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Jan 19, 2016
Antebellum AmericaJack Caleb SarahPresidents of Antebellum AmericaWilliam Harrison-(Only Served 40 days)John TylerJames K. Polk Zachary TaylorMillard FillmoreFranklin PierceJames BuchananJohn TylerJohn Tyler was the 10th president of the United States serving from 1841-1845 for the Whig party. He was the first Vice President to be put into office after the death of his predecessor William Harrison. Tippecanoe and Tyler Too was the famous slogan for Tyler and Harrison (used to be a song though slogan is better remembered.) When Tyler took office he rejected many of the Whigs proposals and angered the Whigs especially when he vetoed their proposal for creating a new national bank. This eventually caused the Whigs to disavow him leaving Tyler without a party. The Whigs also believed he overused his power to veto and there was an attempt to impeach him but the resolution failed with Tyler still in office. Tyler still did manage to make many decisions with his time as President. During his presidency Tyler was able to sign the Webster-Ashburton treaty that resolved the United States and Canadian border at the 45th parallel Tyler signed the Pre-Emption Act, which helped strengthen Western settlement by allowing a person to stake a claim on 160 acres of public land and purchase it from the government. He also settled border disputes between the US and Britain with the Webster-Ashburton treaty. He also signed the bill that annexed Texas into the Union.
James K. PolkJames Polk was the 11th president of the United States from 1845-1849. Polk was a member of the Democratic party and on his platform Polk was all about expansion. He spoke in support of the annexation of Texas and the acquirement of New Mexico, California and Oregon. After he was elected Polk tried to annex Texas but Mexico refused to recognize the annexation. The refusal for annexation led to a sweeping victory of the Mexican War and the creation of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo. Polk also was able to negotiate with the British for the acquirement of the Oregon territory by splitting the territory with Britain. Polk also tried to appeal to both the North and South by allowing slavery in the newly formed Texas and not allowing slavery in the Oregon territory.Polk approved a law restoring the Independent Treasury System where government funds were held in a Treasury instead of banks or other financial institutions.
Zachary TaylorZachary Taylor was the 12th president of the United States serving from 1849-1850 under the Whig party. Taylor was elected for being a war hero in the Mexican-War despite his vague political beliefs. Taylor kept his distance with Congress and his cabinet throughout his presidency.Debate over the slave status of the large territories claimed in the Mexican War led to threats of secession from Southerners. And even as a southern slaveholder himself Taylor never pushed for the expansion of slavery. But the question of slavery was a difficult one so to avoid it Taylor asked that California and New Mexico to skip the territorial step and draft constitutions and apply for statehood. His top priority was preserving the Union but his term was cut short after he died only 16 months in office.
Millard FillmoreMillard Fillmore was the 13th president of the United States serving from 1850-1853. He was originally the Vice President to Taylor and was a part of the Whig party. During the Crisis of 1850 Fillmore was opposed to exclusion of slavery in all gained territories but instead was in favor of the Compromise of 1850. The Compromise of 1850 was a package of 5 bills that helped to diffuse confrontation between North and South. At the time Texas was asking for debts to be paid by the government and they were holding onto New Mexican territory. Fillmore in response agreed to pay the debt but Texas had to give the New Mexican territory. The compromise made both the North and South satisfied except for a small few.
Franklin Pierce14th president of the United States as a serving from 1853-1857 as a democrat. He was from the North but he had southern sympathies otherwise known as a doughface. Pierce was widely criticized by the North because of his support of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Pierce was also criticized with his administrations creation of the Ostend Manifesto. Pierce also wanted to open up trade with the isolated Japan to gain an advantage over the British.
James Buchanan James Buchanan was the 15th president of the United states from 1857-1861. He was a part of the Democratic party and another doughface. Buchanan tried to maintain the peace between both the North and the South but only further divided the two sides leaving the South to secede. Buchanan believed that the secession was illegal but also that going to war to put an end to it was also illegal.
Mexican WarThe Mexican War was a war that in the end granted the United States a significant amount of land after the war had ended. It erupted in 1846 after Texas had called for annexation. The issue being that Mexico considered Texas a part of their territory despite the Texas Revolution in 1836 so they refused to recognize the annexation. American and Mexican forces then went to war with each other and with American invasion of Mexico and capture of Mexico City the United States was victorious. Unfortunately the political aftermath of the war was great. It raised the slavery issue in the United States over how slavery should be handled in new territories leading to serious debates that pointed towards civil war.Treaty of Guadalupe HidalgoThe Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is the peace treaty that was signed between the United States and Mexico to end the Mexican War. The United States was to pay $15 million to Mexico and pay off the claims of American citizens against Mexico up to$3.25 million. It set the boundary between Mexico and Texas and also granted the US a significant amount of territory including California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and parts of Colorado and New Mexico. 90% of the Mexicans who were given the choice to go back to Mexico stayed. With all of the new territory gained which ones were going to be allowed to uphold slavery. This acquirement of all the new territory increased tension between the North and the South.Wilmot ProvisoThe Wilmot Proviso was introduced by Congressman David Wilmot. The Wilmot Proviso would have banned all slavery in any of the new land that was to be acquired after the Mexican War or anytime in the future. The bill was passed in the house but failed in the Senate. It helped to lead up to the civil warAbolitionist MovementThe abolitionist movement was very strong in the North. In the North it was all about industry and the industrial areas had no need for slaves to work so slavery was non-existent and many saw it as an evil. There were people who spoke publicly of the evils of slavery such as William Lloyd Garrison who was the founder for the Liberator and Arthur Tippan. The abolitionist movement in the South of course was minimal due to the heavy reliance on slavery and cotton. The abolitionist movement was also a key factor in the setting of the Civil War. There were even major publications that were written about the atrocities of slavery.SlaverySlavery was an important part of the economy in the South and many slave owners had tactics such as using the Bible to justify their need for slavery. They used several verses such as "Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh" or Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ Because religion was such a significant part of peoples lives in the antebellum many slave owners felt they were justified because slavery was mentioned in the Bible. And without slavery the economy would suffer greatly and the plantation owners of the South didnt want to see that happen. American Anti-Slavery SocietyThe American Anti-Slavery Society was active during the Abolitionist movement and by 1840 it had over 150,000 members. There were several prominent members in the American Anti-Slavery Society including William Lloyd Garrison, Theodore Dwight Weld, Arthur Tappan and Louis Tappan. They argued on religious and natural grounds that all individuals had the right to Liberty. In 1839, the group split into two factions: one branch followed Garrison, denounced the Constitution, and joined ranks with womens rights efforts. The other branch, led by Louis Tappan, formed the American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society and honored the Constitution while not insisting on immediate change.Supreme Court DecisionsDred Scott v. Sandford was a significant case in the issue of slavery. In discussed whether an African American was an American citizen free or not therefore had no standing to sue in federal court,and that the federal government had no power to regulate slavery in the federal territories acquired after the creation of the United States. Dred Scott was a slave who was taken to free states and territories and tried to sue for his freedom. But unfortunately the Supreme Court denied Scotts request.IsolationismThe United States was a new country and they were looking to expand but not by intervening in others wars or joining alliances with other countries. The United States wanted to uphold its policy of Isolationism and they were also geographically separated from many major powers and did not feel the need to intervene. The US was able to gain new land nearby all while avoiding the confrontation with the European powers.ExpansionismDuring the antebellum time period there were many pushes towards the West. Slavery was also a big need for expansionism because the issue was so divided the anti-slavery (North) and pro-slavery (South) groups were looking for the upper hand and looking West