Sectionalism and Slavery
In the early 1800s, slavery was becoming an increasingly sectional issue, meaning that it was increasingly dividing the nation along regional lines. Northerners were becoming more opposed to slavery, whether for moral or economic reasons, and Southerners were becoming more united in their defense of slavery as an institution.
sectionalism: Sectionalism is loyalty or support of a particular region or section of the nation, rather than the United States as a whole. Slavery was particularly sectional issue, dividing the country into North and South to the extent that it led to the Civil War; for the most part, southerners supported slavery and northerners opposed it.
"necessary evil": In the South, slavery was considered necessary in order to maintain the agricultural economy of the entire region. Before George Fitzhugh in 1854, southerners did not assert that slavery was a boon to society; they merely protested that it could not be eliminated without destroying the South.
Slave Power: The term Slave Power refers to the belief that pro-slavery southerners were united an attempt to spread slavery throughout the United States. Most Northerners were suspicious of the influence of southern slaveholders in Congress, especially because of the Fugitive Slave Act, the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the repeal of the Missouri Compromise.
"King Cotton": In the 1800s, cotton became the principal cash crop in the South. The British textile industry created a huge demand for cotton, and the invention of the cotton gin made it practical to grow cotton throughout the South. It was so profitable that the vast majority of southern farms and plantations grew cotton, and the "Cotton Kingdom" spread west into Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas. Essentially, the entire Southern economy became dependent on the success of cotton as a crop.
George Fitzhugh, Sociology for the South, or the Failure of Free Society: In 1854, Fitzhugh wrote Sociology for the South, defending slavery. He argued that slavery benefited the slave by providing him with food and shelter, and that free laborers in the North were not treated any better than slaves. This was the first description of slavery as a "positive the farmer groups good."
positive good: In the South, George Fizhugh established the philosophy that slavery was "positive good." It was believed that slavery benefited slaves by providing them with food, shelter, and often Christian religion. Also, Fitzhugh argued that free laborers in northern factories were not treated any better than slaves.
Hinton Helper, The Impending Crisis of the South: In 1857, Helper wrote The Impending Crisis of the South in an attempt to persuade non-slaveholders that slavery harmed the Southern economy, using the poor whites of the pine-barrens as an illustration of how the institution of slavery degrades non-slaveowning southerners.
mountain whites in the South, pine barrens: The poorest class of whites in the Lower South tended to cluster in the mountains and pine-barrens, where they survived by grazing hogs and cattle on land that the usually didn’t own. They were considered lazy and shiftless, and were often cited by northerners as proof that slavery degraded non-slaveholding whites.
West Florida, 1810: Annexed when southern expansionists went into the Spanish Dominion, captured the fort at Baton Rouge, and proclaimed on September 26, the independent State of republic of West Florida. It was adopted as a resolution on January 15, 1811 and authorized as an extenuation of US rule over East Florida.
Purchase of Florida: Spain surrendered Florida to the United States in 1819 by the Adams-Onis Treaty, with a sum of five million dollars. This however began a rebellion by the Indians, starting the Seminole War (1835-42), and becoming another reason for Indian hatred of the white man.
Adams-Onis Treaty: It was the treaty in 1819 that purchased eastern Florida to establish the boundary between Mexico and the Louisiana territory. It provided for the cession of Florida to the United States in return for American settlement of claims of her citzens against Spain.
Quadruple Alliance: Formed in 1815, the Quadruple Alliance consisted of England, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, and it regulated European politics after the fall of Napoleon. The Holy Alliance was an organization of European states that advanced the principles of the Christian faith.
George Canning: The British foreign minister, he supported nationalist movements throughout Latin America and dissuaded foreign intervention in American affairs. He proposed that the US and Britain issue a joint statement opposing European interference in South America and guaranteed that neither would annex Spain’s old empire.
Monroe Doctrine: origins, provisions, impact: President Monroe’s message to Congress on Dec. 2, 1823, it consisted of 3 principles: U.S. policy was to abstain from European wars unless U.S. interests were involved, European powers could not colonize the American continents and shouldn’t attempt to colonize newly independent Spanish American republics. Ridiculed in Europe, it was used to justify U.S. expansion by presidents John Tyler and James Polk. In 1904, the Roosevelt Corollary was introduced.
Era of good feelings: This phrase exemplifies both of Monroe’s presidencies, from 1816-1824. The War of 1812 eliminated some divisive issues, and Republicans embraced the Federalist’s issues. Monroe made an effort to avoid political controversies, but soon sectionalism divided the nation.
Chief Justice John Marshall decisions: Dartmouth College v. Woodward (1819) The question was whether New Hampshire could change a private corporation, Dartmouth College into a state university. It was unconstitutional to change it. After a state charters a college or business, it can no longer alter the charter nor regulate the beneficiary.
Tallmadge Amendment: The Tallmadge Amendment (1819) restricted further importation of slaves into Missouri and freed slave descendants born after Missouri’s admission as a state, at age 25. It passed in the House but not the Senate due to sectionalism.
Missouri Compromise: Congress admitted Maine as a free state in 1820 so that Missouri would become a slave state and prohibited slavery in the rest of the Louisiana Purchase territory north of 36 30, the southern boundary of Missouri. Henry Clay proposed the second Missouri Compromise in 1821, which forbade discrimination against citizens from other states in Missouri but did not resolve whether free blacks were citizens. Congress had a right to prohibit slavery in some territories.
Clay’s American System: In his tariff speech to Congress on March 30- 31, 1824, Clay proposed a protective tariff in support of home manufactures, internal improvements such as federal aid to local road and canal projects, a strong national bank, and distribution of the profits of federal land sales to the states.
Daniel Webster: Supporting the tariff of 1828, he was a protector of northern industrial interests. In the debate over the renewal of the charter of the US Bank, Webster advocated renewal and opposed the financial policy of Jackson. Many of the principles of finance he spoke about were later incorporated in the Federal Reserve System.
federal land policy: The federal land law passed in 1796 established a minimum purchase of 640 acres at a minimum price of $2 an acre and a year for full payment. In the federal land law passed in 1804, the minimum purchase was decreased to 160 acres. In 1820, the minimum purchase was reduced to 80 acres. In 1820, it was reduced to $1.25.
John Quincy Adams as Secretary of State: Fla: With Monroe’s support, Adams forced Spain to cede Florida and make an agreeable settlement of the Louisiana boundary, in the Transcontinental (Adams-Onis) Treaty, drafted in 1819. Spain consented to a southern border of the US that ran from the Miss. River to the Rocky Mountains.
Election of 1824: popular vote, electoral vote, House vote: Jackson, Adams, Crawford, Clay: All five candidates, including Calhoun were Republicans, showing that the Republican party was splintering, due to rival sectional components. Calhoun withdrew and ran for the vice presidency. Jackson won more popular and electoral votes than the other candidates but didn’t manage to gain the majority needed Because Clay supported Adams, Adams became president.
"corrupt bargain": After Adams won the presidency, he appointed Clay as secretary of state. Jackson’s supporters called the action a "corrupt bargain" because they thought that Jackson was cheated of the presidency. Although there is no evidence to link Clay’s support to his appointment of the secretary of state, the allegation was widely believed.
Panama Conference: President Adams angered southerners by proposing to send American delegates to a conference of newly independent Latin American nations in Panama in 1826. Southerners worried that U.S. participation would insinuate recognition of Haiti, which gained independence through a slave revolution.
Tariff of Abominations: Named by southerners, this bill favored western agricultural interests by raising tariffs or import taxes on imported hemp, wool, fur, flax, and liquor in 1828. New England manufacturing interests were favored because it raised the tariff on imported textiles. In the South, these tariffs raised the cost of manufactured goods.
Vice-President Calhoun: South Carolina Exposition and Protest, nullification: He anonymously wrote the widely read South Carolina Exposition and Protest, in which he made his argument that the tariff of 1828 was unconstitutional. Adversely affected states had the right to nullify, or override, the law, within their borders. He acknowledged that he wrote the SC Exposition and Protest in 1831. In 1832, he convinced the South Carolina legislature to nullify the federal tariff acts of 1828 and 1832.
internal improvements: President Adams proposed a program of federal support for internal improvements in Dec. 1825; strict Jeffersonians claimed it to be unconstitutional. The South had few plans to build canals and roads. Jackson, with a political base in the South, felt that federal support meant a possibly corrupt giveaway program for the North.