8th President Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson was the 8th President of the United States, he was elected in 1829 and served through 1837.

During his term Jackson’s Secretary of War, John Eaton was under scrutiny about the marriage of widowed Peggy O’Neill. When they got married rumors started flying about how long they had been having a relationship, most people thought that they had been having an affair while her former husband was still alive. President Jackson defended Peggy and John Eaton but few actually believed President Jackson.

  • Another notable occurrence during President Jackson’s time in office was the Maysville Road bill, this bill asked for funding in building a road stretching from Maysville to Washington. Jackson disagreed with the bill, so he vetoed it.
  • In 1830 the Indian Removal act was passed, this act basically removed the Indians from their territory and plopped them somewhere else. Most tribes went willingly in the beginning but  later in time they resisted being ‘removed’ and that resulted in what was dubbed the Black Hawk War due to the fact that the main instigator was named Blackhawk. From what I gathered it wasn’t much of a ‘war’ but still.  America as a whole wasn’t very nice to the Indians during that time period.

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  •  During President Jackson’s time spent in office in 1832,  the south,I guess you could say rebelled against a tariff passed by the country. They believed the tariff was favoring the north over them. A tariff is another word for tax, and this tariff taxed imported goods. The result of the tariff cut into the south’s profit but benefited the north and as you can imagine the south, and especially South Carolina weren’t very happy about that. So the south proposed something called nullification, this is where the states or state declare the bill or law unconstitutional within their own borders, (We can still use Nullification now,) anyway in response to that congress passed the Force Act which stated that we could take military action against anyone one that resisted the tariff acts. (But then again) Thankfully, South Carolina and Andrew Jackson found a compromise that slowly lowered the tariff over the next decade.
  • In 1832 President Jackson vetoed the recharter Second Bank of the United State. Jackson vetoed this because he deemed it unconstitutional because of the control it handed to the banks, one of the bigger issues in the bill was that  it exempted foreign stockholders from taxation but contained a loop hole, that let the states to tax resident stockholders. After the veto the House and Senate weren’t able to gather enough votes to override the veto.
  • And guess what happened in January 30th, 1835, an assassination attempt on President Jackson’s life by one Richard Lawrence. It was an epic failure, both of Lawrence’s guns misfired. After the police arrested Lawrence he spent the rest of his life in a mental institution. Lawrence seemed to be on his own in his attempt on President Jackson’s life but Jackson was convinced that he was hired by opposing parties.
  • The Texas Revolution also happened during Jackson’s time in office, but we didn’t join the United States until 1845, the year Jackson died.

There we go, that was all the major events that went on during President Jackson’s term.

John Quincy Adams

Today we will be talking/reading about the John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of these United States, and major events that went on while he was in office.

The First Major event was the opening of Erie Canal,  by opening the Canal, they opened the door for more business, it provided transport and provided more trading avenues. Our prosperity as a nation increased when the Erie Canal opened.

The Second major event was the Tariff of Abominations, this tariff was a high tax that was imposed on shipped in merchandise, the south greatly disagreed with because in made prices really high that a lot of people couldn’t afford it, which in turn hurt the merchants, who then couldn’t buy as much cotton as they used too. Another thing that enraged the South was that the bill seemed to be manufactured to protect the North.

A tariff is a tax imposed on foreign goods, which is a good idea in theory, but sometimes is handled poorly. A tariff helps protect American run businesses and keeps us from being undercut by cheap foreign goods.

And here’s a nice little tid-bit for you, back then we had things called the electoral college (I think we still have those today, but they’re less prominent) when Adams was running he had 3 other opponents Andrew  Jackson, William Crawford, and Henry Clay. Come election day, Jackson had   42% of the popular vote (Which is the vote of the people)   Adams had 32%. However, since Jackson received 37% of the electoral votes and Adams got 32%, no one received a majority, and the election was sent to the House.

Each state gets one vote in such an election, Henry Clay dropped out and cast his vote with Adams, John Q. Adams won, and when he took office he made Henry Clay Secretary of State, they were accused of corruption, this got dubbed by the opposing side as the “corrupt bargain”. It is possible that there was a under the table deal going on, but no one had any proof.

There you go, hope you enjoy it.

James Monroe

Hey guys, it’s been like three weeks since my last post, sorry about that I’ve been on vacation:). Anyway we are now onto our Fifth President of the United States James Monroe.

Monroe was elected president on March 4th 1817, he served two terms, ending his terms on March 3rd 1825. Here are some of the more important happenings during his time in office.

The First Seminole War, this war was fought between the U.S. and the Seminole tribes that lived in Florida, which was  French territory at the time. We attacked these tribes to reclaim runaway slaves that had escaped and gone to live with the Seminole tribes.  Future President Andrew Jackson led our military force into Florida, we destroyed several of their villages, and took over the French fort Pensacola.  We purchased Florida from Spain about two years or so  later.

In 1818 we decided the borders between us and Canada (at the time British territory), Canada and the U.S. designated the border on parallel 49 .

The meeting was called the Convention of 1818, it helped relations with Britain, and later Canada.

Next item on the docket today is the purchase of Florida from Spain. By gaining Florida we also got complete control of the Mississippi river. During Monroe’s time in office, five more states joined us, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama, Maine, and Missouri. we grew quite a bit in eight years.

In 1820, Missouri was getting ready to join the states, the issue was whether or not it was to be a slave state. You see, at the time there was 22 states, divided evenly on the issue, 11 states forbid slavery, 11 welcomed it.  Since Missouri  was a slave state, it would give the Pro-slaves 11 states and edge in congress. During that time Maine was also about to be admitted into the states, so Congress elected that Maine would be a anti-slave state, and Missouri would be an pro-slave state, making in an even 12-12. This debacle is known as the Missouri  Compromise.

Well, that’s it for him. See you later.

James Madison

James Madison, our fourth President of the U.S.A., he was inaugurated in 1809 and he served two term (8 years) in office.

In the first year in his first term, Congress passed something called the Non-Intercourse Act. The Non-Intercourse Act was a replacement of the Embargo Act, (I wrote about that in my Thomas Jefferson Post) the Non-Intercourse act reopened trading with every nation except Britain and France. This act had about as much effect on Britain and France as the Embargo Act. But hey, we were still trying.

The War of 1812 also known as the Second War for Independence, was fought in, of course,  1812 with Britain and the English funded Indians.  Believe it or not, we were the ones who declared war on England first, even though they technically started it by their constant attack on our ships, arming the Indian tribes Shawnees, Potawatomi, and a few other Pro-British tribes , and total lack of respect for our sovereignty. Our battle plan at the time was to take over Canada, (Canada was an English protectorate at the time, I believe.) put down the Indian uprising, and drive Spain from Flordia. I personally think that they should have taken one thing at a time. Like take care of the Indians first, then head for Canada and the English, and they really mention Spain much after that little bit, anyway.

We were doing pretty bad during the beginning of the war, much of the North-West territory had fallen into British hands. But the thing perked back up in the spring with the successes of Commander  Oliver Hazard Perry’s (future president)  victory over the British fleet on the southwestern tip of Lake Erie, following the sacking of the Canadian capital city of York, now known as Toronto. William Henry Harrison also led a angry force of Kentucky militia against the Native American leader, Tecumseh, of one of the Pro-British tribes, with the help of our own Indian allies, the Choctaw, Cherokee, and the Creek. A little bit afterward, General Andrew Jackson’s Tennessee militia, with the help of our Choctaw, Creek, and Cherokee allies, took care of the remainder of Tecumseh’s forces in the battle of horse-shoe bend.

Then our spirits took another dip when the English started to get more offensive now that they had defeated Napoleon, and had their full attention on us. They started raiding coast cities, and they took over Washington D.C. and burned down the White House. Their offensive was stalled in Baltimore,  since they were unable to blast their way past Fort McHenry. Did you know that it was this battle that inspired  Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem the Star Spangled Banner?

The next big battle was the Battle of New Orleans, the English mounted an attack on the city of New Orleans, they lost miserably to another future President, Andrew Jackson. We lost very few soldiers, the English weren’t so lucky. Unbeknownst to Andrew Jackson and the English fort that attacked us, a treaty had been created before this battle even happened, the Treaty was called the Treaty of Ghent.

A few other things happened during his presidency, like the Hartford Convention (1814) and the second Bank of the United States Chartered (1816) but these issues were the biggest. So there you have it, James Madison third president of the United States.

Thomas Jefferson

Onto the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. He was inaugurated in 1801.

His first notable occurrence while in office was the Tripolitan War.  The Tripolatan War was you know, a war, between the U.S.A and the pirates from the states Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, & Tripoli,  all collectively known as the Barbary states. It’s called the Tripoltan War because I think Tripoli was the only one to actually declare war.  The reason for the fighting was that to dock in those 4 countries’ ports and such we had to pay a fine, the fine also granted us immunity from pirate raids.  Which we had no problem with,  but then they raised the fine and we refused to pay it.  We tried to negotiate but that didn’t work out very well. During the following years, American naval battles were fought in the waters around Tripoli, and, in 1803, when Commodore  Edward Preble became commander of the Mediterranean squadron , we did much better than before. On Feb 16 1804 Preble sailed into Tangiers to rescue a number of American prisoners, he ordered his young lieutenant, Stephen Decatur, to undertake the spectacular raid in which the captured U.S. frigate Philadelphia was destroyed in the harbor of Tripoli.  Some time afterwards we created a treaty that stopped the pirate attacks, but there was always still the threat of an attack.

In 1802 the US Military Academy was created.

The Louisiana purchase, is basically what it says. The Louisiana Purchase was the purchase of about 828,000,square miles of land from France, we paid about 15 million dollars for this land, and that’s a lot of money now, imagine how much it was then. This land that we purchased  makes up 15 of the 50 states  in the United States of America. That, is considered a great achievement. Imagine if we hadn’t bought that land, we wouldn’t have to cross the sea to visit France.

In 1807, Congress passed a bill that prohibited importing slaves in from Africa or any foreign nation. Jefferson supported this bill completely, and it’s been known that Jefferson had an anti-slave mindset.

In 1807, a captain of a  English ship, the Leopard, demanded that we return 4 seamen that had deserted the British fleet. We refused, they attacked our ship, the Chesapeake. Now the Chesapeake was not ready for war, it had just began a long trip to the Mediterranean. They defeated us, we slowly made our way back to one of our ports. At the time, England and France had been seizing ships and seaman, and the Chesapeake was sorta a last straw. As you can imagine, this inflamed our patriotic feelings. Thankfully, Jefferson knew that we wouldn’t survive another war with a superpower.  So he created the Embargo Act,  The Embargo Act was an bill that prohibited deporting and importing goods from England, or France, or any other foreign nation. It didn’t really work, it hurt our economy more than theirs, but hey- at least we tried.

He served two terms starting in 1801 and ending in 1809, when he got out of office he went back home to his beloved gardens at Monticello (my mother adores his gardens). I think he did a pretty good job, there’s not much that I absolutely disagree with him on, except that he drastically downsized the navy. But he was a fan of limited government, and against slavery, and he seemed to understand was that our country was new and didn’t need to be fighting wars. Overall, he was a good president.

John Adams

John Adams, our second President of the United States of America, he only served one term in office, but he had an interesting time while in office.

During the beginning of  John Adams term as president there was an issue with France called the XYZ Affair, relations with France were a little more than tense. The French were angry with us because of our refusal to help them in their war with England, and because of the Jay’s treaty. What actually started this hullabaloo was that the French leaders issued an order allowing privateers to  seize American ships. In response to this, President Adams sent three commissioners, Elbridge Gerry, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and John Marshall to France.  When the commissioners arrived in France, they weren’t accepted warmly, they found that they couldn’t meet with the Foreign Minister, the Marquis de Talleyrand.  Instead, they were greeted by  Nicholas Hubbard (later W,) Jean Hottinguer (X), Pierre Bellamy (Y), and Lucien Hauteval (Z.) (Hence the name, XYZ) and were told that if they wanted to meet with the Foreign Minister they would have to pay a bribe, and several other things to the Foreign Minister(Well, that’s insulting.). You can assume our nation did not take that well. The three out of four of the commissioners decided to head home, deciding they didn’t think relations could be improved, Gerry stayed in hope of a resolution. Though neither America nor France openly declared war, a naval battle was being waged in the Caribbean.  A little bit later John Adams sent another trinity of diplomats and they resolved the issues and created another treaty and all is well.

In 1798, after the X,Y,Z affair started but before it ended , John Adams and congress declared a  Eleventh Amendment to our Constitution. Here it is,  “The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state.” I think that is one of the shortest amendments ever, 42 words.

Other things that happened in 1798  were the Naturalization , Alien and Sedition acts.

1. The naturalization act changed the required time of aliens to become American citizens from five years to fifteen.

2. The Alien act, a bill that dictated that the President could deport aliens deemed dangerous.

3. The Alien enemy act, a bill that says that the President could imprison or force aliens to leave the nation during wartime.

And last but not least:

4. The Sedition Act, an bill that limits free speech by, (at the time), imprisoning or fining people who spoke out against the government, such as the President, congress, vice president in a  “false, scandalous and malicious” manner. I don’t think so.

In response to this bill, the Kentucky  and Virginia legislatures passed resolutions (authored my James Madison and Thomas Jefferson) challenging the Alien and Sedition Acts. Virginia and Kentucky called on the other states to support them, but they didn’t. I don’t know when, but i’m pretty sure we either amended or repealed this bill.

Once again, changes occurred in our young country in 1798, this was just a busy year, did he ever go to sleep? Anyway, the Marine Corps and the Navy Department were created. Thank you for that.

In 1800 we moved the Capitol from Philadelphia to Washington D.C..

Also in 1800 the Library of Congress was created.

The Midnight appointments of 1801 were the last acts of John Adams’ presidency. They had just created more positions for judges and appointed all of the positions to the  Federalist  party. But since not all of the appointments got to the people before James Madison took office he immediately stopped them.