Justice Joseph Story, “The reign of King ‘Mob’ seems triumphant”
a. The Expanding Electorate
Ohio was the first to give all white male adults the right to vote and hold public office. And eventually every state democratized its electorate.
Daniel Webster in the Mass. constitutional convention in 1820, stated that power naturally follows property. The new constitution required every voter to be a taxpayer and the governor be the owner of considerable real estate.
In NY convention of 1821, James Kent believed taxpayers should also be property owners in the election of senators. But the property qualification was abolished.
The RI constitution prevented half the adult males from voting(freeholders). In 1840, Lawyer and activist, Thomas W. Dorr and some followers created “People’s Party”, they then submitted a new constitution and it was approved. The legislature would not accept the Dorr document. The Dorrites then set up a new government with Dorr as governor in 1842. The Dorrites began to become imprisoned and the Dorr Rebellion was shut down but it pressured the old guard to draft a new constitution.
Slaves were disenfranchised=they were not citizens nor were they to have any political or legal rights. PA in 1838 amended its own constitution to strip African Americans of their right to vote.
In 1800, the legislature chose presidential electors in ten states and people in only six. In 1828, they were chosen in every state but SC. In 1824 less than 27% of white males voted, in 1828 58% and in 1840 80%.
b. The Legitimization of Party
In 1820s and 30s Americans began to believe that parties were essential to democracy.
In NY Martin Van Buren led a dissidential political faction known as “Bucktails” or “Albany Regency” After the War of 1812 this group began to challenge the political leadership by De Witt Clinton, They believed for a party to survive it needed permanent opposition.
The anti-Jackson part was called the Whigs. Jackson’s followers=Democrats=Nations oldest Party.
c. “President of the Common Man”
Jacksonians believed the only way to preserve white-male democracy was continued subjugation of Indians and Blacks.
Jackson believed that office holders shall not be permanent and belonged to the people. William L. Marcy of NY, “To the victors belong the spoils”
Jackson removed only the same amount of officeholder sas Jefferson but by his “spoils system” the elected officials appointed their own followers.
In 1832 Jackson’s party became the first in history to hold a National party convention in which they renominated him for the presidency.The spoils system and the conventions helped limit power ot permanent officeholders and exclusive party caucus.
2: “Our Federal Union”
a. Calhoun and Nullification
John C. Calhoun began to champion a constitutional theory: Nullification.
In 1816 Calhoun supported the Tariff of 1816 but in late 20s SCs believed the “tariff of abominations” was responsible for the stagnation of their states economy. So Carolinians were ready to consider secession.
Calhoun argued that since the federal govt. was a creation of the state as, the states were the final arbiters of the constitutionality of federal states. Thus the…