BECK index

Summary & Evaluating America 1817-44

by Sanderson Beck

South America 1817-44
Central America and Mexico 1817-44
United States 1817-1828
Jackson, Native Tribes & the West
Jacksonian Democracy
United States 1837-44 & Canada
Slavery and Reformers 1817-44
American Philosophy and Literature 1817-44
Evaluating America 1817-44

South America 1817-44

      João VI became King of Portugal in 1816 while he was living in Brazil, and he appointed his son Pedro Prince Royal in January 1817. In March a revolution began in Pernambuco, and João VI sent to Portugal for soldiers. He banned Masons and taxed imported slaves in 1818. That year Brazil had 1,040,000 Europeans, 1,930,000 slaves, 585,000 freedmen, and 250,000 Indians. The revolution broke out in Portugal in August 1820, and in January 1821 Portuguese troops rebelled in Belém. Liberals in Brazil set up provisional juntas by spring. The Cortes in Lisbon restored colonial rule in Brazil. They persuaded João VI to return to Portugal, and he made Prince Pedro regent. Brazilians had taken over Montevideo in January 1817, and Brazil incorporated the Cisplantine province (Uruguay) by June 1821. Regent Pedro decreed a constitution with a free press in August. Portugal’s Cortes ordered him to return to Lisbon; but Brazilians persuaded him to stay in January 1822, and Brazilian forces surrounded the Portuguese garrison. The Portuguese left Brazil by March, and Pedro became the Constitutional Emperor of Brazil in October.
      Elections enabled Brazil’s Constituent Assembly to open in May 1823. The Amazonia provinces of Belém and Para were brought into the Brazilian empire. The Cisplantine province joined Brazil in March 1824 when Emperor Pedro promulgated a liberal constitution. In May the United States recognized Brazil. In the early 1820s Brazil imported about 30,000 slaves annually. Manuel da Carvalho proclaimed Pernambuco independent in July, but Brazil’s army defeated the rebellion by November. In 1825 Brazil promised to take over Portugal’s £1,400,000 debt to the British and pay £600,000 to João VI for his property in Brazil. Argentina claimed the Cisplantine province which began fighting for independence in April 1825. Argentines defeated the Brazilians in a naval battle in February 1827, and a peace treaty in August 1828 recognized the independence of Uruguay. The British had exploited Brazil in a commercial treaty with high interest on loans and duties on Brazilian exports in August 1827, and in 1829 Brazil’s bank had to close. In 1830 they adopted a liberal criminal code. A French revolution in July 1830 influenced Brazil, and Pedro I abdicated and left in April 1831. His son Pedro II was only 5 years old, but he would begin governing in 1840. Resistance occurred until Pedro I died in September 1834. Provincial assemblies gained power, and the liberal Minister of Justice Diogo Feijó was elected Regent in 1835. Revolts broke out in northern Para and went on until a general amnesty in 1840 and in Rio Grande do Sul until the armistice in March 1845. Slave revolts had been suppressed in Bahia in January 1835 and in the Maranhão province in 1841. In 1837 the conservative party led by Major Frias de Vasconcelos gained a majority and reformed laws, and they ended the regency in 1840. They dissolved the Chamber of Deputies in May 1842, but liberals rebelled and regained power in January 1844.
      Brazil imported 175,000 slaves in three years before its anti-slave trade treaty with Britain went into effect in 1830. Yet in the 1830s over 400,000 slaves were brought to work on Brazil’s coffee plantations, and by the 1840s Brazil was producing 40% of the world’s coffee.

      In July 1816 Argentines declared the independence of the United Provinces of Rio Plata. Director Pueyrredon imposed economic sanctions on federalist provinces, but revolts forced him to resign in June 1819. Local cavalries fought and signed the Pilar Treaty in February 1820. Estanislao López (r. 1818-38) of Santa Fe emerged as patriarch, and in January 1822 Buenos Aires, Entre Rios, Santa Fe, and Corrientes agreed to the Quadrilateral Treaty. Martin Rodriguez governed Buenos Aires 1820-24, and his minister Bernardino Rivadavia implemented many reforms on trade, immigration, land, suffrage, taxes, accounting library, charity, and education of women while limiting the power of the Church, police, and the army. Rivadavia was elected President in 1826 with a constitution he imposed on the provinces. After Brazil declared war on the United Provinces, trade fell, reducing revenues to a quarter. Four provinces opposed the constitution, and Rivadavia resigned in June 1827. As civil war broke out, Buenos Aires Governor Manuel Dorrego canceled the Constitution and recognized provincial autonomy. By a treaty in August 1828 Brazil and Buenos Aires recognized the Eastern Republic of Uruguay. Lavelle replaced Dorrego and executed him in December. One year later Juan Manuel de Rosas became governor. He would maintain power during the civil war and would govern Buenos Aires from 1835 until 1852 while killing about 2,000 people. Private ownership of land was restored by 1838. In March 1837 he went to war against Peru and Bolivia. The civil war went on until 1841. During Uruguay’s civil war in 1842 both sides freed the slaves.

      Paraguay’s Congress made José Rodríguez de Francia dictator in 1814, and he would rule the nation until his death in 1840. He began imprisoning political enemies in 1818, and he also imprisoned, exiled, or killed many wealthy Spaniards and Creoles. In 1840 a provisional junta did not release the 600 political prisoners. Army officers took power in 1841, and a congress was elected that chose Mariano Roque Alonso and Carlos Antonio López to be consuls, and López supported more schools.

      In January 1817 Argentine General José de San Martín led an expedition into Chile with 5,400 men, and they defeated royalists at Chacabuco in February. He declined to rule and made Bernardo O’Higgins supreme director. Patriots at Talca declared Chile independent in February 1818. They fled on March 18 but defeated royalists at Maipu on April 5. O’Higgins governed Chile benevolently for six years. A constitution in 1818 authorized five senators to legislate. Rodriguez Aldea was a corrupt minister of finance 1820-23. The Senate tried to protect slavery in Peru, and O’Higgins took their power in 1822. A new constitution created a Congress in January 1823 that forced O’Higgins to resign. In April the Junta made liberal General Ramón Freire Supreme Director until July 1826. In December 1823 a new constitution ended slavery and created elected assemblies; but its moral constraints were unpopular, and a new Congress was elected and nullified it in December 1824. Freire was elected President but resigned in May 1827. The next President Pinto adopted a liberal constitution in 1828. Civil war began in December 1829, and Conservatives led by General Prieto defeated in battle the Liberals and Freire in April 1830. Prieto was elected President in 1831 and was re-elected in 1836. The Conservative constitution of 1833 gave more power to the President. Only 2% of the people could vote, and 80% were tenant workers. Conservative minister Diego Portales became War Minister in 1835. In October 1836 Peru and Bolivia formed a Confederation, and Chile’s Congress declared war in December. After disease devastated Chile’s navy, they recognized the Confederation; but Chileans defeated the Peru-Bolivian army in January 1839, ending the Confederation. The victorious General Bulnes was elected President in 1841.

      Simón Bolívar returned to the Barcelona province in Venezuela on 31 December 1816. General Píar’s army of revolutionaries defeated royalists at San Félix in April 1817, and Spaniards evacuated Guayana province in August. Píar resented Bolívar and joined Mariño’s separatists, and Píar was captured and executed in October. Bolívar was reunited with Mariño, and they set up a government in Angostura in October. “Liberator and Supreme Chief” Bolívar with 3,000 men crossed the Andes and combined forces with José Antonio Páez in January 1818. The Venezuelan Republic recruited 4,000 soldiers, arms, and money from Europe, and they helped train the army. Bolívar got a printing press and began publishing the weekly Orinoco Post in June. In February 1819 an elected Congress met. Bolívar welcomed democracy but wanted a strong presidency, and Congress elected him. Bolívar’s army supported Santander’s forces in Colombia, and the people of New Granada welcomed them in June 1819. Bolívar declared martial law and drafted all men, and they defeated Barreiro’s forces in August and entered Bogotá. Bolívar let Santander govern New Granada as Vice President. Nine provinces were liberated by October, and Bolívar appointed military governors. Zea ruled Venezuela and arrested Arismendi, but Congress replaced Zea with Arismendi. Bolívar sent General Sucre to meet with royalists, and they agreed on an armistice for six months in November 1819. Bolívar returned to Venezuela, and Arismendi resigned. In December the Congress created the Colombia Republic uniting Venezuela and New Granada. In November 1820 Bolívar and General Morillo agreed to a 6-month armistice, and in June 1821 Bolívar’s army defeated royalists at Carabobo and entered Caracas, making Venezuela independent. A constitution for Colombia was signed in July, and Congress declared all citizens born after that date free. Bolívar’s Colombian navy defeated a Spanish fleet on Maraibo Lake in July 1823, and Páez led a force that took Puerto Cabello in November.
      Ecuador had fought off revolutionary armies in 1820. Bolívar sent an army to Panama, and patriots there declared independence in November 1821. In December 800 men from Panama reinforced Ecuador. Sucre’s army attacked Quito in May 1822, and Governor Aymerich surrendered. Bolívar made Sucre President of Ecuador in June. Bolívar met San Martín in July and promised to send 1,800 men to help liberate Peru. Bolívar got tuberculosis, and fighting continued at Pasto. In 1824 the Colombian Congress raised an army of 50,000 men and borrowed money from the English. General Páez drafted all men aged 16-50 into the Venezuela militia. Vice President Santander supported liberal education. Colombia made treaties with Chile, Peru, Mexico, Central America, and Buenos Aires.
      In February 1819 Chile and Argentina allied and planned to invade Peru. San Martín raised an army of nearly 500,000 men, and they captured Valdivia in February 1820. Chile’s navy helped them occupy Pisco in September. San Martín preferred monarchy, and northern Peru was independent by May 1821. His troops took over Lima in July, and in August he was given supreme authority. He declared slaves born after July 28 free, and he abolished Indian tribute and forced labor, renaming them “Peruvians.” Some Spaniards and creoles continued guerrilla warfare. Liberals in Peru did not want a monarch. When Peru’s congress met in September, San Martín renounced power and left for Chile and Europe. In January 1823 Spaniards defeated the Peruvian army at Torat and Moquehuá. Peru and Colombia signed a treaty in March. After 7,000 royalists marched into Lima in June, Peru’s President Aguero withdrew to Trujillo, raised an army, and dissolved the Congress. Congressmen elected the Marquis de Torre Tagle President in August. The army welcomed Bolívar in September, and Congress gave him supreme authority. A mutiny at Callao in February 1824 enabled royalists led by Tagle to occupy Lima again. Congress appointed Bolívar dictator. He sold state land cheap and let natives own their land. His army crossed the Andes in July and defeated royalists at Junin in August. Sucre’s army defeated more royalists at Ayacucho in December, and Bolívar resigned his presidency. In August 1825 Bolivia became independent. He proclaimed all citizens equal and in December he abolished Indian tribute.
      Bolivia got a constitution in July 1826 and elected Sucre President for life. Peru expelled Chileans and Argentinians, adopted a Bolivian constitution in August, and elected Bolívar President for life. Páez of Venezuela and Santander in Colombia came into conflict, and Bolívar mediated; but he renounced Santander in 1827. In May 1828 Peru’s forces invaded Bolivia. Spaniards supported insurgents in Colombia. Bolívar regained dictatorial power in Bogotá in August, and he granted amnesty. Colombia broke diplomatic relations with Peru which invaded southern Colombia, and 1,500 soldiers were killed in February 1829. Sucre made a treaty that Bolívar criticized. Venezuelans revolted against the Colombian union. In January 1830 Sucre was elected President of Colombia. Bolívar withdrew, and Colombia got a new constitution in May. Ecuador became independent. Sucre was murdered in June, and Bolívar condemned insurrections and died in December.
      Peru’s budget in 1831 spent 59% on the military, but a constitution restored civilian power in 1834. Civil war broke out in January 1835, and Bolivia’s army invaded Peru which was divided; but Bolivia and Peru formed a confederation. Gamarra regained Peru’s presidency in August 1838, and they defeated the Confederate army in January 1839. In 1841 Peru’s army invaded Bolivia; but they were defeated in November, and Gamarra was killed. Peru’s military seized power in 1843, but a constitutional President was restored in 1844.
      Venezuela adopted a constitution in 1830, and Congress elected General Páez President in March 1831. In a decade Venezuela doubled its exports, and new roads aided trade. Páez was re-elected in 1839, and by 1840 liberal and conservative parties had formed. Conservative Soublette was President 1837-39 and 1843-47.
      The Colombian federation dissolved in 1830-31 and became New Granada, Venezuela, and Ecuador. New Granada limited voting to wealthy men, and General Santander was President 1832-37. President Márquez (1837-41) made diplomatic relations with Spain. Local chiefs rebelled in 1839, and Santanderistas joined them in 1840. Santander opposed the revolt and died in May. Congress elected General Herrán President in 1841, and in 1843 he invited Jesuits to return to improve education.
      Most Bolivians spoke Quechua or Aymara. General Andrés Santa Cruz was President 1829-39. He reduced taxes, and Bolivia banned slavery in August 1831. Civil war in 1835 led to Bolivia’s army invading Peru, and Santa Cruz was Protector of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation 1836-39. Vice President Velasco was elected in February 1839 and made reforms until General Ballivián led a revolt and removed him in June 1841 and became President in September for six years.
      Ecuador became a nation with a constitution in September 1830. Deputies elected General Flores President for four years. Ecuador annexed the Galápagos Islands in 1832. President Rocafuerte (1835-39) was educated in Europe and promoted the republican values of the 1835 constitution. Flores was President again 1839-45, and he dissolved Congress in 1841 for two years.
      Demerara-Essequibo and Berbice united to become the colony of British Guiana in 1831. A slave uprising had been brutally suppressed in August 1823, and Britain passed slavery reforms in 1825 to reduce working hours and allow property rights. The British freed 84,915 slaves in August 1834 with owners being compensated, and apprenticeship ended in 1838.

Central America and Mexico 1817-44

      Sebastian Kindelan governed Santo Domingo for Spain 1818-21. Haiti’s President Jean-Pierre Boyer (1818-43) had soldiers put down the peasants’ 13-year revolt in Southern Grande’Anse by May 1819. Efforts were made to make Santo Domingo independent of Spain, and Haiti’s soldiers unified the island in February 1822. In July 1823 Haiti agreed to pay France an indemnity of 100 million francs, and Charles X decreed Haiti an independent nation in March 1825. Haiti’s exports of raw sugar and cotton had fallen drastically since 1801. In 1830 Haiti could not pay its foreign debt, and negotiation reduced it to 60 million francs by 1838. European nations recognized Haiti, but the United States and all Latin American nations refused to do so. The African Prince Saunders (1775-1839) wrote the Haytian Papers, became attorney general, and revised Haiti’s criminal code. Boyer kept 28 deputies out of the Chamber in 1842. The Society of the Rights of Man and of Citizens led by Charles Riviere-Hérard won over the military and forced Boyer to flee to Paris in February 1843. They created a democratic constitution by December 30, and Hérard became President in January 1844. Trinitarians led by Duarte occupied the fortress in Santo Domingo in February. Conservatives led by General Santana gained power, adopted a constitution, and elected Santana President in November.
      In 1831 Mary Prince’s slave narrative was published in London, and slaves in Antigua revolted. In Jamaica 60,000 slaves went on strike. After an 11-day uprising 325 slaves were executed. Britain freed slaves under the age of six in its colonies in August 1834. Others became apprentices until 1838 or 1840. In the West Indies 38,218 owners claimed compensation for 540,559 slaves. In 1839 the French West Indies had 285,956 slaves.
      Spain governed Puerto Rico and gave settlers land for their families and slaves. The liberal Quiñones worked for gradual self-rule; but Miguel de la Torre was military governor 1822-37, and he promoted importing of African slaves, doubling them by 1834. He imposed a strict slave code but limited daily work hours to 9 and 13 during the sugar harvest. In 1837 Spain imposed a war tax of 500,000 pesos. In 1841 the French abolitionist Victor Schoelcher exposed how Puerto Rico’s slave code was violated. Puerto Rico produced mostly sugar, rum, coffee, and cigars, and its exports increased.
      Cuba’s Governor José Cienfuegos opened up trade in America and to Europe in February 1818. In 1817 a census revealed that whites were only 45% of Cubans, and Spain began offering land and livestock to encourage migration. Cuba imported 77,000 African slaves in the three years before their planned end of the slave trade in 1820. In 1827 they had 286,942 slaves and 106,494 free blacks. Francisco Dionisio Vives was Captain-General of Cuba 1823-32, and five decades of martial law began in 1825. Those born in Cuba could not serve in the government or the military. Tacón was Captain-General 1834-38, and Cuba got a railroad in 1837. Sugar production expanded in the early 1840s. In 1841 Cuba had 425,521 slaves. Captain-General Jerónimo Valdés (1841-43) tried  to suppress the slave trade but faced two slave revolts in 1843 and another in June 1844.

      In 1820 Central America had 1,227,000 people, and Spain’s Fernando VII restored laws the Cortes passed for the American provinces. In June 1821 Central American deputies proposed peace to Spain’s Cortes and demanded free trade. Mexico separated from Spain on September 3, and on the 15th delegates from Guatemala, Chiapas, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica signed the Act of Independence of Central America. Salvador declared independence. Nicaragua seceded from Guatemala in October, but Leon joined Nicaragua to Mexico. Costa Rica seceded from Spain. In January 1822 a Junta decreed that Central America was annexed to Mexico. Guatemala’s Junta was dissolved. Salvador led by Manuel José Arce drove away Guatemalan troops in June. Mexico sent General Vicente Filisola with 600 men to govern Guatemala. Mexico annexed Central America in November. Filosola’s army occupied San Salvador in February 1823. Honduras in May joined the Central American union which declared independence in July. Mexican forces withdrew from Costa Rica and Nicaragua in August.
      The constitutional republic began in December, and they emancipated all slaves by April 1824. The executive council had two senators from each state, and the supreme court was elected. In February 1825 the Federal Congress elected liberal Mariano Gálvez as President. They made treaties with Colombia in March and the United States in December. Conflicts with Arce arose in 1826, and his forces fought against Salvadorans. General Morazán led a Salvadoran army that besieged Guatemala City in February 1829, but they were driven away. Yet his army defeated federal forces in March and sacked Guatemala City in April. In August the Federal Congress expelled troublemakers. Morazán commanded the Central American army and defeated resistance in February 1830. The Federal Congress met on March 27, and Morazán was President 1830-34. In May 1832 the Federation ended the Catholic Church as the state religion, and they recognized freedom of conscience. In 1834 Guatemala ceded most of its land to foreign companies, and smaller states resented Guatemala.
      Morazán was Central American President again 1835-39. Guatemala’s Rafael Carrera led a revolt in 1838; but he was defeated until he restored a conservative government in Guatemala City in April 1839. In January 1839 Nicaragua and Honduras allied, and they invaded Salvador in March. Carrera forced Salvador to accept conditions in May 1840. Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua confederated in July 1842. Costa Rica suffered from conflicts but adopted a constitution in April 1844.
      Carrera dominated Guatemala as a military leader and was eventually elected President in December 1844. El Salvador had more mixed race Ladinos than Indians and Europeans combined. They struggled to form constitutional government and elected Col. Malespín President in February 1844. Honduras got a constitution in 1839, and Francisco Ferrera was President for about four years in the early 1840s. Nicaragua was less populated and adopted its second constitution in 1838.
      Panama got a printing press in 1820, and Panama City’s Council proclaimed itself free of Spain in November 1821. In 1822 they prohibited slave trading and freed future children of slaves. Panama joined New Granada in 1831.

      Mexico’s revolution against Spain continued to fail from 1817 to 1820. Then Spain restored the liberal Constitution of 1812, and King Fernando VII released all political prisoners. Viceroy Ruiz de Apodaca revived the free press in June and freed prisoners in October. Col. Agustín de Iturbide met with the rebel Guerrero, joined him in February 1821, and put forth his Iguala Plan for independence with a constitutional monarchy. The Viceroy mobilized an army. Anastasio Bustamente and many supported the Plan, and in July royalists forced Viceroy Apodaca to resign. The new Viceroy O'Donojú proclaimed liberal principles. Iturbide declared national independence and made a treaty with O'Donojú. Iturbide’s army entered Mexico City in September and set up the Regency Junta. Iturbide was given money and land while most trade stopped. An elected Congress met in February 1822, but in May without a quorum Iturbide was elected emperor. He had 19 deputies arrested in August. Mexico’s debt was increasing, and it forced loans. Food prices rose. Iturbide lost support, and Santa Anna declared Vera Cruz a republic in December. In January 1823 Mexico recognized Central American independence. Several generals revolted against Iturbide who abdicated in March and left Mexico.
      A new Congress met in March 1823 and elected executives Bravo, Victoria, and Negrete, and they borrowed $32 million from English firms. Politicians formed the conservative Centralist party and liberals the Federalists. Victoria was elected President, and a constituent assembly met in November. In 1824 ten provinces declared their sovereignty. They created a constitution like the USA’s but with the Catholic religion, election of supreme court judges, and banning torture. Most of Mexico’s 19 states produced constitutions in 1825. Mexico made treaties with Britain in October 1827 and the United States in January 1828. General Gómez Pedraza was elected President in September; but Santa Anna led a revolt in Vera Cruz, and in January 1829 the Congress elected Afro-Mestizo General Guerrero to be President. A Spanish reconquest failed by September. Then Guerrero abolished slavery. His officers were accused of crimes, and Vice President Bustamante denounced Guerrero who resigned in December and left with soldiers. Bustamante claimed power in January 1830. Guerrero raised an army, but he was defeated in January 1831 and executed in February. Bustamante’s conservative government imposed censorship and was corrupt.
      In 1832 General Santa Anna struggled for power in a civil war. He was elected President in February 1833 and let Vice President Farías implement liberal reforms reducing the power of the military and the Church. In June 1834 Santa Anna dissolved Congress and disbanded state legislatures. He deposed governors, and Congress replaced Farías. The 1836 constitution made the government more conservative. Santa Anna retired, and Bustamante was elected President. Federalists revolted. Santa Anna helped the army defeat the French in December 1838. Government censored the press, and resistance was suppressed. Yucatán seceded in February 1840, and Santa Anna granted them autonomy in December 1843. Federalists produced a liberal constitution in 1842, but Centralists made conservative changes in 1843. National delegates elected Santa Anna President again in January 1844, but a revolt led to his being banished to Cuba in December.
      California’s Governor Sola (1815-22) asked Viceroy Apodaca for more support, and the Californians welcomed Mexican independence in March 1821. A brief Chumash revolt broke out in February 1824 at the Santa Inés mission that spread to Santa Barbara and La Purísima. Governor Echeandía (1825-31) banished Jedediah Smith in 1826 and improved schools, and he began secularizing missions to pueblos in 1831. Pio Pico,
Echeandía, and others defeated Governor Victoria and banished him in December 1831. California Governor Figueroa (1833-35) gave mission lands to neophytes to farm. An epidemic killed about 35,000 Indians in 1833. In April 1834 the Mexican Congress freed all natives at the missions. In May 1835 Los Angeles proclaimed itself the capital, though Monterey objected. Turmoil in 1836 led to Juan Bautista Alvarado becoming interim governor in July 1837. Mexico appointed Carlos Carrillo governor but recognized Alvarado in June 1838 and proclaimed an amnesty. The missions became less populated, and he implemented reforms. He granted Sutter 48,800 acres by the Sacramento River. The last Russians left California in 1841. Governor Micheltorena (1843-45) gave more land grants. A revolt led by Manuel Castro and Jesus Pico in November 1843 was suppressed by December.
      Mexico made New Mexico a territory in 1824 and a department in 1836. In the 1820s the Navajos raided in northwestern New Mexico. By 1824 a trail was established connecting Missouri to Santa Fé, and Americans trading lost horses and mules to raiding Indians. Mexico sent more soldiers in 1826. Padre Martínez complained that buffalo were slaughtered during the breeding season. Governor Albino Pérez (1835-37) banned selling weapons and horses to raiding tribes. Pueblos rebelled in July 1837 and defeated the militia and killed Pérez. Natives at the capital elected José González from the Taos tribe governor; but Manuel Armijo was re-elected governor, raised an army, and defeated them in January 1838. In 1841 some Texans tried to take over Santa Fé; but they were attacked by Comanches and captured by Mexicans, and prisoners were not released until 1842. New Mexico Governor Martínez de Lejanza provoked a war with the Utes in 1844.

United States 1817-1828

      President James Monroe (1817-25) completed 24 consecutive years and 32 of the first 36 years of the United States by four slaveholding presidents from Virginia. He had assisted President Madison as Secretary of State for six years. He followed the Republican nationalism of Jefferson and Madison, but he appointed John Quincy Adams as Secretary of State and John C. Calhoun as Secretary of War. Monroe reduced the US national debt by a third. The United States made a treaty with Britain for a peaceful northern border. Mississippi was admitted as a slave state and Illinois as a free state. The US had about 9 million people and 300 newspapers. Henry Clay was Speaker of the House 1815-20 and selected committees. Most states only allowed white men with property to vote. The US Congress approved pensions for Revolutionary War veterans. During the “era of good feeling” Monroe toured the south. He appointed General Andrew Jackson to govern the Florida territory. Jackson quarreled with Spanish officers and expelled them, and he resigned in November 1818.
      In 1818 the overextended US Bank restricted loans that depressed the economy. Land values fell sharply. Paper currency in state banks depreciated, and a financial panic swept across the United States in 1819. Debtors fled west, and the US sold land for $1.25 an acre. The US Supreme Court ruled in McCulloch v. Maryland that a state law violating the US Constitution is illegal. In the 1818 and 1819 elections the Democratic-Republicans increased their majorities in the US Congress. Governor Clinton chartered the Savings Bank of New York to help finance the Erie Canal. The US Congress approved $10,000 to educate Indians. In the Dartmouth College case Daniel Webster persuaded the US Supreme Court to protect corporate charters. The US Congress granted the American Colonization Society $100,000, and in January 1820 the first black emigrants sailed for Liberia.
      In 1820 the US Congress led by slave-holding Speaker Clay worked out a compromise that admitted Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free state. They agreed to prohibit slavery in future states in the Louisiana Purchase territory north of 36° 30′ latitude. The Land Act would reduce the debt on public lands by more than $6 million in four years. Congress named slave trading “piracy” and invoked the death penalty. Missouri’s pro-slavery constitution banned free Negroes. President Monroe was easily re-elected over John Quincy Adams who was for emancipating slaves. Clay persuaded the Senate to approve free Negroes in Missouri in a second compromise.
      From 1822 to 1824 the United States recognized several independent Latin American nations and the Central American Federation. Adams and Clay favored liberty and opposed intervention. Advised by Adams, in 1823 President Monroe issued his policy on the independence of Latin American republics with a warning to European powers not to interfere. By then the US had more than 500,000 students in public schools and 10,000 physicians.
      Clay’s “American system” favored tariffs to promote home industry. War Secretary Calhoun initiated the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The 1824 presidential race was between the three cabinet members Adams, Calhoun, and Treasury Secretary Crawford as well as Clay and General Jackson who got the most votes. With no majority Clay helped Adams win in the House of Representatives, gaining Jackson’s inveterate hatred.
      President John Quincy Adams promised to respect rights and continue internal improvements, but Jackson’s supporters gained control of Congress. The 363-mile Erie Canal was completed, helping cities grow, and another national road connected Washington and New Orleans. The 4-year J. Q. Adams administration reduced the national debt by $25 million. An American Temperance Society was founded and grew quickly. Clay made US trade agreements with Mexico and European nations. A murder related to Freemason secrecy led to Anti-Mason newspapers and a new party. Workers in northern factories increased to two million.
      In 1828 the “Tariff of Abominations” taxed imported goods and materials to help Jackson get votes. Calhoun criticized high tariffs, and in December the South Carolina legislature declared a state’s right to nullify a federal act. Although Adams and Andrew Jackson did not campaign, their supporters fought with newspapers and scandalous tracts. Jackson accepted slavery and promised Indian land to settlers, and Calhoun was his running mate. Duff Green was official printer for the US Senate and attacked Adams and Clay. In the election 1,555,340 men voted, and the South’s electoral votes helped Jackson win the presidency. At the Dover mill 800 girls went on strike in December. In January 1829 Walker’s Appeal urged slaves to revolt.

Jackson, Native Tribes & the West

      In September 1817 seven tribes sold land in Ohio and the Michigan Territory and moved to reservations. Andrew Jackson adopted a Creek infant and had a paternalistic attitude toward Indians, believing they could not survive in the states. Conflicts occurred on the Spanish Florida-Georgia border, and the US order to remove Seminoles began a war. Secretary of War Calhoun demanded reparations from the Seminoles in December. In 1818 General Jackson led the Tennessee militia, allied with Creeks, and forced the Spanish to surrender St. Mark’s Fort. Jackson’s force destroyed hostile villages, and he executed two Britons. Seminoles aided his invasion of Spanish West Florida, and Spanish Governor Masot surrendered in May. Yet President Monroe restored Spanish authorities because Congress had not declared war. Jackson got the Chickasaws to sell a third of Tennessee in a corrupt deal. The US Senate censured Jackson for Florida violence. The US made a treaty with Britain in January 1819 and acquired Florida from Spain in February.
      Also in 1817 General Jackson persuaded Cherokees to sell land in Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama and to move to Arkansas Territory. Cherokees in 1819 again sold land in those states and in North Carolina. Sequoyah invented Cherokee letters, and Cherokee laws were published in 1821. In Johnson v. McIntosh (1823) the US Supreme Court justified Europeans’ domination of the American tribes. In December 1824 President Monroe advised peaceful solutions to tribal problems, but in January 1825 he urged resettling Indians west of the Mississippi. Osage and Kansas Indians in 1818 had ceded territory in Missouri to the US and moved west. By 1825 Cherokees had law codes and prosperous farms, and they got more schools in 1826. In 1827 their government in northwestern Georgia was based on the US Constitution. The Cherokee Phoenix began publishing in 1828. Gold was discovered near Cherokee land in July 1829. President Jackson in December advised tribes to emigrate beyond the Mississippi or submit to the laws. Georgia passed laws to confiscate Cherokee land and to nullify Cherokee laws in 1830.
      The lawyer Jeremiah Evarts supported the Cherokees’ right to stay in Georgia and the rights of the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, and Seminoles. In hisWilliam PennEssays” he analyzed the treaties made with the US and applied Christian principles. Eleazar Lord organized protests in New York City, and petitions were sent to Congress. The House passed the Removal Bill in May 1830, and the Cherokee Phoenix published Evarts‘ protest in July. Evarts died in May 1831. Abolitionists would use his ethical reasoning.
      The Indian Removal Act authorized $500,000 to move about 60,000 Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles. The Cherokees refused to leave Georgia, and William Wirt argued their case to the US Supreme Court which held they were not a sovereign nation. In March 1832 Worcester v. Georgia declared the Georgia law unconstitutional, but President Jackson refused to enforce the court’s judgment. Cherokees elected wealthy John Ross chief, and he led those refusing to move. In 1838-39 the US Army forced 18,000 Cherokees to make the 800-mile journey on the Trail of Tears, and about 6,000 died on the way. The Western Cherokee chief John Brown dissolved the Council, and three arriving leaders were murdered. The united East-West Cherokees adopted a constitution in September 1839 and began publishing the Cherokee Advocate in September 1844.
      Choctaws in Mississippi were influenced by Christian missionaries and developed schools. In 1821 they traded land for more by the Arkansas and Red rivers. In 1825 they ceded the eastern portion of that land. About 12,500 Choctaws emigrated from the state of Mississippi in 1831-33 as 2,500 died. About 5,000 Choctaws stayed in Mississippi.
      Chickasaws in western Tennessee and northern Mississippi also had schools and made US treaties in 1816, 1818, 1830, and 1834. President Jackson urged them to emigrate to preserve their culture. In 1837 Chickasaws leased land west of the Choctaws. On their move west in the winter of 1837-38 over 500 died of smallpox. Chickasaws faced conflicts with western tribes and Texans.
      In 1825 Creeks sold land in Georgia to the US for $217,600 and a perpetual annuity of $20,000, but 24 leaders got most of the money. In 1827 Creeks had land only in Alabama. In 1829 Jackson persuaded 1,200 Creeks to move to the Arkansas River. They suffered from epidemics until vaccines helped some. In March 1832 Creeks traded their land in Alabama for much less in the West. They signed a treaty at Fort Gibson in February 1833, and 10,000 troops removed 19,600 Creeks in the next two years; but 3,500 died of disease after arriving. Creeks still in Alabama fought a war against settlers in 1836. The next year 14,609 Creeks were forced to move west as over 3,500 died.
      Chief Black Hawk led the Sauks and Foxes. These tribes and others made a treaty with the US in August 1825. Black Hawk crossed the Mississippi back into Illinois in 1831 and made a treaty in June. He led 1,500 warriors into Illinois again in 1832. Militia and 1,300 US soldiers defeated them in July and August. Black Hawk escaped but surrendered on August 27. President Jackson summoned Black Hawk to Washington and met him in April 1833. After going on a tour Black Hawk spent his last years living with the Sauk in Iowa. Between 1837 and 1842 the United States purchased much land from midwestern tribes.
      Seminoles made a treaty with the US in September 1823 and were given a reservation in central Florida. Seminoles in May 1832 sold their land in Florida for about $80,000. They were required to move west in 1835, but that year the Second Seminole War broke out. The US sent an army of 5,000 men in January 1836, but by the end of the year they had removed only 400 Seminoles. In 1837 the US spent money and troops who removed 1,600 Seminoles by June. About 400 Seminoles defeated 1,100 soldiers in December, but they made peace in February 1838. That year the US removed 1,200 Seminoles, leaving less than 400 in Florida. The war ended in 1843, but it cost the United States $35 million and 1,535 military deaths.
      In 1825 the United States made treaties in the West with the Arikara, Cheyenne, Crow, Mandan, Ponca, and some Sioux. Cheyenne, Kiowas, and Comanches had conflicts from 1826 to 1840. In 1838 Cheyenne and Arapahos fought the Kiowas, Comanches, and some Apaches, but they made peace by the Arkansas River in 1840. US Indian Agent Major Taliafero tried to help civilize the Sioux in the 1820s and 1830s, and he considered white fur traders a bad influence. The treaties made at Prairie du Chien in August 1825 and July 1830 tried to stop tribal conflicts and provided annual gifts. The Sioux agreed to a lucrative treaty in Washington in September 1837.
      Dr. Long of Mississippi led invasions of Texas in 1819 and 1821 that failed. Moses Austin got a grant in Texas from Spain in 1821, and before his death turned it over to his son Stephen. In 1823 he persuaded the Mexican Congress to let him settle 300 families in Texas and more in the years ahead. Many Americans brought slaves. Mexico banned slavery in 1829, and by 1832 Texas had 11,000 colonists. In 1833 committees led by Sam Houston worked on a constitution. Stephen Austin was arrested in January 1834 and held in Mexico City until August 1835. Texans in July had resolved to fight, and the revolt began in October near Gonzales. Austin led an army of 350 men who besieged San Antonio. A Texas provisional government began in November, and Houston was put in command. At the end of 1835 about 30,000 Americans in Texas outnumbered 3,000 Mexicans. Col. Travis refused to abandon the Alamo, and the men defending it were slaughtered by Santa Anna’s army on 6 March 1836. A Texas national convention adopted a constitution and elected David Burnet President. On March 27 Santa Anna had 332 Texan prisoners at Goliad executed. Houston’s army of 900 men won a major victory at San Jacinto in April and captured Santa Anna who agreed to remove the Mexican army from Texas.
      Texans elected Houston President in 1836, and he made peace with Comanches. In 1837 the United States recognized the Texas Republic, but the US Senate rejected annexation. Texas President Lamar (1838-41) supported education and opposed annexation. Failed diplomacy led to conflicts with Comanches and Cherokees, and Lamar ordered extermination. Texans’ attempt to form another republic by the Rio Grande in 1840 provoked a war with Mexico. Houston was elected President again in 1841, and he reduced spending, declining to spend for a war against Mexico. A Mexican army of 500 men invaded Texas in March 1842, and the Texas Congress declared war in June. A Mexican army of 1,000 occupied San Antonio in September. A general amnesty in September 1844 paroled prisoners. Texas spent money protecting the frontier from US Indians. By 1845 Texas had 24,401 slaves.
      Diminishing beaver gradually closed the era of the mountain men in the West. The Santa Fé Trail opened the way for Americans to move to and trade with Santa Fé in Mexico’s territory of New Mexico. A Texan expedition in 1841 to take over Santa Fé and New Mexico failed miserably. Mexico closed the Santa Fé Trail to Americans in 1844. Fur trappers and companies exploited the Oregon country that was shared by the United States and Britain, and this trapping also gave way to settlers who followed the Oregon Trail.

Jacksonian Democracy

      President Andrew Jackson (1829-37) was a war hero but wanted to bring democratic reforms to the common people. He claimed he wanted to correct the abuses of patronage, but he replaced numerous government officials with his spoils system. He had many unofficial advisors but relied on his Secretary of State Martin Van Buren. He put term limits on some positions. Kendall discovered corruption in the Treasury Department. Some workers’ advocates were concerned about banks giving too much paper credit, and Jackson considered the US Bank unconstitutional. He wanted to purchase Texas for national security. His Democratic Party had a majority in both houses of Congress. Josiah Holbrook promoted popular education through town lyceums that spread rapidly. Improvements came from railways, canals, steam engines, and other industries.
      Vice President Calhoun and Senator Haynes of South Carolina were for states’ rights and nullifying federal laws, but Senator Daniel Webster opposed them and spoke for union and the US Constitution. Jacksonians favored making land available to more people, and they funded more roads and canals; but Jackson vetoed turning them over to states. Madison also criticized nullification. Fur trappers competed for diminishing beaver in the West. The US had 330 banks aiding the sale of public land. Senator Benton of Missouri opposed renewing the US Bank. Calhoun exposed Jackson’s conquest of Spanish Florida. In April 1831 Van Buren and War Secretary Eaton resigned, and Jackson replaced most of his cabinet. Free blacks met in Philadelphia and challenged prejudices. Calhoun warned against Jacksonian majority rule. The Anti-Masonic Party nominated Wirt for President, and the National Republicans named Henry Clay. Jackson claimed successes in foreign policy. Major newspapers got money from the US Government for printing. Stephen Smith’s Working Man’s Manuel opposed unequal property.
      After an investigation in 1832 the US Congress renewed the US Bank. President Jackson wanted to kill the Bank and vetoed the bill. He was concerned that foreigners had so much of the money and that westerners with land owed foreigners and Eastern investors. Jackson opposed the selfishness of the rich and powerful. Many in Congress objected, and Jackson appealed to the people. Bank notes were causing speculation and higher prices, and calling in loans led to collapse. Jackson tried to remove deposits from the US Bank but could not get Treasury secretaries to do so until Roger Taney transferred deposits to state banks. The US Senate refused to confirm Taney. Clay criticized Jackson, and the Senate censured the President. Democrat James Polk got the House to pass four resolutions on the Bank including an investigation. Sale of public land increased in 1835 and 1836 as an expanding money supply caused an economic surge.
      The 1832 protectionist tariff was opposed in South Carolina as its Governor Hamilton and Calhoun persuaded a convention to nullify the law in their state. They prepared to meet federal coercion with secession and many volunteers. Jackson called that treason and sent federal troops to Charleston harbor. Clay got compromise tariffs passed reducing the taxes. Virginians debated the emancipation of slaves. After two Americans were killed on Sumatra, US Marines were sent and killed 450 people. Jackson chose Van Buren to be Vice President, and they were easily elected over the Republican Clay. Frances Trollope published Domestic Manners of the Americans. Pioneers began following the Oregon Trail from Missouri to the Columbia River.
      In Jackson’s first term railways and steamships had increased, and 200 new banks helped investment. Oberlin provided the first co-educational college, and a Quaker college was started. In New York trade unions demanded a ten-hour workday. The national debt was reduced to $4,760,082. In 1832 and 1833 treaties were made with Seminoles, Cherokees, Creeks, and four other tribes. Edward Livingston published his book on humane prison reforms, and Mathew Carey asked the wealthy to help the poor. Settlers moved into the Michigan and Wisconsin territories. Jackson sent troops to end disorder in Maryland. Whigs gained control of New York’s city council. Clay, Webster, and Calhoun were Whig leaders. Congress established Indian country west of the Mississippi. Massachusetts ended imprisonment for debt. Democrats regained a majority in the US Senate in November 1834.
      Many Irish immigrants arrived in the 1830s. Riots rose and fell in 1834-36, and some mobs attacked abolitionists. Amos Kendall became Postmaster General and turned a large debt into a surplus. Capitalists speculated in land in the West while workers in the East went on strike for a ten-hour day. Employers hired women, children, and convicts at lower wages. The Whigs had three nominees for President, and Democrats nominated Van Buren. Jackson appointed five Supreme Court justices including two more added by the Democratic Congress, and all five were from slave states. Taney was confirmed as Chief Justice. Jackson criticized abolitionists and asked Congress to regulate the Indian Territory. The Anti-Mason Party nominated General Harrison for President. Abolitionist mail was burned in Charleston, South Carolina. Sylvester Graham promoted a vegetarian diet.
      The United States sold more land in 1836 mostly for paper money. Prices were increasing, and the financial panic  began in January 1837. In eight years American exports had doubled, and imports quadrupled. The US Senate began rejecting abolitionist petitions without any debate, but John Quincy Adams challenged this and warned that war for Texas against Mexico over slavery would lead to a civil war. The US admitted the slave state Arkansas in 1836 and the free state of Michigan in January 1837. Women in Lowell textile mills went on strike. The Democrat Van Buren won a majority of the votes and easily defeated the divided Whigs to become President. Webster said that education and technical progress will increase prosperity. Most organized workers had a 10-hour day by 1836. In March 1837 the US Supreme Court was increased to nine justices. Jackson recognized Texas as a nation.

United States 1837-44 & Canada

      President Martin Van Buren (1837-41) appeared to inherit a booming economy, but in February 1837 a riot over the price of flour in New York led to a financial panic in March caused by the collapse of the cotton market in New Orleans. Bankruptcies spread, and stocks lost their value. Jacksonians blamed banks; but Whigs criticized Jackson as specie reserves (gold and silver) had fallen sharply. On May 10 banks in New York City suspended specie payments which caused property values and prices to plummet. That week almost all banks in the US did the same. The War Department spent $11.5 million on Indian removal in June and July, reviving the national debt. Van Buren approved treasury notes to increase the money supply, and he opposed annexing Texas. Whigs gained a majority in six states. Some Winnebagos refused to leave Wisconsin, and the Seminole War was costly. A mob murdered the abolitionist editor Lovejoy in Alton, Illinois. John L. O’Sullivan and Francis Grund praised American democracy while Harriet Martineau advocated female education.
      A temporary economic recovery in 1838 would last until another panic emerged in 1839. Americans favored Canadian rebellions against the British, but Van Buren proclaimed neutrality in November 1837, and he sent a force led by General Winfield Scott who made peace in January 1838. Abraham Lincoln in Illinois warned against mob violence. A pro-slavery mob burned a meetinghouse in Philadelphia, but Robert Purvis organized the Underground Railroad to help free slaves. Americans avenging an attack on a ship were defeated by British militia in Canada and punished. Whigs made gains in elections and elected Seward governor of New York. The New York Customs Collector Swartwout had embezzled over $1 million and fled. James Smithson left his fortune to the United States to increase knowledge. Banks failed again in 1839, and cotton prices fell. The conflict between New Brunswick and Maine was resolved by General Scott in March. Clay’s Whigs emphasized American business, and he criticized abolitionists. Whigs made more gains in 1839 elections. Van Buren was the first US President to campaign for re-election. The new abolitionist Liberty Party nominated James G. Birney for President. Low grain prices of the financial depression reached western states in the fall.
      In March 1840 Van Buren approved the 10-hour day for federal workers. The 1840 census counted 2,487,355 slaves and estimated that 600,000 immigrants had arrived in the decade. Indian removal and the Seminole War had cost $50 million by 1840. Henry Clay in June promoted the Whigs’ economic program in a campaign speech in Virginia. Van Buren signed the Independent Treasury bill on July 4. The radical Orestes Brownson supported it because it helped exploited laborers. Brownson agreed with the views of Jesus, and he urged reforms for the rights of workers. Albert Brisbane promoted the socialist ideas of Charles Fourier in his Social Destiny of Man which was published in 1840. Van Buren kept the peace with Mexico by opposing the annexation of Texas. Horace Mann improved public education in Massachusetts. In the 1840 elections the Whigs gained power in twelve states while Democratic banking systems survived in five states. Richard Henry Dana’s Two Years Before the Mast described life on an American ship. Clay supported slavery to get southern votes, but the Whig convention nominated the military hero William Henry Harrison for President, and Clay declined to be his running mate. Van Buren was nominated for re-election and was portrayed as a wealthy aristocrat. The Whigs won all but five states and increased their majorities in Congress in an election in which 80% of those eligible voted. Harrison made Webster the Secretary of State.
      President Harrison caught a cold while making his inaugural address and died one month later. Vice President John Tyler, a slaveholder from Virginia, became President and would be accused of abandoning Whigs to become a Democrat. Whigs did well in Congressional elections held in May 1841. Tyler vetoed many bills. Five cabinet officers resigned in September, but Webster stayed until May 1843. Tyler selected Whigs and balanced north and south in his cabinet. After Whigs lost state elections in August, Tyler appointed states-rights Democrats to other positions. He signed Webster’s Bankruptcy Act. An 1842 treaty enabled the Senecas to stay in New York. Gilbert Vale published “Happiness for All Through Diffusion of Wealth.”
      In 1842 Webster and Clay helped Congress pass a loan bill with a tariff that gave funds to states. Massachusetts improved labor laws. Joshua Giddings of Ohio advocated in Congress on behalf of slaves. Lt. John C. Fremont led an expedition to explore the Rocky Mountains, and his wife Jessie helped write the popular report, increasing those going West on the Oregon Trail. Tyler vetoed tariffs but signed the “Black Tariff” that would reduce US imports. Webster negotiated a treaty with British Foreign Minister Ashburton that set the US-Canada border. The costly Seminole war was ended. In the fall the Whigs lost elections but retained a Senate majority. Tyler extended the Monroe Doctrine to protect Hawaii. Dorr’s Rebellion in Rhode Island stimulated election reform.
      Secretary of State Webster opposed slavery, disagreed with Tyler on Texas, and resigned in May 1843. The Mexican minister warned that US annexation of Texas would cause a war. Tyler claimed the Oregon Territory up to 54° 40' north latitude. Fremont mapped Oregon, California, and back by way of Santa Fé. Congress funded a telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore. Tyler made Calhoun the Secretary of State, and they worked on annexing Texas; but they could not get Congress to approve. The American Republican Party, who were called “Know-nothings” for their secrecy, formed to oppose immigrants, and they elected James Harper the Mayor of New York City. George Henry Evans urged a new homestead policy.
      In the 1844 elections abolitionists in the Liberty Party nominated Birney again. Henry Clay in April warned that annexing Texas would cause a war with Mexico and divide the United States. The Whig Party convention nominated Clay with the Christian Frelinghuysen for Vice President. The Democratic convention was divided between Van Buren and Lewis Cass, but then they nominated James Polk who promised to serve only one term. President Tyler was running too but quit and endorsed Polk. The 79% of eligible voters gave Polk a narrow advantage in the popular vote and 15 states. Yet if one-third of Birney’s 15,812 votes in New York had gone to Clay, he would have won the state and the election. Democrats held the House and took over the Senate.
      Alexis de Tocqueville was born in Paris and traveled in the United States in 1831 and 1832. His observations and analysis in his Democracy in America have been studied by many. He prophetically predicted that the US and Russia would become great powers, and he also noted significant differences.

      In 1818 the United States and British Canada agreed to the Rush-Bagot Treaty which banned warships from the Great Lakes. A convention set the western boundary as the 49th parallel to the Rocky Mountains and opened the Oregon territory west of the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean. Canada had about 800,000 people, and immigration would increase to 66,000 in 1832. Montreal merchants formed the Bank of Canada in 1818. Robert Gourlay studied and challenged land deals and was banished in 1820. In 1821 a royal charter established McGill University. Epidemics devastated native tribes until a smallpox vaccine was introduced. Robert Baldwin helped reform Upper Canada in the south by the Ontario and Erie lakes. In the northeast Lower Canada exported wheat. The Hudson’s Bay Company dominated in the West. Canals connected the Erie and Ontario lakes to the Ottawa River by 1834. Louis Joseph Papineau led the Lower Canada Assembly most of the time 1815-37, and the government used the Quebec Gazette.
      William Lyon Mackenzie was a critical journalist who had his printing equipment destroyed and replaced, and he was expelled from the Assembly five times. Cholera killed 3,292 Canadians in 1832. Mackenzie was elected Mayor of York which was renamed Toronto in March 1834, and his committee reported on grievances. In 1835 Speaker Papineau rejected Governor-General Gosford’s proposal on revenue control. Governor-General Head explained how the elite Family Compact governed society, and he criticized the United States government. Mackenzie began the Constitution newspaper in July 1836, and Democrats formed a committee.
      Dissenters against British rule began meeting in Lower Canada in May 1837. Led by Papineau in October they adopted revolutionary resolutions. Mackenzie at more than a hundred meetings helped farmers prepare to defend their rights, and he issued the Call to Revolution 1837. About 5,000 people met at Saint Charles and urged counties to elect pacificators, justices of the peace, and militia officers while at Montreal 7,000 people supported the British. On November 4 a thousand led by Robert Nelson declared the independence of Lower Canada at Napierville. Fighting broke out, and captured Patriotes were punished. Papineau organized a boycott of British imports into Lower Canada, and he formed the Conseil des patriotes. Mackenzie published a draft constitution. Government declared martial law in Toronto on December 5, and 1,500 troops defeated 200 French militia. Mackenzie’s men destroyed the US ship Caroline. The government suspended habeas corpus until 1840. Fighting led to the trial of 1,900 rebels. Governor General and High Commissioner Durham made a 141-page report.
      The Act of Union in 1840 united Canada in February 1841 with English the official language. Canada East had 670,000 people with 510,000 speaking French, and Canada West had 432,000. Lt. Governor Charles Bagot came to govern in January 1842. He spoke French and included Lafontaine and two other French Reformers in his council. East and West had different laws, and Lafontaine and Baldwin became the Attorney Generals. Conflict over the border with the US state of Maine was resolved in the Ashburton-Webster treaty in August. Governor General Charles Metcalfe declined the advice of his council which resigned in late 1843. Metcalfe dissolved the legislature and called for elections in 1844 which gave him a majority.
      The British governed Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick independently of the Canadian provinces. Dalhousie University was founded at Halifax in Nova Scotia in 1818.

Slavery and Reformers 1817-44

      Increasing cotton production by slaves enabled the state of Mississippi in 1817 and Alabama in 1819 to join the Union. Slaves in the United States increased from 1,538,133 in 1820 to 2,487,355 in 1840. Southern slaveholders used torture to speed up cotton pickers to keep up with textile machines in the North. Laws in the South treated African slaves as property to prevent them from being educated or gaining freedom. In the North most states did not allow free blacks to vote. Business firms bought slaves cheap in eastern states where cotton had depleted the soil and then sold them in western slave states. The price of slaves more than doubled during Jackson’s presidency. Getting black girls and women pregnant early and often increased the number of slaves. Slaves were imported to Florida and Louisiana. White masters forced African slaves to work long hours especially during the harvest. Slaves were punished for slight offenses, but whites were rarely charged for harming or killing slaves. The Fugitive Slave Law was used to catch runaway slaves. The American Colonization Society began in 1816 to transport blacks back to Africa, but most abolitionists would oppose this. About 15,000 blacks would emigrate. New York freed its 10,000 slaves in 1827. The 1840 US census counted 386,293 free blacks.
      Slaves in the Americas often revolted. The educated Denmark Vesey led a conspiracy at Charleston that was discovered in May 1822 and suppressed. About 10,000 slaves revolted in Demerara, Guiana in 1823. The religious slave Nat Turner led a rebellion in Southampton, Virginia in August 1828. Many whites and blacks were killed before 33 slaves were tried and punished. The Confession of Nat Turner was published and distributed. In July 1839 slaves took over the Spanish ship La Amistad. They were put on trial in New Haven in November, and the Spanish claims were dismissed. In the appeal to the US Supreme Court John Quincy Adams persuaded eight justices that the Africans had a right to free themselves, and they were returned to Africa in January 1842. About 135 slaves took over the ship Creole in October 1841 and killed one man. They were arrested in Nassau but were eventually freed. Sugar made Cuba a wealthy society except for the slaves. Cuba had 20 slave rebellions 1812-44 with large ones in 1843 and 1844. One of their leaders, Fermina Lucumí, was a woman.
      Frederick Douglass was a slave in Maryland and managed to learn to read, and he was inspired by The Columbian Orator. When he was 15, he fought back against being whipped. In 1834 his master let him teach at a Sabbath school. Frederick learned how to caulk ships and earned money for his master that they shared. In September 1838 he escaped to New York. He got a job in New Bedford and subscribed to The Liberator. He opposed African emigration, met Garrison, and became a popular abolitionist speaker, traveling to many states. He published his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass in the spring of 1845.
      Charles Osborn started the anti-slavery newspaper The Philanthropist in September 1817. Levi Coffin in Indiana guided the escape of 3,000 slaves by the underground railroad. Quaker Benjamin Lundy helped Negroes emigrate to Haiti. He opposed the admission of any more slave states and the internal slave trade, and he advocated amending the US Constitution’s three-fifths compromise. He led the petition campaign to ban slavery in the District of Columbia and published The Genius of Universal Emancipation 1821-39. In 1826 Quakers helped 700 blacks emigrate to Haiti. The first Negro newspaper Freedom’s Journal began in 1827. On July 4 New York freed its 10,000 slaves. Mexico abolished slavery in 1829. David Walker in September published An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World to end slavery.
      William Lloyd Garrison led the effort to abolish slavery in the US from 1829 and published The Liberator from 1831 until the goal was achieved in 1865. He wrote the poem “Universal Emancipation.” He was arrested for libel, and rewards were offered in the South for him and other abolitionists. He opposed African colonization and demanded immediate liberation.
      In 1833 the poet Whittier published Justice and Expediency. Another Quaker, Prudence Crandall, opened her school in Connecticut to 20 colored girls in April. They were harassed and had to close it in September 1834. In 1833 Samuel May wrote The Right of the Colored People to Education Vindicated, and Lydia Child published An Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans and other works criticizing slavery. Arthur Tappan started The Emancipator in New York. In December 1833 at Philadelphia 64 delegates led by Garrison formed the American Anti-Slavery Society with an eloquent constitution. The renunciation of physical force was also explained in Garrison’s “Declaration of Sentiments.” David Lee Child criticized racism in The Despotism of Freedom.
      In 1835 blacks wrote and began disseminating works on human rights, and attacks by mobs against abolitionists increased. On October 21 they attacked a convention at Utica and the Female Anti-Slavery Society in Boston, nearly lynching Garrison. William Ellery Channing criticized slavery as irrational, immoral, and undemocratic. In 1836 abolitionists petitioned to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, and Angelina Grimké published An Appeal to the Christian Women of the South. The US Congress refused even to debate slavery from 1837 to 1844.
      In 1837 the Anti-slavery Women of America held a convention at New York. The abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy had his printing press destroyed by mobs several times, and he was killed at Alton, Illinois. Garrison believed in nonresistance (nonviolence) and won over others. In 1838 they formed a Nonresistance Society and published the Non Resistant. Abolitionists built Pennsylvania Hall, but during the Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women a mob burned down the building. Black Robert Purvis led the organization to help fleeing slaves by the “underground railroad.” Abolitionists boycotted segregated schools. Theodore Weld published American Slavery As It Is in 1839. Garrison also worked for women’s rights. He encouraged women to take leadership positions, and in May 1840 Lewis Tappan and others were outvoted, left the American Anti-Slavery Society, and formed another Anti-Slavery society that excluded women. By 1840 there were 2,000 abolitionist societies with about 200,000 members.
      William Whipple explained how the American Revolutionary War would have been better if it had been nonviolent. James Birney organized the Liberty Party and ran for US President twice. The black abolitionist Charles Remond lectured widely and criticized segregation on railways. Charles Torrey, Thomas Smallwood, and others supported the underground railroad. Stephen S. Foster and other abolitionists criticized pro-slavery churches. Garrison suggested that northern states should secede. After northern Methodists and Baptists opposed slavery, the southern churches formed separate organizations.

      Women such as Elizabeth Ann Seton and Isabella Graham promoted charitable work. The major Female Moral Reform Societies started in Boston and New York. Public schools for girls began in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1824. Hannah Mather Crocker emphasized women’s rights as well as duties. Emma Willard founded the Troy Female Seminary in 1821, and in 1837 Mary Lyon started the Mount Holyoke Seminary. British writer Harriet Martineau visited the United States 1834-36 and published Society in America. She criticized dishonest politicians, “gentlemen” who persecuted abolitionists, one-sided reporters, and sectional prejudice. She denounced slavery and complained that women could not participate in politics,. Women in some states gained the right to own property, and Lowell women went on strike asking for a ten-hour day.
      In 1823 Catherine Beecher founded the Hartford Female Seminary and in 1833 the Western Female Institute in Cincinnati. She wrote several books on education and morals, and she urged the abolition of slavery. In 1841 she published her influential Treatise on Domestic Economy.
      Frances Wright was drawn to America as the land of freedom and genius, and she published Views of Society and Manners in America in 1821. She visited the New Harmony commune in 1824, and in 1825 Lundy published her Plan for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery. She purchased land near Memphis and founded the Nashoba community. She was influenced by the utilitarian Bentham and the socialist Robert Owen. She lectured widely, and her Course of Popular Lectures was published in 1829. She spoke for the neglected female mind and emphasized free inquiry to obtain just knowledge. She believed in sexual equality, and she promoted the ethical science of human actions rather than religion. She wanted free schools to educate all children. In 1830 Wright accompanied slaves who were freed in Haiti. She lectured on American government in 1836 and opposed banking. She founded a newspaper and advocated women’s property rights, sexual freedom, birth control, and reforming marriage laws.
      Dorothea Dix taught school and became a writer. She was influenced by William Ellery Channing, and she worked as a governess to his children. In 1832 she published American Moral Tales for Young Persons. In 1841 she discovered the miserable conditions of the insane in jails, and she began helping them. She studied how the insane were treated in prisons, jails, almshouses, and workhouses, and her report to the Massachusetts legislature persuaded them to expand the Worcester State Lunatic Hospital. She visited institutions in Connecticut and New York and raised money for a hospital in Rhode Island. In 1844 New York approved an asylum at Utica. Dix also went to Vermont, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.
      Lydia Child learned about native women as a youth in Maine and wrote novels about Narragansetts, Mohawks, Pequods, and Pokanokets. She made money editing the bimonthly Juvenile Miscellany 1826-34. She opposed plans to remove the Cherokees. She married David Child who was punished for criticizing Jackson and others. Her books, The Frugal Housewife, The Mother’s Book, and Good Wives offered practical advice to women of moderate means.
      The Childs supported the anti-slavery movement, and in 1833 Lydia published her comprehensive Appeal in Favor of That Class of Americans Called Africans; but David’s Despotism of Freedom was not as popular. As a lawyer he defended the crew of the Spanish Panda. In 1835 Lydia published her 2-volume multi-cultural History of the Condition of Women. She published three more anti-slavery tracts and her philosophical novel Philothea: A Romance. She worked for women’s rights and became a close friend of Margaret Fuller. The Childs edited the National Anti-Slavery Standard 1840-44. Lydia also wrote anti-slavery stories, and her “Letters from New York” took on prison reform and capitalism.
      Four Quaker women were prominent abolitionists and also worked for women’s rights. Prudence Crandall taught black girls until their school was damaged in 1834. Lucretia Mott organized the Philadelphia Female Antislavery Society in 1833, and in 1840 she attended the World Antislavery Convention in London. Sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimké left South Carolina to join Quakers in Philadelphia. They both wrote and lectured extensively for the abolition of slavery and equal rights for women.
      Margaret Fuller’s father pressured her to study, and she had a precocious childhood and became extremely well read. She learned several languages and taught her brothers and sisters. After her father’s death in 1835 she began teaching at schools. She met Emerson and became a Transcendentalist. She translated Eckermann’s Conversations with Goethe. She had close friendships with women and gave weekly Conversations for women at Elizabeth Peabody’s bookstore in Boston. In November 1841 Fuller began editing The Dial for Transcendentalists, and she also wrote articles. Her book, Summer on the Lakes, in 1843 about the Chippewa and Ottawa tribes was published in 1844, and her feminist Woman in the Nineteenth Century came out as a book in February 1845.

American Philosophy and Literature 1817-44

      David Dodge founded the New York Peace Society in 1815, the year he published War Inconsistent with the Religion of Jesus Christ. The moderate Massachusetts Peace Society had a thousand members by 1818, and Quakers formed the Pennsylvania Peace Society in 1822. The American Peace Society formed in 1828, and William Ladd became the leader. He had published The Essays of Philanthropos on Peace and War in 1825. Rev. Henry C. Wright went on a speaking tour for the society. In 1840 Ladd published An Essay on a Congress of Nations, but after his death in 1841 the conservative George Beckwith took over. In June 1843 the abolitionist Lewis Tappan attended the first World Peace Congress in London.
      Shakers were conscientiously opposed to participating in or supporting war as they practiced the spiritual way taught by Jesus.
      William Ellery Channing began preaching Unitarian Christianity about 1820 when he formed a conference of liberal Congregational ministers. He supported the Massachusetts Peace Society started by Noah Worcester and gave three “Discourses on War” in 1816, 1835, and 1838. Channing supported the abolitionists with his book Slavery in 1835. In 1837 he warned Henry Clay that annexing Texas could extend slavery and lead to war. Channing and others defended the Universalist Abner Kneeland who was jailed for 60 days for blasphemy in 1838. In 1840 Channing published his lectures “On the Elevation of the Laboring Classes.” He explained how the British had freed themselves of slavery.
      Charles Grandison Finney was a successful evangelist and promoted moral reform. Experiments in communal living were led by Robert Owen at New Harmony in Indiana 1825-27, by George Ripley at Brook Farm 1841-46, by Adin Ballou at Hopedale 1842-56, and by Bronson Alcott at Fruitlands 1842-44. Albert Brisbane studied with the socialist Charles Fourier in Paris, and in 1840 Brisbane’s Social Destiny of Man explained how society could be reformed.
      George Bancroft wrote an influential history of the United States, and in August 1835 he gave a magnificent speech on “The Common Man in Art, Politics, and Religion.” He described the human spirit, the power of education, the moral conscience, and government of equal rights.
      Joseph Smith had little education other than from the Bible, but he apparently had visions and felt guided to write a new bible for America. He dictated the text to a secretary from behind a curtain, and he published the Book of Mormon in March 1830. The book claims that a lost tribe of Israel came to America and that several centuries later Jesus Christ appeared there after he was resurrected. Eventually evil Lamanites wiped out the Nephites.
      Smith founded a Church of Christ in April 1830 and in 1832 renamed it the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. In 1831 Joseph led 70 Mormons from New York to Kirtland, Ohio. In March 1832 Joseph was abducted, tarred, and feathered. He made more revelations that were published in 1833. He forbade use of tobacco, liquor, coffee, and tea.  Smith predicted a war between North and South and Indian violence. Mormons had conflicts with neighbors, and he organized a militia in May 1834 and led them to Missouri. Mormons had no slaves; but Smith recognized the South’s right to hold slaves because it was in the Bible. He published the Book of Abraham in 1835 and began practicing plural marriage secretly. Their bank failed, and Mormons sent out missionaries. In 1838 Mormons came into conflict with the Missouri militia. Smith and other leaders were arrested.
      Brigham Young became a Mormon leader and missionary. He was away during the 1838 war in Missouri, but he became President of the Twelve Apostles and led about 3,000 Mormons to Quincy, Illinois. After being imprisoned for six months Joseph Smith in 1839 escaped and went to Quincy. He founded the Mormon town “Nauvoo” and sent Young and apostles to Britain. Smith visited Washington and lectured to large audiences. He had a temple built at Nauvoo in 1841, and he married more than thirty women. He quarreled with Mayor Bennett who became an adversary. Mormon women began running a Relief Society in 1842. Smith adopted some Freemasonry rituals, and he ran for US President in 1843. Problems escalated in 1844, and Smith declared martial law in Nauvoo. Joseph and his brother Hyrum were arrested, and armed men killed them in the jail on June 27. Most Mormons decided to follow Brigham Young.

      Ralph Waldo Emerson studied the works of many great authors. He became a Unitarian minister in Boston in 1829.  He discovered eastern philosophy, and in 1831 he resigned his ministry. In 1833 he traveled in Europe and talked to Thomas Carlyle. He began lecturing and served as a Unitarian minister 1835-38 in Lexington. In 1836 he described his philosophy in his first major work, Nature. He founded Transcendentalism and explained this idealistic philosophy by describing relations between Spirit and nature.
      Emerson and those drawn to him formed the Transcendental Club. He gave a series of lectures on the “Philosophy of History” which concluded with “Ethics.” He made an appeal for the expelled Cherokees and welcomed Henry David Thoreau into his home. In 1838 he published his speech The American Scholar, urging people to know themselves and study nature. In the soul he found divine justice, and he warned that deceiving is self-deception. He gave a lecture series on “Human Life.” The Transcendental Club selected Margaret Fuller to edit The Dial which started in July 1840. Emerson edited the last two volumes from July 1842 to April 1844.
      Emerson described war as an epidemic of insanity, and he explained how mature humanity can love instead of hate and have peace instead of war as civilization prevails over barbarism. He agreed with the nonresistance of Jesus and Garrison, and he urged transferring courage from war to the cause of peace. True heroes maintain peace. He predicted a Congress of Nations. In a lecture to apprentices he warned against selfishness, and he advised reforming government, schools, religion, marriage, trade, and science in accord with nature as love creates the greatest of all revolutions.
      In his first series of Essays in 1841 Emerson wrote “History” and “Self-Reliance.” Understanding history helps us live more fully. In self-reliance we learn to trust ourselves find our own talents without conforming. Integrity leads to genuine actions that develop character. Understanding justice is finding the truth, and virtue enhances reality. Goodness comes from the Spirit of God. To live nobly follow your heart, and the triumph of principles brings peace.
      In his essay “Compensation” Emerson described the spiritual law of karma or the cause and effect which brings about equal justice. We create our lives and are responsible for all our actions. Divine retribution balances every equation. Emerson also discussed human life in “Spiritual Laws.” Higher laws regulate all events. We are the world and measure justice, truth, and beauty. A person is arranged progressively. Yet transcendent of these laws is the divine soul and the whole reality of God.
      Emerson’s transcendence is expressed in “The Over-Soul” as the vision of divine wisdom. God is the cause of justice, love, freedom, and power. Even a simple person with integrity becomes God. Emerson drew wider ideas in his essay “Circles,” and in “Art” he foresaw a higher expression than mere imitation of nature.
      Emerson in his series of lectures on “The Times” described American society as he saw it in 1841-42. He contrasted the two parties of the past and the future, naturally favoring the latter. He described the party of the past in his essay “The Conservative.” In “The Transcendentalist” he explained some sources of his ideas in Asian philosophy and the intuitive ideas of Immanuel Kant. Emerson was influenced by innovative women such as Margaret Fuller and Lucretia Mott. He commended the British for their intelligent way of abolishing slavery in their nation and empire, and he suggested that the United States follow their example.

      Washington Irving grew up in New York City, read books, skipped college, traveled to Canada and Europe, and became a lawyer and a writer. He satirized New York culture in Salmagundi in 1807 and reported on Aaron Burr’s treason trial. His History of New York parodied its early period as a Dutch colony. While in Europe he wrote his Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon which contained essays and stories about Europe, mostly the English. Irving is most famous for his tale “Rip Van Winkle” about the American Revolution and his ghost story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” His essay “Traits of Indian Character” described American policy toward Indians in 1820.
      While in Europe, Irving also wrote Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists in 1822 and Tales of a Traveler in 1824. He learned Spanish and wrote a popular biography of Christopher Columbus as well as the Chronicle of the Conquest of Granada, Voyages and Discoveries of the Companions of Columbus, and The Alhambra. He served as a diplomat at Madrid before returning to the United States in 1832. Irving traveled west to help supervise Indian removal, and he wrote his Tour of the Prairies. He wrote Astoria: Or, Enterprise Beyond the Rocky Mountains on the fur trade for John Jacob Astor in 1836 and then The Adventures of Captain Bonneville about the changing West. President Tyler appointed Irving minister to Spain in 1842, but his health deteriorated in 1843. Irving also wrote biographies of Oliver Goldsmith and Muhammad, and he spent his later years writing his long biography of George Washington.
      James Fenimore Cooper became a sailor at 17 and served in the US Navy until 1810. His novel, The Spy: a Tale of the Neutral Ground, about the Revolutionary War published in 1821 was successful. His Leatherstocking character Nathaniel Bumppo first appeared in The Pioneers as a caring old hunter in 1793. Cooper wrote several novels about sea stories. The Pilot depicts John Paul Jones during the Revolutionary War. Cooper’s most popular novel, The Last of the Mohicans, portrays the French and Indian War in 1757 and Leatherstocking as the young man Hawkeye who was raised by Mohicans. The story shows how the English-French conflict affected the Americans and the natives on the frontier. In The Prairie set in 1804 Bumppo is old and is called “the trapper,” and he gets along better with the Indians than with the whites.
      Cooper’s novel The Red Rover is a sea story about a pirate set in the 18th century. In The Wept of Wish-ton-Wish a Puritan girl is married to an Indian chief in the 17th century. Like Irving, Cooper spent many years in Europe, and he wrote about a fictional American traveling there. The Water-Witch is another sea story about smuggling in the 1700s. He wrote three novels about Europe’s declining feudalism. In The Bravo the depravity of the Venetian aristocracy is exposed. The Heidenmauer is set in Bavaria during the Lutheran Reformation. The Headsman: The Abbaye des Vignerons is about an executioner and takes place in a Swiss canton.
      Cooper returned to America in 1833. He expressed his own liberal ideas in The American Democrat in 1838. He warned against a demagogue and misleading public opinion, but he valued press freedom. Cooper published two novels that reflected his legal difficulties over land at home. He satirized the American quest for money in New York. He wrote a History of the Navy. Natty Bumppo is a scout and a hero again in The Pathfinder, and justice is his most noble trait. Cooper also wrote a novel about Spain in 1492 and the first two voyages of Christopher Columbus. Cooper’s last Leatherstocking novel, The Deerslayer, is set in the 1740s and was published in 1841. Cooper’s 1799 sea story, The Wing-and-Wing ends with some characters pursuing a religious life. His novel French Governess begins at Paris in 1830 and moves to New York City and follows the story of a handkerchief. His novel Wyandotté portrays conflicts in 1775-76 involving an Indian chief in New York. Cooper’s later novels often had religious themes, and in 1844 he published two novels about a sailor.
      John Greenleaf Whittier was a Quaker who worked as an editor, and he wrote poems to promote the abolition of slavery.

Evaluating America 1817-44

      Brazil’s revolution to become independent of Portugal began in 1817, and elections gave them a Constituent Assembly by 1823. The United States was the first nation to recognize Brazil. The Cisplantine province fought for independence and became the nation of Uruguay in 1828. Brazil adopted liberal reforms from French influence in 1830 and was under a regency from 1831 to 1840. The conservative party dominated from 1837 until liberals regained power in 1844. Brazil had more than 2 million slaves who enabled them to dominate world coffee production in the 1840s.
      Argentines in the United Provinces of Rio Plata became independent in 1816. Rivadavia as the primary minister from 1821 and then as President in 1826-27 implemented many liberal reforms. War against Brazil led to a civil war in 1828. Buenos Aires Governor Rosas gained power in 1835 and would exercise it until 1852, though the civil war ended in 1841. Paraguay suffered under the dictator Francia as he persecuted his political opponents until his death in 1840. Then Carlos Antonio López added schools.
      General San Martín with an Argentine army helped Chileans defeat the royalists in 1818, and he made compassionate O’Higgins the supreme director of an independent Chile. Pro-slavery senators forced him out in 1823, but a new constitution in December abolished slavery and created elected assemblies. Yet Congress nullified it a year later. President Pinto adopted a liberal constitution in 1828; but conservatives won a short civil war in April 1830 and elected General Prieto president, and he served ten years. General Bulnes led Chileans to victory over the Confederation of Peru and Bolivia, and he was elected president in 1841.
      Simón Bolívar led the liberation and founding of the republics Venezuela and Colombia, and San Martín’s army helped liberate Peru. Bolívar benefited the native tribes as the first President of Bolivia. During Peru’s civil war Bolivians invaded and formed a brief confederation. The Colombian federation dissolved by 1831 and became New Granada, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Each nation became self-governing under constitutions, though they often elected generals as leaders. The military dominated Peru most of the time until 1844. New Granada restored relations with Spain, and President Herrán invited Jesuits to promote education. President Santa Cruz in Bolivia reduced taxes and prohibited slavery. Ecuador’s President Rocafuerte implemented a liberal constitution 1835-39.
      Haiti under President Boyer 1818-43 maintained its freedom but struggled to pay the huge debt that France imposed on them. The African Prince Saunders helped them develop their own laws, and Charles Riviere-Hérard led the effort to remove Boyer and to establish a more democratic constitution in 1844. In the 1830s the British freed the slaves in their West Indies colonies, but the French did not. Puerto Rico suffered under a Spanish military governor with slavery and a war tax imposed in 1837. Cuba’s Governor Cienfuegos expanded trade, and Cuba continued to import slaves that led to slave revolts in 1843 and 1844.
      Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1821 stimulated the six Central American nations to form in December 1823 a constitutional republic that was recognized by Colombia and the United States in 1825. General Morazán helped the federal government overcome resistance and was President for eight years in the 1830s. The military leader Carrera established a conservative government in Guatemala in 1839 and was elected its President in 1844. Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Costa Rica adopted national constitutions. Panama became free of Spain in 1821 and banned the slave trade in 1822.
      Iturbide’s Iguala Plan and the liberal Viceroy O'Donojú led to Mexico’s independence in September 1821. After Iturbide became Emperor, generals revolted. Mexico became a republic with a constitution in 1824. The Afro-Mestizo President Guerrero abolished slavery in 1829, but conservative Vice President Bustamante’s forces defeated his army in 1831. A civil war in 1832 led to Santa Anna being elected President in 1833. The conservative Centralists overcame the liberal Federalists and dominated the government, though Santa Anna was exiled in 1844. California secularized its missions and released natives from them. New Mexico developed trade with Americans by the Santa Fé trail and had conflicts with native tribes.
      Monroe was the last US President of the 32-year Virginia dynasty of slaveholders. Usually only white men of means could vote, and half the states had slaves. General Jackson governed the Florida territory acquired from Spain. Abuse by the US Bank and state banks led to a financial panic in 1819 that depressed the economy. The Erie Canal was financed to improve trade, and a little was provided to educate Indians and deport blacks. The 1820 compromise added Missouri as a slave state along with the free state of Maine, drawing a line to prevent future slave states in the north. Monroe’s foreign policy in 1823 supported Latin American independence and advised Europeans not to intervene. Clay’s tariffs provided most of the US Government’s revenue, and he opposed Jackson’s militarism and helped elected John Quincy Adams President. He respected human rights and fostered improvements, reducing the US debt by $25 million. Yet workers as well as slaves suffered in poverty. In 1828 Jackson opposed an abominable tariff, accepted slavery, and promised Indian land to get elected President.
      General Jackson was sent to Spanish Florida and used military force and native allies to take over that territory for the United States by 1819. Cherokees in the South developed agriculture, publishing, and constitutional government. The lawyer Evarts led the protests against removal of the five civilized tribes in the South. President Jackson’s 1830 Indian Removal Act aimed to move about 60,000 Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles west of the Mississippi, and about 6,000 Cherokees died on the Trail of Tears in 1838-39. Choctaws in Mississippi and Chickasaws north of them made treaties with the US, and most migrated west by the 1830s. Creeks sold their land in Georgia in 1825 and moved to Alabama. Most left there by 1837 as many died, some in the Alabama war of 1836.
      Most of the Indian tribes in the North had been moved to reservations in the West. The Black Hawk War in 1832 was one of the last Indian fights east of the Mississippi in the Midwest. The Second Seminole War (1835-43) removed most Seminoles from Florida and cost the US $35 million and 1,535 military deaths. Cheyenne, Kiowas, and Comanches had conflicts in the West, and Indian Agent Taliafero tried to make peace. The Sioux made a major treaty in 1837. Stephen Austin pioneered the colonization of Texas, and many settlers brought slaves. Sam Houston led the army that won the war for independence and was elected the first President of the Republic of Texas. Americans also explored and trapped for furs in the New Mexico Territory that belonged to Mexico and in the Oregon country shared with Britain.
      Jackson’s administration tried to improve life for people, and he aimed to transform the government with those who agreed with him. South Carolina politicians demanded states’ rights while Webster and others defended the US Constitution. Jackson used vetoes to increase the power of the federal government. He blocked renewal of the US Bank and tried reforms to control the rich and powerful. In 1832 a protectionist tariff provoked nullification of it in South Carolina; but military confrontation was avoided as Clay passed compromise tariffs. His first term improved transportation and reduced the national debt while stimulating the economy, and Jacksonian Democrats re-elected him over the Republican Clay. The Whig Party emerged, but Democrats regained the Senate in 1834. Mobs caused riots in Jackson’s last three years, and some attacked abolitionists. Workers struggled for a ten-hour day which employers opposed. Land speculation and inflation led to a financial panic in 1837. Slave interests blocked debate over the abolition of slavery in the US Congress, and the number of slave and free states was kept equal. Unions achieved the 10-hour work day.
      An economic depression began in the United States in 1837 with bankruptcies and falling values. Whigs began gaining power. Pro-slavery mobs still attacked abolitionists who helped runaway slaves. Banks failed again in 1839, and prices fell even in western states. Conflicts with the British broke out on the Canadian border and were pacified. The Whigs won the elections of 1840 as 80% of qualified men voted, electing the military hero Harrison, but his death after a month made John Tyler of Virginia President. He vetoed many bills and appointed Democrats but kept his cabinet balanced between North and South. Clay helped Congress pass a tariff Bill that Tyler signed. Fremont’s expeditions helped open the West. Daniel Webster made a treaty that resolved conflicts with Canada. Dorr’s efforts improved voting in Rhode Island. Webster was against slavery and annexing Texas, and he resigned in May 1843. Tyler made Calhoun Secretary of State, but Congress blocked annexing Texas. The American Republican Party was anti-immigrant. Clay warned that annexing Texas would cause a war with Mexico and a divided nation, but he barely lost the 1844 presidential election, ironically because of abolitionist votes in New York for the Liberty Party. Democrats also gained a majority in the Senate. De Tocqueville’s Democracy in America described the political workings and their challenges.
      British Canada and the United States banned warships in the Great Lakes and established the border in 1818. Epidemics wiped out many native people, and the Hudson’s Bay Company had a monopoly in the northwest. The journalist Mackenzie survived adversity and became Mayor of Toronto. The British defeated the Canadian revolt for democracy of 1837 in 1838. The British united Canada in 1841 with English as the official language. The border dispute with the United States was settled in 1842.
      The number of slaves in half the United States increased, and faster picking produced more cotton. Slave codes kept blacks in bondage without education, and most northern states discriminated against free blacks. Slaves on plantations revolted occasionally, but two slave rebellions on ships were more successful. Frederick Douglass taught himself how to read, made money caulking ships, escaped to New York, became a prominent speaker for the abolition of slavery, and published his first autobiography. The anti-slavery newspaper The Philanthropist began in 1817, and Lundy published The Genius of Universal Emancipation 1821-39. New York freed its 10,000 slaves in 1827, and Mexico abolished slavery in 1829. Walker’s Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World urged an uprising.
      Garrison’s Liberator was a powerful advocate for ending slavery. He and others formed the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833, and they held to nonviolence. The Quaker Prudence Crandall tried to teach black girls, and several books criticized slavery. Mobs rioted against abolitionists in several cities in 1835, but the movement to end slavery could not be stopped. In 1838 Garrison formed the Nonresistance Society. Women had abolitionist societies, but in 1840 Garrison helped them participate in the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1840 abolitionists had 2,000 societies with 200,000 members. Abolitionists helped escaping slaves and opposed racial segregation in the North. Unfortunately Clay’s defeat for the presidency in 1844 would lead to war against Mexico.
      Some women were educated and taught others and worked for their rights. Harriet Martineau contributed her excellent Society in America. Frances Wright was a radical voice for freedom, equality, and ethical action. Dorothea Dix starting in 1841 brought major reforms to the neglected treatment of the insane first in Massachusetts and then in many other states. Lydia Child wrote novels about relations with native tribes, and her practical books helped women. She opposed Indian removal and wrote comprehensive books on the history of slavery and the condition of women. Lydia and David Child promoted the abolition of slavery. The Quakers Lucretia Mott and the Grimké sisters taught and worked for equal rights for Africans and women. Margaret Fuller read the best literature in so many languages that Emerson called her the “best read person.” She promoted Transcendentalist ideas in her Conversations and argued for women’s development in her excellent Woman in the Nineteenth Century.
      The American Peace Society united local groups in 1828, and they debated nonresistance and the Congress of Nations that Ladd proposed. Shakers followed the peaceful way taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ. William Ellery Channing became an influential Unitarian preacher and explained how wars could be avoided in his three “Discourses on War.” He criticized slavery and warned that annexing Texas would lead to war, and he explained how the US could abolish slavery as the British did. Experiments in communal living reached a peak in the early 1840s. George Bancroft expressed very well the democratic spirit for equal rights and universal education. Joseph Smith published the Book of Mormon and founded the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. Mormons were often persecuted and fought back in Missouri. Brigham Young was successful as a Mormon missionary, and most Mormons chose to follow him after the murder of Joseph Smith in 1844.
      Ralph Waldo Emerson learned from reading great writings, praying, and observing nature to develop and express transcendental philosophy in his lectures and books. The Transcendental Club published The Dial 1840-44. Emerson condemned war and described the way to peace. He suggested transforming society from selfishness to loving relations. Emerson’s essays on history and self-reliance explain how to develop human understanding and good character by learning to trust oneself. Humanity benefits from his explanation of the spiritual principle of karma or justice in his essay “Compensation” and his elaboration on divine justice in “Spiritual Laws.” Emerson’s essays “The Over-Soul,” “Circles,” and “Art” lift the human consciousness into wider and deeper dimensions of awareness. Emerson was concerned about the evils of his time and suggested solutions to the problems such as selfish conservatives and slavery.
      Washington Irving was a witty and clever writer who could entertain with unusual stories and satires and then inform readers with essays, histories, and biographies. He was also a lawyer and served the US Government in the West and in Spain. James Fenimore Cooper wrote many popular novels including his Leatherstocking tales about an American influenced by Indians as well as sea stories and novels set in various European nations. He returned to America in 1833 and wrote a book about democracy in the United States. Cooper wrote novels reflecting legal troubles and several with religious themes. John Greenleaf Whittier was a Quaker poet who wrote and worked for the abolition of slavery.

      In this era most Latin American countries gained their independence as constitutional republics, and some of them managed to abolish slavery. The liberators Simón Bolívar and San Martín led these efforts in South America. Brazil retained slavery as did the Spanish colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico. The British freed the slaves in their West Indies colonies, and they continued to govern the Canadian provinces which struggled for reforms. The French demanded reparations from liberated Haiti and kept slavery in their West Indies colonies. The Central American nations experimented with confederation but ended up as constitutional republics. Mexico struggled with instability and could not retain Texas with military force against the colonists with their slaves.
      Between the War of 1812 and the Mexican War the United States had an era without a major foreign war. Population grew with immigration and increasing prosperity. The extreme capitalism that perpetuated the slavery of Africans as property in the South enriched a few slaveowners and impoverished others. In the North the industrial revolution exploited workers in factories who struggled to reduce the work-day to ten hours. Women and children were also exploited and could not vote. The free states in the North had free Negroes who faced discrimination but were much better off than slaves. Abolitionists peacefully tried to help blacks and persuade people to end slavery, but most politicians tolerated the slave system and opposed abolition. Women lacked political rights, but some outstanding women managed to educate themselves and work for many reforms.

Copyright © 2020 by Sanderson Beck

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Brazil, Argentina & Chile 1817-44
Venezuela, Colombia & Peru 1817-44

Caribbean & Central America 1817-44
Mexico and Democracy 1817-44
US Era of Monroe & J. Q. Adams 1817-2
Native Tribes, Removal & the West
Jacksonian Democracy 1829-37
US Depression, Van Buren & Tyler 1837-44
Canada Becomes Democratic 1817-44
Slavery and Abolitionists 1817-44
Women Reforming America 1817-44
American Philosophy & Religion 1817-44
Emerson’s Transcendentalism
Literature of Irving, Cooper & Whittier
Summary & Evaluating America 1817-44

World Chronology to 1830
Chronology of America to 1844

BECK index