I’m trying to write this quickly because it’s late, and don’t trust everything I say 100%, but it’s fairly accurate.
Alien, Sedition, and Naturalization Acts
***Passed sometime in the early 1800s, it gave the government essentially the power to persecute people who were deemed to speak out “against the government,” i.e., right to censor the press. The biggest thing to come out of this issue though was the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, which suggested that they weren’t going to follow the national law, in other words, nascent nullficationism. The Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions were orchestrated by Jefferson and Madison, and eventually the Alien and Sedition acts were allowed to expire and the few who were arrested by it were released and compensated for their troubles.
***He was a prominent figure during the Revolutionary War period. He was an officer in the Continental Army (I think), but he became even more important after the war. Not only was he New York’s only representative at the Constitutional Convention (because he annoyed the hell out of the other delegates so much that they left), he was also one of the three writers of the best volume of writings supporting the ratification of the Constitution (the Federalist Papers – he and Madison wrote far more of them than John Jay, the other author). After that he served in Washington’s cabinet as Secretary of the Treasury. There he clashed repeatedly with Thomas Jefferson, for Hamilton was strongly in favor of a strong centrist government and virtually advocated a monarchy. During Jefferson’s Presidential run, Hamilton eventually gave him his political support (from within Congress), and essentially got Jefferson the final victory he needed to gain the Presidency. Sometime later Hamilton died after fighting a duel with Aaron Burr.
***Oh god where to begin. Thomas Jefferson rose from modest Virginia beginnings to joining the House of Burgessses and later becoming quite the prominent revolutionary. He wrote a little old something known as the Declaration of Independence, served in President Washington’s cabinet, was at France on the eve of their revolution, helped found the first state university (I think), and of course served himself two terms as President, achieving the Louisiana Purchase amongst other things while in office. One interesting characteristic of Jefferson is that while he was a staunch anti-centrist, he ended up expanding federal authority far more than any of his predecessors, and the federal government was generally at the peak of its control under Jefferson’s presidency than any other President until the Civil War.
Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions
***See Alien and Sedition acts.
Era of Good Feelings
This was the period of James Monroe’s presidency I believe. The name is a misnomer though, because there were some serious financial complications that began to emerge more and more greatly under his administration. But we weren’t fighting the British anymore so I guess it was a time of good feelin’
Compromise of 1850
***I can’t remember the specifics, but after the Missouri Compromise of the 1820s was being contested a new compromise was made. While the South got strengthened fugitive slave laws passed the North opened the door to gaining a lot more free states than slave states. This, unlike the Missouri Compromise was seen as unsatisfactory by both sides, and they both saw it as a means by which the other side would gain an advantage. Thus it could be seen as one of the long-term causes of the Civil War, as both sides’ willingness to negotiate and compromise began to wane.
***This was introduced after the Civil War as an attempt to help get blacks integrated into the mainstream of society following the ending of slavery. Things like education, voter registration, employment services were provided by the Freedman’s Bureau. It was discontinued in the 1870s I think.
***Frontiersman. I believe he helped clear out the Cumberland Trail, a passage through the Tennessee region of the country that helped connect the growing nation better.
***Best exampled by Henry David Thoreau, it was a movement that sought more community with nature and some other stuff.
***The Kansas-Nebraska Act was a rule by which via popular sovereignty the people could “decide” whether slavery was “good” for Nebraska or Kansas. It led to a huge bloody contest between the abolitionists and the pro-slaverites in Kansas, helping encourage those like John Brown etc., and thus helped facilitate breakdowns and the Civil War.
***These were under-the-table “rules” by which racist Southerners tried to subdue black rights as much as possible. Things like taking literacy tests before you could vote and such.
***The founder of the foundation of modern economists. His work, the Wealth of Nations and his other writings argued that by through free enterprise and disregulation, better lives and profit could be had for everyone. Sparked the ideas of capitalism and laissez-faire economics.
***Dred Scott was a slave who was brought into a free state and when he was brought out, he sued for his freedom saying that since he was brought into a free state he was therefore free. The Supreme Court, in an astonishing decision, ruled against Scott, and furthermore outlined a set of circumstances that essentially outlawed the right of a state to vote to illegalize slavery, strengthened the Fugitive Slave Laws, etc. This further enflamed both sides of the debate and pulled more people from the middle to the extremes, helping to set the stage for the Civil War even more.
***He was a rabid fundamentalist and abolitionist who believed that he would led an army into the South and encourage all the slaves to rise up with him against their slave masters. To accomplish this, he, most of his sons, and some other people raided the military arsenal at Harper’s Ferry and took it captive. Unfortunately for him, the slaves in the area did not rise up with him and federal troops surounded the depot (led incidentally by Robert E. Lee), and, after sustaining wounds and losing some of his sons, Brown surrendered. During his trial he portrayed himself as a devout martyr, receiving praise from Whitman (or Emerson, I forget which). He then became martyred with his execution and helped encourage abolitionists further.
Compromise of 1877
***I believe this is the compromise after a highly contested and close Presidential election, where it was decided that a Republican President would take office but that the efforts at Reconstruction and an end to military rule of the South would be essentially halted. This probably did more to damage Southern-Norther-black relations than maybe even the Civil War, since most efforts to repair the hatred were wiped out and allowed to fester.
***Henry Clay’s idea. It called for three things. Increasing the road and canal system, protective tariffs, and the creation of a national bank.
Missouri Compromise of 1820
***Guh, this compromise was reached to stave off growing Northern and Southern animosities. Missouri was allowed in as a slave state, Maine as a free state, and all future states south of a line were to be slave, north of the line to be free. The compromise was wiped out 30 years later though, as a new generation of politicians were less interested in compromise and consensus and ended up with conflict.
***This foreign policy advocation of President Monroe essentially told Europe to stay out of the Western Hemisphere, that America would take care of its peoples. It was essentially an empty statement at first, since America had no real navy to speak of at that time, but between the British dominance in that region as a buffer from the rest of Europe that statement was able to be asserted and then backed up with future American-controlled endeavors in Central and South America. It’s generally considered to be one of the first emergences of American cohesive foreign will and policy.
The Nullification Crisis
***During Andrew Jackson’s presidency, there were some controversial tariff measures passed that hurt the Southern economic interests but didn’t really hurt the North. Thus, South Carolina held a convention and decided that they would not enact the tariff agreements. While the concept of nullification was relatively well defended by a pamphlet published by John C. Calhoun, Jackson of course would have none of it, for what good were passing laws if states could veto them at will? Thus he threatened to force Carolina to enforce the tariffs even if it meant leading in an army himself to force them, and Carolina eventually relented and enacted the tariffs. This was one of the first crises of federal vs. state control and was a resounding victory for the central government.
The Bank War
***Andrew Jackson got goaded into staking his reelection campaign against Henry Clay around the issue of having a national bank. He vowed to defeat it, and eventually managed to succeed in this endeavor, although the economy would essentially collapse a little while after the bank was scrapped. Another dirty little thing going on at this time period was that the dude in charge of the Bank was helping bankroll Clay’s campaign at the time, which was rather shady considering that he was using federal money to do it, then again he had guys like Daniel Webster as his lawyer and had most of the power players in the country either borrowing or depositing money with the central bank so…
Sorry if that was uneven, it’s late and I’m tired and beginning to realize that some of my American History knowledge is slipping, it has been 3 years but still…