Skip to main content

tv   Lectures in History Jonathan Barth on the Presidency of Andrew Jackson  CSPAN  December 29, 2017 3:02am-4:01am EST

3:02 am >> the c-span bus tour continues its 50 capitals bus tour with stops in raleigh, montgomery and -- follow the tour and join us on january 16th at 9:30 a.m. eastern for ourraleigh, north carolina when our washington journal guest is north carolina attorney general josh stein. >> announcer: next on c-span 3, american history tv now presents a lecture by arizona state university professor jonathan barth. he teaches a class about the rise of andrew jackson in his presidency. whig party members, henry clay and daniel webster. this is 55 minutes. well, good morning
3:03 am
everybody, and welcome to american history. my name is jonathan barth. you all know me as professor barth. and i am a history professor at arizona state university in conjunction with two very stellar world class programs, and there they are on the screen. the school of historical, philosophical and religious studies, quite a mouthful. so we call this shippers, great program. and then also the center for political thought and leadership, or ptl, another stellar program. if this lecture intrigues you, you should check out our center, we're doing some big things. and finally, if you are interested in learning more about yours truly,
3:04 am, you can read about me on that website. well, a generation of politicians has passed. alexander hamilton dies in a duel in 1804. james madison pictured there on the right retires from politics and dies in 1836. john adams and thomas jefferson die on the same day, july 4th, 1826, 50 years to the day of the signing of the declaration of independence. pretty incredible. you can't make something like that up. but america is changing. a market revolution is sweeping the young republic, mass commercialization.
3:05 am
profit making. new opportunities for investment. inventions, entrepreneurship, a burst in the population. look at that population explosion. from 1 million in 1750 to 13 million by 1830. this is a young population, average age, about 17 years old. aggressive, energetic, highly individualistic, oftentimes reckless, a burgeoning population. factories have popped up all across the north, especially new england, producing textiles and other manufactured goods. outside of the cities, outside of new england, an agricultural boom in ohio, in pennsylvania. wheat exports, off the charts. in the south, a new plant, cotton. that drug of a plant creating that soft, durable textile.
3:06 am
spreading all throughout the south, entrenching that slave system deeper and deeper in the south, cotton takes off. and if you're going to have textiles, if you're going to have cotton, if you're going to have wheat, you need transportation. and so we have roads being built, turnpikes, connecting rural markets to waterways and to atlantic port cities. steam boats by the 1820s and 1830s trekking up and down the mississippi river. canals. canal mania. canals built all across the country, the most famous being the erie canal. what an accomplishment that is. if you have canals, plantations and factories, you need credit. and hereto, we have lots and lots of credit, banks sprouting up all across the united states from three banks in 1790 to
3:07 am
several hundred banks by the 1820s. banks are chartered by the states, stay within that particular state's boundary. and each one is showing their own currency. sitting on top of those state banks is the mother bank, right? the chief bank, the central bank, the bank of the united states. and this is the second bank of the united states because as you recall from earlier in the semester there was a first bank of the united states. 1791, alexander hamilton, pushed -- stockholders and dividends. this bank, hamilton says, will benefit not only financial -- private financial interests, but will benefit the country, the public, how will it benefit the
3:08 am
public? because the treasury, the u.s. treasury will deposit money in the bank. money coming in from taxes, and the treasury can also borrow money from the bank. this bank has a 20-year charter, but it has lots of opponents. you remember that chief opponent, thomas eversjeffersons the bank. the bank, jefferson believes, is an institution that imperils american liberty by elevating to power a wealthy financial elite, an unproductive elite. jefferson opposes it. jefferson comes to power in 1800. so does his party, the bank of the united states, that first bank, the charter expires in 1811. one year later a war erupts with britain. that war is a very expensive war. the national government finds itself in tremendous fiscal straits. after the war is finished, five
3:09 am
years later, the democratic republicans, the party of jefferson, charter a second bank of the united states. and this second bank, much like the first, also will have a 20-year charter. this charter will run out in 1836, and presumably congress and the president in good faith will renew the charter. so there you have it. and there are bumps along the road. right? after the bank is chartered, you'll recall from the last lecture, the panic of 1819 explodes, this massive bubble in western land speculation, a bubble caused largely by the bank, but all of this new bank currency, creates a bubble and then the burst. the country recovered from the panic of 1819 fairly quickly and so the second bank of the united states survives that panic and goes into the 1820s with very little opposition. most americans, by the mid-1820s
3:10 am
have come to accept the bank, the market revolution is fully under way. it's not just the economy that is changing. it is the political arena that is changing. two new political parties, the whigs and the democrats. bucking heads. who are these whigs and democrats? well, representing new england for the whigs we have daniel webster, a lawyer from massachusetts, one of the most brilliant orators in u.s. congressional history, quite an impressive figure, daniel webster. we also have in massachusetts, john quincy adams, son of the second president of the united states, john adams, he too is a whig. most famously, we have henry clay hailing from the state of
3:11 am
kentucky. and clay, well, clay ends up running for president five times. just can't get in, can't seem to do it. but nonetheless henry clay is one of the most important political figures in american history. what does clay do? well, clay has a program, a system, an american system. and that american system is threefold. henry clay says, first, we need to have protective tariffs on american manufacturing. and sure enough, henry clay, when he becomes secretary of state under president john quincy adams, adams signs into law a new tariff, the tariff of 1828, raising the tariff from 25% to 45%.
3:12 am
that's one heck of a tariff, 45%. why do they do that? to protect american manufacturers and textile goods. clay also says we need federally funded internal improvements, using federal dollars to finance the building of roads, canals, bridges and so forth. and then finally, clay says we need to recharter that bank of the united states. unlike jefferson -- or excuse me, unlike hamilton, however, clay frames his defense of the bank of the united states in common man rhetoric. hamilton said the bank is good for financial interests. right? clay says the bank is good for farmers. the bank is good for mechanics, for manufacturers. the bank is good for the country
3:13 am
as a whole. we need to recharter this bank, and there is the whig party platforms, the whigs support clay's american system, the whigs support utilizing the powers of the federal government to stimulate economic activity and they adopt a broad interpretation of the constitution. the federal government, the whigs say, does have the right to engage in this activity and most of the whigs are going to come from new england because of the tariff. the factories in new england. but also from the west. this is what distinguished clay from hamilton. hamilton makes no appeals to the west, clay is from the west and clay's internal improvements in the bank he hopes will get some western votes. but they have opposition, and there's that democratic party, the democrats oppose the american system. the democrats adopt a strict interpretation of the
3:14 am
constitution, a very limited view of the federal government's powers. the democrats appeal to farmers, to wealthy plantation owners in the south. but also to common ordinary people to wage earners, to working class laborers, in places like new york, new york definitely a hot bed for democratic activity, the south and the west. new york, we have martin van buren, a democrat, later president of the united states. he later leaves the democratic party and joins the anti-slavery free soil party. we'll get to that in a future lecture. representing the south for the democrats, we have another legendary figure, john c. calhoun, calhoun, a rabid defender of slavery. but also a rabid opponent of the tariff. he hates that tariff so much, in
3:15 am
fact, that calhoun calls the tariff of 1828 the tariff of abominations. this 45% tariff, calhoun says, discriminates against the south. and sure enough, calhoun, that same year in 1828 authors in secret, and he does so in secret because he's vice president of the united states at the same time, just to give you an idea of how muddy the political world is back then, he authors in secret something advocating nullification any federal law they deem unconstitutional. south carolina does not nullify this tariff yet, but it puts the idea in their head. well, from the west we have andrew jackson, andrew jackson. and there he is.
3:16 am
the man. probably the most colorful president in united states history. i said probably, i think we can state almost objectively the most colorful president in u.s. history, a giant of a figure, tall. he stood at 6'1", very tall for that day and age. 6'1", skinny, bushy eyebrows, hair brushed high above a very large forehead with piercing blue eyes. look at those eyes. jackson was a hot tempered man. he was a bit stubborn. and oftentimes bull headed. he had strong convictions. and he knew when he was opposed to something he stood up to that system. well, he had a few nicknames, in fact, as well, andrew jackson.
3:17 am
he went by the name old hickory, tough as old hickory wood. his second nickname, you won't believe this, shark knife. who has a nickname like shark knife, andrew jackson has a nickname like shark knife. what's andrew jackson's story, he was born in 1767 in whacksaw, north carolina. he was born and his parents died at a very early age, he was an orphan, raised with no parental restraints. as a young boy he got into brawls and fights. he wasn't all that interested in learning or reading. jackson was 9 years old at the time of the american revolution, and you'll see young andy right there in the middle. 9 years old, at age 13 he joined the militia as a messenger. at one point he ran into a
3:18 am
british officer and the british officer told young andy, clean my boots. young andy said i ain't cleaning your boots. the officer took his sword, slashed young andy leaving a permanent scar on his left hand. and the left side of his head. well, jackson went on to help found the state of tennessee, got married. in 1806 someone insulted his wife, he challenged the man to a duel, shot him, just shot him. the only president in the united states history who has ever killed a man, andrew jackson, shark knife. andrew jackson joins the military. he joins the military and fights the creek indians in 1814, fights the seminol indians in 1817. and in 1815 earns his fame through the battle of new
3:19 am
orleans. this spectacular victory against the british, even though, again as you remember, the war was already over. that doesn't seem to matter because this elevates andrew jackson to celebrity status. that is indeed what jackson is, a celebrity. he has some political experience, serves about two years in the u.s. senate, but that's really all. jackson, well, he was also very wealthy, very, very wealthy. there's this plantation. the hermitage. it starts out, 1804, nine slaves. by the 1830s, jackson has well over 100 slaves and slaves are very expensive. most common people can't afford any at all. jackson has over 100, a very wealthy man, well to do. he enters the senate in 1823, in 1824 he runs for the presidency,
3:20 am
a four-way race between jackson, adams, william crawford and henry clay. jackson wins the popular vote, 42%. jackson also wins the most electoral votes, but jackson does not win a majority of electoral votes. and so the contest goes to the house of representatives. henry clay is speaker of the house. henry clay cannot stand andrew jackson, his rival in the west. henry clay strikes a deal with john quinnly adams. tell you what, i'll get the votes you need in the house of representatives if you make me secretary of state. the deal's made. adams wins in the house of representatives, becomes president. clay is elevated to secretary of state. andrew jackson, furious with this corrupt bargain, this rigged election, jackson vows, i will get my revenge in four
3:21 am
years. sure enough, she does. 1828, two-man contest, jackson versus adams. jackson wins in a landslide. and look at that, electoral map, quite an impressive victory. landslide victory. and how does he do it? how does he do it? the answer is very simple. democracy. democracy. jackson benefits from universal male suffrage. we call this period jacksonian democracy, property qualifications for all free men in the united states are eliminated. no property required to vote. double the number of voters in 1828 than you saw in 1824. jackson uses this to his advantage and wages a political
3:22 am
campaign that utilizes a form of politics we call populism, populism. and populism is a political term that has come up quite a bit in the last few years. what is populism? well, populism is not an ideology per se. you can find populism on the left. you can find populism on the right. populism is a style of politics, a style of politics that speaks to the interests, to the hopes, to the fears of common, ordinary people. pop lists tend to pit the people versus the elites, the people versus the establishment. popu lists tend to warn of nefarious positions of power, whether those positions of power are in government or in the
3:23 am
corporate world, nefarious forces. and the cherry on top, populists benefit from charismatic personalities. with populism, you'll see them emerge who use the sheer force of personality to rally people around him and then to use the charisma to attack what he claims, at least in his defense, to attack corrupt, entrenched interests. that's what populism is. andrew jackson is a populist. he's naug rated into the presidency in 1829. in celebration of of his presidency he throws a party, opens up the white house lawn to the public, hundreds of people from around the country pour into the white house lawn, shopkeepers, wage earners, common, ordinary, everyday
3:24 am
americans sleeping on hotel room floors and in hallways. they pack in on the white house lawn. a spiked punch bowl and whiskey is being passed around. it's one heck of a party. and jackson is stoked. the people are ready for a jackson administration. as you can imagine, these guys don't like it one bit. they look at what's going on and, oh, this disgusts them very much. can you imagine what daniel webster thought of something like this? he's not going to like it too much. jackson is ready. is the country ready for jackson? that's the real question. what's this man going to do? there's no telling. he's a loose cannon, right? what's going to happen. well, henry clay says, all right, well, we lost that election. that's fine, clay says. i'm going to push through my american system and he begins with internal improvements.
3:25 am
clay says we need a road. we've got all these farmers from my home state of kentucky. we need a road that stretches from lexington, kentucky to maysville, kentucky right there along the ohio river. and i want to use federal dollars to build that road. the bill goes on jackson's -- arrives on jackson's desk after it flies through congress. jackson responds and vetoes the bill, the maysville road veto, one of the first famous vetoes in presidential history. clay very upset. but this is just the beginning, just the beginning. all right, clay says, he vetoed my internal improvements bill.
3:26 am
let's try another plank of the american system. let's try a new tariff, the tariff of 1832. now, this is a strange tariff because it seems to contradict clay's program, the tariff of 1832 lowers the tariff from 45% to 35%. why does clay do this? well, you'll recall that tariff of abominations in 1828, south carolina and other states in the south are very angry about this. clay fears that maybe 45% is pushing it too much. let's lower it a little bit. high enough still but just a little bit in order to soften some of that opposition. the bill arrives on andrew jackson's desk. president jackson signs the bill, signs the bill. all sounds good. oh, well, south carolina isn't
3:27 am
so pleased with this bill. south carolina nullifies the tariff of 1832. why would they do this? it lowered the tariff. south carolina says not enough, not enough. this tariff is unconstitutional. we have a right to declare this tariff null and void, and if you do not respect our nullification of this bill, of this tariff, we will secede from the united states. unbelievable. what's going to happen? what's andrew jackson going to do? calhoun's a democrat. well, jackson gets word of this. and jackson could not be more furious with john c. calhoun. for jackson, this is an affront to his authority as president. jackson signed the bill.
3:28 am
jackson says, "to say that any state may at pleasure secede from the union is to say that the united states is not a nation." jackson asks congress to pass a force bill. this bill will permit the president to send 50,000 u.s. troops into south carolina. jackson prepares the u.s. navy, the u.s. navy now off the coast of south carolina, jackson's ready to invade the state of south carolina. what's going to happen? the nullification crisis. we're on the brink of civil war over a tariff. who would have thought? henry clay at the last moment, desperate, passes a compromised tariff in the midst of this crisis, a compromise tariff that lowers the tariff gradually over
3:29 am
a ten-year period by the end of ten years in stages. that tariff will only be 25%. between this compromise tariff and between jackson's force bill, south carolina backs off and accepts the tariff. calhoun does not like jackson. right? probably doesn't like jackson any more than henry clay does. but south carolina, they back off. jackson called their bluff. just to prove a point though, the south carolina legislature nullified the force bill. jackson said okay, whatever, if you insist, go ahead and do that. oh, well, henry clay, he looks at jackson and says, well, i never thought i would say this,
3:30 am
andrew, but thank you. jackson goes oh, clay, oh, clay, i'm not done. clay says you're not done? what do you mean you're not done? what else is there? jackson says, well, there's one other thing. the bank. clay looks at him and goes, the bank? oh, it's funny you mention that, andrew, because i was thinking that maybe we would go ahead and just recharter this bank a little early. right? why not? we don't need to wait until the last moment. it's, you know, 1832. let's get going. let's recharter this bank. i mean, you are on board with that, right, mr. president? jackson, well, not only am i not on board, mr. clay. but i am ready to wage war against this bank of the united
3:31 am
states. and here we have it, the bank war, one of the most dramatic events in united states history, the charter of that second bank will expire very shortly. whigs in congress wish to recharter it early. jackson, to their surprise, they didn't expect this, declares his opposition to the bank. where does this come from? where does this come from? it seems to come out of nowhere. jackson did not run his campaign in 1828 against the bank. in fact, jackson made no mention of the bank during his presidential campaign. there was no hint he was going to do something like this. now all the sudden jackson unleashes a torrent of insults. first of all, jackson says, the bank is unconstitutional. the bank, jackson says, is a
3:32 am
monopoly, an unconstitutional monopoly. not only is it a monopoly, jackson says it's a monster. and those are quotes, the monster. jackson says. jackson warns that if this bank is rechartered, we will see in this nation the creation of a new moneyed air storistocracy, everything we can to stop this, this den of vipers. he also calls it the hydra of corruption, jackson said it's a hydra of corruption. is this bank truly corrupt as he says? as evidence, jackson points out 59 members of congress, jabs
3:33 am
sa jackson says, and he's correct in this, 59 members of congress own stock in the bank of the united states. they have a financial interest in pushing this recharter through. not only that, daniel webster, while he's serving in the senate, is also a director of this private bank, a hydra of corruption from jackson's point of view. and i, andrew jackson, am going to take this bank down. henry clay cannot believe it. you're mad. henry clay says, jackson says, no, you're mad. i can't believe you're doing this, jackson. jackson looks at clay, oh, yeah, clay, how many times you going to run for president, clay? huh? two times, three times, four times, five times? how many times you gotta lose, clay, before you realize that you can't win, can't win, clay.
3:34 am
clay says -- out of his mind, can't believe this is going on. you're bluffing, clay says. i'm not bluffing, mr. clay, i'm going to take this bank down if it's the last thing i do, believe me. i'm going to do it. clay does not believe jackson. congress is in an uproar all of a sudden. what is going to happen? should we side with clay, with jackson, should the bank be rechartered? the number one issue on everyone's mind. and jackson as enemies, not just clay, but the president of the bank himself nicholas biddle. a man who really could not be more opposite from andrew jackson. they shared something in common. they were both very determined, very stubborn and bullheaded. but biddle was extremely well
3:35 am
educated. jackson didn't have a college education. the only president in our history, before or since, excepting george washington who did not have a college education. biddle at age 10 admitted into the university of pennsylvania, age 10. five years later, if that wasn't enough, biddle transfers to princeton university at age 15, and he is a genius, a financial wizard. he knows what he's talking about. but that's also biddle's downfall. he's elitist. he's arrogant. he's a bit -- well, a bit. pretentious. and because of that pretentiousness, well, he looks at someone like jackson and he's like, is this really going on? jackson, he doesn't know
3:36 am
anything he's talking about. he sees jackson as an unsophisticated dim wit. and i just need to ride over this guy, doesn't have any idea that what he's talking about. but the country in an age of jacksonian democracy, who are they going to side with? nicholas biddle earns the nickname czar nicholas, a pro-jackson cartoon, it's a bit faded, so forgive me. old hickory and bully nick going at it, bully nick. and, well, not only do we have nicholas biddle. we also have an election coming up. jackson versus clay, the presidential election of 1832. what an election. the drama, look at this, unbelievable, the future of the
3:37 am
country, financially speaking, hanging in the balance. you cannot find two greater opponents. clay, in conjunction with daniel webster, well, he has a plan for his election. clay pushes through congress that summer, just a few months before election day, a bill to recharter the bank of the united states. why does clay do this? clay says i think jackson's bluffing. he's -- there's no way. in an election year he would do something so risky and so bold as to reject a bill like this. the bank bill passes the house. the bank bill passes the senate. the bank bill arrives on the president's desk, veto.
3:38 am
jackson stuns the world and vetoes the bill, unleashing a veto message in which he rails against that bank of the united states. reprinted in newspapers all across the country. and now we have an election, just a few months away from the election. and again this question of the bank is on everyone's mind, it's the number one issue, everyone's talking about it. hero another cartoon. look at that cartoon, pro-jackson cartoon, remember the hydra, the hydra of corruption, jackson going up against that financial beast. and, well, jackson, it's a hard campaign for jackson. nicholas biddle flexes his muscle. nicholas biddle on behalf of the bank gives henry clay a $50,000 campaign donation, quite a lot of money for those days. not only that, but the bank, for years already, has been funding
3:39 am
and loaning money to newspapers all across the country. and that press, that press, all the sudden in the couple months before the election just piling onto jackson. things look really bad. jackson, what's he going to do? is he going to win? things don't look so good. jackson is confident. and in the midst of this trial, jackson says, quote, the bank is trying to kill me, but i will kill it, jackson says. i will kill it. and, well, what happens? the election occurs. election day comes about. victory for jackson. jackson wins the election in a landslide. clay wins four -- or excuse me, five states. jackson takes the bulk of the states. south carolina refuses to vote for jackson in the middle of
3:40 am
that nullification crisis. jackson wins the election. and victory for the jacksonians. this cartoon here, 1833, pretty interesting cartoon. i took -- just a little back story, when i was in gradual school, i took a digital photo course. we had to take an old photograph or black and white cartoon and use photo shop to fill it in. i thought this cartoon was interesting. it's kind of in bad shape. i took this cartoon and did that. not bad for a beginner, right? look at the imagery in this cartoon. pretty incredible. there, standing behind jackson, the common man, enthusiastically patting him on the back. the bankers, the financieres,
3:41 am
running away in fear, the newspapers, the press, all spread out on the ground. they have been defeated. look at the demon face. oh, and look at the columns, the falling columns. what's that all about? well, if you're familiar with the gospels, you'll know that there was one time, just one time that jesus became violent. when was that? when jesus pulled out his whip and drove out the money changers from the temple, jesus saying get out of my temple to those money changers. jackson, like christ, has driven the money changers out of the temple. this is a phenomenal victory for jacksonian democracy. but it's not over, it's not over. jackson, it's 1833, you'll notice the charter doesn't run out until 1836. jackson says, oh, i've got to
3:42 am
put up with this bank for three more years? i can't do that. there's no telling what these guys are going to try to pull. i've got to kill this bank now. and sure enough, jackson, after he wins the election removes all deposits from the bank, starving the bank to death. removing the federal deposits early and then transferring them to state banks to pro-jackson state banks, the bank must shut down. these pro-jackson state banks by jackson's opponents are called pet banks, these are pets of andrew jackson, the whigs understandably are very, very furious with jackson. this is a whig cartoon king
3:43 am
andrew i, overstepping his constitutional authority, the whigs say born to command. and many people are opposed to jackson, some democrats are opposed, not just calhoun. this guy has taken dictator-like steps. he's too king-like. jackson wince this victory. you'll notice, what's that document jackson's holding up driving the bankers out? order of the removal of the public monies deposited from the u.s. bank. that's in reference to the removal of federal deposits. years later when jackson's on his death bed, he's asked, jackson, what was your -- what's your most proud accomplishment? jackson has four words. "i killed the bank." .
3:44 am
that's it, i killed the bank. his proudest accomplishment. and sure enough, from 1836 to 1913, 77 years in this country, no central bank, no central bank. in 1913 the congress chartered a new central bank, a central bank called the federal reserve. this federal reserve, well, you could teach a whole class on the federal reserve. but in short, one of the country's wealthiest financiers in history designed the federal reserve. the federal reserve prints our money, a mostly private bank. it print it is money -- or actually nowdays what it does is digitizes money creation more
3:45 am
often than printing. and then it loans out the money, usually at 1% or 2% interest to leading banks, goldman sachs, to j.p. morgan, to bank of america, all those banks, and then they lend out to businesses, and they'll use the new money created by the federal reserve and they'll lend it to hedge funds, wall street specklators, stock market, in futures and derivatives, a very important institution, a cornerstone of the current day banking system, a cornerstone of the currency. if you look closely at a $1 bill. it doesn't say u.s. treasury note on the top, does it? it says federal reserve note. same if you look at a $5 bill. right? or a $10 bill. or a $20 bill.
3:46 am
look at that. there he is. andrew jackson himself. call me crazy, but that almost looks intentional. am i right about that? that almost looks intentional, like a gotcha, we won, we won. kind of like if you went -- if you're a big game hunter, right, if you're a hunter and you kill some big game, you take that head and you mount it on a wall as a trophy. maybe i'm wrong. maybe they just forgot that jackson would be totally opposed to everything this note stood for. one way or another, pretty interesting story. what happened in the short term after jackson's presidency? the democrats win in 1836,
3:47 am
martin van buren, vice president, defeats daniel webster in the 1836 election. but martin van buren, he runs into some troubles, a new financial panic sweeps the country, the panic of 1837. all those pet banks, the state banks that received those federal deposits, used those deposits, pyramid from them. the land bubble, and it pops in 1837. the democrats become extremely unpopular across the country. the whigs' turn, and they run against martin van buren. the whigs say we're going to play it safe, run a war hero. because everybody loves war heroes. the hero of the battle of tippy
3:48 am
ca noo in 1811, william henry harrison. to be safe, we're also going to put on harrison's ticket a democrat, a democrat who is very critical of jackson, john tyler, a virginia planter. and he was a jeffersonian, and he thought jackson was too king-like. we'll throw a democrat on there, a safe, mad rat ticket, and no problem here, look at that landslide for the whigs, whigs overwhelmingly win the election. but the whigs for the first time control the house and the senate and the presidency. henry clay, rubbing his hands, he's ready to go. william henry harrison, delivers his inauguration speech. a storm comes through washington, d.c., pouring down rain during the speech. in that rain william henry harrison, 68 years old, comes
3:49 am
down with pneumonia and dies one month later. unbelievable. clay says, now john tyler is president, totally not what we planned, clay says. well, that's okay. we're going to -- i mean, tyler is not jackson at least. jackson's not in office. we're going to push through a new bill. clay pushes through a new bill for a bank. this time he calls it something different because the bank of the united states has been a bit stained, the name of that. he calls it the fiscal bank, the fiscal bank. it flies through the house. it flies through the senate. gets on john tyler's bill, veto. clay can't believe it. vetoes the bill. all right, we're going to try again. clay pushes through another bill. this time we're going to -- we won't even call it a bank. that's how much the country hates banks. we're going to call it the fiscal corporation, same thing, but just renaming it.
3:50 am
goes through the house, goes through the senate, reaches tyler's desk, veto again. john tyler vetoes the bank bill twice. clay can't believe this is happening. we're going to have to wait four more years, clay says, this is just unbelievable that we have to put up with this. they wait four years. finally clay says, all right, i'm doing it this time. i can't trust anybody but myself. 1844 he runs for president against james polk and loses the election. poor, poor henry clay. well -- so that's the bank war episode. and it's -- that's a fun episode, i think. however you feel about the bank war. maybe it was good, maybe it was bad, but an interesting event. well, there was a darker side to jackson, a darker side.
3:51 am
a darker side to his presidency, we have one of the harshest, cruellest events in u.s. history and that, of course, the trail of tears, the removal of roughly 100,000 native americans from the old southwest. cotton is the -- is the big fad of the day. cotton plantations spreading all across the south. and, well, standing in the way of those cotton plantations are 125 native americans, the creek, the cherokee, the seminol, other groups. in 1830 both the whigs and the democrats push through congress, with jackson's signature, the indian removal act, removing or
3:52 am
giving the president permission to negotiate with indian tribes to remove them from the old southwest into a new territory, indian territory, what is today oklahoma. jackson defends this by saying i want to preserve indian culture. indian culture is at risk and so we're going to move them forcibly into oklahoma where they will forever be able to live in peace. of course a few years later settlers arrive in oklahoma and want that land as well. but jackson does run into an opponent, and that opponent is the supreme court. because in 1831, in 1831 the cherokee sue the state of georgia. goes all the way to the supreme court. and chief justice john marshall rules in favor of the cherokee. he says removing their land is
3:53 am
unconstitutional. so looks like the plan is done. andrew jackson, in typical manner, in very jacksonian manner responds to chief justice marshall and he says justice marshall has made his decision quote now let him enforce it. and he completely ignores the decision. and the indian removal goes through. the most infamous act -- episode in this removal was the trail of tears. in 1838. 1839, 15,000 cherokee and actually next lecture we'll look closer at this cherokee civilization. because they made a really strong effort to try to comply. wasn't enough, wasn't enough. the cherokee, 15,000 of them removed from georgia to oklahoma.
3:54 am
on a journey on foot that was 116 days. terrible conditions. roughly one in four cherokee die of disease or malnutrition. that's 4,000 cherokee. just to give you an idea, oh, there's the route of the indian removal. just to give you an idea of how bad things were, there was a confederate soldier after the civil war from the state of georgia, and he had this to say about the trail of tears. he said "i thought the war between the states and have seen many men shot, but the cherokee removal was the cruellest work i ever knew." and so in conclusion, what can we say about jackson? what can we say about democracy? what can we say about populism? there's a lot of lessons here,
3:55 am
right? and i think, well, democracy can do a lot of good. right? democracy can do a lot of good. populism can do a lot of good. strong personalities can do a lot of good. but all three of those things can also do a lot of bad as well. populism, or a jacksonian style democracy is risky, like rolling the dice. you don't know how it's going to turn out. things could happen that are good, but you don't know, you don't know. and most of the time people don't go for populists, but during times of uncertainty, during times in which things -- there's a sense that there's a corrupt elite system that often will give an avenue to populists, good or bad, demagogue or well meaning, whatever have you, and that avenue can often be exploited. so you have to be careful, be
3:56 am
very careful in moments like that. jackson, what do we make of im? i'm not sure. right? interesting guy, definitely an interesting guy. well, next class we have a new republic. a new republic? the republic of texas. and that republic of texas is going to apply for statehood in the united states. and that's going to cause its own controversy. so that does it. enjoy your weekend. and i will see you on monday. >> announcer: on newsmakers, tom steyer talks about why he's spending $20 million on an effort to impeach president donald trump. newsmakers, sunday at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span.
3:57 am
>> announcer: coming up new year's weekend on c-span, saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern, north korean refugees describe life under the kim regime. >> in china, however, tens of thousands of north korean defectors are leaving without papers under the shadows and are being physically or sexually exploited. while the u.s. should continue urging china and russia to support more economic sanctions, it should also do more to stop beijing transporting defectors back to north korea. >> james clapper on his career in the intelligence community. >> we call that new paradigm immaculate collection. i mean it semihumorously. but the difficulty of being so
3:58 am
precise given the global communication of the internet. the difficulty of sorting out good people and bad people. >> announcer: and on monday, new year's day at 10:00 a.m. eastern, a tech fire summit on the south driving revolution. and at noon, former clinton administration officials on the legacy of president bill clinton. >> he knew who he was fighting for, got there every day. he knew the people he wanted to help. and through thick and thin, when times were good and times were bad, all he cared about was could he deliver for the people who needed the government to be on their side? >> announcer: watch this new year's weekend on c-span. well, every month for the past 20 years, one of the nation's top nonfiction authors has joined us on our in depth program for a fascinating three-hour conversation about
3:59 am
their work. now just for 2018 in depth is changing course. we've invited 12 fiction authors onto our set. authors of historical fiction, national security thrillers, science writers, social commentators, colson whitehead, geraldine brooks and many others. their books have been read by millions around the country and around the world. if you are a reader, plan to join us for in depth on booktv, it's an interactive program the first sunday of every month that lets you call in and talk directly to your favorite authors. and it all kicks off on sunday, january 7th at noon with david ignatius, a "washington post" columnist. you can join us live on sunday, january 7th, or watch it on demand at
4:00 am
>> announcer: c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public skend and i will see you on monday.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on