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Chapter 9 - Nationalism and Sectionalism (1816 - 1828)

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After the War of 1812, the country had a new sense of patriotism. However, the country was beginning to split into three sectional blocs: North, South, and West.


Second Bank of the United States (1816) After the expiration of the first bank in 1811 which led to a depression, Congress realized its importance and modeled a new charter of the bank nearly identical to the first. In return for its powers the Bank was to not charge for government funds, loan the government $5 million on demand, and pay the government $1.5 million.

Sectionalism over the Bank Calhoun introduced the Bank bill into Congress, and it was supported by Henry Clay. The Bank was opposed by Daniel Webster and New Englanders who did not want Philadelphia to replace Boston as the national banking center.

Tariff of 1816 This tariff was the first proposed to protect industry from foreign competition rather than for revenue. It had public support from those who wanted to ensure that American industry could prosper independently from Britain. These patriotic feeling came from the War of 1812.

Sectionalism over the Tariff The tariff was supported by the Middle States and Northeast industry, while opposed by the South. Calhoun led a group of senators to support it, in the hope that the South could become a manufacturing center. As New England passed the South in industry, Calhoun changed to oppose protective tariffs. The idea of the tariff sectionalized the country, with manufacturers and food growers supporting higher import taxes, while planters and shipping merchants opposed them.

National Road / Cumberland Road (1811) Congress started saving 5% of state land sales in 1803. Construction began in 1811, was temporarily stopped by the Panic of 1819, and continued till 1838. By then it extended from the Atlantic coast to Illinois. The road accelerated the commercialization of agriculture.

Internal Improvements Bill (1817) (Vetoed) Calhoun proposed a package to use the $1.5 million bonus from the bank and future dividends from government stock. The money would pay for roads and other improvements. Madison vetoed the bill on his last day in office because he was unsure of its constitutionality.


  • America learned from the mistakes of the War of 1812
  • the subsistence lifestyle was gradually replaced by commercial agriculture and industry
  • transportation and communication infrastructures were built to support the new economy
  • banks supplying easy investment capital
  • tariffs were used to protect new industries

Era of Good Feelings (1817-1823)

The Era of Good Feeling was not called so because of economic conditions, but because of the lack of political fighting. This was because of the downfall of the Federalist Party, which died in the Election of 1816. This left a one-party system.

Election of 1816

  • *James Monroe (Republican) Secretary of State, chosen by Madison to be sucessor
  • Rufus King (Federalist)

Results Monroe swept the election, as public support for the Federalists had virtually dissapeared. The Federalist party, declining since the War of 1812, was now gone. This left the Republicans (soon to be Democratic-Republicans)

President Monroe Monroe was the last of the Revolutionary style presidents. He was slow to catch onto the new idea of nationalism and a strong central government. He kept the bank and tariff policies, but did nothing to extend them.

Rush-Bagot Agreement (1817) Britain and America agree to remove naval forces from Great Lakes.

Convention of 1818

  • Northern boundary of Louisiana Purchase set at 49th parallel to the Rocky Mountains
  • Oregon Territory is open to joint British-American occupation
  • reaffirmed American fishing rights off Newfoundland
  • Did not solve West Indies trade issue

Invasion of Florida

  • 1817: Jackson authorized to attack Seminoles but not Spanish posts
  • 1818: Jackson disregards orders, controls Florida panhandle. Withdraw.

Transcontinental Treaty/Adams-Onis Treaty (1819)

  • Spain cedes Florida to the United States
  • United States cedes claims to Texas
  • Western boundary of Louisiana Purchase determined by rivers, 42nd parallel
  • United States assumes $5 million in private claims against Spain

Panic of 1819

  • sudden drop of cotton prices in Europe; textile mills use cheaper East India cotton
  • demand for American goods declines
  • earlier expansion of credit causes recklessness, fraud
  • Bank pressures state banks, who pressure debtors
  • lack of government intervention
  • effects lasted until 1822

Tallmadge Amendment (Rejected)(1819) Proposal to prohibit further introduction of slaves to Missouri and give freedom to slaves at age 25.

Missouri Compromise (1820) Missouri entered union as a slave state, while Maine (province of Massachusetts) enters as a free state. Preserved balance of power in the Senate.

Election of 1820

  • *James Monroe (Democratic-Republican)

Results There was no opposition for Monroe in his reelection. He won all but one electoral vote.


John Marshall established numerous important precedents as the Chief Justice. He was not the first

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

  • Established power of judicial review (supreme court can rule a law unconstitutional)

Marbury was given a commision in the last days of the Adams administation, but it had not yet been officially delivered. When Jefferson became President he instructed his Secretary of State James Madison to withhold the commission. Marbury sued and filed a petition for the write of mandamus in the Supreme Court. For the Court to rule in the case, it had to decide its legal ability to do so. Marshall decided that the Court could decide the conflict between the Constitution and the Judiciary Act of 1789. For the rest of the legal mumbo click here

  • Court ruled in favor of Madison

Fletcher v. Peck (1810)

Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819)

McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)

Cohens v. Virginia (1821)

Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)

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