state banks the West and South support him.

  • State banks more unstable, print too much money, inflation is too high and money is worthless

  • Jackson insists all land must be paid for in gold & silver instead of the worthless money…NO ONE HAS GOLD & SILVER

  • Economy will tank

Key Themes

  • How did increased suffrage impact the voting process for President?

  • Explain how Andrew Jackson expanded the power of the Presidency

  • How did the Nullification Crisis develop and what does this foreshadow with regards to the issue of slavery and state’s rights?

  • Explain the Bank War and how it weakened the United States economy

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