Economic Development, Slavery and Labor in American History The History of American Transportation and Communication Reading and Study Group

Chapter 3: The Growth of the Market and Labor’s Response :: Labor in America: A History by Melvyn Dubofsky

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Slave labor, then, underwrote economic expansion, the rise of capitalist markets, and embryonic industrial growth while creating a wealthy and powerful class of plantation lords, bankers, merchants, and industrialists.”
  • “What distinguishes the present from every other struggle in which the human race has been engaged is, that the present is, evidently, openly and acknowledgedly, a war of class.…It is the ridden people of the earth who are struggling to throw from their backs the ‘booted and spurred’ riders whose legitimate title to starve as well as work them ​to death will no longer pass current; it is labour rising up against idleness, industry against money; justice against law and against privilege.”

Thought Questions

  • Define: “King Cotton”
  • Describe the connection between the recovery from the depression of 1819 and “King Cotton”
  • How did the recovery impact the demographics of the North and South
  • Describe the forms of collection action workers took in reaction to changing labor conditions in the early nineteenth century
  • Describe the goals and attributes of “Workingman’s Parties”
  • In what ways did the economic changes after the depression 1819 impact the development of Jacksonian era political parties
  • What “internal divisions” and “external pressures” impacted the different workingman’s parties?
  • Who were Thomas Skidmore, Robert Dale Owen, Fanny Wright and George Henry Evans
  • Explain and Expand: “As popular support for the original aims of the workingmen’s parties gathered increasing force, the major parties responded.”
  • What role did education reform play in workingman’s parties
  • What role did mechanics’ lien laws and imprisonment for debt play in workingman’s parties
  • Affirm or Refute: “The rise of workingmen’s parties did not presage Marxian socialism, but it did signify a realization by many workers that capitalism bore down on them unfairly, and it did place in question society’s dominant property relations.”

Primary Sources

Further Reading

 

 

The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 8 (Part 4) :: What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The Puritan-pietistic religious tradition so powerful in America had perpetuated and disseminated millennialism in the United States. Catholic rejection of the doctrine of the millennium affected the attitude of the church in America in at least two ways. It meant that the church lacked the millennial sense of urgency, widespread among evangelical Protestants, to remake the world and fit it for Christ’s return; it also meant that Catholics did not share in the belief that the United States had a special role, analogous to that of ancient Israel , as an example of divine providence to the rest of the world. While Protestant churches synthesized Christianity with the Enlightenment’s science, individual rights, and faith in progress, the nineteenth-century Church of Rome did not. In an age when Americans’ belief in progress was typically associated with millennial hopes, Catholic doctrine accepted neither the idea of secular progress nor the millennium.”
  • “Nat Turner listened to “the Spirit that spoke to the prophets in former days” and interpreted signs of divinity in the world around him. Like Isaiah, he heard the Spirit tell him to “proclaim liberty to the captives” and “the day of vengeance of our God” (Isaiah 61: 1– 2). Turner decided that “the great day of judgment was at hand,” when he would become God’s instrument.”
  • “Conservatives conceded that the state would be better off with fewer slaves and a more industrial-commercial economy, but argued that the domestic slave trade would suffice to drain off surplus black laborers from Virginia to the trans-Appalachian Southwest, without legislative intervention.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Alone among major religious denominations in the antebellum United States, the Roman Catholic Church did not teach the doctrine of the millennium.”
  • Explain and Expand: “When a politically conservative association in the Austrian Empire set about raising funds to proselytize for Catholicism in the United States, it set off alarm bells among certain American evangelicals.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Morse’s strident warnings were among the earliest expressions of a movement known as nativism that would become more powerful after Catholic immigration increased during the late 1840s.”
  • Explain and Expand: “In the wee hours of Monday, August 22, 1831, a trusted family slave climbed through the window of his master’s house and unbarred the door for six companions armed with axes.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Turner’s Uprising provoked a huge debate among white Virginians over what lessons they should draw from it.”
  • Explain and Expand: “A Calhoun Democrat, like his Carolina mentor he had long backed public funding for internal improvements.”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 8 (Part 3) :: What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “True or not, the Book of Mormon is a powerful epic written on a grand scale with a host of characters, a narrative of human struggle and conflict, of divine intervention, heroic good and atrocious evil, of prophecy, morality, and law. Its narrative structure is complex. The idiom is that of the King James Version, which most Americans assumed to be appropriate for a divine revelation.”
  • “He continued to receive revelations from God (sometimes using a seer-stone) that amplified what was in the Book of Mormon and provided guidance to the faithful; these the LDS Church has codified as their Doctrine and Covenants.”
  • “They tended to be people of New England birth or heritage, carrying the cultural baggage of folk Puritanism (as distinguished from Calvinist theology): communalism, chiliasm, identification with ancient Israel, and the practice of magic. Often they had been involved in other Christian restorationist movements, but no particular denominational background predominated. The prophet and his followers perpetuated traditions of a culture, Richard Bushman explains, “in which the sacred and the profane intermingled and the Saints enjoyed supernatural gifts and powers as the frequent blessing of an interested God.””
  • “The Mormons did not passively await Christ’s millennial kingdom but worked to prepare for it. Their brand of premillennialism was as activist as any postmillennialism, and even more certain of a special millennial role for America.”
  • “His notorious order to the militia of October 27, 1838, reads: “The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace.””
  • “The militia commander ordered Joseph Smith shot after a brief illegal court-martial, but the officer charged with the execution refused to carry it out. Turned over to the civil authorities, the prophet escaped custody five months later and joined his refugee people on the Illinois side of the Mississippi River. There they immediately turned their faith and talents to building up another new community, larger and more beautiful, which they named Nauvoo.”

Thought Questions

  • What is millennialism? What is restorationism?
  • What was the “burned-over district” of western New York state
  • Who was Joseph Smith Jr.?
  • Describe the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during Smith’s leadership
  • Explain and Expand: “in 1831 the Saints moved into the Western Reserve area of northeastern Ohio, to a town called Kirtland.”
  • Explain and Expand: “For the next several years there would be two centers of Mormon settlement, one in Ohio and one in Missouri.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The speculation that American Indians constituted some of the Lost Tribes of Israel had been expressed by many writers over the years and was current in Smith’s milieu. Native Americans themselves sometimes endorsed the Lost Tribes theory of their origins.”
  • What was “the Word of Wisdom” and how did it impact the development of the latter day saints?
  • How did the economic crisis of 1837 impact the development of the latter day saints?
  • Describe the process that created the Mormon War of 1838?
  • Describe the events of the Mormon War of 1838
  • How was millennialism connected to the founding of the latter day saints?
  • In what ways did American “exceptionalism” impact the founding of the latter day saints?
  • In what ways did American “manifest destiny” impact the founding of the latter day saints?
  • Who was Alexander Campbell?
  • Who was Charles Finney?
  • Compare and Contrast: Charles Finney, Alexander Campbell and Joseph Smith Jr.
  • Compare and Contrast: Pre-millennialism and Post-millennialism
  • Explain and Expand: “premillennialism appealing to the disinherited of this world”

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Further Reading

 

The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 8 (Part 2) :: What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “All contemporaries on both sides of the Atlantic saw him as an emissary of liberal values between New and Old Worlds; Americans regarded him as an agent of their international mission. The president had invited Lafayette in order to affirm his Monroe Doctrine’s defiance of the Holy Alliance and to celebrate his Era of Good Feelings. The event succeeded beyond his dreams.”
  • “Tocqueville was very quick to generalize from his experiences, and for all his insight, his interpretations have their limitations. In praising America’s strong traditions of local self-government, he seemed not to notice how often local democracy tyrannized individuals.”
  • “a man of violent temper and very moderate talents.”
  • “She criticized the United States for not living up to its ideals, in particular in its oppression of black people and in the “political nonexistence” of women.”
  • “She conceived an ambitious plan to make Cincinnati a more lively, cosmopolitan city by constructing a building something like a modern shopping mall plus cultural center and ballroom, which she called a “Bazaar.””
  • “Years later, Mark Twain would declare that “candid Mrs. Trollope” deserved American gratitude for her forthrightness. “She knew her subject well, and she set it forth fairly and squarely.” But his observation, made in Life on the Mississippi, was suppressed.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Contemporaries viewed not only utopian communities but all America as an experimental society”
  • Compare and Contrast: 19th century American “exceptionalism” with varieties of 19th century European “exceptionalism”
  • In what ways was the visit of the Marquis de Lafayette symbolic of the age of “exceptionalism”
  • Who was Samuel F. B. Morse
  • Explain and Expand: “Foreign observers also often viewed the United States as an indicator of future developments in their own countries. The German philosopher Hegel called America “the land of the future” and predicted that “in the time to come, the center of world-historical importance will be revealed there.””
  • Explain and Expand: “What Tocqueville meant by “democracy” was not simply political (“ one man, one vote”) but broadly social: “equality of condition.””
  • In what ways did newspapers contribute to American “exceptionalism”
  • Explain and Expand: “Above all, Tocqueville recognized the crucial importance of America’s numerous and diverse voluntary associations.”
  • Who was Gustave de Beaumont?
  • Who was Harriet Martineau?
  • Who was Frances (Fanny) Wright?
  • Compare and Contrast: Frances Wright and Harriet Martineau
  • In what ways was communal experimentation connected to various forms of evangelical millennialism?
  • Who was Robert Owen?
  • Who was Frances Trollope?
  • Explain and Expand: “persuaded Parliament to make the Atlantic slave trade illegal”
  • Explain and Expand: “American opposition to slavery owed a good deal to encouragement from overseas.”
  • Who was Maria Weston Chapman?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

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 4: The Reach Of Government And The Authority Of Law Spread Across The Western Country (Part 2) :: The Trans-Appalachian Frontier By Malcolm J. Rohrbough

This part begins with Louisiana and the Orleans territory

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Governor Claiborne thought the people of Louisiana wealthy and generally honest but “uninformed, indolent, luxurious—in a word, illy fitted to be useful citizens of the Republic.””
  • “I fear the trial by Jury, the introduction of oral testimony, the Admission of Attorneys &c will illy comport with the former habits of the People, and that the Court, (as I have been) will be accused by the designing few, of making injurious innovations on the Spanish Law.”
  • “Their choice in form and details notably restricted expressions of the popular will. If the transfer to the United States had introduced a measure of universal white male suffrage, the expressed use of this right under the new constitution would be limited.”

Thought Questions

  • Describe the beginning evolution of the general area of the Louisiana and Orleans territory prior to the Louisiana Purchase
  • In what ways was Louisiana the “exception” to territorial development?
  • What were the most significant aspects of the Louisiana Purchase (other than simply size)
  • Who was William Charles Cole Claiborne and what was his significance to territorial development in the old Southwest
  • What was the Territory of Orleans? What was the territory of Louisiana? How did they evolve prior to statehood?
  • How were the District of Arkansas and the Territory of North Louisiana formed?
  • How was the Territory of Arkansaw (later Arkansas Territory) established?
  • What misunderstanding did American officials persist with in regards to the Louisiana Territory?
  • Explain and Expand: “Remonstrance of the People of Louisiana against the Political System Adopted by Congress for Them.”
  • Explain and Expand: “Governor Claiborne attempted both to carry out his instructions from Washington and, at the same time, to placate the residents of Louisiana.”
  • React and Respond: “Indians were largely ignored except where they made trouble.”
  • In what ways did slavery and the New Orleans slave trade impact the organization of Lousiana
  • Compare and Contrast: the county and township structure and the duties apportioned to various units of government between Louisiana and the territories created under the Northwest Ordinance
  • What was the “police jury”?
  • Explain and Expand: “A basic concern of all parishes, all police juries, and the government of the territory itself was control of the slave population.”
  • Affirm or Refute: “This twenty years of growth in the West was remarkable for national expansion through diplomacy” from a non-European perspective
  • Who was William Henry Harrison and how did he impact relations between the United States and Native Americans
  • Explain and Expand: the relationship between the institution of slavery and William Henry Harrison
  • Explain and Expand: “The War of 1812, brought on in part by the perceived connection between Indian depredations and British advisors moving south from Canada, intersected with the attractive opportunity to seize Canada while the British were occupied in a life and death struggle against Napoleon Bonaparte in Europe.”

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

The American Early Republic and Frontier Era History

Chapter 4: The Reach of Government and the Authority of Law Spread across the Western Country (Part 1) :: The Trans-Appalachian Frontier by Malcolm J. Rohrbough

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Government now often preceded settlement, and it helped to prepare for and to accelerate the arrival of settlers.”
  • “Negotiations with Indian groups were always directed toward smoothing the way for further Anglo-American occupation of Indian lands”
  • “Murder & Manslaughter are now the common topicks of the day.”
  • “stones, lime, brick, timber, mechanical work, labor, or hauling, or any kind of country produce which can or may be exchanged for cash.”
  • “From the beginning of his governorship, Sargent moved to tighten control over the slave population. … Under Sargent’s Code and other legal codes on the trans-Appalachian frontier, the privileges and responsibilities of the common law applied solely to the white population.”
  • “In spite of the formal titles, the courts were often informal. At the local level, where justice courts were the basic instruments of law, the judge (or justice) was generally a man without formal legal training but, it was hoped, an individual of much common sense and strong integrity.”
  • “At the first session of the Dearborn County (Indiana) Court a recalcitrant witness, tired of being admonished to speak to the subject, seized a board and swung at the judge’s head. The judge warded off the blow with his arm, which was broken by the act. All present, especially the judge, agreed that the act was in contempt of court. The judge ordered the witness jailed, but there was no jail, so the guilty party was bound hand and foot and “laid along the ground and a section of worm fence was built up over him, the lower rail just touching his neck.” Here he was left for several hours to ponder his intemperate action.”
  • “Within the basic framework of the territorial system, the most dramatic exceptions to every rule of government and law lay within Louisiana.”

Thought Questions

  • Explain and Expand: “Between the diplomatic landmarks of 1794–95 and the close of the war in 1815, affairs in the western country at every level bore the imprint of government. Its overwhelming influence seemed to contradict the very premise of the West: that is to say, that by moving to the West, settler families could find rich resources free of outside influence.”
  • What was the significance of the Land Ordinance of 1795 and the Northwest Ordinance?
  • Compare and Contrast: The motivations and goals of territorial government in the Northwest and Southwest
  • Describe the State of Franklin (Frankland[sic])
  • React and Respond: “This act was both unexpected and, in the end, endlessly far-reaching in its implications.”
  • What were some of the questions raised about the role and institutions of government in/by the territories?
  • In what ways did the territories expose new questions about the institutions and role of government?
  • Explain and Expand: “The arriving representatives of the American national government trod lightly in the new institutional setting, while, at the same time, they remained firm about their intention of making Louisiana “American” in every sense of the word.”
  • Describe the evolution of the Creole community of Louisiana
  • Explain and Expand: “What kinds of compromises must and could be made among the dominant Anglo-Americans and the long-established Creoles who thought American freedom and democracy would preserve the status quo in their lives?”
  • Explain and Expand: “And how could this mix be grafted onto the context of continuous spread of government and law across the frontier?”
  • Describe the evolution of the territory of Louisiana and the territory of Orleans
  • What were the different levels of territorial government and how did each impact individual settlers and individual settlements?
  • Describe the structure and function of the different levels within the territorial court system
  • Explain and Expand: “As the War of 1812 approached, relations with the Indians were more frequently of a military nature.”
  • Explain and Expand: “As in the earlier period, the organized militia continued to give form to the largely unorganized and widely scattered communities.”
  • What was the structure and function of militias within the territories?
  • Explain and Expand: “Finally, frontier violence took the form of brutality of master toward slave, and, on a larger level, the need to use the institutions and authority of government to control a growing slave population.”
  • Explain and Expand: “The most significant government for the largest number of people on the trans-Appalachian frontier was at the county level.”
  • Describe the typical income and expenditures of the territorial county
  • Explain and Expand: “He first adopted the English common law for the Mississippi Territory. Sir William Blackstone and Lord Mansfield became the authorities cited by lawyers before the bar. The territorial judges drew their inspiration—insofar as their decisions could be called inspired—from the same sources. Local circumstances forced the modification and simplification of some English forms, but the courts accepted the general principles of the applicability of the common law, along with the English principle of equity.”
  • Who was Winthrop Sargent and what was “Sargent’s Code”?
  • What role did slave control and repression play in the development of territorial laws and codes?
  • What was the “Republic of West Florida”?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

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

Primary Source Documents

John Quincy Adams – Inaugural Address – March 4, 1825

In compliance with an usage coeval with the existence of our Federal Constitution, and sanctioned by the example of my predecessors in the career upon which I am about to enter, I appear, my fellow-citizens, in your presence and in that of Heaven to bind myself by the solemnities of religious obligation to the faithful performance of the duties allotted to me in the station to which I have been called.

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Primary Source Document

John Quincy Adams – Fourth Annual Message December 2, 1828

Fellow Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

If the enjoyment in profusion of the bounties of Providence forms a suitable subject of mutual gratulation and grateful acknowledgment, we are admonished at this return of the season when the representatives of the nation are assembled to deliberate upon their concerns to offer up the tribute of fervent and grateful hearts for the never failing mercies of Him who ruleth over all. He has again favored us with healthful seasons and abundant harvests; He has sustained us in peace with foreign countries and in tranquillity within our borders; He has preserved us in the quiet and undisturbed possession of civil and religious liberty; He has crowned the year with His goodness, imposing on us no other condition than of improving for our own happiness the blessings bestowed by His hands, and, in the fruition of all His favors, of devoting his faculties with which we have been endowed by Him to His glory and to our own temporal and eternal welfare.

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Primary Source Document

John Quincy Adams – Third Annual Message – December 4, 1827

Fellow Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

A revolution of the seasons has nearly been completed since the representatives of the people and States of this Union were last assembled at this place to deliberate and to act upon the common important interests of their constituents. In that interval the never slumbering eye of a wise and beneficent Providence has continued its guardian care over the welfare of our beloved country; the blessing of health has continued generally to prevail throughout the land; the blessing of peace with our brethren of the human race has been enjoyed without interruption; internal quiet has left our fellow citizens in the full enjoyment of all their rights and in the free exercise of all their faculties, to pursue the impulse of their nature and the obligation of their duty in the improvement of their own condition; the productions of the soil, the exchanges of commerce, the vivifying labors of human industry, have combined to mingle in our cup a portion of enjoyment as large and liberal as the indulgence of Heaven has perhaps ever granted to the imperfect state of man upon earth; and as the purest of human felicity consists in its participation with others, it is no small addition to the sum of our national happiness at this time that peace and prosperity prevail to a degree seldom experienced over the whole habitable globe, presenting, though as yet with painful exceptions, a foretaste of that blessed period of promise when the lion shall lie down with the lamb and wars shall be no more.

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Primary Source Documents

John Quincy Adams – Second Annual Message – December 5, 1826

Fellow Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

The assemblage of the representatives of our Union in both Houses of the Congress at this time occurs under circumstances calling for the renewed homage of our grateful acknowledgments to the Giver of All Good. With the exceptions incidental to the most felicitous condition of human existence, we continue to be highly favored in all the elements which contribute to individual comfort and to national prosperity. In the survey of our extensive country we have generally to observe abodes of health and regions of plenty. In our civil and political relations we have peace without and tranquillity within our borders. We are, as a people, increasing with unabated rapidity in population, wealth, and national resources, and whatever differences of opinion exist among us with regard to the mode and the means by which we shall turn the beneficence of Heaven to the improvement of our own condition, there is yet a spirit animating us all which will not suffer the bounties of Providence to be showered upon us in vain, but will receive them with grateful hearts, and apply them with unwearied hands to the advancement of the general good.

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Primary Source Document

John Quincy Adams – First Annual Message – December 6, 1825

Fellow Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:

In taking a general survey of the concerns of our beloved country, with reference to subjects interesting to the common welfare, the first sentiment which impresses itself upon the mind is of gratitude to the Omnipotent Disposer of All Good for the continuance of the signal blessings of His providence, and especially for that health which to an unusual extent has prevailed within our borders, and for that abundance which in the vicissitudes of the seasons has been scattered with profusion over our land. Nor ought we less to ascribe to Him the glory that we are permitted to enjoy the bounties of His hand in peace and tranquillity — in peace with all the other nations of the earth, in tranquillity among our selves. There has, indeed, rarely been a period in the history of civilized man in which the general condition of the Christian nations has been marked so extensively by peace and prosperity.

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Primary Source Document

The Land Ordinance of 1785


An Ordinance for ascertaining the mode of disposing of Lands in the Western Territory.

Be it ordained by the United States in Congress assembled, that the territory ceded by individual States to the United States, which has been purchased of the Indian inhabitants, shall be disposed of in the following manner:

A surveyor from each state shall be appointed by Congress, or a committee of the States, who shall take an Oath for the faithful discharge of his duty, before the Geographer of the United States, who is hereby empowered and directed to administer the same; and the like oath shall be administered to each chain carrier, by the surveyor under whom he acts. Read more

American Frontier

The Trans-Appalachian Frontier :: Chapter 3: Security and Stability in the Territory Northwest of the Ohio

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “neither did he care from whom they came, for he was determined to hold his possession.” The reporting officer continued, “And if I should destroy his house he would build six more in the course of a week.”
  • “When thus far removed from the country, that gave us birth, from our friends and from the influence of the government of any state,” they declared, “we esteem it one of the greatest blessings, that we can have civil government established among us, which is the only foundation for the enjoyment of life, of liberty and of property.”

Thought Questions

  • What was the region known as “The Ohio Country”? What were the significant geographic features of this region?
  • Compare and Contrast the European search for security and stability in the Ohio Country with the process in Kentucky and Tennessee
  • Describe the impact European settlement had on Native Americans in the Ohio Country
  • Why was settlement slowed in the Ohio Country compared with Kentucky and Tennessee?
  • Who were the Native Americans that inhabited the Ohio Country around 1790?
  • Define the regions known commonly as “The Old Northwest” and “The Old Southwest”
  • Who was Arthur St. Clair and what were his functions over time in the Ohio Country?
  • What were the “two pressing problems” Arthur St. Clair needed to address?
  • What role did the French play in the American occupation of the Ohio Country and the Southwest?
  • How did the Northwest Ordinance facilitate settlement in the Ohio Country?
  • How did the Northwest Ordinance facilitate the establishment of government in the Ohio Country?
  • Describe the evolution of government (executive, judicial and legislative) in the Ohio country
  • How did British-American relations impact American – Native American relations?
  • What was the Ohio Company? Compare and Contrast the Ohio Country with the early colonial settlements such as Jamestown and Maryland
  • Compare and Contrast the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 with the Southwest Ordinance of 1790. How did they address the issue of slavery in the territories? How did they address the issue of Native Americans in the territories?
  • Describe the process of agricultural and commercial development in the Ohio Country? What role did Native Americans, African Slaves and French colonials play in this development?

Primary Sources

Articles and Resources

Collections

Further Reading

Week 3 :: Trans-Appalachian Frontier: People, Societies, and Institutions, 1775-1850 by Malcolm J. Rohrbough Chapter 2: The Search for Stability

 

Note: Chapter 2: Common Roads in the volume: The Transportation Revolution by George R. Taylor compliments this chapter well 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “The two conditions were not mutually exclusive but often overlapped, or the second followed so closely on the first as to be indistinguishable from it.”
  • “Tobacco, Hemp, Wheat, beef, Pork, Hempseed, Flax, Hog’s Lard, Peltry, Bees wax, Hog’s Bristles, or Cash— They will contract (on generous terms) for the ensuing crop of Hemp. They want immediately to employ a number of men that understands Boat building. Also two good Coopers that understands either right work or flour barrels, and great wages will be given to a Miller who can come well recommended.” 

Thought Questions

  • Compare and Contrast the goals and methods of settlers in the “search for stability” with the settlers during the “struggle for security” 
  • What was the “pioneering cycle”?
  • Describe the process by which settlers created government, social and economic institutions in the early trans-Appalachian frontier to establish stability?
  • Describe the roles members of the settler family assumed on the early trans-Appalachian frontier?
  • Compare and Contrast the role family members played in trans-Appalachia with those of the preceding generation in eastern Appalachia 
  • Describe the living environment created by the Mississippi-Ohio-Cumberland-Kentucky river system? How did Native Americans live in this environment? How did settlers live in this environment?
  • Compare and Contrast the living circumstances of Native Americans and trans-Appalachian settlers
  • How did the transition from survival / subsistence farming to cash farming in the trans-Appalachian frontier?
  • Describe the economic circumstances and norms in early trans-Appalachia 
  • What impact did environmental changes and the replacement of wild animals by domestic animals impact Native Americans?
  • Where is the area known as “The Kentucky Bluegrass and the Cumberland Basin”?
  • What circumstances led to the development of plantations south of the Ohio river and farms north of the Ohio river? 
  • How did the trans Appalachian frontier reflect changes in the 1780s in the broader American society?

Further Reading

Week 2 :: Trans-Appalachian Frontier: People, Societies, and Institutions, 1775-1850 by Malcolm J. Rohrbough  Chapter 1: The Struggle for Security

 

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “April satd first [1775] this morning there is ice at our camp half inch thick we Start Early & travel this Day along a verey Bad hilley way cross one creek whear the horses almost got Mired Some fell in & all wet their loads we cross Clinch River & travell till late in the Night & camp on cove creek…. tuesday 11th this is a very loury morning & like for Rain But we all agree to Start Early we Cross Cumberland River & travel Down it about 10 miles through Some turrabel Cainbrakes as we went down abrams mair Ran into the River with Her load & Swam over he followd her & got on her & made her Swim Back agin it is a very Raney Eavening we take up camp near Richland Creek they Kill a Beef Mr Drake Bakes Bread with out Washing his hands we Keep Sentry this Night for fear of the indians.”
  • “began to discover the pleasing and rapturous appearance of the plains of Kentucky.” So wrote Felix Walker, another 1775 immigrant. Walker wrote of “a sight so delightful to our view and grateful to our feelings, almost inclined us, in imitation of Columbus, in transport to kiss the soil of Kentucky, as he hailed and saluted the sand on his first setting his foot on the shores of America.” 
  • “Regimental musters twice yearly and company musters quarterly were a center of political activity. The law specified that members of militia companies should elect their own officers, and many who had failed to meet the property qualifications for suffrage in one of the older colonies (later states) were given their first opportunity to cast a ballot or run for office. In Kentucky, early militia companies became designated units of political representation. As an example, each militia company elected one delegate to the Danville Convention of 1784. Militia activities also had a social dimension, for musters were the largest gathering of people on the transAppalachian frontiers until the great religious revivals at the turn of the century. They often coincided with court day, and after drills men would gather in small groups to play at politics, swap horses, engage in rough and tumble, debate the leading questions of the day (the price of land, crops, and slaves), or simply exchange news.”
  • “This limitation meant that Indian raiding parties could retire north of the Ohio River without risk of pursuit. This issue was one of several driving the Kentucky settlements toward independence from Virginia. In the face of these institutional and financial restrictions, private military organizations in the form of local volunteer units appeared to play a shadowy role in the early years of the transAppalachian settlements. Their establishment arose from the militia’s apparent inability to cope with the wideranging nature of Indian warfare. Confronted by sudden raids, the militia often seemed slow and clumsy in response. Private military groups, however, operated spontaneously and without the restraints of the militia or the restrictions imposed by Virginia. In their independence from higher authority and their singleminded determination for vengeance, they were highly motivated and fought well. ” 

Thought Questions

  • How did the early settlers of Kentucky and Tennessee define security?
  • In what ways did the early settlers of Kentucky and Tennessee try to create security? 
  • Describe the major river systems, mountain ranges and regions of Kentucky and its surrounding area
  • How does the Ohio River form a political boundary for Kentucky and an economic highway and nexus for the wider region and sections?
  • What is the Cumberland Gap?
  • How are the Ohio, Kentucky, Cumberland, Watuga and Tennessee Rivers connected into a river transportation network?
  • How did the river network impact the course of settlement in Kentucky and Tennessee?
  • Describe the political geography of the “Territory South of the River Ohio” or the Southwest Territory?
  • Describe the variety of experiences Native Americans faced when confronted with colonial settlers moving into the Kentucky / Tennessee area? 
  • How did the fur trade impact the colonial settlement of the Kentucky / Tennessee region?
  • Describe the natural resources of the trans-Appalachian region that made the area a draw to settlement
  • How did American pressure from the East and Native American pressure from the North impact the Native Americans of Kentucky and Tennessee?
  • What were the “common interests” and circumstances that created connections between American settlers and Native Americans in the trans-Appalachian frontier?
  • Describe the relationship between the “Mountain Men” and land speculators
  • What was the Transylvania Colony?
  • What area in the trans-Appalachian region is known as the “Blue Grass Region” and what are its characteristics?
  • Describe the establishment of the Kentucky territory and how it impacted the Transylvania Colony?
  • Describe the two stages of the occupation of western North Carolina
  • Compare and Contrast the settlement of the Kentucky territory with the settlement of the Tennessee region and the relationship between the two
  • What were the Watauga-Holston settlements?
  • Describe the significance of John Sevier of Tennessee
  • Describe the transition from a fur trading stage of exploration to the farming stage of settlement in Kentucky and Tennessee
  • Compare and Contrast the settlement environment of Kentucky and Tennessee 
  • Describe the “pioneering cycle” 
  • Who was John Breckenridge and how would his family become significant in the history of Kentucky? 

Articles and References

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 8: Democracy in America and American Notes

Week 8: Chapter 10: “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 17)

Response / Thought Quotes

Democracy In America: “Some Considerations Concerning The Present State And Probable Future Of The Three Races That Inhabit The Territory Of The United States”

  • “America exemplifies something more than an immense and consummate democracy. There is more than one way to look at the peoples that inhabit the New World.”
  • “These two unfortunate races have in common neither birth, appearance, language, nor mores; they are alike only in their misfortunes, equal in their inferiority in the land they inhabit. Both suffer the effects of tyranny, and while their miseries are different, both can blame those miseries on the same tyrant.”
  • “Plunged into this abyss of woe, the Negro scarcely feels his affliction. Violence made him a slave, but habituation to servitude has given him the thoughts and ambitions of one. He admires his tyrants even more than he hates them and finds his joy and his pride in servile imitation of his oppressors.”
  • “European tyranny attenuated the North American Indians’ feeling for their native land, dispersed their families, obscured their traditions, severed the chain of memory, changed their habits, and increased their needs immeasurably, making them less disciplined and civilized than they were before. Meanwhile, the tribes’ moral and physical condition grew steadily worse, and their barbarity kept pace with their wretchedness. Yet Europeans were not able to change the character of the Indians entirely, and though they had the power to destroy them, they were never able to reduce them to order and obedience.”
  • “The Negro exists at the ultimate extreme of servitude, the Indian at the outer limits of freedom. The effects of slavery on the former are scarcely more disastrous than those of independence on the latter.”
  • “But there was something particularly touching in the scene just described: here a bond of affection united the oppressed to the oppressors, and nature, in striving to bring them together, made the vast distance that prejudices and laws had placed between them even more striking.” 

Democracy in America “The Present And Probable Future Condition Of The Indian Tribes That Inhabit The Territory Possessed By The Union”

  • These savages did not simply retreat; they were destroyed.2 As the Indians withdrew and died, a vast and steadily growing people came to take their place. Never has such a prodigious development been seen among the nations of the world, nor such a rapid destruction.
  • “Europeans introduced the natives of North America to firearms, iron, and whiskey.”
  • “In the hope of escaping their many enemies, they split up. Each new arrival went off by himself to search stealthily for the means to stay alive, living in the immensity of the wilderness as an outlaw lives in civilized society. The social bond, long since weakened, now broke. Already these migrants had no homeland, and soon they ceased to constitute a people.”
  • “Toward the end of 1831, I found myself on the east bank of the Mississippi, at the place the Europeans call Memphis. During the time I was there, a large band of Choctaws arrived (the French of Louisiana call them Choctas). These savages had left their native land and were trying to make their way across to the west bank of the Mississippi, where they hoped to find the refuge promised them by the American government. It was then the heart of winter, and the cold that year was unusually bitter. The snow on the ground had frozen, and enormous chunks of ice floated on the river. The Indians traveled in families. Among them were the wounded and the sick, newborn infants, and dying elders. They had neither tents nor wagons, only scant provisions and some weapons. I watched them embark for the voyage across the great river, and the memory of that solemn spectacle will stay with me forever.”
  • “The evils enumerated above are great, and to me they seem irreparable. I believe that the Indian race in North America is doomed, and I cannot help thinking that by the time Europeans have settled the Pacific coast, it will have ceased to exist.”
  • “The Indian, in the depths of his sylvan misery, thus nurses the same ideas and the same opinions as the medieval nobleman in his fortified castle, and all he needs to end up resembling him is to become a conqueror. Indeed, it is remarkable that the old prejudices of Europe are found today in the forests of the New World rather than among the Europeans who inhabit its shores.”
  • “When I note the resemblance between the political institutions of our ancestors, the Germanic tribes, and those of the roving tribes of North America, between the customs described by Tacitus and those that I was able to witness from time to time, I cannot help thinking that the same cause produced the same effects in both hemispheres and that in the midst of the apparent diversity of human things it is not impossible to find a small number of basic facts from which all others derive. In what we call Germanic institutions, therefore, I am tempted to see nothing other than barbarian habits, just as I am tempted to see the opinions of savages in what we call feudal ideas.”
  • “Washington, in one of his messages to Congress, said: “We are more enlightened and more powerful than the Indian nations. It is for us a matter of honor to treat them with kindness and even generosity.” This noble and virtuous policy has not been adhered to.”
  • “The Spaniards, despite acts of unparalleled monstrousness that left them indelibly covered with shame, were unable to exterminate the Indian race or even prevent the Indians from sharing their rights. The Americans of the United States achieved both results with marvelous ease, quietly, legally, philanthropically, without bloodshed, without violating a single one of the great principles of morality29 in the eyes of the world. To destroy human beings with greater respect for the laws of humanity would be impossible.” 

“Slavery” American Notes by Charles Dickens (Chapter 17)

  • “The third, and not the least numerous or influential, is composed of all that delicate gentility which cannot bear a superior, and cannot brook an equal; of that class whose Republicanism means, ‘I will not tolerate a man above me: and of those below, none must approach too near;’ whose pride, in a land where voluntary servitude is shunned as a disgrace, must be ministered to by slaves; and whose inalienable rights can only have their growth in negro wrongs.”
  • “Slavery is not a whit the more endurable because some hearts are to be found which can partially resist its hardening influences; nor can the indignant tide of honest wrath stand still, because in its onward course it overwhelms a few who are comparatively innocent, among a host of guilty.”
  • “But again: this class, together with that last one I have named, the miserable aristocracy spawned of a false republic, lift up their voices and exclaim ‘Public opinion is all-sufficient to prevent such cruelty as you denounce.’ Public opinion! Why, public opinion in the slave States is slavery, is it not? Public opinion, in the slave States, has delivered the slaves over, to the gentle mercies of their masters. Public opinion has made the laws, and denied the slaves legislative protection. Public opinion has knotted the lash, heated the branding-iron, loaded the rifle, and shielded the murderer. Public opinion threatens the abolitionist with death, if he venture to the South; and drags him with a rope about his middle, in broad unblushing noon, through the first city in the East. Public opinion has, within a few years, burned a slave alive at a slow fire in the city of St. Louis; and public opinion has to this day maintained upon the bench that estimable judge who charged the jury, impanelled there to try his murderers, that their most horrid deed was an act of public opinion, and being so, must not be punished by the laws the public sentiment had made. Public opinion hailed this doctrine with a howl of wild applause, and set the prisoners free, to walk the city, men of mark, and influence, and station, as they had been before.”
  • “‘Cash for negroes,’‘cash for negroes,’‘cash for negroes,’ is the heading of advertisements in great capitals down the long columns of the crowded journals. Woodcuts of a runaway negro with manacled hands, crouching beneath a bluff pursuer in top boots, who, having caught him, grasps him by the throat, agreeably diversify the pleasant text. The leading article protests against ‘that abominable and hellish doctrine of abolition, which is repugnant alike to every law of God and nature.’ The delicate mamma, who smiles her acquiescence in this sprightly writing as she reads the paper in her cool piazza, quiets her youngest child who clings about her skirts, by promising the boy ‘a whip to beat the little niggers with.’—But the negroes, little and big, are protected by public opinion.”
  • “What! shall we declaim against the ignorant peasantry of Ireland, and mince the matter when these American taskmasters are in question? Shall we cry shame on the brutality of those who hamstring cattle: and spare the lights of Freedom upon earth who notch the ears of men and women, cut pleasant posies in the shrinking flesh, learn to write with pens of red-hot iron on the human face, rack their poetic fancies for liveries of mutilation which their slaves shall wear for life and carry to the grave, breaking living limbs as did the soldiery who mocked and slew the Saviour of the world, and set defenceless creatures up for targets! Shall we whimper over legends of the tortures practised on each other by the Pagan Indians, and smile upon the cruelties of Christian men! Shall we, so long as these things last, exult above the scattered remnants of that race, and triumph in the white enjoyment of their possessions? Rather, for me, restore the forest and the Indian village; in lieu of stars and stripes, let some poor feather flutter in the breeze; replace the streets and squares by wigwams; and though the death-song of a hundred haughty warriors fill the air, it will be music to the shriek of one unhappy slave.” 

Next week we will continue reading “What God Hath Wrought” Chapter 5 

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 4 :: Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville Chapter 3 and 4

Thought Questions

  • Our main book “What Hath God Wrought” is centered around the theme of transformation. How does Alexis de Tocqueville reflect this theme in Chapter 3-4?

Response / Thought Quotes

  • “Many important remarks could be made about the social state of the Anglo-Americans, but one stands out above all the rest. The social state of the Americans is eminently democratic. It has had this character since the birth of the colonies; it has it even more today.”
  • “In America, however, it is not only fortunes that are equal; equality extends to some degree to intelligence itself. I do not think that there is any other country in the world where, as a proportion of the population, the ignorant are so few and the learned still fewer. Primary education is within the reach of everyone; higher education is within the reach of virtually no one.”
  • “The principle of the sovereignty of the people, which to some extent always underlies nearly all human institutions, is ordinarily wrapped in obscurity. People obey it without recognizing it; if light should chance briefly to fall on it, they are quick to relegate it to the darkness of the sanctuary.”
  • “Then came the American Revolution. The dogma of popular sovereignty emerged from the towns and took possession of the government. All classes enlisted in its cause. People fought and triumphed in its name. It became the law of laws”
  • “There are other countries in which force is divided, being placed at once inside society and outside it. Nothing of the kind exists in the United States. There, society acts by itself and on itself. No power exists but within its bosom. Virtually no one is to be found who dares to conceive, much less to express, the idea of seeking power from another source.” 

Next week we will continue reading “What Hath God Wrought” in Chapter 2

 

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