The Democratization of American Culture:
The Age of Jackson and Ante-bellum Reform
Unit Five
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Unit Outline
Day One
White Man's Democracy 

Divine, pages 288-293 , 310-311 and begin 295-299 

What caused the democratization of American culture during the Jacksonian Era?  In what ways did this democratization manifest itself?  What were its limits? 
democracy, equality of opportunity, self-made man, social leveling, Andrew Jackson, suffrage, national political party, popular vote, nominating convention, laissez faire, Workingmenís party, servant, "help", Alexis de Tocqueville, Greek Style, romantic movement

Homework Questions: 
  1. What types of people patronized the new hotels of the 1820s-30s?  Who was   excluded? What does this say about the differences between the U.S. and the "Old World" in the 1830s?  How might these hotels be considered a metaphor for the era? 

  2. How did American views about democracy change between the days of the founding fathers and the 1820s and 30s?  How did this change impact the way Americans viewed their social betters? 
  3. In what sense did American politics become more democratic during the 1820s and 30s? 
  4. How did Jacksonians and their opponents differ in their views of what role government should play in creating opportunity?  Why did common people tend to support Jackson's view of the role of government? 

Day Two
Liberty or Union: Jackson, the Nullification Crisis and the role of the State 
Divine, pages 295-301 and 265 (map) 
Supplement: Jackson, "Maysville Road Veto" 
Supplement: South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification 
Supplement: Calhoun, "Fort Hill Address" 
Supplement: Jackson," Jackson's Address to the People of South Carolina" 
Write out answers to homework questions 3 and 6 (last names A-M) 
Write out answers to homework questions 3 and 7 (last names N-Z)  

In what sense was Andrew Jackson a Jeffersonian Democrat?  In what sense did the Nullification Crisis and Jackson’s veto of the Maysville Road Bill reveal very different theories on the relationship between the federal government and the states under the Constitution?

Andrew Jackson, Ol' Hickory, John Quincy Adams, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay,   (Jacksonian) Democratic party, National Republican party, Tariff of Abominations (tariff of 1828), spoils system, Maysville Road veto, Tariff of 1832, South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification, doctrine of nullification, states’ rights, compact theory, secession, Force Bill, Compromise Tariff of 1833, Nullification Crisis

  Homework Questions: 
  1. In what sense did the election of 1828 represent the “birth of a new era of mass democracy?”

  2. How did Jackson become a symbol of the democratic ferment of the period? To what extent was his image as a man of the people accurate?

  3. What is the spoils system?  How did Jackson defend the spoils system as promoting democratic values?

  4. How did Jackson defend his veto of the Maysville Road Bill?

  5. Why did South Carolina (and other Southern states) oppose high tariffs so vigorously?  What states might have supported high tariffs?  What did the Nullification crisis indicate about the relationship between the North and South in the 1830s?

  6. In what sense did Jackson and his Vice President Calhoun espouse two conflicting views of the Constitution?

  7.  What is the significance of the Nullification Crisis?  What does it have in common with the Hartford Convention?

Day Three
The Bank Crisis and the Rise of Whigs 

Divine, pages 303-309 and 312
Supplement: Jackson, "Veto of the Bank Bill" 
Hofstadter, "Andrew Jackson and the Rise of Liberal    Capitalism" ADD
In what sense did Jackson's veto of the bill to recharter the 2nd Bank of the U.S. reflect his Democratic political philosophy? How does Jackson reinterpret Jeffersonian agrarianism to support entrepreneuralism?

2nd Bank of the United States, Jackson's Veto of the Bank Bill, Nicholas Biddle,   kitchen cabinet, pet banks, Democratic party, Whig party, specie circular,  Panic of 1837, "Tippecanoe and Tyler too"

  Homework Questions: 
  1. Why had the Bank of the U.S. long been a source of public controversy? 

  2. Why did Jackson oppose the rechartering of the bank?  Why did he veto the bank bill?  If Jackson and Van Buren like capitalism, why didn't they support the Bank of the United States?

  3. What steps did Jackson take to destroy the bank?  Why?  What were pet banks?  Why did Jackson see these as acceptable alternatives to the national bank?  Why did ssome believe Jackson had overstepped his bounds?

  4. How did Jackson’s policies on the bank and other issues lead to the formation of the Whigs?

  5. How did the Whig and Democratic parties differ?  What were the views of each on the federal role in the economy?  On the balance between federal power and states rights?  To what types of individuals did each party appeal?

  6.  How do the parties of the nineteenth century compare to the parties of today?

Day Four
Simulation: The Question of Native American Sovereignty

Divine, pages 299-301 and 265 (map)
Supplement: Two documents on Indian Removal 

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall characterized Native American nations as oxymoronic “domestic dependency nations,” and the federal-Indian relationship as marked by peculiar and cardinal distinctions which exist nowhere else.”(Worcester v. Georgia, 1832) 

Now,  the Department of the Interior will hold hearings, led by the director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Ima Whiteman, to establish the precise nature, political, cultural and economic, of Native American sovereignty. The immediate problem is resolving recent disputes in the news, the debate over the rights of Indian nations to store nuclear waste on their land,to expand reservations through land purchases, to exercise sovereignty and/or autonomy in land use, economic regulation, taxation, operating casinos, and education.  The broader issues to be resolved include the following:

• Are Native American lands separate “nations”? If so, what does that mean legally, politically, socially and economically? If not, what are they? 
• Is the Native American experience analogous to that of other “minorities”? To immigrants? To African-Americans? To Japanese internment? To political interest groups? Or do Native Americans have a special status? How has the existence of such analogies both helped and hindered Native American progress?
• What is the proper legal/political stand of the states and federal government toward Native American reservations?
• What is the proper stance that “Anglo” American culture should take toward NA culture? Assimilationists? Multiculturalist? Paternalist? Agnostic? Penitient? Antagonistsic?
• What are the responsibilities that Anglo society holds for assisting Native Americans on and off the reservations? 
• Has the history of US/ Native American relations produced a “culture of poverty,” “welfare dependency,” or other identifiable “pathologies” comparable to those identified by some commentators on African-American life in the inner cities? 
• Is the survival of Native American cultures a success story? What is Indian “identity”? Is the very existence of Native American languages, religious observances, culture a victory? What constitutes historical agency for groups confrontedwith subjugation, exploitation or displacement under a hegemonic system?
• What are the proper definitions and applications of such terms as: autonomy, sovereignty, nationhood, statehood, citizenship, cultural identity, empowerment, assimlation, acculturation...
• How might the experience of Native Americans help us understand/address situations abroad and at home in Bosnia, South Africa, Israel, Bensonhurst?

We will try to respond to these general questions, as well as the more proximate problems addressed in the newspapers, by convening a hearing of witnesses past and present. Each witness will be “on the stand” for two minutes and will address questions raised by the other witnesses, who may be hostile, supportive or merely curious. Each witness should prepare at least one quote (notecard) presenting an opinion on the issue central to her character’s relevant work (ie., reservation plans, treaties, education programs, legal status, economic controversies, US expansion, gambling rights, etc.), and a series of questions for the other witnesses on a range of relevant topics.

Suggested characters:
Joseph Brant (colonial period)
Thomas Jefferson (expansion, indian removal
Lewis and Clark ?
John Marshall (legal status, treaties, cases)
Andrew Jackson (indian removal)
John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1934
Red Cloud (Sioux Chief, Lakota treaties)
Sitting Bull
Crazy Horse
General George Custer
Buffalo Bill?
Chief Joseph (Nez Percé)
Gertrude Bonnin ( (Pan-Indian Progressiv, Nat. Council of Am. Ind.)
Chester A. Arthur
US Grant
Teddy Roosevelt
Henry l. Dawes (General Allotment, or Dawes Severalty Act, 1887)
Richard Pratt (founder of Carlisle School, 1879)
Leonard Peltier (AIM, Pine Ridge, June 26, 1975)
Russell Means (AIM)
Mary Crowdog (author, Lakota WomanI)
Peterson Zeh (1st President of Navajo Nation, 1990s)
Willa Mankiller (Pres. Cherokee Nation, see auto bio in library)
John Trudell (poet, musician, AIM leader
characters from news articles

Indian Removal, civilized tribes, Cherokee, Worcester v. Georgia, Trail of Tears

1. Why did southern states favor the removal of the civilized tribes?  What actions did these states take against these tribes?  How did Jackson reconcile radical democracy and liberty with indian removal?

Day Five
Sermons and Slums: Reforming the Irish, a Case Study in Ante-bellum Reform

Divine, pages 316-321 and 363-370 (including tan pages)
Supplement: TBA

What intentions and assumptions underlay urban reformers of the mid-19th century? To what extent was the desire to uplift the Irish an extension of Jacksonian ideals?  To what extent was it a departure from Jacksonian ideals?

Second Great Awakening, revival, camp meeting, evangelism, Charles Finney“push” and “pull” factors in immigration, great potato famine, Five Points, Lowell mills, paternalism, panic of 1837, the saloon

Homework Questions:
1. What was the Second Great Awakening?  What led to its rise? 

2. In what sense does the Second Great Awakening promote the ideals of Jacksonian Democracy?  In what sense does it depart from them?

3. What concrete forms did the revival take?  What distinguished the religious practices of revivalists from those of more mainstream Protestant believers?

4. What countries were the main sources of immigration to the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century? What conditions in the United States attracted such an influx of immigration? 

5. How did the rise in immigration of the mid-19th century affect the characteristics of American urban life? 

6. How did the entrance of Irish and German immigrants into the American work force reflect and cause changes in the character of the American working class?  What challenges did Irish laborers face in their transition to the American industrial work force? 

7. What was the significance of the saloon in the lives of the Irish-American working class? 

8. How were the Irish perceived by the “native” American public?  How do Evangelical Protestant reformers explain poverty?  How do they use religion as a means of reform, uplift, social control?  Why do they focus on temperance as a means of reform?

Day Six
Domesticity and Drudgery: The Roles of Women in Jacksonian America 
Supplement: Welter, "The Cult of True Womanhood" 
Divine, pages 276-277 (on Lowell mills) 321 and 324-326
ADD documents on Lowell Mills Mary Paul and National Trades's Union Stuff

In what ways did changing economic and social conditions of the 1820s-1850s impact the roles of women of various classes? What economic transformation drives (and depends upon) both the Cult of Domesticity and the employment of women at Lowell Mills?  How do you explain this apparent contradiction?

cult of domesticity, cult of true womanhood, doctrine of separate spheres, Lowell mills, paternalism 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. Why did mill owners select women for their labor force in the textile mills of New England of the 1830s?  Who were the women at Lowell? From what background did they come?

  2. How was Lowell managed and presented to the world to overcome concern over female factory labor?  How did mill owners exercise paternalism over their female workers?

  3. What were working conditions like in the Lowell mills?  How did workers respond to such conditions?

  4.  How might the suburbs be a product of the "cult of true womanhood," and the doctrine of separate spheres?

  5.  According to Barbara Welter, did women of the 1830s see the ideology of separate spheres as oppressive?

  6.  Why did the National Trades Union oppose female labor?  According to the NTU and Mary Paul letters, how does factory labor affect women? 

Day Seven
Ante-Bellum Reform:  Abolitionism to Women's Rights

Divine, pages 330-334
Supplement: Garrison, "The Liberator"
Supplement: Seneca Falls Manifesto

What is the relationship between the awakening and the reform movements of the ante-bellum period?  How does the Abolitionist movement foster the movement for Women's Rights?To what extent do the reform movements promote the ideals of Jacksonian Democracy?

reform movement, temperance movement, colonization, Liberia, William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionism, the Liberator, Frederick Douglass, emancipation, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Seneca Falls Convention

Homework Questions:
1. In what ways did the Second Great Awakening spawn reform movements?  What was the connection between the awakening and reform movements?

2. What was the goal of colonizationists?  Why did William Lloyd Garrison disagree with the colonizationists?

3. What was the abolitionist critique of slavery?  What does this indicate about the relationship between abolitionist movement and the Second Great Awakening?

4. How did Southerners react to the abolitionist agenda?  Northerners?  Why?

5. What were the sources of division within the abolitionist movement?

6. To what extent was the abolitionist movement of the 1830s and 1840s successful?

7.  In what ways was the women’s rights movement of the ante-bellum period an outgrowth of the abolitionist movement?

8.  What demands did women’s rights advocates make? What arguments did they use to promote women’s rights?

Day Eight
The Virtue of Simplicity: Literature and Thought of the Jacksonian Era 
Divine, pages 334-336 and 337 
Supplement: Henry David Thoreau, "Walden" 
Supplement: Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self Reliance" 
Supplement: Walt Whitman, from "I Hear America Singing" 
SLIDES: Thomas Cole

In what sense did the literature of the Jacksonian era reflect the spirit of the era? To what extent do these writings express ideals long held by Americans? 

  utopian community, Robert Owen, Oneida, transcendentalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance," Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, "Walden" 

  Homework Questions: 
  1. What kinds of "utopian communities" were founded during the 1830s-1850s?  What impulses may have led some unconventional Americans of the era to establish such communities? 

  2. What was transcendentalism?  What were its main principles?  What factors may have inspired the emergence of the transcendentalist movement at this time?