A Very Brief Political History of the United States
Political Economy Internet Library Updated 11/25/18
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11 nations with distinct identities and values
1. The First Nations American
natives worked well with French in Northern areas until broken promises and English beliefs about their
own superiority soured them.
2. El Norte – These outposts of Spain's Colonial Empire consisted of independent minded Spanish frontiersman ranchers coming up from Mexico.
3. New France – Expanding the French colonies, these furs trading explorers wanted to take care of the lands they settled in Canada and upper New England. They were explorers, not terribly ideological, who wanted to trade. They integrated peacefully with Native Americans and wanted to take care of the land.
4. Yankeedom – Founders wanted to create a Puritanical fundamentalist Utopia with mandated education, justice, rights for all humans. They hated the English and most wanted freedom of Relegion as long as it was their own.5. New Netherlands – Dutch founders wanted to trade furs and engage in shipping from a cosmopolitan meeting place. Did not care about English politics or slavery.
6. The Midlands – Quaker William Penn wanted a tolerant isolated Quaker anti-slavery society. They loathed the Yankee religious theocracies.
7. Tidewater – English gentry created estates in Virginia using indentured servitude but they switched to slavery when the indentured servitude system degraded.
8. Deep South – English traders from Barbados where they acquired resources using violence and slavery. In Charleston they grew cotton in a society designed to benefit a wealthy few.
9. Greater Appalachia –Mostly lowland contrarians from Scotland and Ireland came to escaped English domination. They settled in poorer Appalachians lands. These hearty people valued individable liberty.
10. The Left Coast – Ingenious people who moved West to preserve the land's natural beauty. Wanted a utopian planned educated community.
The Far West – Explorers, hunters and a11. dventures were joined by East Coast anti-government capitalists. They railroads and river transport to create wealth from mining, lumber and oil.
Elections 1788-1824 England's Political Influence Finally
Ends and the South Has Some Success
in Controlling Northern Business Interests.
Federalists favored unity through a strong central government, close ties to Britain, a centralized banking system, and close links between the government and the men of wealth who should run government. Republicans under Jefferson Madison and Monroe strongly opposed Alexander Hamilton's Federalist agenda. They stressed being more of a Republic where the individual is sovereign as opposed to democracy where the sovereign is the group, the majority.
Executive privilege was used by G.W. to keep
Jay Treaty documents
from Congress. Other Presidents would claim the right, courts would
sometimes have to decide legality. Think NSA data
First Barbary War, the first on foreign soil, stopped payment of tribute
to Mediterranean pirates. War on Terror Begins.6)
Louisiana Purchase of 1803
1821 treaties brings U.S. Florida from Spain. Later we would use
military force against Mexico to expand westward.
7) War of 1812 protected freedom of the Sea and ended hostilities with Britain. Not being able to settle the fiscal problems caused by the war, in 1814 the U.S defaulted on its deb.8) Bank of United States failed to have it's charter renewed in an attempt to limit business influence but paying for the War of 1812 required such an institution. T The battle of North/East business interest vs. South and West rural interest continues today. Think Bailout Prevention Act and the Tea Party.
9) 1920 Missouri Compromise admitted Maine as a fret state and Missouri as a slave state which postponed the pain. Think long-term government liabilities being ignored to keep the present peaceful.
10 ) Monroe Doctrine 1823 keeps U.S out of European politics and vice versa until WWI.
Elections 1828-1852 Federalism vs. State's Rights and Democracy vs. Republican the Fight Begins When the Democratic-Republican Party of the Jefferson became factionalized in the 1820's Jackson's supporters began to form the modern Democratic Party. It hoped to pass political power from established elites to ordinary voters. It supported the primacy of the Presidency over the other branches of the U.S. Federal government. They continued the Bank War by opposing renew the charter of Alexander Hamilton's Bank of the United State. Democrats also opposed Whig sponsored modernizing programs that they felt would build up industry at the expense of the taxpayer. These battles continue today! Democrats fought the rival Adams and Anti-Jacksonian factions which soon emerged as the Whigs. They were led by Henry Clay who advocated the primacy of Congress over the Executive Branch as well as policies economic protectionism of Northeastern industry.
Indian Removal Act of 1830 forced Indians
2) 1933 Compromise Tariff solved the North-South fight over protectionism.
3) 1838 Mormon War ended with roughly 20,000 Mormons relocated.
4) A failed 1842 Impeachment attempt of J. Taylor occurred because he had used his Presidential veto to over ride Northeast bank and tariff issues. Previous Presidential vetoes had been on Constitutional grounds. It would be the first of a few politically motivated impeachment attempts. Think Obama impeachment poll.
5) Mexican War settled with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which increased the U.S. by a third. It resulted in Slave Power accusations. The Oregon Treaty acquired much of the Northwest territory and what would be six states. England got British Columbia.
6) Compromise of 1850 postponed Civil War again and 1864 Kansas Nebraska Act increased tensions. Think postponing government budget problems.
|Elections 1856-1896 Civil War Ends, Northeast Takes Control, The Gilded Age is Built on the Backs of the Poor, Especially Women, Immigrants, and Blacks The civil War was followed by massive industrialization centered on rail roads, canals and steamships. Massive wealth was created. Farm mechanism lowered the cost of food and this coupled with science made for a somewhat more prosperous middle class. Immigrants suffered.||
Panic of 1857 was caused by over-consumption of goods from
Europe which lowered the money supply. Also overbuilding by competing railroads and rampant Western land
speculation caused speculative problems. Think 2008-9 Great
Why we fought the Civil War. 3)
Enforcement Acts of 1870-71 designed to protect blacks from the
Ku Klux Klan
and to protect Indians failed.
4) Panic of 1873 was caused by the Coinage Act of 1873. It lowered the money supply. Workers blamed cheap foreign labor. Called the Long Depression until the 1930's when the Great Depression, it caused much hardship. It would not be the last time immigrants were blamed for problems. Think Mexico, United States barrier.
5) Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 added merit and began the replacement of the spoils system in the federal hiring equation.
Exclusion Act of 1882 lasted until 1942.
Scott Act of 1888 expanded the restrictions on Chinese immigration.
Think current Mexican Immigration issues.
7) Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 began an attempt to regulate business trusts to harness their use of monopoly power.
8) McKinley Tariff of 1890 set record for high rates. Profits increased as did the price of consumers goods.
9) Panic of 1893 resulted in a severe depression. Reluctantly J.P. Morgan bailed out the gold standard with $60,000,000. The 1894 Wilson–Gorman Tariff lowered tariffs slightly & created a 2% income tax on over $4,000 ($88,100 in 2010 dollars). It was repealed as unconstitutional by the 1895 Supreme Court.
Progressives and Populists
Finally End to the
Gilded Age But
Business Power Would Return
After WW I.
realigning election resulted in a republican forged conservative coalition
consisting of businessmen, professionals, skilled factory workers, and
prosperous farmers. There would be
opposition which created two unsettled decades called the
victory resulted from our desires for a colonial empire and business interests.
Business also had pushed for the 1897
Dingley Tariff Act which promoted industry
at the expense of consumers as the tariff was added to the price paid by consumers. The
Gold Standard protected savers
but its inflexible money supply caused hard
Party Control Flip Flops Like a
but Progress Is Made Republicans
were penalized by outrage
caused during the summer of 1932 by
|Democrats promoted American Liberalism. It anchored in a coalition of specific liberal groups, especially ethno-religious constituencies (Catholics, Jews, African Americans). White Southerners, well-organized labor unions, urban political machines, progressive intellectuals, and populist farm groups were also courted.|
American Citizens in 1942 consisted of 150,000
mostly Japanese men, women
The Ugly U.S.
Cost of War
|1 The idea that Muslims Extremism is behind all military confrontations in the Middle East and Africa reminds me of the Cold War. Then regime change in Egypt and Syria and Para military confrontations in Central and South American were all said to be inspired by Communist. Looking back neither Egypt or Syria became Communistic and few of these conflicts resulted in communist governments. Oligarch looking to control lesser developed countries needed money and the USSR would contribute to one side and the U.S. to the other side. Today conservative Muslims have the money!||2According to Henry Kissinger's biographer Walter Isaacson, President Johnson's reason for U.S. involvement in Vietnam was called the Domino Theory. The idea that Nation A falling to Communism would make it easier for Nation B to fall and then C would fall quickly. This idea was already being questioned when Nixon took offices. Henry's reason for taking six years and not the promised six months to withdraw from Vietnam was the importance of maintaining U.S. foreign policy creditability. No attempt was made to compare the importance of credibility in relation to South-East Asia with that related to Central Europe, the Middle East, Korea/Japan, Central America and at home. Statements that something will hurt the U.S. should always be followed by be how, how much, in relation to what, at what cost ... About half of the U.S. Vietnam causalities occurred during the Nixon-Kissinger watch even though both men entered office thinking the Vietnam War was not winnable.|