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Period IV: The Growing Economy, The American System and The 'Era of Good Feelings'

  • Henry Clay’s “American System” included protective tariffs, national bank, & internal improvements
  • Clay’s plan was established and the economy grew & a nationwide network of roads & waterways was established
  • Tariff of 1816--first protective tariff in US history
  • First mill set up: Boston Manufacturing Company, a textile mill in Waltham, MA
  • With the spread of cotton came plantations & slavery; 4 states were admitted to the union from 1816-1819: IN, MS, IL, AL
  • Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819: Spain ceded all of FL to the U.S. & gave up its claim to territory north of the 42nd parallel in the Pacific NW; U.S. gave up its claim to Texas
  • Missouri Compromise: ME came in as a free state; MO came into Union as a slave state: north of 36˚ 30’ parallel slavery was prohibited and allowed south of 36˚ 30’
  • Throughout the rest of Madison’s admin, he worked to promote growth yet he remained true to his Democratic-Republican principles & extended federal authority judiciously

Period IV: The Growing Economy, The American System and The 'Era of Good Feelings'

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • Overview 0:08
  • The Growing Economy 2:32
    • Manufacturing Increased
    • The Bank of the U.S.
    • Building of a National Network of Roads and Waterways
    • Tariff of 1816
  • Transportation System Improvements 6:01
    • Potomac River to the Ohio River
    • President Madison
  • Conestoga Wagon 8:25
  • Henry Clay's American System 8:35
    • Protective Tariffs
    • National Bank
    • Internal Improvements
  • The Panic of 1819 9:56
    • The First Major Financial Panic
    • Tight Credit Policy
    • Debt Increased Sharply
  • Westward Expansion 11:14
    • The Population Doubled
    • The Factor System
  • The Plantation System in the Southwest 13:17
    • Black Belt
    • Cotton Plantations and Slavery
    • Four States Admitted to the Union
  • Trade and Trapping in the Far West 15:45
    • Mexico Gained Independence
    • U.S. Traders
    • Jedediah Smith
  • Exploration of the West 18:03
    • Plattee
    • The Great American Desert
  • James Monroe 19:13
    • Virginia Dynasty
    • John Quincy Adams
    • John C. Calhoun
  • John Quincy Adams and Florida 21:04
    • A Committed Nationalist
    • Negotiations with Spain
    • Andrew Jackson
    • Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819
  • Adams-Onis Treaty 24:02
  • Sectional Conflicts 24:57
    • The Extension of Slavery
    • The Tallmadge Amendment
  • Missouri Compromise 27:14
    • A Free State
    • A Slave State
  • MO Compromise 28:29
  • Example 1 30:16
  • Example 2 31:53

Transcription: Period IV: The Growing Economy, The American System and The 'Era of Good Feelings'

Welcome back to

This lesson is about the growing economy, the American System, and the era of good feelings.0002

In this segment, we are going to be focusing on what is happening in the economy, post War of 1812.0012

We are going to see a huge growth in manufacturing sector.0021

With that, transportation is going to improve tremendously which will also help the economy.0027

We are going to see the introduction of protectionist laws.0033

The first protectionist law will be put into place.0037

We will also see the implementation of the American system.0039

We will see the U.S. government will be investing in its infrastructure, set up national road.0049

We will also see western expansion will continue along with an increase in population.0055

With that westward expansion, we will see sectional issues starting to rise more and more,0063

as states must decide whether they will be slave or free.0069

This will be a huge concern for members in Congress who are concerned about the balance of power,0074

and whether slavery will be extended or expanded into the territories or not.0081

We will see one of the first major compromises over slavery will be accomplished in 1820,0087

which will temporarily deal with the problem concerning slavery for about 30 years,0095

which will hold things off until things come to a head once again, and will eventually go to war over the slavery issue.0105

Let us continue, we will also see the expansion of cotton plantations into the deep south.0115

We will also see some exploration and trade expanding,0124

and fur trapping becoming a profitable enterprise for many people in the far west.0130

And then, we will also talk about James Madison becoming president, and during the era of good feelings.0143

Let us get started, as I was saying in the introduction, we are going to see some major improvements in the economy.0152

Manufacturing increased during the War of 1812 because imports were cut off.0160

Even though, it did not help the global trade situation,0167

we are going to see that the United States does look inward and expand its capabilities, in terms of manufacturing.0171

We will also see that the bank of the United States was reestablished.0179

We will also see that the U.S. government will follow a protectionist policy, instituting tariffs.0184

That is going to be a way that the Federal government is going to try to shape the economy,0191

and try to promote local businesses in the United States.0197

Then, we are also going to see the call for building of a nationwide network of roads and waterways,0204

that will obviously help facilitate trade.0212

It will help facilitate migration to the west, and also to the southeast, and even in to the southwest, eventually,0214

and into the midwest, what we call the midwest today.0226

We will also see the Congress will be actively promoting manufacturing,0229

by passing a protective law that will help limit overseas competition, especially in terms of cotton cloth.0234

That particular tariff that is very famous you should be aware of the tariff of 1816, the first protective tariff in U.S. history.0243

That is very significant.0253

Along those same lines, we will see that textile mills will become an important investment and part of this economy.0255

The first mill was setup.0264

Great Britain had initiated these early textile mills.0267

And now the United States is following suit.0272

The first mill was set up in Boston, Boston Manufacturing Company in Massachusetts.0275

Sometimes you will see the term Lowell-Waltham system.0284

This was a very famous system where these textile mills would recruit a lot of young ladies from farming regions and put them to work.0288

They could pay them pretty low wages but it was income for the family.0300

They would actually house them in dormitories that were very close to the factory.0307

And in many ways, this will become an important model for other factories to come.0311

After a while, we will start to see that immigrant groups will replace women,0319

and young girls who are in their teens, ultimately, placed them as the labor force.0325

Throughout the rest of Madison's administration, we will see that he will continue to work for growth,0337

yet he remained true to his democratic republican principles and extended Federal authority judiciously.0344

He is staying true to his limited Federal government approach, wanting to limit the Federal government’s emphasis.0354

Let us talk about transportation improvements.0370

We are going to see the Federal government will help to finance a national road from the Potomac River to the Ohio River,0372

tying these two regions together.0379

It began in 1811 and was completed in 1818.0381

We will see various vehicles of the time will be utilized on these early roads, stagecoaches,0386

the Conestoga wagons which I have a picture of, in a minute, private carriages, and other vehicles, cattle droves.0394

This was the traffic at the time, in the early 1800’s.0402

There were high tolls but transport for businesses was effective.0407

This helped to grow the economy in a major way.0413

Later on, we will also talk about the other major waterways that will be built.0417

But I will bring them up now, introduce them.0422

We will see steamboats will be very important.0424

Some of the first steamboats like the Claremont will be important in the Hudson River,0431

that was developed by Robert Fulton, and will be used for travel.0439

That will be other means of transportation during the early 1800’s.0445

We will also see some of the first railroads being built, which will also help facilitate trade and travel.0450

That is going to help the United States grow.0457

We are going to see immigrant groups are going to continue to come.0462

That is going to facilitate expansion, growth, and tons of opportunities for making money.0465

We will see that the president at the time, Madison, called for building more roads and canals0475

but he did not want the Federal government to have to pay the bill.0482

He believed that this should be left to the states, the private sector to build.0488

He then disowned the bonus bill that was spent, sponsored by representative Calhoun of South Carolina.0493

Here is an example of a Conestoga wagon.0507

This was a means of transport for many people in the early 1800’s.0511

A little bit more about Henry Clay's American system.0517

Henry Clay, who was a leader of the house, devised a plan.0524

This was very significant, called the American system, involve protective tariffs, a national bank, and internal improvements.0527

Two out of the three parts were in place in 1816.0537

But Madison, and we will see Monroe, his successor, objected that the constitution did not explicitly provide for the spending of Federal money on roads and canals.0540

Very strict interpretation of the constitution.0553

Henry Clay believed that it was the Federal government's job to help invest in this system.0559

Monroe, however, who will come after Madison, could consistently veto acts to Congress0568

that provided funds for road building and canal building projects.0575

It was therefore left to individual states to invest in internal improvements, so limited success.0579

But we are going to see to a great extent that there are major improvements, in terms of infrastructure and transportation.0588

However, the era of good feelings, we will see once Monroe, he actually goes on a tour and stops in, after he is elected.0598

It is declared that this is an era of good feelings because this is the post War of 1812 era, and we are in a time of peace.0612

However, we are going to see some major challenges economically, first of all, with the panic of 1819.0621

This is pretty important because it was the first major financial panic, since the late 1780’s.0630

It occurred mainly because the second bank of the United States had a tight credit policy.0638

It did this because it was trying to control inflation.0644

But as a result, it had a snowball effect on other banks, at the local level.0648

Many state banks closed and unemployment resulted.0654

There are lots of bankruptcies and many people went into debt,0660

and as a result, were imprisoned for the debts that they owed.0664

This was not such a good feeling during the era of good feelings.0670

Kind of talking about some demographic changes and what was happening with Native Americans,0678

as well as what was happening with the economy, we are seeing that population will continue to grow.0685

Between 1800-1820, population in fact, doubled.0692

The west became more attractive for people to migrate to.0697

We will see immigrant groups will be lured to this region because land is relatively cheap and accessible.0702

Native Americans will continue to resist, but looking that this is inevitable,0710

that white Americans are continuing to encroach upon these lands.0718

Native Americans continued to be pushed westward due to unfair treaties.0723

The factor system was also created where government agent supplied the tribes with goods at cost.0728

This will help drive Canadian traders out of the Great Lakes region in the upper Mississippi valley.0735

This will have a profound effect on the economy.0743

There will be major political effects as well.0747

As we see more and more people moving into those regions, they will eventually want to declare statehood.0751

And then, they will have to decide whether they will extend slavery.0757

Slavery will be part of that states reality or not.0761

Everything is kind of up in the air and is at stake here.0767

Again, kind of going back to that Hamiltonian vision or that Jeffersonian vision,0773

whether we are going to see these plantation societies continuing to expand to the west,0778

or are we going to see this commercial industrial type of economy expand to the west.0786

This is what at stake.0794

Ultimately, the balance of power in Congress will also be a major factor.0797

Moving to the southwest.0804

As we see expansion farther westward, we will also see expansion in the southern part of the United States.0807

Cotton in the uplands of the old south becomes an extremely profitable, desirable goal for a lot of the investors in this region.0814

Because cotton is an important part of the economy,0831

and they want to send these cotton to the textile mills in the northeastern part of the United States.0835

There was a move to the southwest.0842

A lot of the land that was in the southeastern part of the United States had been stripped, that the land was not as fertile.0844

We will see what was known as the black belt of central,0855

what is now Central Alabama and Mississippi had excellent soil for growing cotton.0859

The climate was also favorable to growing cotton.0866

This is going to be the new major cash crop that many plantation owners will look to invest in.0873

Therefore, it is very labor intensive and they need slaves.0880

We are going to see that with the spread of cotton and with these new states being accepted into the union as slave states,0884

that slavery is going to continue to expand.0894

A lot is at stake again, this balance of power, and which way is the country going to develop.0898

What type of economy is it going to have?0905

That is going to be a major tension, as well.0907

Not just the slavery issue but what type of labor system are we going to embrace.0911

We will see because of the population, we are seeing states being formed.0919

Four states were admitted into the union between 1816 and 1819, Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois, and Alabama.0926

Indiana and Illinois, these will be free states.0937

Mississippi and Alabama will be slave.0940

We are keeping a balance for now but it is going to become an issue when we get to other states that want to come into the union.0943

Moving to another region of the country.0952

We will see in the far west, there will be more interest in investing in the fur trade and in setting up trading posts.0956

In 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain, neighbors to the south.0969

That is going to ultimately create a situation where many believe there is a power vacuum.0976

That is vulnerability in what we call now in the southwest.0983

There is going to be increased trade between Mexicans and traders in the United States, U.S. traders.0989

We will see U.S. traders will flock to the region, in what is now Texas, New Mexico in California.0999

They will start to populate those regions which will be very significant especially later on.1007

U.S. traders dominated in those regions, eventually.1012

Early example is William Becknel, he had low prices and was very successful.1016

The fur trade also became popular.1024

John Jacob Astor’s American Fur Company was very successful and made huge profits.1026

And this encouraged many other business people to move to the west.1033

We will see that is going to be the next major stage, when we start getting to the 1840’s and 1850’s especially.1037

Meanwhile, we will see that many lived peacefully with Native Americans and Mexicans, but some did not,1047

such as Jedediah Smith who led a series of attacks into Mexican territory, that ended in battles with Mojave and other tribes.1056

Again, kind of a mixed bag, on a case by case basis.1067

But we will see Native Americans continuing to be pushed westward, and definitely conflicts, especially in this case.1070

But in some cases, people are able to assimilate and work together.1080

We cannot completely over generalize about relations between Americans and Native Americans.1087

Speaking of exploration of the west, similar to, like Lewis and Clark,1100

we are going to see other explorers trying to learn and map regions in what we now call the Midwest, but moving into the west.1105

Stephen Long, who led 19 soldiers up to plot through what is now Nebraska and Eastern Colorado,1117

he ends up writing this influential report on his trip.1125

You can see this here, an expedition Pittsburg to the Rocky mountains.1129

During this time, he ends up labeling the Great Plains, the Great American Desert.1134

Takes account of the flora and fauna, definitely takes note that it is extremely dry and perhaps not the best place for farming.1142

Very interesting, and will be very influential down the road.1153

I have a little bit more here about specifics of James Monroe, who was President from 1817 to 1825.1157

He was the last president of the Virginia dynasty and republican generation.1166

Yes, he was a democratic republican.1173

His presidency will mark the end of the first party system, between federalists and democratic republicans.1175

We are going to see new parties emerging.1184

Monroe had a lot of experience coming into the presidency.1188

He was a revolutionary war general.1191

He was a cabinet officer.1193

He had actually helped in the Louisiana Purchase under the Jefferson administration.1195

We have mentioned this previously, that his presidency was marked by an era of good feelings,1203

although, that is sometimes misleading.1208

Good feelings, in terms of it being a peaceful time.1211

Yet, the war tensions underneath the surface, sectional tensions, in particular.1214

He had a very interesting cabinet, some very strong members.1221

John Quincy Adams, who was the son of John Adams, as secretary of state.1226

John Quincy Adams from Massachusetts.1232

John C. Calhoun from South Carolina, who was Secretary of War.1236

We are going to see just giving these two examples of important cabinet members,1242

that Monroe wanted a representation of members from various areas of the United States,1248

to draw from their expertise and show unity amongst these different sections or regions.1256

Now I have a little bit more on Quincy Adams because he is going to have some major accomplishments, especially in terms of Florida.1268

As Secretary of State, Adams became very influential.1276

He was a great diplomat and was a committed nationalist.1280

His major goal was to promote U.S. expansion and was ultimately successful in negotiating with Spain.1284

During his time as Secretary of State, the United States does actually acquire Florida.1293

Although, Andrew Jackson, not a friend of Native Americans, in the southeastern part of the United States,1300

he was leading raids on Seminoles in Florida.1310

And the Seminoles were known for being a major resistance group.1314

This will continue, you can see for years and years.1319

It ended in 1842, these raids.1322

The removal of Seminoles will take place in the 1840’s.1330

Although apparently, because the Seminoles resist so strongly, that it is never complete, in fact.1334

Most of them relocated west of the Mississippi by the 1840’s.1343

But there are still were some who are holding their ground in Florida.1347

But Andrew Jackson was working behind the scenes in the ground trying to root out Native Americans.1352

He really believed that Spain was helping the Native Americans, that was a major issue.1360

Adams is going to take the diplomatic angle.1368

Ultimately, we will see the Adams-Onis treaty of 1819 being signed.1371

Spain cedes all of Florida to the United States, and gave up its claim to the territory north of the 42nd parallel in the Pacific Northwest.1377

That is also very significant.1388

I forgot to add here also that, the United States will actually pay 5 million dollars for Florida.1391

This part about the northwest refers to Spain giving up its claim in the Oregon territory.1405

In turn, the United States also had to give up its claim to Texas, which we know will not last forever.1415

There will be interest in Texas later on in U.S. history.1424

But at this point, the United States successfully gained Florida.1429

Now expansion is becoming more and more complete in the eastern part of the United States.1433

I have a map here.1443

You can see this, that now the United States gained this.1445

Here is the actual line for the 42nd parallel.1451

In this region, interestingly at the time, you could see was kind of up in the air.1457

It was claimed by the U.S., Great Britain, and Russia.1463

This had all been Spain but now that this was Mexico, Mexico was now free from Spain.1468

By the 1821, I should say, that this is going to lure many Americans to move farther and farther westward.1482

We are going to move on.1496

What were some of the sectional conflicts?1498

As people are expanding farther and farther westward, the big question of the time,1501

should the extension of slavery be allowed or not?1507

This was becoming a major issue.1512

However, they were able to successfully pass, I’m jumping the gun here.1515

In 1819, Missouri was admitted as a state, eventually, come up with a compromise, and slavery was established there.1523

This is going to throw everyone in Congress into a tizzy because they do not want to disrupt the balance of power,1536

as more and more states are coming into the union.1546

Various congressmen will propose some compromises to try to keep peace,1550

and make sure that they have this balance, and that everyone is satisfied,1556

and at least, to put a band aid on the situation.1562

Again, the issue of trying to abolish slavery is not on the table.1565

And slavery is entrenched at this point in time, the economy is relying on, especially in the south.1570

But we are starting to see that this is becoming an issue, as many abolitionists,1579

especially in the north, do not want to see the expansion of slavery.1585

Anyway, a compromise is proposed, the Tallmadge amendment.1591

This would prohibit the further introduction of slaves into Missouri and provide for eventual emancipation.1596

But this was ultimately controversial and defeated.1604

There was another aspect of it that, once a person turned 25, they would actually be emancipated.1610

That did not go over well either, especially with many southern slave owners.1621

What are we going to do, are we going to expand slavery or not?1627

This is going to be the major controversy at the time.1630

We will see eventually the compromise being put into place in 1820.1635

What happens is, Maine at the time, Maine is in the very northeastern corner of the United States,1640

that had previously been part of Massachusetts.1647

But now it is applying for statehood, it has enough population to become a state.1649

As you will see in the next map, it is pretty logical,1657

most of the free states are in the northeastern part of the United States, at this point in time.1660

It applies as a free state.1665

Speaker of the House, Henry Clay, who was known as the great compromiser, warned northern members that,1669

if they blocked Missouri’s entrance to the union, that southern states might block Maine’s entrance to the union.1677

What to do?1684

They end up coming up with a compromise.1685

Maine comes in as a free state, this is known as the Missouri compromise.1687

Missouri came into the union as a slave state.1691

And then, they established this line, the 36:30 line, that north of this 36:30 parallel,1694

slavery was to be prohibited and south of this line would be allowed.1702

As you can wrap your head around this, Maine comes in as a free state, Missouri comes in as a slave state.1711

This is the 36:30 line.1719

These territories are not states yet, it is unorganized territory.1722

You can see a lot is at stake from Missouri because it is kind of right in the middle.1729

We will see that this will be close to slavery, under the Missouri compromise.1736

Although, this is to many, especially those who are living in the north, as a very flawed compromise.1741

Again, the other way I always think of this is that, the whole slavery issue is something that just keeps getting brushed under the rug,1751

or they keep kicking the can down the road.1759

They just do not deal with it and they are kind of pushing this off.1761

And it is going to eventually come to a head and definitely cause huge tensions,1766

that will eventually lead to a violent clash amongst pro-slavery and anti-slavery forces, and ultimately civil war.1771

Although, a very much flawed compromise, many would argue,1784

it did actually keep the sectional balance for more than 30 years, and provided time for the nation to mature, so to speak.1790

But we are seeing with this compromise, the tensions between sectionalism, nationalism, and what to do about the expansion of slavery.1800

With that, we will go into the questions.1814

Here we go, here we have a chart.1819

Vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on a bill to fund internal improvements.1822

Take a look, the region for and against.1830

Based on the voting pattern shown in the chart, support for Federal funding for internal improvements was strongest in?1834

Agriculture regions, undeveloped regions, regions where slavery was strong, regions where the Federalist Party had been strong.1841

This is asking you to understand which parts of the country are developed, undeveloped, agricultural, whether slavery, etc.1853

You do need to have an understanding of those major themes and factors.1866

The answer is undeveloped regions.1873

Of course that makes sense because they want access to big cities, so they can trade, and travel there, and move.1881

Support for the bill would have been consistent with support for which of the following?1891

The American system, cultural nationalism, specialization, or the factory system?1899

The answer is the American system, which again, would support funding of roads, etc.1905

We are going to move on to example 2, this will be another set of multiple choice questions, based on a reading excerpt.1917

This one is by Clements Burleigh, Shamrock Society of New York Advice to Emigrants to America, 1817.1926

Shamrock Society, probably the Irish.1937

Let us look at this, the only encouragements we hold out to strangers are good climate, fertile soil, wholesome air and water,1941

plenty of provisions, good pay for labor, kind neighbors, good laws, a free government, and a hearty welcome.1948

The rest depends on a man's own industry and virtue.1956

If the European has previously resolved to go to the western country, near the Allegheny or Ohio rivers,1960

a few days journey will bring him to Cumberland.1967

From once the public road begun by the United States crosses the mountains.1970

You will, however, observe that the privilege of citizenship is not granted without proper precautions.1975

To secure that, while the worthy are admitted, the unworthy should, if practicable be rejected.1981

He will, from hence to do, see importance of good moral habits, even to the acquisitions of political rights.1989

Just so you are familiar with the term Cumberland would refer to the Tennessee region.1998

Let us go to the questions.2006

Which phrase by Burleigh best expresses what attracted the largest number of immigrants2010

coming to the United States during the years from 1816 to 1848?2016

Was it the good climate, good pay for labor, kind neighbors, or hearty welcome?2023

The answer is good pay.2032

Number 2, in the 1830’s and 1840’s, the section of the United States most affected by immigration was?2042

The states in the east and the north, the states with large plantations,2049

the states west of the Allegheny mountains, western territories that were not yet states.2054

The most affected by immigration at this point will be.2061

Moving on, which of the following reinforce the message that Burleigh was sending to people who wanted to move to America?2070

American system, industrialization, protective tariff, or the Rush-Bagot agreement?2080

The answer is American system.2092

Another one for the American system.2095

Again, creating that infrastructure, those roads will help expansion.2098

It will help the immigrants who will have opportunities for trade, for work, for building a home, and travel.2103

That will all facilitate about expansion into the region west of the Appalachians and to the Allegheny mountains.2111

With that, thank you for watching