A group called Essex Junta became angry over the decline of New England’s influence and attempted to have New York, New Jersey, and New England secede from America to become the Northern Confederacy with Canada.
Aaron Burr, a well-known politician, traveled towards New Orleans to talk to the military governor of Louisiana. While he told people different stories, two versions exist. Burr wanted to create an independent nation in Mississippi Valley with the help of Spain or Britain, or he wanted to seize Spanish territory, which consisted of current Texas, California, and New Mexico.
Before Burr could carry out his plans, he was discovered and arrested for treason.
🎥 Watch: AP US History - Antebellum Politics
Many Americans took advantage of the Native Americans and sought their lands. In one example, the Treaty of Fort Wayne, the exploitation of the Indians resulted in them giving away 3 million acres for 2 cents per acre.
A Shawnee who called himself the Prophet, Tenskwatawa, had a vision of a deity that said the dependence on the Americans’ goods, such as guns and alcohol, was the worst possible sin. If the Natives rejected these items, the deity would help drive the white settlers away.
In the Battle of Tippecanoe, William Henry Harrison led an army against the Tenskwatawa and had a victory. It resulted in Harrison becoming a national hero.
In the 1st Seminole War, Andrew Jackson invaded Spanish territory of East Florida due to raids by Seminole Indians. Since free African Americans and runaway slaves lived in the area where the Seminoles lived, Jackson justified that he was returning fugitive slaves.
John C. Calhoun had a plan, where Indians east of the Mississippi River would “voluntarily” give up their land for land west of the river. It passed in the Senate, but the House of Representatives rejected it.
🎥 Watch: AP US History - Age of Jackson
Henry Clay’s American System
Henry Clay created the American System legislative proposal. With a tariff and the Bank of the US, America would become economically self-sufficient and would not be dependent on Europe. Furthermore, better infrastructure would improve the travel between regions, which would reduce sectionalism.
Rechartering of the Bank of the US
Protective tariff for the manufacturing sector
Federal funding for internal improvements
Tariff of 1816: 25% tax on imported fabric and 30% tax on iron, leather, paper
2nd Bank of the US (1816-1836)
Panic of 1819
The 2nd Bank of the US attempted to control inflation by limiting loans, which triggered the Panic of 1819. Many state banks closed, and unemployment, bankruptcies, and imprisonment for debt all increased. People in the West called for land reform and showed opposition to the national bank.
In 1820, Missouri applied for statehood, but it wanted to be admitted as a slave state. The Tallmadge Amendment prohibited further introduction of slavery and allowed emancipation for all slave children born in Missouri at age 25. The House of Representatives accepted it, but the Senate rejected it.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia
The issue was the balance between the free and slave states. If the Tallmadge Amendment passed, it would tip the balance. Henry Clay developed a plan to maintain the balance: the Missouri Compromise which included (1) Maine would be admitted as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. (2) Slavery would be prohibited in the area north of the 36 degree 30 minute line.
🎥 Watch: AP US History - Slavery and the South