The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 8: Pursuing the Millennium (Parts 1-3) – What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “We know— for God has told us— that there is a period of universal moral renovation approaching, and there is much in the aspect of Providence, which seems to indicate that our country is to have a prominent— may I not say— a principal instrumentality in the introduction of that period.”
  • “Progressive improvement in the condition of man is apparently the purpose of a superintending Providence,”
  • “The dim shadows of unborn nations… implore this country to fulfill the destiny to which she has been summoned by an all-wise Providence, and save a sinking world from temporal misery and eternal death.”
  • “While the postmillennial mainstream of American Protestantism identified the whole country as God’s new Israel and a model for the other nations, a host of sectarian movements proclaimed their own little communities as examples to mankind.”
  • “there is no adaptation of architecture to our wants and requirements; our houses are as little suited to our physical welfare, as our social laws are to our attractions and passions.”
  • “The interest aroused by communitarian social experiments in the United States on the eve of the industrial revolution revealed something about the mood and temper of the American public, its willingness to entertain a broad range of social and economic possibilities.”
  • “The tendency of American conditions, as well as the inclination of its people, was for diffusion rather than discipline, toward self-determination and away from supervision, however benign,”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: ““Many people shared John Quincy Adams’s view of America as the country where God would bring His plans for humanity to fulfillment. But the blueprints for realizing this providential destiny could be far bolder and more presumptuous than Henry Clay’s American System.”
  • Describe some of the ways Americans of all faiths (or lack of) expressed millennialism attitudes
  • Describe the basic belief of “post-millennialism” and how it impacted American religious life
  • In what ways was the millennialism of the early Republic related to Colonial Puritanism?
  • Describe the characteristics of the “Second Great Awakening”
  • Compare and Contrast: The “First” and “Second” Great Awakenings
  • Explain and Expand: The relationship between the Second Great Awakening and Post Millennialism
  • Compare and Contrast: America before and after the “Second” Great Awakening
  • In what ways was the “Second” Great Awakenings the conclusion of the “First” Great Awakening
  • What “concluded” at the end of the “Second” Great Awakening?
  • Who were the principle American leaders of the Second Great Awakening?
  • What were the civic goals of the leaders of the Second Great Awakening?
  • How were international affairs considered in a post millennial world view?
  • Describe the relationship between post millennialism and Slavery
  • Who was William Miller? Who were The Millerites?
  • What is Pre millennialism?
  • Compare and Contrast: Pre and Post millennialism from a civic perspective?
  • Describe the relationship between pre millennialism and Slavery
  • Describe the naval battle at Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain and its aftermath
  • Explain and Expand: “to turn his back on fashionable deism and join a Baptist church.”
  • Describe the beginnings of Adventism
  • Compare and Contrast: German Pietism with Lutheranism
  • React and Respond: “Sociological theory long held that persons attracted to millenarian causes would be the marginalized and despairing, looking for compensatory consolation.”
  • Describe American utopianism and communitarianism
  • Describe the relationship between millennialism and utopianism
  • Describe prominent examples of American communitarian societies
  • Who was Albert Brisbane and what was the Associationism of Albert Brisbane
  • Explain and Expand: “since children like to play in dirt, he reasoned, they should be the trash collectors.”
  • Explain and Expand: “In this pre-Marxian vision, socialism would be achieved without revolution or violence.”
  • Compare and Contrast: Socialism and Marxism in an American context
  • What made the Shakers distinct among millennialism focused sects
  • Explain and Expand: “primitive Christian church recorded in the New Testament (Acts 2: 44 and 4: 32).”
  • Explain and Expand: “Catholic monasticism, the oldest form of religious communal life, also appeared in a still predominantly Protestant America. The parallels with other communitarian movements were considerable, including celibacy, self-discipline, and the rejection of worldly selfishness for alternative lifestyles.”
  • React and Respond: “with women’s orders more prominent than men’s.”
  • Who was Elizabeth Seton
  • Explain and Expand: “The life of Mother Seton’s male counterpart, Isaac Hecker, illustrated the parallel between utopian communities and Catholic religious orders.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Both pre- and postmillennial Christians have typically been interested in the restoration of the Jews to the Holy Land”
  • Who was Isaac Mayer Wise
  • What was the significance of “The Confidence Man” by Herman Melville
  • Compare and Contrast: Perfectionism and Communitarianism
  • Affirm or Refute: “Most antebellum utopian communities were not fleeing the industrial revolution. Some (like Owenites and Associationists) explicitly endorsed it, while others (like Shakers and Perfectionists) seized the chance to make whatever use of it they could. The only communities that really did reject industrialization were two German Mennonite sects: the Amish, who had settled in Pennsylvania during colonial times, and the Dakota Hutterites, who came in the 1870s.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 7: The Innovators (Part 2) What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “We have the wolf by the ears, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go.”
  • “Finley’s followers operated colonization as a voluntary fund-raising charity, while Mercer’s treated the cause as a political lobby.”
  • “In the next few years, the legislatures of Maryland, Kentucky , Tennessee, and six northern states followed Virginia’s example in endorsing colonization; so did the national governing bodies of the Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, and Episcopal denominations.”
  • “It would not be necessary to transport all black Americans to Africa; Clay advocated colonization as a way of reducing the black population in America to the point where the whites would not feel threatened by the prospect of emancipation.”
  • “Dear Sir, I now take this opportunity to inform you that I am in a land of liberty, in good health…. Since I have been in the Queens dominions I have been well contented, Yes well contented for Sure, man is as God intended he should be. That is, all are born free & equal. This is a wholesome law, not like the Southern laws which puts man made in the image of God, on level with brutes…. We have good schools, & all the colored population supplied with schools. My boy Edward who will be six years next January , is now reading, & I intend keeping him at school until he becomes a good scholar…. My wife and self are sitting by a good comfortable fire happy, knowing that there are none to molest [us] or make [us] afraid. God save Queen Victoria.”
  • “The campaign for the presidential election of 1828 lasted the whole four years of John Quincy Adams’s administration. Eventually defenders of the national administration started calling themselves “National” Republicans, while the supporters of the man who claimed the popular mandate called themselves “Democratic” Republicans, later simply “Democrats.” The terms came into use only very slowly.”
  • “What came to be called the National Republicanism of Adams and Clay represented a continuation of the new Republican nationalism that had arisen out of the experience of the War of 1812. The Democratic Republicans of Jackson, Van Buren, and the recently transformed Calhoun recruited the proslavery Radicals of William H. Crawford and embraced the state-rights tradition of Old Republicanism.”
  • “Old Hickory wrote a furious message to him preparing the way for a duel. Jackson’s friend Sam Houston managed to get the letter rephrased.”
  • “There was another aspect of the outcome, less often noticed by historians but no less important. The National Republican improvement program of planned economic development would have encouraged a diversified economy in place of reliance on the export of slave-grown agricultural staples. Its strong central government would have held long-term potential for helping the peaceful resolution of the slavery problem, perhaps in connection with some kind of colonization program, while weaning portions of the South, especially in the border states, away from plantation agriculture toward mixed farming, industry, and commerce.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the African colonization movement
  • What were the principle white motivations behind the African colonization movement
  • What were the principle black motivations behind the African colonization movement
  • What were the principle white arguments against the African colonization movement
  • What were the principle black arguments against the African colonization movement
  • Describe the founding of Sierra Leone and Liberia
  • Explain and Expand: “The most common objection offered to emancipation in the South was that it would create a subordinate population who could neither be admitted to political participation nor any longer be effectively controlled.”
  • Who was Paul Coffe[e] and what was his significance regarding the African colonization movement
  • Who was Henry Clay and what was his role in the African colonization movement
  • Explain and Expand: “Clay saw colonization as a responsible middle ground between abolitionism and the defense of slavery as a positive good.”
  • Explain and Expand: “It would not be necessary to transport all black Americans to Africa; Clay advocated colonization as a way of reducing the black population in America to the point where the whites would not feel threatened by the prospect of emancipation.”
  • In what ways did the “Great Migration to the West” impact the African colonization movement
  • Why did Canada become a magnet for both free blacks and escaped / liberated slaves?
  • Describe Freemasonry during the early republic era?
  • Who was William Morgan and how was he related to the Freemason movement?
  • Explain and Expand: “Freemasonry, introduced into America from Britain in colonial times, had been an important force in the young republic.”
  • Describe the formation of the early republic (pre-Civil War era) Antimasonic movement
  • Explain and Expand: ” The Antimasons became the first third party in American history. Once organized as a political party, Antimasonry developed a political image and stands on other issues. The participants saw themselves as restoring moral order and transparent democracy, defending the little people against a secret cabal with ties to machine politics.”
  • What was the significance of: “Henry Clay’s hometown of Lexington , Kentucky, was a thriving commercial crossroads with a diversified economy.”
  • Describe the American System as envisioned by Clay and Adams
  • Explain and Expand: “Clay’s system was “American” in a triple sense.”
  • In what ways did the American System enhance sectional divisions?
  • Describe the role tariffs played in the American System and how this differed from American tariffs in the past
  • In what ways did the American System tariffs foreshadow tariffs and issues around them in the post-Civil War era?
  • What factors prevented the South from developing a textile industry?
  • Explain and Expand: “Van Buren’s Tariff of Abominations demonstrated how government intervention in the economy could be manipulated for political advantage.”
  • Describe the issues around and formation of “National” Republicans and “Democratic” Republicans
  • Describe the evolution of Jeffersonian Republican ideology to the “Democratic” Republican faction to the Democratic Party
  • Explain and Expand: “Each side embraced its own version of modernity.”
  • Describe the election of 1828
  • What role did Martin Van Buren play in the election of 1828
  • Explain and Expand: “between the planters of the South and the plain Republicans of the North.”
  • Describe the significance of: “Party attachment in former times furnished a complete antidote for sectional prejudices by producing counteracting feelings.”
  • Did Jackson’s victory constitute the coming of democracy to America?
  • Explain and Expand: “The vote displayed striking sectional characteristics. … The election of 1828 proved a pivotal one; it marked the end of one kind of politics and the beginning of another.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

Chapter 7: The Improvers (Part 1: Sec I-III) :: What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe

The American Early Republic and Frontier Era HistoryThought Questions

  • Describe the United States in 1826. What transformations had occurred since 1776?
  • Describe Continental Western Europe in 1826. What transformations had occurred since 1776?
  • Describe the British Empire in 1826. What transformations had occurred since 1776?

John Quincy Adams

  • Describe the Russian Empire in 1826. What transformations had occurred since 1776?
  • Compare and Contrast the transformations that occurred between 1776 and 1826 in Continental Western Europe, the British Empire, the Russian Empire and the United States
  • Explain and Expand: “Is it the Fourth?”
  • Explain and Expand: “Thomas Jefferson still survives”
  • Explain and Expand: “visible and palpable mark of Divine favor”
  • Who was Charles Carroll in 1776? Who was Charles Carroll in 1826?
  • Explain and Expand: “The deceased patriarchs had been obvious examples of the talent and virtue that the Founders believed should characterize leadership in a republic. But they were also examples of personal improvement.”
  • React and Respond: “Adams interpreted the Constitution as defining duties as well as rights. He had a positive rather than a negative conception of liberty; freedom properly exercised was not simply a limitation on authority but an empowering of human initiative.”

Louisa Adams

  • Describe the Presidency of John Quincy Adams
  • Politically and Culturally Compare and Contrast: John Adams with his son John Quincy Adams
  • Politically and Culturally Compare and Contrast: Abigail Adams with his son Louisa Adams
  • What was the “Era of Good Feelings” and how was it a 
  • transitional period in American History?
  • Describe the election of 1824
  • Explain and Expand: “The president’s vision of expanded American commerce did not stop at the water’s edge.”
  • Describe the vision John Quincy Adams sets forth in his First Annual Message (State of the Union Address)
  • Explain and Expand: “”The president had been trying to use patronage to win over critics rather than to reward friends, but his policy had not proved effective.”
  • What was the significance and symbolism of Adams’ “Report on Weights and Measures”?
  • Describe the evolution of Adams’ vision for the United States in his Annual Messages
  • Explain and Expand: “The president’s grand program for economic development was by no means the only serious challenge he faced.”
  • What challenges did the Adams’ administration face in foreign policy? How did the presence of Andrew Jackson impact these challenges?
  • What challenges did the Adams’ administration face in Indian Affairs? How did the presence of Andrew Jackson impact these challenges?
  • Explain and Expand: “
  • What was the Treaty of Córdoba?
  • How did Mexican independence impact the relationship between the United States and Spain?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

Week 10: What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe Chapter 6: Overthrowing the Tyranny of Distance

 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “He is one of the most unfit men I know of for such a place.” 
  • “Besides, Clay thought a military hero with a record of defying civilian authority a dangerously inappropriate choice for president.” 
  • ““the only reasonable and responsible one, the only one that could avert a long drawn-out battle leading to constitutional crisis.”” 
  • “No sooner was President Monroe reelected in 1820 than campaigning began for the election of 1824.” 
  • ““The Judas of the West has closed the contract and will receive the thirty pieces of silver. His end will be the same.”” 
  • “In the early twentieth century the National Road was extended east to Atlantic City and west to San Francisco and renamed Highway 40; later, portions of it were incorporated into Interstate.” 
  • “The joke ran that they could float on a heavy dew, and it was literally true that one of them could carry eighty passengers with forty tons of freight in two feet of water.” 
  • ““We have become the most careless, reckless, headlong people on the face of the earth. ‘Go ahead’ is our maxim and pass-word, and we do go ahead with a vengeance, regardless of consequences and indifferent to the value of human life .”” 
  • “On October 26, 1825, Governor DeWitt Clinton boarded the canal boat Seneca Chief in Lake Erie and arrived at Albany a week later, having been cheered in every town along the way . He then floated down the Hudson to New York harbor, where, surrounded by a flotilla of boats and ships of all kinds, he poured a keg of Lake Erie water into the Atlantic.” 
  • ““Of all the ways of travelling, the canal boat is the most absolutely prosaic.”” 
  • “In 1831, the French visitor Alexis de Tocqueville called the American Post Office a “great link between minds”that penetrated into “the heart of the wilderness”; in 1832, the German political theorist Francis Lieber called it “one of the most effective elements of civilization.””

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “In traditional society, the only items worth transporting long distances had been luxury goods , and information about the outside world had been one of the most precious luxuries of all. The transportation and communications revolutions made both goods and information broadly accessible. In doing so, they laid a foundation not only for widespread economic betterment and wider intellectual horizons but also for political democracy : in newspapers and magazines, in post offices, in nationwide movements to influence public opinion, and in mass political parties.” 
  • Explain and Expand: “To improve the means of communication, then , is to promote a real, positive, and practical liberty; it is to extend to all the members of the human family the power of traversing and turning to account the globe, which has been given to them as their patrimony; it is to increase the rights and privileges of the greatest number, as truly and as amply as could be done by electoral laws. The effect of the most perfect system of transportation is to reduce the distance not only between different places, but between different classes.” 

American Literature

Primary Sources

Further Reading

 

Week 9: What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe Chapter 5: Awakenings of Religion

 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “It was as dark a day as ever I saw. The injury done to the cause of Christ, as we then supposed, was irreparable. For several days I suffered what no tongue can tell for the best thing that ever happened to the State of Connecticut. It cut the churches loose from dependence on state support. It threw them wholly on their own resources and on God.” 
  • “The great aim of the Christian Church in its relation to the present life is not only to renew the individual man, but also to reform human society”
  • “Christians loyal to the theology of the Reformation believed such an appeal left too little role for divine initiative. Some of them reproached Finney for excessive emotionalism, as other revivalists have been reproached before and since.” 
  • “Both sides wanted to encourage revivals. The Finneyites agreed not to call their colleagues “cold,”“unconverted,” or “dead”; the other side consented not to call the Finneyites “heretics,”“enthusiasts,” or “mad.”” 
  • “A Methodist preacher in those days, when he felt that God had called him to preach, instead of hunting up a college or Biblical institute, hunted up a hard pony of a horse, and some traveling apparatus, and with his library always at hand, namely, Bible, Hymn Book, and [Methodist] Discipline, he started, and with a text that never wore out nor grew stale, he cried, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.” In this way he went through storms of wind, hail, snow, and rain; climbed hills and mountains, traversed valleys, plunged through swamps, swam swollen streams, lay out all night, wet, weary, and hungry, held his horse by the bridle all night, or tied him to a limb, slept with his saddle blanket for a bed, his saddle or saddle-bags for his pillow, and his old big coat or blanket, if he had any, for a covering…. Under such circumstances, who among us would now say, “Here am I, Lord, send me?”
  • “Our final conclusion regarding all of these social results— good, bad, and questionable —is that in one sense they are only side effects of efforts that were ineffable and beyond mundane measuring, for the missionaries and church founders came above all to minister the consolations of religion— to bring word of amazing grace to wretched souls. In what measure they succeeded in that primary task God only knows.” 

Thought Questions

  • Who was Lyman Beecher and what influence did he and his family have on American political and religious life?
  • Describe the development of the separation of church and state in the early Republic?
  • Explain and Expand: “Any establishment of religion, even as democratic a religion as Yankee Congregationalism, violated the tenets of Jeffersonian Republicanism.” 
  • Why and in what ways did the religious divide in the Early Republic manifest in the Federalist Republican divide? 
  • Describe how Lyman Beecher symbolized the transition from New England Puritanism to Yankee Progressivism
  • Describe the emergence of temperance as a social and political issue in the Early Republic
  • Compare and Contrast Charles Finney and Jonathan Edwards
  • What was the “born again” experience as understood by Evangelicals in the Early Republic? How did this “born again” experience differ from the conversion experience of the Puritans and the “Inner Light” experience of Anabaptists and Pietists?
  • Compare and Contrast Evangelicals in the Early Republic with Anabaptists and Pietists. How did English and German backgrounds factor into their differences?
  • What common social themes and issues were common in Beecher’s fundamentalists and Finney’s evangelicals?
  • How did slavery impact American fundamentalists and evangelicals? 
  • How did slavery impact American Catholics generally and Irish immigrants particularly? 
  • How did slavery impact “high church” (Eastern Orthodox, Anglican) congregations in America? 
  • How did slavery impact “low church” (Primitive Baptists, Quakers, German Brethren, etc) in America?
  • In what ways did fundamentalism and evangelicalism impact denominations?
  • What were “Circuit Riders” and what impact did they have on American frontier communities? What services did they provide the frontier aside from their religious mission? What were “Camp Meetings” and “Brush Arbor Meetings”?
  • Describe the development of American Methodism? How did the name “Methodist” come into use?
  • Compare and Contrast the development, beliefs and practices of Baptists and Methodists in America
  • What role did George Whitfield and John Wesley have in the development of American Christianity?
  • Describe the rise of “free” black churches and denominations in America
  • Describe the “Second Great Awakening”. How is the label misleading? How is the label meaningful? 
  • What circumstances gave rise to the Second Great Awakening? 
  • What role did race and slavery play in the Second Great Awakening?
  • How did the Second Great Awakening highlight the differences between rural and urban America? 
  • What were the economic teachings associated with the Second Great Awakening? 
  • Compare and Contrast the “First” and “Second” Great Awakenings
  • What were the lasting impacts of the Second Great Awakening?
  • How did gender impact different denominations and sects in America? 
  • How did Quakers fit into the religious landscape of the Second Great Awakening?
  • In what ways did American life and circumstances begin to create a distinct “American Catholicism” in the early republic?
  • What role did Catholic Evangelicals play in the Second Great Awakening?
  • How were Jews in America impacted by the Second Great Awakening? 

Articles and References

Further Reading

Continue reading American Notes by Charles Dickens, Chapters 9 11

 

 

Week 7 :: What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe Chapter 4: The World That Cotton Made

 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “a wretched cavalcade… marching half naked women, and men loaded with chains, without being charged with any crime but that of being black, from one section of the United States to another, hundreds of miles.”
  • “You have kindled a fire which all the waters of the ocean cannot put out, which seas of blood can only extinguish.”
  • “If a dissolution of the Union must take place, let it be so! If civil war, which gentlemen so much threaten, must come, I can only say, let it come!”
  • “A woman who brings a child every two years [is] more valuable than the best man of the farm.”
  • “This momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror . I considered it at once as the knell of the union. It is hushed, indeed, for the moment. But this is a reprieve only, not a final sentence…. I regret that I am now to die in the belief, that the useless sacrifice of themselves by the generation of 1776, to acquire self-government and happiness to their country, is to be thrown away by the unwise and unworthy passions of their sons, and that my only consolation is to be, that I live not to weep over”
  • “If slavery be the destined sword of the hand of the destroying angel which is to sever the ties of this Union, the same sword will cut in sunder the bonds of slavery itself. A dissolution of the Union for the cause of slavery would be followed by a servile war in the slave-holding States, combined with a war between the two severed portions of the Union. It seems to me that its result might be the extirpation of slavery from this whole continent; and, calamitous and desolating as this course of events in its progress must be, so glorious would be its final issue, that , as God shall judge me, I dare not say that it is not to be desired.” 

Thought Questions

  • Describe the world “Cotton” made in the United States (north and south) and Europe 
  • Explain the expression “The Bank was saved but the people were ruined”
  • Why did the end of the War of 1812 precipitate a great migration?
  • What was the Creek “cession”?
  • How did Jackson’s victory at New Orleans and his subsequent invasion of Florida encourage migration to the Southwest?
  • Compare and Contrast the political incorporation of the Old Northwest and the Old Southwest 
  • Compare and Contrast migration to the Old Northwest and the Old Southwest 
  • How and why did opinions about slavery evolve over the first 30 years of the Republic?
  • Compare and Contrast the institutions of “Land-Lord” and “Labor-Lord”
  • What circumstances and events led to the crisis over Missouri? 
  • Why did Maine become a factor in the poltical struggle over Missouri?
  • What were the elements of the Missouri Compromise? 
  • What were some of the common characteristics of the post War of 1812 Native American treaties?
  • Compare and Contrast the treaties with Native Americans in the old Northwest and the old Southwest
  • In 1800 what were the lands inhabited by the Cherokee? How did the change by 1822? 
  • In 1800 what were the lands inhabited by the Creeks? How did the change by 1822?
  • In 1800 what were the lands inhabited by the Choctaw? How did the change by 1822?
  • In 1800 what were the lands inhabited by the Chickasaw? How did the change by 1822?
  • What were the characteristics of the Alabama Constitution of 1819?
  • What were the characteristics of the Mississippi Constitution of 1817?
  • Compare and Contrast the Alabama 1819 and Mississippi 1817 Constitutions 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Next week we will be reading “Some Considerations Concerning The Present State And Probable Future Of The Three Races That Inhabit The Territory Of The United States” and “The Present And Probable Future Condition Of The Indian Tribes That Inhabit The Territory Possessed By The Union” in Democracy in America and “Slavery” in American Notes by Charles Dickens (Chapter 27).

 

Week 6 :: What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe Chapter 3: An Era of Good and Bad Feelings

 

This week strongly consider reading Chapter 6 in Democracy in America 

Note: It’s not the Battle of “Horse-Shoe” Bend. It’s the Battle of “Horse-Hoe” Bend.

Thought Questions

  • How was the Monroe administration an “era of good feelings”?
  • How was the Monroe administration an “era of bad feelings”?
  • In what ways was the Monroe the end of an era and the beginning of another?
  • Compare and Contrast the ideas of “balanced institutions of government” and the “balance between two or more political parties” to preserve liberty in the post revolutionary generation 
  • How did the American system of government evolve to blend ideas regarding “balanced institutions of government” and the “balance between two or more political parties”?
  • What social conditions helped and hindered finding a uniquely American republican balance of power?
  • How did the composition of Monroe’s cabinet impact the balance of power in government?
  • In what ways did events in Europe impact the course of events in the United States?
  • In what ways did the plans of Tsar Alexander I effect relations between the United States and European powers?
  • What was the “Holy Alliance” and how did it impact the United States?
  • Describe the American conquest of Florida
  • Who were the Seminoles? How were they distinct among the southwestern tribes and how were they representative of southwestern tribes?
  • Describe the relationship between the Creek Wars and the Seminole Wars 
  • Describe the conduct of Andrew Jackson in Florida
  • How did Monroe and Jackson tacitly conspired in the wars against the Seminoles?
  • In what ways were the Red Stick War (Creek) and Florida (Seminole) wars connected with the War of 1812?
  • What were the terms of the Treaty of Fort Jackson? How were they imposed? 
  • Describe the effective dissolution of the Federalist Party during the Monroe Administration and the impact it had on government?
  • What was the Rush-Bagot Pact and the Convention of 1818?
  • Describe the international situation regarding the Oregon Territory
  • What was the territorial condition of the Old Southwest and Florida at the end of the Monroe administration? What situations had been resolved and which remained unresolved?
  • Describe the impact of Andrew Jackson’s behavior up to the end of the Monroe Administration
  • What were the points of the Monroe Doctrine, why was it declared and what impact did it have?
  • How was the Monroe Doctrine related to the rest of President Monroe’s seventh annual message to Congress? 
  • Describe the situation in Spanish Latin America during the Madison and Monroe administrations 
  • Who was John Marshall and what role did he play in the development of the United States? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • ” the answer to these rhetorical questions was negative. If someone had responded by pointing to 1.5 million persons held in chattel slavery, or to white women firmly deprived of rights of person and property, or to expropriated Native Americans, the president would have been startled, then irritated by the irrelevancy. To him and most of those in his audience, such people did not count. But within the next generation, that assumption would be seriously challenged.”
  • “Discord does not belong to our system.” 
  • “Beware how you give a fatal sanction, in this infant period of our republic, scarcely yet two score years old, to military insubordination. Remember that Greece had her Alexander, Rome her Caesar, England her Cromwell , France her Bonaparte, and that if we would escape the rock on which they split, we must avoid their errors.”
  • “General Jackson was authorized by the supreme law of nature and nations, the law of self-defense ,… to enter the Spanish territory of Florida in pursuit of, and to destroy, hostile, murdering savages, not bound by any obligation, who were without the practice of any moral principle reciprocally obligatory on nations.” 

Primary Sources

Articles

Supplemental Reading

 

Week 5 :: What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe Chapter 2: From the Jaws of Defeat

Thought Questions 

  • How did issues of transportation and communication effect the War of 1812?
  • What does the author mean by “the people’s prayers had already been answered”?
  • Why was the news of Jackson’s success at New Orleans welcome news in Washington and for President Madison?
  • How did black slaves react to the invasion of Washington by the British? How did the British respond to American black slaves?
  • What reason was given by the British for the burning of Washington? 
  • How was Dolley Madison the Heroine of the War of 1812? 
  • In what ways did the schism between “Old” Republicans and “New” Republicans impact the War of 1812?
  • How did Federalists react to the War of 1812?
  • What was the Hartford Convention and what were its goals?
  • What were the resolutions of the Hartford Convention?
  • What impact did the resolutions of the Hartford convention have on American politics?
  • How did the White House get its name?
  • How did the War of 1812 effect relations between the United States and British Canada?
  • What were the terms of the Treaty of Ghent? 
  • What effect did the signing of the Treaty of Ghent have on the United States?
  • What were the consequences of the Treaty of Ghent on Native Americans?
  • What was the Treaty of Fort Jackson and what were its terms?
  • Describe the relationship between President Madison and General Jackson?
  • What were Andrew Jackson’s intentions towards Native American groups in 1814? 
  • What was the Second Treaty of Greenville and what were its terms?
  • Describe the Barbary states and their history of conflict with the United States?
  • Who were Commodore Stephen Decatur and Commodore William Bainbridge?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Andrew Jackson acknowledged Madison “a great civilian,” but declared “the mind of a philosopher could not dwell on blood and carnage with any composure ,” and judged his talents “not fitted for a stormy sea.””
  • “The president, patient and fair to a fault, listened to advice and then found it hard to make up his mind. He had allowed himself to be dragged reluctantly into war with Great Britain. In waging it, he showed himself a poor judge of men. No one in politics feared him, and he had never been able to control Congress. He was too nice.”
  • “His first State of the Union message after the conclusion of peace gave Madison his best chance to leave a lasting mark as president, and he recognized the opportunity . Madison determined to draw the appropriate lessons from the nation’s narrow escape from disaster. Accordingly, his Seventh Annual Message to Congress , dated December 5, 1815,” 
  • “By a series of such treaties in the years immediately after 1814, Jackson obtained vast lands for white settlement. A historian has estimated his acquisitions at three-quarters of Alabama and Florida, one-third of Tennessee, one-fifth of Georgia and Mississippi, and smaller portions of Kentucky and North Carolina.” 
  • “Madison was an intellectual rather than an executive” 

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Supplemental Reading

Next week we will be reading Chapter 3 in What Hath God Wrought.

 

Week 3 :: What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe: Chapter 1

Thought Questions

(Please note: In this context America will refer to Canada, the United States and Mexico (including Central America) 

  • Why does the author state the history of the United States cannot be understood apart from its continental setting?
  • In what ways was American society transformed between 1815 and 1846? 
  • How did communication and transportation effect the transformation of America? 
  • Describe the process of transformation along the Southwestern and Pacific Frontier with Mexico?
  • How did colonial expansion effect Native agriculture?
  • What does the phrase “beneficiaries of catastrophe” mean?
  • What was the typical life of an American farmer around 1815? How did this change in the period leading to 1846?
  • In what ways did Aaron Fuller represent the American farm family’s expectations and experiences
  • What roles did women usually play on the family farm around 1815? 
  • How did the evolution of the fur trade from colonial times effect Americans and Natives? 
  • What was the myth of the “noble savage”?
  • How did slavery and the slave trade (both continental and oceanic) evolve in the Northern states?
  • Why did slavery evolve the way it did in the North?
  • How did slavery and the slave trade evolve in the American borderland states (Southern, Western and Middle)?
  • Why did slavery evolve the way it did in the American borderland states (Southern Western and Middle)?
  • In what ways was the Southern plantation class “the great consumers of the American economy”? 
  • How did slavery and communalism enable the creation of a non-laboring consumers?
  • How did American capitalism conflict with the values embodied in slavery and communalism?
  • How did the American individualism of yeoman farmers in both the North and South conflict with the values embodied in slavery and communalism?
  • In what ways did American capitalism and individualism in the North and slavery and communism in the South effect regional development? 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Many white contemporaries, even if compassionate, agreed with Alexis de Tocqueville that the Indians were “doomed” to die out entirely.”
  • “Despite all the mutual cultural borrowing between Native and Euro-Americans, neither cultural synthesis nor multicultural harmony achieved acceptance with the white public or government.”

Supplemental Reading

Begin Reading Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville,Chapters 1 and 2. These chapters compliment our current reading in What Hath God Wrought. Next week our main focus will be on Chapter 3 and 4 in Democracy in America

 

Week 1 :: What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker Howe: Introduction and Prologue

Thought Questions (keep these in mind as you continue reading)

  • Why does the author begin his work with a focus on the twin revolutions of communication and transportation?
  • What were the elements, time line, consequences and repercussions of the communication and transportation revolutions in the United States during the early Republic? 
  • What political statement was being sent by the use of Numbers 23:23 and its reference to Jacob and Israel (transformation)? How does this reflect “post-millennialism” in a deist culture (a “golden age” is coming closer as we overcome our problems)? 
  • Morse was a Calvinist (think predestination and manifest destiny) but most of the people he was interacting with were utilitarian “gentry” deists (think secular Conquistador). How did this convergence (not uncommon in the borderlands between New England and the rest of the North) compliment each other? How was this similar to the colonial era Colonizers? 
  • Why does the author begin the Prologue with the story of Jackson? How does this relate to the author’s thesis in the Introduction? 

Articles

Primary Sources

Supplemental Reading