Welcome to the Age of Jefferson, Jackson and Calhoun!!!
In this course we will explore many facets of antebellum America, paying particular attention to institutional powers and restraints as embodied in the United States Constitution, with an emphasis on the federal courts, executive powers, and legislative politics. The election of 1800 ushered in a new era of politics known as the “Virginia Dynasty.” We will explore the Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe administrations in some detail. Attention will be given to events such as the War of 1812, the Era of Good Feelings, and the Missouri Compromise. We will then shift our focus to what historians have called “Jacksonian Democracy.” The presidency of Andrew Jackson witnessed an era of unprecedented expansion of the franchise. Of course, not all groups of people were included in this expansion of democratic activity. Native Americans were forcefully removed from their native land and sent along on the “Trail of Tears.” Meanwhile, the Nullification Crisis threatened to disrupt the young republic. At this point John C. Calhoun became the most prominent spokesman of southern rights. The course will continue through the Mexican-American War and end with the so-called Compromise of 1850.