THE AMERICAN NATION
FROM ORIGINAL SOURCES BY ASSOCIATED SCHOLARS
EDITED BY ALBERT BUSHNELL HART, L.L.D. PROFESSOR OF HISTORY IN HARVARD UNIVERSITY
ADVISED BY VARIOUS HISTORICAL SOCIETIES
THE AMERICAN NATION
LIST OF AUTHORS AND TITLES
GROUP I FOUNDATIONS OF THE NATION
Vol. 1 European Background of American History, by Edward Potts Cheyney, A.M., Prof. European Hist., Univ. of Pa.
Vol. 2 Basis of American History, by Livingston Farrand, LL.D., President Univ. of Colo.
Vol. 3 Spain in America, by the late Edward Gaylord Bourne, Ph.D., formerly Prof. Hist., Yale Univ.
Vol. 4 England in America, by Lyon Gardiner Tyler, LL.D., President William and Mary College.
Vol. 5 Colonial Self-Government, by Charles McLean Andrews, Ph.D., Prof. Am. History, Yale University.
GROUP II TRANSFORMATION INTO A NATION
Vol. 6 Provincial America, by Evarts Boutell Greene, Ph.D., Prof. Hist, and Dean of College, Univ. of Ill.
Vol. 7 France in America, by the late Reuben Gold Thwaites, LL.D., formerly Sec. Wisconsin State Hist. Soc.
Vol. 8 Preliminaries of the Revolution, by George Elliott Howard, Ph.D., Prof. Polit. Science Univ. of Neb.
Vol. 9 The American Revolution, by Claude Halstead Van Tyne, Ph.D., Head Prof. Hist. Univ. of Michigan.
Vol. 10 The Confederation and the Constitution, by Andrew Cunningham McLaughlin, A.M., Head Prof. Hist., Univ. of Chicago.
GROUP III DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATION
Vol. II The Federalist System, by John Spencer Bassett, Ph.D., Prof. Am. Hist., Smith College.
Vol. 12 The Jeffersonian System, by Edward Channing, Ph.D., Prof. Ancient and Modern Hist., Harvard Univ.
Vol. 13 Rise of American Nationality, by Kendric Charles Babcock, Ph.D., Dean Col. Arts and Sciences, Univ. of Illinois.
Vol. 14 Rise of the New West, by Frederick Jackson Turner, Ph.D., Prof. Hist., Harvard University.
Vol. 15 Jacksonian Democracy, by William MacDonald, LL.D., Prof. Government, Univ. of California.
GROUP IV TRIAL OF NATIONALITY
Vol. 16 Slavery and Abolition, by Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D., Prof. Government, Harvard Univ.
Vol. 17 Westward Extension, by the late George Pierce Garrison, Ph.D., formerly Prof. Hist., Univ. of Texas.
Vol. 18 Parties and Slavery, by Theodore Clarke Smith, Ph.D., Prof. Am. Hist., Williams College.
Vol. l9 Causes of the Civil War, by Rear-Admiral French Ensor Chadwick, U.S.N., retired former Pres. of Naval War College.
Vol. 20 The Appeal to Arms, by James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D., formerly Librarian Minneapolis Pub. Lib.
Vol. 21 Outcome of the Civil War, by James Kendall Hosmer, LL.D.
GROUP V NATIONAL EXPANSION
Vol. 22 Reconstruction, Political and Economic, by William Archibald Dunning, Ph.D., Prof. Hist, and Political Philosophy, Columbia Univ.
Vol. 23 National Development, by Edwin Erie Sparks, Ph.D., Pres. Pa. State College.
Vol. 24 National Problems, by Davis R. Dewey, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Mass. Inst. of Technology.
Vol. 25 America as a World Power, by John H. Latane, Ph.D., Prof. Am. Hist., John Hopkins University.
Vol. 26 National Ideals Historically Traced, by Albert Bushnell Hart, LL.D., Prof. Government, Harvard University.
Vol. 27 National Progress—1907-1917, by Frederic Austin Ogg, Ph.D., Prof. Political Science, Univ. of Wisconsin.
Vol. 28 Index to the Series, by David Maydole Matteson, A.M., Harvard College Library.
COMMITTEES ORIGINALLY APPOINTED TO ADVISE AND CONSULT WITH THE EDITOR
THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Charles Francis Adams, LL.D., President Samuel A. Green, M.D., Vice-President James Ford Rhodes, LL.D., ad Vice-President Edward Channing, Ph.D., Prof. History Harvard University Worthington C. Ford, Chief of Division of MSS., Library of Congress,
THE WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Reuben G. Thwaites, LL.D., Secretary and Superintendent Frederick J. Turner, Ph.D., Prof. of American History, Wisconsin University James D. Butler, LL.D., formerly Prof. Wisconsin University William W. Wight, President Henry E. Legler, Curator
THE VIRGINIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
William Gordon McCabe, Litt. D., President Lyon G. Tyler, LL.D., Pres. of William and Mary College Judge David C. Richardson J. A. C. Chandler, Professor Richmond College Edward Wilson James
THE TEXAS HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Judge John Henninger Reagan, President George P. Garrison, Ph.D., Prof. of History, University of Texas Judge C. W. Raines Judge Zachary T. Fullmore
THE AMERICAN NATION: A HISTORY
RISE OF THE NEW WEST
FREDERICK JACKSON TURNER, PH.D. PROFESSOR OF AMERICAN HISTORY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
NEW YORK AND LONDON HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
Copyright, 1906, by HARPER & BROTHERS.
Printed in the United States of America
THE MEMORY OF ANDREW JACKSON TURNER
EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii
AUTHOR'S PREFACE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xviii
I. NATIONALISM AND SECTIONALISM (1815-1830). . . . . . . 3
II. NEW ENGLAND (1820-1830) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
III. THE MIDDLE REGION (1820-1830) . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
IV. THE SOUTH (1820-1830) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
V. COLONIZATION OF THE WEST (1820-1830) . . . . . . . . 67
VI. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF THE WEST (1820-1830) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
VII. WESTERN COMMERCE AND IDEALS (1820-1830) . . . . . . . 96
VIII. THE FAR WEST (1820-1830) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
IX. THE CRISIS OF 1819 AND ITS RESULTS (1819-1820) . . . 134
X. THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE (1819-1821) . . . . . . . . . 149
XI. PARTY POLITICS (1820-1822) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
XII. THE MONROE DOCTRINE (1821-1823) . . . . . . . . . . . 199
XIII. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS (1818-1824) . . . . . . . . . . 224
XIV. THE TARIFF OF 1824 (1820-1824) . . . . . . . . . . . 236
XV. THE ELECTION OF 1824 (1822-1825) . . . . . . . . . . 245
XVI. PRESIDENT ADAMS AND THE OPPOSITION (1825-1827). . . . 265
XVII. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS AND FOREIGN TRADE (1825-1829) . 286
XVIII. REACTION TOWARDS STATE SOVEREIGNTY (1816-1829) . . . 299
XIX. THE TARIFF OF ABOMINATIONS AND THE SOUTH CAROLINA EXPOSITION (1827-1828) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314
XX. CRITICAL ESSAY ON AUTHORITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
[Proofreaders note: Index and Maps omitted]
In many previous volumes of the series, the region beyond the Alleghenies has been recognized as an influence and a potentiality in American history. Thwaites, in his "France in America," shows how the French opened up the country and prepared the way; the Tennessee and Kentucky settlements are described in Howard's "Preliminaries of the Revolution"; Van Tyne's "American Revolution" goes into the earliest western governments; McLaughlin's "Confederation and Constitution" deals with the organization of the new communities by Congress; Bassett's "Federalist System" and Channing's "Jeffersonian System" show how the diplomacy and politics of the country were affected by the appearance of a new group of equal states; while Babcock's "Rise of American Nationality" carries the influence of those states into a broader national life. Professor Turner takes up the west as an integral part of the Union, with a self-consciousness as lively as that of the east or south, with its own aims and prejudices, but a partner in the councils and the benefits of the national government which, as a whole, it is the aim of this volume to describe.
In a way the west is simply a broader east, for up to the end of the period covered by this volume most of the grown men and women in the west came across the mountains to found new homes—the New-Englander in western New York; the Pennsylvanian diverging westward and southwestward; the Virginian in Kentucky; the North-Carolinian in Tennessee and Missouri and, along with the South-Carolinian and Georgian, in the new southwestern states; while north of the Ohio River the principal element up to 1830 was southern.
To describe such a movement and its effects, Professor Turner has the advantage to be a descendant of New-Yorkers, of New England stock, but native to the west, and living alongside the most complete collection of materials upon the west which has ever been brought together—the Library of the Wisconsin State Historical Society. His point of view is that the west and east were always interdependent, and that the rising power of the western states in national affairs was a wholesome and natural outcome of forces at work for half a century. The transformation of the west from a rude and boisterous frontier to a group of states, soon rivaling their parent communities in population and wealth, was not unlike the process through which Massachusetts and Pennsylvania and Virginia passed as colonies, except that the inland people accepted ideals and standards originally English, but worked out and put into shape by their colonist fathers.
As the volume treats of the nation, and not simply of any section, it contains three chapters (i., ii., iii.) on the social and political life in New England, the middle region, and the south. The next four chapters are a systematic account of the west as the settler and the traveler saw it. between 1820 and 1830. In chapter v., on Colonization, the settlers are traced from their old homes to their new ones by road and river. Chapter vi., off Social and Economic Development, is a picture of frontier life in the forest and on the farm; chapter vii. brings into relief the need of a market and the difficulty of reaching tide-water with western products—a subject taken up again in the two later chapters on internal improvements; chapter viii., on The Far West, goes with the trapper into the mountains and then across the continent to California and to Oregon, which were included in the ambitions of the buoyant westerner.
Chapters ix. to xi. are a narrative of a succession of national questions involving all sections—the commercial crisis of 1819; the Missouri Compromise, which was in good part a western question; and the slow recrystallization of political parties after 1820. Chapter xii. is on the Monroe Doctrine, which included eastern questions of commerce, southern questions of nearness to Cuba, and western questions of Latin-American neighbors. Chapters xiii. and xvii. describe the efforts by internal improvements to help all the states, and especially to bind the eastern and western groups together by the Cumberland Road and by canals. Chapters xiv. to xvi. take up the tariff of 1824, the presidential election of that year, and its political results. Chapter xviii. brings into clear light the causes for the reaction from the ardent nationalism described in Babcock's American Nationality. With chapter xix., on the tariff of 1828 and the South Carolina protest, the narrative part of the volume closes. The Critical Essay on Authorities and a wealth of foot-notes carry the reader back to materials little studied hitherto, and prepare the way for many detailed investigations.
The aim of the volume is not to show the Rise of the New West as though it were a separate story, but to show how the nation found itself in the midst of questions involving the west, and how all parts of the Union were enriched and stimulated by the appearance of a new section. It opens up new vistas of historical study.
In the present volume I have kept before myself the importance of regarding American development as the outcome of economic and social as well as political forces. To make plain the attitude and influence of New England, the middle region, the south, and the west, and of the public men who reflected the changing conditions of those sections in the period under consideration, has been my principal purpose.
The limits of the volume have prevented the elaboration of some points well worthy of fuller treatment; and, by the plan of the series, certain aspects of the period have been reserved for other writers.
I desire to express my cordial appreciation of the friendly criticism and assistance I have received from the editor, Professor Hart. To Professor Carl R. Fish, Professor A. A. Young, and Dr. U. B. Phillips, my colleagues, I am indebted for a critical reading of several chapters. I have drawn on the manuscript sources possessed by Dr. Phillips for information on many points of southern history.
Several of the topics dealt with in the volume have been investigated by graduate students in my seminary; particularly I have profited by the papers of Professor Homer C. Hockett on the Missouri Compromise and the rise of Jacksonian democracy; of Mr. Royal B. Way, now instructor in history in Northwestern University, on internal improvements; and of Dr. W. V. Pooley and Mr. A. C. Boggess on the settlement of Illinois. Mr. S. J. Buck, my assistant in American history, prepared under my direction some of the maps, particularly those of congressional votes.
The map of western fur-trading posts in Captain Chittenden's excellent History of the American Fur Trade furnished the basis for the map of western posts and trails. In the construction of the map of highways and waterways, I have used the map of H. S. Tanner, 1825, and Hewett's American Traveller (Washington, 1825). From the maps in the Eighteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology have been drawn the data for the map of Indian cessions. The editor kindly supplied the map of Russian settlements and claims.
For the portrait of Henry Clay, which forms the frontispiece, thanks are due to Mr. Charles Henry Hart, of Philadelphia, the owner of the life-mask made by J. H. Browere.
FREDERICK J. TURNER.
RISE OF THE NEW WEST
NATIONALISM AND SECTIONALISM (1815-1830)
The history of the United States is the history of a growing nation. Every period of its life is a transitional period, but that from the close of the War of 1812 to the election of Andrew Jackson was peculiarly one of readjustment. It was during this time that the new republic gave clear evidence that it was throwing off the last remnants of colonial dependence. The Revolution had not fully severed the United States from the European state system; but now the United States attained complete independence and asserted its predominance in the western continent. It was in this period that the nation strengthened its hold on the Gulf of Mexico by the acquisition of Florida, recognized the independence of the revolting Spanish-American colonies, and took the leadership of the free sisterhood of the New World under the terms of the Monroe Doctrine.
The joyous outburst of nationalism which at first succeeded the dissensions of the period of war revealed itself in measures passed in Congress, under the leadership of Calhoun and Clay; it spoke clearly in the decisions of Judge Marshall; and in the lofty tone of condemnation with which the country as a whole reproached New England for the sectionalism exhibited in the Hartford Convention. [Footnote: Babcock, Am. Nationality (Am. Nation, XIII.), chaps, ix., xviii.; Gallatin, Writings, I., 700.]
It was not only in the field of foreign relations, in an aroused national sentiment, and in a realization that the future of the country lay in the development of its own resources that America gave evidence of fundamental change. In the industrial field transportation was revolutionized by the introduction of the steamboat and by the development of canals and turnpikes. The factory system, nourished by the restrictions of the embargo and the war, rapidly developed until American manufactures became an interest which, in political importance, outweighed the old industries of shipping and foreign commerce. The expansion of cotton-planting transformed the energies of the south, extended her activity into the newer regions of the Gulf, and gave a new life to the decaying institution of slavery.
From all the older sections, but especially from the south and its colonies in Kentucky and Tennessee, a flood of colonists was spreading along the waters of the west. In the Mississippi Valley the forests were falling before the blows of the pioneers, cities were developing where clearings had just let in the light of day, and new commonwealths were seeking outlets for their surplus and rising to industrial and political power. It is this vast development of the internal resources of the United States, the "Rise of the New West," that gives the tone to the period. "The peace," wrote Webster in later years, "brought about an entirely new and a most interesting state of things; it opened to us other prospects and suggested other duties. We ourselves were changed, and the whole world was changed. . . . Other nations would produce for themselves, and carry for themselves, and manufacture for themselves, to the full extent of their abilities. The crops of our plains would no longer sustain European armies, nor our ships longer supply those whom war had rendered unable to supply themselves. It was obvious, that, under these circumstances, the country would begin to survey itself, and to estimate its own capacity of improvement." [Footnote: Webster, Writings (National ed.), VI., 28.]
These very forces of economic transformation were soon followed by a distinct reaction against the spirit of nationalism and consolidation which had flamed out at the close of the War of 1812. This was shown, not only in protests against the loose-construction tendencies of Congress, and in denunciations of the decisions of the great chief-justice, but more significantly in the tendency of the separate geographical divisions of the country to follow their own interests and to make combinations with one another on this basis.
From one point of view the United States, even in this day of its youth, was more like an empire than a nation. Sectionalism had been fundamental in American history before the period which we have reached. The vast physiographic provinces of the country formed the basis for the development of natural economic and social areas, comparable in their size, industrial resources, and spirit, to nations of the Old World. In our period these sections underwent striking transformations, and engaged, under new conditions, in the old struggle for power. Their leaders, changing their attitude towards public questions as the economic conditions of their sections changed, were obliged not only to adjust themselves to the interests of the sections which they represented, but also, if they would achieve a national career, to make effective combinations with other sections. [Footnote: Turner. "Problems of American History," in Congress of Arts and Sciences, St. Louis, II.]
This gives the clew to the decade. Underneath the superficial calm of the "Era of Good Feeling," and in contradiction to the apparent absorption of all parties into one, there were arising new issues, new party formations, and some of the most profound changes in the history of American evolution.
The men of the time were not unaware of these tendencies. Writing in 1823, Henry Clay declared that it was a just principle to inquire what great interests belong to each section of our country, and to promote those interests, as far as practicable, consistently with the Constitution, having always an eye to the welfare of the whole. "Assuming this principle," said he, "does any one doubt that if New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and the Western States constituted an independent nation, it would immediately protect the important interests in question? And is it not to be feared that, if protection is not to be found for vital interests, from the existing systems, in great parts of the confederacy, those parts will ultimately seek to establish a system that will afford the requisite protection?" [Footnote: Clay, Works, IV., 81, 82; Annals of Cong., 18 Cong., 1 Sess., II., 1997, 2423.]
While the most prominent western statesman thus expressed his conviction that national affairs were to be conducted through combinations between sections on the basis of peculiar interests, Calhoun, at first a nationalist, later the leader of the south, changed his policy to a similar system of adjustments between the rival sections. John Quincy Adams, in 1819, said of Calhoun: "he is above all sectional and factious prejudices more than any other statesman of this union with whom I have ever acted." [Footnote: Adams, Memoirs, V., 361, VI., 75.] But Calhoun, by the close of the decade, was not only complaining that the protective policy of certain sections set a dangerous example "of separate representation, and association of great Geographical interests to promote their prosperity at the expense of other interests," but he was also convinced that a great defect in our system was that the separate geographical interests were not sufficiently guarded. [Footnote: Am. Hist. Assoc., Report 1899, II., 250.] Speaking, in 1831, of the three great interests of the nation—the north, the south, and the west—he declared that they had been struggling in a fierce war with one another, and that the period was approaching which was to determine whether they could be reconciled or not so as to perpetuate the Union. [Footnote: Am. Hist. Rev., VI., 742; cf. J.Q. Adams, in Richardson, Messages and Papers. II., 297; J. Taylor, New Views, 261; [Turnbull]. The Crisis, No. 2.]
We see, therefore, that, in the minds of some of the most enlightened statesmen of this decade, American politics were essentially a struggle for power between rival sections. Even those of most enlarged national sympathies and purposes accepted the fact of sectional rivalries and combinations as fundamental in their policies. To understand the period, we must begin with a survey of the separate sections in the decade from 1820 to 1830, and determine what were the main interests shown in each and impressed upon the leaders who represented them. For the purposes of such a survey, the conventional division into New England, middle region, south, and west may be adopted. It is true that within each of these sections there were areas which were so different as to constitute almost independent divisions, and which had close affiliations with other sections. Nevertheless, the conventional grouping will reveal fundamental and contrasted interests and types of life between the various sections. In the rivalries of their leaders these sectional differences found political expression. By first presenting a narrative of forces in the separate sections, the narrative of events in the nation will be better understood.
A sectional survey, however, cannot fully exhibit one profound change, not easy to depict except by its results. This was the formation of the self-conscious American democracy, strongest in the west and middle region, but running across all sections and tending to divide the people on the lines of social classes. This democracy came to its own when Andrew Jackson triumphed over the old order of things and rudely threw open the sanctuary of federal government to the populace.
NEW ENGLAND (1820-1830)
By geographical position, the land of the Puritans was devoted to provincialism. While other sections merged into one another and even had a west in their own midst, New England was obliged to cross populous states in order to reach the regions into which national life was expanding; and her sons who migrated found themselves under conditions that weakened their old affiliations and linked their fortunes with the section which they entered. The ocean had dominated New England's interests and connected her with the Old World; the fisheries and carrying—trade had engrossed her attention until the embargo and the War of 1812 gave importance to her manufactures. In spirit, also, New England was a section apart, The impress of Puritanism was still strong upon her, and the unity of her moral life was exceptional. Moreover, up to the beginning of the decade with which we have to deal, New England had a population of almost unmixed English origin, contrasting sharply, in this respect, with the other sections. [Footnote: For the characteristics of New England in colonial times, see Tyler, England in America, chaps, xviii., xix.; Andrews, Colonial Self-Government, chaps, xviii., xix.; Greene, Provincial America, chaps, xii., xiii., xvi.-xviii.; Bassett, Federalist System, chaps, xi., xiii. (Am. Nation, IV., V., VI., XI.)].
With these peculiarities, New England often played an important sectional role, not the least effective instance of which had been her independent attitude in the War of 1812. [Footnote: Babcock, Am. Nationality (Am. Nation, XIII.), chap. ix.] By 1820, not only were profound economic and social changes affecting the section, but its relative importance as a factor in our political life was declining. [Footnote: Adams, United States, IX., chaps, iv., vii.] The trans- Allegheny states, which in 1790 reported only a little over one hundred thousand souls, at a time when New England's population was over one million, had in 1820 reached a population of nearly two millions and a quarter, while New England had not much over a million and a half. Ten years later, the latter section had less than two millions, while the western states beyond the Alleghenies had over three millions and a half, and the people northwest of the Ohio River alone numbered nearly a million and a half. In 1820 the total population of New England was about equal to the combined population of New York and New Jersey; but its increase between 1820 and 1830 was hardly three hundred thousand, not much over half that of New York, and less than the gain of Ohio. If Maine, the growing state of the group, be excluded, the increase of the whole section was less than that of the frontier state of Indiana. "Our New England prosperity and importance are passing away," wrote Webster at the beginning of the period. [Footnote: McMaster, Webster, 90.]
Were it not that New England was passing through a series of revolutionary economic changes, not fully appreciated at that time, doubtless the percentage of her growth would have been even more unfavorable. As it was, the rise of new manufactures helped to save her from becoming an entirely stationary section. In the course of the preceding two decades, New England's shipping industry had reached an extraordinary height, by reason of her control of the neutral trade during the European wars. The close of that period saw an apparent decline in her relative maritime power in the Union, but the shipping and commercial interests were still strong. New England possessed half the vessels owned in the United States and over half the seamen. Massachusetts alone had a quarter of the ships of the nation and over a third of the sailors. [Footnote: Pitkin, Statistical View (ed. of 1835), 350.] Of the exports of the United States in 1820, the statistics gave to New England about twenty per cent., nine-tenths of which were from Massachusetts. [Footnote: Shaler, United States, I., chap, x.; MacGregor, Commercial Statistics of America, 41, 58, 63, 72, 126, 133.] This is rather an under-estimate of the share of New England, because a portion of the commerce fitted out by her capital and her ships sought the harbor of New York.
Great as was New England's interest in the commercial policy of the United States, the manufactures of the section rose to such importance in the course of this decade that the policy of the section was divided. The statistics of the manufactures of the United States at the beginning and at the end of the period were so defective that little dependence can be placed upon them for details. But the figures for New England were more complete than for the other regions; the product of her cotton mills increased in value from two and one-half million dollars in 1820 to over fifteen and one-half millions in 1831; and her woolen products rose from less than a million dollars to over eleven million dollars. In Massachusetts alone, in the same years, the increase in cottons was from about seven hundred thousand dollars to over seven million seven hundred thousand dollars; and in woolens, from less than three hundred thousand dollars to over seven million three hundred thousand dollars. [Footnote: See Secretary of Treasury, Report, 1854-1855, PP-, 87-92; "Treasury Report," in House Exec. Docs., 22 Cong., i Sess., I., No. 308.]
In brief, the period witnessed the transfer of the industrial center of gravity from the harbors to the water-falls, from commerce and navigation to manufactures. Besides the textile mills of Rhode Island and Connecticut, the Merrimac mills grew rapidly around Lowell, Massachusetts; the water-powers of New Hampshire became the sites of factory towns, and the industrial revolution which, in the time of the embargo, began to transfer industries from the household to the factory, was rapidly carried on. A labor class began to develop, farmers moved into towns, the daughters worked in the mills. It was not long before Irish immigrants found their way to the section and replaced the natives in the mills. The old social and racial unity began to break down. [Footnote: Woollen, "Labor Troubles between 1834 and 1837," in Yale Review, I., 87; Martineau, Society in America, II., 227, 243, 246; Chevalier, Society, Manners, and Politics, 137; Addison, Lucy Larcom, 6; Clay, Works, V., 467.]
Agriculture still occupied the larger number of New England people, but it was relatively a declining interest. As early as 1794, Tench Coxe had characterized New England as a completely settled region, with the exception of Maine and Vermont. The generation that followed saw an expansion of agricultural population until the best valley lands were taken and the hill-sides were occupied by struggling farmers. By 1830 New England was importing corn and flour in large quantities from the other sections. The raising of cattle and sheep increased as grain cultivation declined. The back-country of Maine particularly was being occupied for cattle farms, and in Vermont and the Berkshires there was, towards the close of the decade, a marked tendency to combine the small farms into sheep pastures. Thus, in the tariff agitation of the latter part of the decade, these two areas of western New England showed a decided sympathy with the interests of the wool-growers of the country at large. This tendency also fostered emigration from New England, since it diminished the number of small farms. By the sale of their lands to their wealthier neighbors, the New England farmers were able to go west with money to invest. [Footnote: Niles' Register, XLIX., 68; Smith and Rann, Rutland County [Vt.], 166; Goodhue, Hist. of Shoreham [Vt.], 59; Nat. Assoc. of Wool Manufacturers, Bulletin, XXX., 47, 242, 261.]
In the outlying parts, like the back-country of Vermont, farmers still lived under primitive industrial conditions, supporting the family largely from the products of the farm, weaving and spinning under the conditions of household industry that had characterized the colonial period, slaughtering their cattle and hogs, and packing their cheese. When the cold weather set in, caravans of Vermont farmers passed, by sledges, to the commercial centers of New England. [Footnote: Heaton, Story of Vermont, chap. vi.] But the conditions of life were hard for the back-country farmer, and the time was rapidly approaching when the attractions of the western prairies would cause a great exodus from these regions.
While New England underwent the economic changes that have been mentioned, a political revolution was also in progress. The old Federalist party and Federalist ideas gradually gave way. Federalism found its most complete expression in Connecticut, "the land of steady habits," where "Innovation" had always been frowned upon by a governing class in which the Congregational clergy were powerful. Permanence in office and the influence of the clergy were prominent characteristics of the Connecticut government. [Footnote: Dwight, Travels, I., 262, 263, 291; Welling, "Conn. Federalism," in N. Y. Hist. Soc., Address, 1890, pp. 39-41.] The ceremonies of the counting of votes for governor indicated the position of the dominant classes in this society. This solemnity was performed in the church. "After the Representatives," wrote Dwight, the president of Yale College, "walk the Preacher of the Day, and the Preacher of the succeeding year: and a numerous body of the Clergy, usually more than one hundred, close the procession." He notes that there were several thousand spectators from all over the state, who were perfectly decorous, not even engaging in noisy conversation, and that a public dinner was regularly given by the state to the clergy who were present at the election. [Footnote: Dwight, Travels, I., 267.]
After the War of 1812, this dominance of the Congregational clergy throughout the section was attacked by a combination of religious and political forces. [Footnote: Schouler, United States, II., 282, 511, III., 52; Adams, United States, IX., 133.] There had been a steady growth of denominations like the Baptists and Methodists in New England. As a rule, these were located in the remoter and newer communities, and, where they were strongest, there was certain to be a considerable democratic influence. Not only did these denominations tend to unite against the Federalists and the Congregationalists, but they found useful allies in the members of the old and influential Episcopal church, who had with them a common grievance because of the relations between the state and Congregationalism. Although the original support of the Congregational clergy by public taxation had been modified by successive acts of legislation in most of these states, so that persons not of that church might make their legal contributions for the support of their own clergy, [Footnote: Fearon, Sketches of America, 114.] yet this had been achieved only recently and but incompletely.
We find, therefore, that the alliance of Episcopalians and Dissenters against the dominant clergy and the Federalists was the key to internal politics at the opening of our period. "The old political distinctions," wrote the editor of the Vermont Journal, "seem to have given place to religious ones." But the religious contentions were so closely interwoven with the struggle of New England's democracy to throw off the control of the established classes, that the contest was in reality rather more political and social than religious. By her constitutional convention of 1818, Connecticut practically disestablished the Congregational church and did away with the old manner of choosing assistants. [Footnote: Baldwin, "The Three Constitutions of Conn.," in New Haven Colony Hist. Soc., Papers, V., 210-214.] In the election of 1820 the Republican candidate for governor was elected by a decisive vote, and all of Connecticut's representation in the lower house of Congress was Republican, [Footnote: Niles' Register, XVIII., 128.] although, in 1816, the Federalist candidate had been chosen by a small majority. [Footnote: Adams, United States, IX., 133.] New Hampshire's toleration act was passed in 1819, but she had achieved her revolution as early as 1816, when a union of the anti- Congregational denominations with the Republicans destroyed the ascendancy of the Federalists and tried to break that party's control of the educational center at Dartmouth College. [Footnote: P. B. Sanborn, New Hampshire, 251 et seq.; Barstow, New Hampshire, chaps, xi., xii.; Plumer, William Plumer, 437-460.]
The contest was not so clearly marked in Massachusetts as in the other states, for the old centers of Congregational power, notably Harvard College, had already begun to feel the liberalizing influence of the Unitarian movement. Congregationalism in Massachusetts divided into warring camps [Footnote: Walker, Cong. Churches in the U.S., 303-308.] and was not in a position to exercise the political power it had shown in other states of New England. The discussion in that state between the Unitarian and orthodox wings of the Congregational churches tended, on the whole, to moderate the extreme views of each, as well as to prevent their united domination. In her constitutional convention of 1820, Massachusetts refused to do away with the advantage which the Congregational church had in the matter of public support, and it was not until 1833 that the other denominations secured the complete separation of church and state. The moderate attitude of the Federalists of the state lengthened their tenure of power. Governor Brooks, elected by the Federalists in 1817, was a friend of Monroe, and a moderate who often took Republicans for his counselors, a genuine representative of what has been aptly termed the "Indian summer of Federalism in Massachusetts."
The Republican party controlled the other states of the section, but there was in New England, as a whole, a gradual decline and absorption, rather than a destruction, of the Federalist party, while, at the same time, marked internal political differences constituted a basis for subsequent political conflicts. Just before he took his seat in Congress in 1823, Webster lamented to Judge Story that New England did not get out of the "dirty squabble of local politics, and assert her proper character and consequence." "We are disgraced," he said, "beyond help or hope by these things. There is a Federal interest, a Democratic interest, a bankrupt interest, an orthodox interest, and a middling interest; but I see no national interest, nor any national feeling in the whole matter."[Footnote: McMaster, Webster, 99.]
In general, northern New England—Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont- -showed a distinct tendency towards Democracy; in southern New England the fortifications of Federalism and Congregational power lay in a wide belt along the Connecticut River, while along the sea- coast and in the Berkshire region the Democratic forces showed strength.
From the outlying rural forces, where Democracy was strong, the settlement of New-Englanders in the middle west was to come. To Timothy Dwight, the president of Yale, who voiced the extreme conservatism of Federal New England, the pioneers seemed unable to live in regular society. "They are impatient of the restraints of law, religion, and morality; grumble about the taxes, by which Rulers, Ministers, and School-masters, are supported; and complain incessantly, as well as bitterly, of the extortions of mechanics, farmers, merchants, and physicians; to whom they are always indebted. At the same time, they are usually possessed, in their own view, of uncommon wisdom; understand medical science, politics, and religion, better than those, who have studied them through life." These restless men, with nothing to lose, who were delighted with innovation, were, in his judgment, of the type that had ruined Greece and Rome. "In mercy, therefore," exclaimed Dwight, "to the sober, industrious, and well-disposed inhabitants, Providence has opened in the vast western wilderness a retreat, sufficiently alluring to draw them away from the land of their nativity. We have many troubles even now; but we should have many more, if this body of foresters had remained at home." [Footnote: Dwight, Travels, II., 458-463.]
Perhaps the most striking feature of New England life was its organization into communities. What impressed the traveler from other sections or from the Old World was partly the small farms, divided into petty fields by stone fences, but, above all, "the clustering of habitations in villages instead of dispersing them at intervals of a mile over the country." The spires of the white churches of separate hamlets dotted the landscape. Simple comfort and thrift were characteristic of the region. "Here," wrote a Virginia planter, traveling in New England in the early thirties, "is not apparent a hundredth part of the abject squalid poverty that our State presents." [Footnote: "Minor's Journal," in Atlantic Monthly, XXVI., 333.]
The morale of New England was distinctive. Puritanism had founded the section, and two centuries of Calvinistic discipline had molded the New England conscience. That serious self-consciousness, that self-scrutiny, almost morbid at times, by which the Puritan tried to solve the problem of his personal salvation, to determine whether he was of the elect, [Footnote: Wendell, Cotton Mather, 6.] was accompanied by an almost equal anxiety concerning the conduct of his neighbors. The community life of New England emphasized this trait.
Tudor, who was not friendly to the ideals of the "land of steady habits," criticized "the narrowing influence of local policy," and lamented the "sort of habitual, pervading police, made up of Calvinistic inquisition and village scrutiny" in Connecticut. [Footnote: Tudor, Letters on the Eastern States (ed. of 1821), 60.] Not to be one's brother's keeper and not to assent to the dictates of community sentiment were indications of moral laxity. This long training in theological inquiry, this continued emphasis upon conduct, and this use of community sentiment as a means of enforcing certain moral and political ideals, led the New-Englander to war with opposing conceptions wherever he went.
A test of the ideals of New England is found in the attitude of those who spread into new regions. The migrating Yankee was a reformer. A considerable proportion of the New-Englanders who left the section were "come-outers" in religion as in politics; many of the Vermonters and the pioneers who went west were radicals. But the majority of these dissenters from the established order carried with them a body of ideas regarding conduct and a way of looking at the world that were deeply influenced by their old Puritan training. If, indeed, they revolted from the older type of Calvinism in the freer air of a new country, they were, by this sudden release from restraint, likely to develop "isms" of their own, which revealed the strong underlying forces of religious thinking. Lacking the restraining influence of the old Congregational system, some of them contented themselves with placing greater emphasis upon emotional religion and eagerly embraced membership in churches like the Baptist or Methodist, or accepted fellowship with Presbyterians and welcomed the revival spirit of the western churches.
Others used their freedom to proclaim a new order of things in the religious world. Most noteworthy was Mormonism, which was founded by a migrating New England family and was announced and reached its first success among the New-Englanders of New York and Ohio. Antimasonry and spiritualism flourished in the Greater New England in which these emancipated Puritans settled. Wherever the New- Englander went he was a leader in reform, in temperance crusades, in abolition of slavery, in Bible societies, in home missions, in the evangelization of the west, in the promotion of schools, and in the establishment of sectarian colleges.
Perhaps the most significant elements in the disintegration of the old Congregationalism in New England itself, however, were furnished by the Unitarians and the Universalists. For nearly a generation the liberal movement in religion had been progressing. The Unitarian revolt, of which Channing was the most important leader, laid its emphasis upon conduct rather than upon a plan of salvation by atonement. In place of original sin and total depravity, it came more and more to put stress upon the fatherhood of God and the dignity of man. The new optimism of this faith was carried in still another direction by the Universalist movement, with its gospel of universal salvation.
The strength of the Unitarian movement was confined to a limited area about Boston, but within its own sphere of influence it contested successfully with the old Congregational power, captured Harvard College, and caught the imaginations of large numbers of the best educated and prosperous classes of the community. Attempting to adjust themselves between the old order of things on the one side, and the new forces of evangelism and liberalism on the other, another great body of Congregationalists found a middle ground in a movement of modified Calvinism, which sustained the life of Congregationalism in large areas of New England. By these movements of conflict and readjustment, whatever of unity the older Congregational faith had possessed was gradually broken down and a renaissance of religious and moral ideas was ushered in.
This change was soon to find expression in a new literary movement in New England, a movement in which poetry and prose were to take on a cheerful optimism, a joy in life, and an idealism. This new literature reflected the influence of the Unitarian movement, the influence of European romantic literature, and the influence of German philosophy. Before long the Transcendentalists proclaimed the new idealism that was showing itself about Boston. [Footnote: Wendell, Literary Hist. of America, book V., chaps. iv., v.] Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier, Hawthorne, and Emerson were all prophesied in the forces of intellectual change that now spread over the section.
Even New England's statesmen were deeply influenced by the literary spirit. Daniel Webster, although the son of a New Hampshire pioneer whose log cabin was on the edge of the vast forest that stretched north to Canada, had won an education at the "little college" at Dartmouth; and, after his removal to Boston, he captivated New England by his noble commemorative orations and enriched his arguments before the courts by the splendor of his style. He united the strong, passionate nature of his backwoods father with a mind brought under the influences of the cultured society of Boston. John Quincy Adams, also, had been professor of rhetoric and oratory at Harvard, and he found in the classics a solace when the political world grew dark around him. Edward Everett represented even more clearly the union of the man of letters with the political leader. If we except the brilliant but erratic John Randolph, of Roanoke, no statesman from other sections showed this impress of literature.
While these forces were developing, a liberalizing of the colleges, and particularly of Harvard, by the introduction of new courses in literature and science, was in progress. Reform movements, designed to give fuller expression to common-school public education, began, and already in 1821 Boston had established the first English high- school, precursor of a movement of profound importance in the uplifting of the masses. Lyceums and special schools for the laborers flourished in the new centers of manufacturing. The smaller educational centers, like Dartmouth, Bowdoin, Amherst, and Williams, where the farmer boys of New England worked their way through college, sent out each year men to other sections to become leaders at the bar, in the pulpit, in the press, and in the newer colleges. The careers of Amos Kendall, Prentiss, and others illustrate these tendencies. In short, New England was training herself to be the school-mistress of the nation. Her abiding power was to lie in the influence which she exerted in letters, in education, and in reform. She was to find a new life and a larger sphere of activity in the wide-spread western communities which were already invaded by her sons. In furnishing men of talent in these fields she was to have an influence out of all relation to her population.[Footnote: Century Mag., XLVII., 43.]
THE MIDDLE REGION (1820-1830)
The middle states formed a zone of transition between the east and the west, the north and the south [Footnote: For earlier discussions of the middle colonies and states, see Tyler, ENGLAND IN AMERICA, chap, xvii.; Andrews, COLONIAL SELF-GOVERNMENT, chaps, v., vii., xviii., xix.; Greene, PROVINCIAL AMERICA, chaps. xvi.-xviii. (AM. NATION, IV., V., VI.)]. Geographically, they lay on the line of the natural routes between the Atlantic on the one side, and the Ohio and the Great Lakes on the other. [Footnote: Gallatin, WRITINGS, III., 49; Clinton, in LAWS OF THE STATE OF N.Y. IN RELATION TO ERIE AND CHAMPLAIN CANALS, I., 140.] The waters of the Susquehanna, rising near the lake region of central New York, flowed to Chesapeake Bay, which opened into the Atlantic far down Virginia's coast-line. The Great Valley ran through eastern Pennsylvania, across Maryland, and, in the form of the Shenandoah Valley, made a natural highway to the interior of North Carolina. New York City and Philadelphia saw in an intimate connection with the rising west the pledge of their prosperity; and Baltimore, which was both a metropolis of the south and of the middle region, extended her trade north to central New York, west to the Ohio, and south into Virginia, and, like her rivals, sent her fleets to garner the commercial harvest of the sea. In the composition of its population, also, the middle region was a land of transitions between sections, and a prototype of the modern United States, composite in its nationality. In New York an influential Dutch element still remained; the New England settlers had colonized the western half of the state and about equaled the native population. In Pennsylvania, Germans and Scotch-Irishmen had settled in such numbers in the course of the eighteenth century that, by the time of the Revolution, her population was almost evenly divided between these stocks and the English. [Footnote: See Lincoln, Revolutionary Movement in Pa., in University of Pa., Publications, I., 24, 35.] There was also a larger proportion of recent immigrants than in any other state, for by 1830 Pennsylvania had one unnaturalized alien to every fifty inhabitants.
Following the Great Valley in the middle of the same century, the Scotch-Irish and German settlers had poured into the up-country of the south, so that these interior counties of Virginia and the Carolinas were like a peninsula thrust down from Pennsylvania into the south, with economic, racial, social, and religious connections which made an intimate bond between the two sections. A multitude of religious sects flourished in tolerant Pennsylvania, and even the system of local government was a combination of the New England town and the southern county.
This region, therefore, was essentially a mediating, transitional zone, including in its midst an outlying New England and a west, and lacking the essential traits of a separate section. It was fundamentally national in its physiography, its composition, and its ideals—a fighting-ground for political issues which found their leaders in the other sections.
Compared with New England, the middle region was a rapidly growing section. The population of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware combined was about two and three-quarter millions in 1820, and three and two-third millions in 1830. By that date New York alone balanced all New England in the number of its people. But it was its western half that permitted this growth of the middle section. During the decade 1820-1830, New York west of Oneida Lake increased in population by a percentage more than twice as great, and by an amount almost as great, as that of the populous eastern half of the state. By the end of the decade, about one-third of Pennsylvania's population was found west of her central counties. At that time New York and Pennsylvania became the most populous states in the Union. Virginia and Massachusetts, which in 1790 held the lead, had now fallen to third and eighth place respectively. New Jersey, meanwhile, lagged far behind, and Delaware's rate of increase was only five and one-half per cent. In 1829 a member of the Virginia constitutional convention asked: "Do gentlemen really believe, that it is owing to any diversity in the principles of the State Governments of the two states, that New York has advanced to be the first state in the Union, and that Virginia, from being the first, is now the third, in wealth and population? Virginia ceded away her Kentucky, to form a new state; and New York has retained her Genessee—there lies the whole secret." [Footnote: Va. Constitutional Convention, Debates (1829-1830), 405.]
In the closing years of the eighteenth century and the first decade of the nineteenth the New York lands beyond the sources of the Mohawk had been taken up by a colonization characteristically western. New England farmers swarmed into the region, hard on the heels of the retreating Indians. Scarcely more than a decade before 1820 western New York presented typically frontier conditions. The settlers felled and burned the forest, built little towns, and erected mills, and now, with a surplus of agricultural products, they were suffering from the lack of a market and were demanding transportation facilities. Some of their lumber and flour found its way by the lakes and the St. Lawrence to Montreal, a portion went by rafts down the Allegheny to the waters of the Ohio, and some descended the upper tributaries of the Susquehanna and found an outlet in Baltimore or Philadelphia; but these routes were unreliable and expensive, and by one of them trade was diverted from the United States to Canada. There was a growing demand for canals that should give economic unity to New York and turn the tide of her interior commerce along the Mohawk and Lake Champlain into the waters of the Hudson and so to the harbor of New York City. The Erie and the Champlain canals were the outcome of this demand.
It is the glory of De Witt Clinton that he saw the economic revolution which the Erie Canal would work, and that he was able to present clearly and effectively the reasons which made the undertaking practicable and the financial plan which made it possible. He persuaded the legislature by the vision of a greater Hudson River, not only reaching to the western confines of the state, but even, by its connection with Lake Erie, stretching through two thousand miles of navigable lakes and rivers to the very heart of the interior of the United States. To him the Erie Canal was a political as well as an economic undertaking. "As a bond of union between the Atlantic and western states," he declared, "it may prevent the dismemberment of the American empire. As an organ of communication between the Hudson, the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence, the great lakes of the north and west, and their tributary rivers, it will create the greatest inland trade ever witnessed. The most fertile and extensive regions of America will avail themselves of its facilities for a market. All their surplus productions, whether of the soil, the forest, the mines, or the water, their fabrics of art and their supplies of foreign commodities, will concentrate in the city of New-York, for transportation abroad or consumption at home. Agriculture, manufactures, commerce, trade, navigation, and the arts, will receive a correspondent encouragement. That city will, in the course of time become the granary of the world, the emporium of commerce, the seat of manufactures, the focus of great moneyed operations, and the concentrating point of vast, disposable, and accumulating capitals, which will stimulate, enliven, extend, and reward the exertions of human labor and ingenuity, in all their processes and exhibitions. And before the revolution of a century, the whole island of Manhattan, covered with habitations and replenished with a dense population, will constitute one vast city." [Footnote: View of the Grand Canal (N. Y., 1825), 20.]
Sanguine as were Clinton's expectations, the event more than justified his confidence. By 1825 the great canal system, reaching by way of Lake Champlain to the St. Lawrence, and by way of the Mohawk and the lakes of central New York to Lake Erie, was opened for traffic throughout its whole length. The decrease in transportation charges brought prosperity and a tide of population into western New York; villages sprang up along the whole line of the canal; the water-power was utilized for manufactures; land values in the western part of the state doubled and in many cases quadrupled; farm produce more than doubled in value. Buffalo and Rochester became cities. [Footnote: J. Winden, Influence of the Erie Canal (MS. Thesis, University of Wisconsin); U. S. Census of 1900, Population, I., 430, 432; Callender, in Quarterly Journal of Economics, XVII., 22; Hulbert, Historic Highways, XIV., chap. v.] The raw products of the disappearing forests of western New York— lumber, staves, pot and pearl ashes, etc., and the growing surplus of agricultural products, began to flow in increasing volume down this greater Hudson River to New York City. The farther west was also turning its streams of commerce into this channel. The tolls of the canal system were over half a million dollars immediately upon its completion; for 1830 they were over a million dollars. [Footnote: McMaster, United States, V., 135; Canal Commissioners of N. Y., Report (January 17, 1833), App. A.] By 1833 the annual value of the products sent by way of the Erie and Champlain canals was estimated at thirteen million dollars. [Footnote: Pitkin, Statistical View (ed. of 1835), 577.] At the close of this decade the Ohio system of canals, inspired by the success of the Erie Canal, had rendered a large area of that state tributary to New York. The Great Lake navigation grew steadily, the Western Reserve increased its population, and the harbor of Cleveland became a center of trade.
The effect of all this upon New York City was revolutionary. Its population increased from 123,000 in 1820 to 202,000 in 1830. Its real and personal estate rose in value from about seventy million dollars in 1820 to about one hundred and twenty-five million dollars in 1830. [Footnote: U. S. Census of 1900, Population, I., 432; MacGregor, Commercial Statistics of America, 145.] The most significant result of the canal was the development of the commerce of New York City, which rose from a market town for the Hudson River to be the metropolis of the north. The value of the imports of New York state in 1821 was twenty-four million dollars; in 1825, the year of the completion of the canal, it was fifty million dollars. This was an exceptional year, however, and in 1830 the value of the imports was thirty-six million dollars. In 1821 New York had thirty- eight per cent. of the total value of imports into the United States; in 1825, over fifty per cent.; and this proportion she maintained during our period. In the exports of domestic origin, New York was surpassed in 1819 by Louisiana, and in 1820 by South Carolina, but thereafter the state took and held the lead. [Footnote: Compiled from Pitkin, Statistical View.] In 1823 the amount of flour sent from the western portion of New York by the Erie Canal equaled the whole amount which reached New Orleans from the Mississippi Valley in that year. [Footnote: Based on statistics in Report on Internal Commerce, 1887, p. 196; Canal Commissioners of N. Y., Annual Report (February 20, 1824), 33.] The state of New York had by a stroke achieved economic unity, and its metropolis at once became the leading city of the country.
Philadelphia lost power as New York City gained it. Though the counties tributary to Philadelphia constituted the old center of population and political power, the significant fact of growth in Pennsylvania was the increasing importance of Pittsburgh at the gateway to the Ohio Valley. In the Great Valley beyond the Blue Ridge lived the descendants of those early Germans and Scotch- Irishmen who early occupied the broad and level fields of this fertile zone, the granary of Pennsylvania. Beyond this rock-walled valley lay the mountains in the west and north of the state, their little valleys occupied by farmers, but already giving promise of the rich yield of iron and coal on which the future greatness of the state was to rest. The anthracite mines of the northeastern corner of the state, which have given to their later possessors such influence over the industries of the country, were just coming into use. The iron ores of the middle mountain counties found their way to the forges at Pittsburgh. Already the bituminous coals of the western counties were serving to generate steam-power for the mills upon the upper waters of the Ohio, but, as yet, the iron manufacturers of the state depended on the abundant forests for the production of coke for smelting.
The problem of transportation pressed hard upon Pennsylvania from the beginning. While Philadelphia was obliged to contest with Baltimore the possession of the eastern half of the state, she saw the productions of the western counties descending the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans. Even the trade in manufactured goods which she had formerly sent to the western rivers was now menaced from two quarters: the development of steam navigation on the Mississippi enabled New Orleans to compete for this trade; and the construction of the Erie Canal, with the projected system of tributary canals in Ohio, made it plain to Pennsylvania that New York was about to wrest from her the markets of the west. It had taken thirty days and cost five dollars a hundred pounds to transport goods from Philadelphia to Columbus, Ohio; the same articles could be brought in twenty days from New York, by the Erie Canal, at a cost of two dollars and a half a hundred. [Footnote: McMaster, United States, V., 136.] To Pennsylvania the control of the western market, always an important interest, had led in 1800 to the construction of a system of turnpikes to connect Philadelphia with Pittsburgh over the mountains, which developed a great wagon trade. But the days of this wagon trade were now numbered, for the National Road, joining the Ohio and the Potomac and passing south of Pittsburgh, diverted a large share of this overland trade to Baltimore. The superior safety, rapidity, and cheapness of canal communication showed Pennsylvania that she must adjust her transportation to the new conditions.
The way was prepared by the experience of corporations attempting to reach the coal-fields of northeastern Pennsylvania. In 1820 practically the whole output from the anthracite fields came from the Lehigh Valley and amounted to three hundred and sixty-five tons- -an equivalent of one for each day of the year. By the end of the decade the output of the anthracite fields was about one hundred and seventy-five thousand tons, and the retail price was reduced to six dollars and a half a ton. Navigation had been secured by the coal companies between the mines and Philadelphia by the Schuylkill; the Union Canal connected the Schuylkill and Susquehanna, and New York City was supplied by the Delaware Canal. [Footnote: McCulloch, Commercial Dictionary (ed. of 1852), I., 366; U.S. Census of 1880, IV.; Worthington, Finances of Pa.]
This activity in Pennsylvania in the improvement of navigation so far had been the work of corporations; but now, with the growth of population in the west and the completion of the Erie Canal, a popular demand arose for state construction of inland waterways. In 1825 the legislature passed an act under which an extensive system of canals was begun, to connect Philadelphia with Pittsburgh, the Allegheny River with Lake Erie, and Philadelphia with the central counties of New York at the head of the Susquehanna. [Footnote: See chap. xvii., below.] Obstacles speedily developed in the jealousies of the various sections of the state. The farmers of the Great Valley, whose interests lay in the development of a communication with Baltimore, were not enthusiastic; the southern counties of the state, along the line of the turnpikes, found their interests threatened; and the citizens of the northwestern counties were unwilling to postpone their demands for an outlet while the trunk- line was building. These jealousies furnish issues for the politics of the state during the rest of the decade. [Footnote: McCarthy, 'Antimasonic Party,' in Am. Hist. Assoc., Report 1902, I., 427.]
Nevertheless, Pennsylvania was growing rich through the development of her agriculture and her manufactures. The iron industry of the state was the largest in the Union. Although the industry was only in its infancy, Pittsburgh was already producing or receiving a large part of the pig-iron that was produced in Pennsylvania. The figures of the census of 1820 give to the middle states over forty per cent, of the product of pig-iron and castings and wrought iron in the United States, the value of the latter article for Pennsylvania being one million one hundred and fifty-six thousand dollars as against four hundred and seventy-two thousand dollars for New York. [Footnote: Secretary of Treasury, 'Report,' 1854-1855, p. 90.] The influence of this industry upon Pennsylvania politics became apparent in the discussions over the protective tariff during the decade.
Together, New York and Pennsylvania constituted a region dominated by interest in the production of grain and the manufacture of iron. Vast as was the commerce that entered the port of New York, the capital and shipping for the port were furnished in part by New England, and the real interest of the section was bound up with the developing resources of the interior of the nation.
It must not be forgotten that, in these years of entrance upon its industrial career, the middle region was also the scene of intellectual movements of importance. These were the days when the Knickerbocker school in New York brought independence and reputation to American literature, when Irving, although abroad, worked the rich mine of Hudson River traditions, and Cooper utilized his early experience in the frontier around Lake Otsego to write his "Leatherstocking Tales." Movements for social amelioration abounded. The lighting of New York City and Philadelphia by gas diminished crime. Reform movements with regard to imprisonment for debt and the improvement of the condition of prisons, temperance movements, improvements in the administration of the public schools, and the increase in the number of high-schools were all indicative of the fact that this new democracy was not unresponsive to ideals. Among the New England element of western New York, as has already been pointed out, there arose some of the most interesting religious and political movements of the period, such as Mormonism, Spiritualism, and Antimasonry. The Presbyterians and Baptists found a sympathetic constituency in the new regions. It is easy to see that the traits of these western counties of the middle states were such that idealistic political movements, as antislavery, would find in them effective support.
Obviously, the political traits of this section would have a significance proportionate to the power of its population and resources. On the whole, the middle region was the most democratic section of the seaboard, but it was managed by the politicians under a system of political bargaining for the spoils of office. The old ascendancy which the great families exercised over New York politics [Footnote: Becker, "Nominations in Colonial New York" (Am. Hist. Rev., VI., 261).] was on the wane. The rise of the western half of the state diminished the influence of the successors to the patroons; but, nevertheless, family power continued to make itself felt, and a group of new men arose, around whom factions formed and dissolved in a kaleidoscope of political change.
During the colonial period, executive patronage and land grants had been used to promote the interests of the men in power, and the reaction against executive corruption resulted in a provision in New York's constitution of 1777 whereby the executive was limited by the Council of Appointment. The state was divided into four districts, and one senator from each was selected by the House of Representatives to serve in this council. [Footnote: Fish, Civil Service, 87.] By 1821 the council appointed 8287 military officers and 6663 civil officers. Nearly all the state officers, all the mayors, militia officers, and justices of the peace fell under its control.[Footnote: Hammond, Political Parties in N.Y., II., 65.] This concentration of the appointive power in the hands of the dominant faction brought the system of rotation in office, and the doctrine that to the victors belong the spoils of war, to a climax. It led to the building up of political machines by the use of offices, from the lowest to the highest, as the currency for political trading. The governor was checked, but the leaders of the party in power held despotic control over the offices of the state.
This bargaining was facilitated by the extension of the system of nominating conventions. From the local units of town and county upwards, the custom of sending delegates to conventions had early developed in the state. It had become a settled practice for the representatives of one local unit to agree with those of another regarding the order in which their favorite sons should receive office. Town bargained with town, county with county, district with district. In place of the system of control by the established classes, New York's democracy was learning to elaborate the machinery of nomination by the people; but in the process there was developed a race of managing politicians, and the campaigns tended to become struggles between personal elements for power rather than contests on political issues.
The finished product of New York politics is shown in Van Buren, the devotee of "regularity" in party and the adroit manager of its machinery. Shrewdness, tact, and self-reliant judgment, urbane good- humor, mingled with a suspicious and half-cynical expression, were written on his face. "Little Van" was an affable, firm, and crafty politician. Although he was not a creative statesman, neither was he a mere schemer. He had definite ideas, if not convictions, of the proper lines of policy, and was able to state them with incisive and forcible argument when occasion demanded. To him, perhaps, more than to any other of the politicians, fell the task of organizing the campaign of Crawford, and afterwards of making the political combinations that brought in the reign of Andrew Jackson. He was the leader of that element of New York politics known as the Bucktails, from the emblem worn by the Tammany Society. Clinton, his opponent, exercised an influence somewhat akin to the Livingstons, the Schuylers, the Van Rensselaers, and the other great family leaders in the baronial days of New York politics. Brusque, arrogant, and ambitious, he combined the petty enmities of a domineering politician with flashes of statesman-like insight, and he crushed his way to success by an exterminating warfare against his enemies. Around him gathered a personal following embracing one wing of the Republicans, aided by a large fraction of the old Federal party. For the most part, his strength lay along the line of the Erie Canal and in the regions where the New England element was strong.
About these New York rivals were grouped many lesser lights, for the political organization tended to create a multitude of able political leaders, many of them capable of holding high position, but few of them swayed by compelling ideas or policies.
In Pennsylvania, where the spoils system and the nominating convention developed contemporaneously with the movement in New York, there were even fewer men of the highest political rank. Gallatin's effective career belongs to an earlier period, and he had no successor, as a national figure, among the Pennsylvania party chieftains.
THE SOUTH (1820-1830)
In the decade which forms the subject of this volume, no section underwent more far-reaching changes than did the group of South Atlantic states made up of Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia, with which this chapter will deal under the name of the south. Then it was that the south came to appreciate the effect of the westward spread of the cotton-plant upon slavery and politics. The invention of the cotton-gin by Eli Whitney, [Footnote: Am. Hist. Review, III., 99.] in 1793, made possible the profitable cultivation of the short-staple variety of cotton. Before this, the labor of taking the seeds by hand from this variety, the only one suited to production in the uplands, had prevented its use; thereafter, it was only a question of time when the cotton area, no longer limited to the tidewater region, would extend to the interior, carrying slavery with it. This invention came at an opportune time. Already the inventions of Arkwright, Hargreaves, and Cartwright had worked a revolution in the textile industries of England, by means of the spinning-jenny, the power-loom, and the factory system, furnishing machinery for the manufacture of cotton beyond the world's supply.[Footnote: M. B. Hammond, Cotton Industry, chaps, i., ii.; Von Halle, "Baumwollproduktion," in Schmoller, Staats und Social- wissenschaftliche Forschungen, XV.] Under the stimulus of this demand for cotton, year by year the area of slavery extended towards the west. In the twenties, some of the southern counties of Virginia were attempting its cultivation; [Footnote: Va. Const. Conv., Debates (1829-1830), 333, 336; Martin, Gazetteer of Va. and D. C. (1836), 99.] interior counties of North Carolina were combining cotton-raising with their old industries; in South Carolina the area of cotton and slavery had extended up the rivers well beyond the middle of the state; [Footnote: Schaper, "Sectionalism and Representation in S. C.," in Am. Hist. Assoc. Report, 1900, I., 387- 393.] while in Georgia the cotton planters, so long restrained by the Indian line, broke through the barriers and spread over the newly ceded lands. [Footnote: Phillips, "Georgia and State Rights," in Ibid., 1901, II. 140 (map).] The accompanying table shows the progress of this crop: It is evident from the figures that tidewater South Carolina and Georgia produced practically all of the cotton crop in 1791, when the total was but two million pounds. By 1821 the old south produced one hundred and seventeen million pounds, and, five years later, one hundred and eighty millions. But how rapidly in these five years the recently settled southwest was overtaking the older section cotton crop (in million pounds)[Footnote: Based on MacGregor, Commercial Statistics, 462; cf. De Bow's Review, XVII., 428; Von Halle, Baumwollproduktion, 169; Secretary of Treasury, Report, 1855-1856, p. 116. There are discrepancies; the figures are to be taken as illustrative rather than exact; e.g., De Bow gives seventy million pounds for Mississippi in 1826.] [Table omitted] is shown by its total of over one hundred and fifty millions. By 1834 the southwest had distanced the older section. What had occurred was a repeated westward movement: the cotton-plant first spread from the sea-coast to the uplands, and then, by the beginning of our period, advanced to the Gulf plains, until that region achieved supremacy in its production.
How deeply the section was interested in this crop, and how influential it was in the commerce of the United States, appears from the fact that, in 1820, the domestic exports of South Carolina and Georgia amounted to $15,215,000, while the value of the whole domestic exports for all the rest of the United States was $36,468,000. [Footnote: Pitkin, Statistical View (ed. of 1835), p. 57.] This, however, inadequately represents the value of the exports from these two cotton states, because a large fraction of the cotton was carried by the coastwise trade to northern ports and appeared in their shipments. Senator William Smith, of South Carolina, estimated that in 1818 the real exports of South Carolina and Georgia amounted to "more than half as much as that of the other states of the Union, including the vast and fertile valley of the Mississippi." The average annual amount of the exports of cotton, tobacco, and rice from the United States between 1821 and 1830 was about thirty-three million dollars, while all other domestic exports made a sum of but twenty million dollars. [Footnote: Ibid., 518.] Even greater than New England's interest in the carrying-trade was the interest of the south in the exchange of her great staples in the markets of Europe.
Never in history, perhaps, was an economic force more influential upon the life of a people. As the production of cotton increased, the price fell, and the seaboard south, feeling the competition of the virgin soils of the southwest, saw in the protective tariff for the development of northern manufactures the real source of her distress. The price of cotton was in these years a barometer of southern prosperity and of southern discontent. [Footnote: See chap, xix., below; M. B. Hammond, Cotton Industry, part i., App. i.; Donnell, Hist. of Cotton; Watkins, Production and Prices of Cotton.]
Even more important than the effect of cotton production upon the prosperity of the south was its effect upon her social system. This economic transformation resuscitated slavery from a moribund condition to a vigorous and aggressive life. Slowly Virginia and North Carolina came to realize that the burden and expense of slavery as the labor system for their outworn tobacco and corn fields was partly counteracted by the demand for their surplus Negroes in the cotton-fields of their more southern neighbors. When the lower south accepted the system as the basis of its prosperity and its society, the tendency in the states of the upper south, except in the pine barrens and the hill country, to look upon the institution as a heritage to be reluctantly and apologetically accepted grew fainter. The efforts to find some mode of removing the Negro from their midst gradually came to an end, and they adjusted themselves to slavery as a permanent system. Meanwhile, South Carolina and Georgia found in the institution the source of their economic well-being and hotly challenged the right of other sections to speak ill of it or meddle with it in any way, lest their domestic security be endangered. [Footnote: See Hart, Slavery and Abolition (Am. Nation, XVI.)] When the south became fully conscious that slavery set the section apart from the rest of the nation, when it saw in nationalizing legislation, such as protection to manufactures and the construction of a system of internal improvements, the efforts of other sections to deprive the cotton states of their profits for the benefit of an industrial development in which they did not share, deep discontent prevailed. With but slight intermission from the days of Washington to those of Monroe, the tobacco planters under the Virginia dynasty had ruled the nation. But now, when the center of power within the section passed from the weakening hands of Virginia to those of South Carolina, the aggressive leader of the Cotton Kingdom, the south found itself a minority section in the Union. When it realized this, it denied the right of the majority to rule, and proceeded to elaborate a system of minority rights as a protection against the forces of national development, believing that these forces threatened the foundations of the prosperity and even the social safety of the south.
From the middle of the eighteenth century the seaboard planters had been learning the lesson of control by a fraction of the population. The south was by no means a unified region in its physiography. The Blue Ridge cut off the low country of Virginia from the Shenandoah Valley, and beyond this valley the Alleghenies separated the rest of the state from those counties which we now know as West Virginia. By the time of the Revolution, in the Carolinas and Georgia, a belt of pine barrens, skirting the "fall line" from fifty to one hundred miles from the coast, divided the region of tidewater planters of these states from the small farmers of the up-country. This population of the interior had entered the region in the course of the second half of the eighteenth century. Scotch-Irishmen and Germans passed down the Great Valley from Pennsylvania into Virginia, and through the gaps in the Blue Ridge out to the Piedmont region of the Carolinas, while contemporaneously other streams from Charleston advanced to meet them. [Footnote: Bassett, in Am. Hist. Assoc., Report 1894, p. 141; Schaper, ibid., 1900, I., 317; Phillips, ibid., 1901, II., 88.] Thus, at the close of the eighteenth century, the south was divided into two areas presenting contrasted types of civilization. On the one side were the planters, raising their staple crops of tobacco, rice, and indigo, together with some cultivation of the cereals. To this region belonged the slaves. On the other side was this area of small farmers, raising livestock, wheat, and corn under the same conditions of pioneer farming as characterized the interior of Pennsylvania.
From the second half of the eighteenth century down to the time with which this volume deals, there was a persistent struggle between the planters of the coast, who controlled the wealth of the region, and the free farmers of the interior of Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. The tidewater counties retained the political power which they already possessed before this tide of settlement flowed into the back-country. Refusing in most of these states to reapportion on the basis of numbers, they protected their slaves and their wealth against the dangers of a democracy interested in internal improvements and capable of imposing a tax upon slave property in order to promote their ends. In Virginia, in 1825, for example, the western men complained that twenty counties in the upper country, with over two hundred and twenty thousand free white inhabitants, had no more weight in the government than twenty counties on tidewater, containing only about fifty thousand; that the six smallest counties in the state, compared with the six largest, enjoyed nearly ten times as much political power. [Footnote: Alexandria Herald, June 13, 1825.] To the gentlemen planters of the seaboard, the idea of falling under the control of the farmers of the interior of the south seemed intolerable.
It was only as slavery spread into the uplands, with the cultivation of cotton, that the lowlands began to concede and to permit an increased power in the legislatures to the sections most nearly assimilated to the seaboard type. South Carolina achieved this end in 1808 by the plan of giving to the seaboard the control of one house, while the interior held the other; but it is to be noted that this concession was not made until slavery had pushed so far up the river-courses that the reapportionment preserved the control in the hands of slave-holding counties. [Footnote: Calhoun, Works, I., 401; Schaper, Sectionalism and Representation in S. C., in Am. Hist. Assoc., Report 1900, I., 434-437.] A similar course was followed by Virginia in the convention of 1829-1830, when, after a long struggle, a compromise was adopted, by which the balance of power in the state legislature was transferred to the counties of the Piedmont and the Valley. [Footnote: Va. Const. Conv., Debates (1829- 1830); Chandler, Representation in Va., in Johns Hopkins Univ. Studies, XIV., 286-298.] Here slave-holding had progressed so far that the interest of those counties was affiliated rather with the coast than with the trans-Allegheny country. West Virginia remained a discontented area until her independent statehood in the days of the Civil War. These transmontane counties of Virginia were, in their political activity during our period, rather to be reckoned with the west than with the south. Thus the southern seaboard experienced the need of protecting the interests of its slave- holding planters against the free democracy of the interior of the south itself, and learned how to safeguard the minority. This experience was now to serve the south, when, having attained unity by the spread of slavery into the interior, it found itself as a section in the same relation to the Union which the slave-holding tidewater area had held towards the more populous up-country of the south.
The unification of the section is one of the most important features of the period. Not only had the south been divided into opposing areas, as we have seen, but even its population was far from homogeneous. By the period of this volume, however, English, French- Huguenots, Scotch-Irish, and Germans had become assimilated into one people, and the Negroes, who in 1830 in the South Atlantic states numbered over a million and a half in a white population of not much over two millions, were diffusing themselves throughout the area of the section except in West Virginia and the mountains. Contemporaneously the pioneer farming type of the interior of the section was replaced by the planter type. [Footnote: Niles' Register, XXI., 132; cf. p. 55 below.] As cotton-planting and slave- holding advanced into the interior counties of the old southern states, the free farmers were obliged either to change to the plantation economy and buy slaves, or to sell their lands and migrate. Large numbers of them, particularly in the Carolinas, were Quakers or Baptists, whose religious scruples combined with their agricultural habits to make this change obnoxious. This upland country, too distant from the sea-shore to permit a satisfactory market, was a hive from which pioneers earlier passed into Kentucky and Tennessee, until those states had become populous commonwealths. Now the exodus was increased by this later colonization.[Footnote: See chap. v. below.] The Ohio was crossed, the Mississippi-Missouri ascended, and the streams that flowed to the Gulf were followed by movers away from the regions that were undergoing this social and economic reconstruction. This industrial revolution was effective in different degrees in the different states. Comparatively few of Virginia's slaves, which by 1830 numbered nearly half a million, were found in her trans-Allegheny counties, but the Shenandoah Valley was receiving slaves and changing to the plantation type. In North Carolina the slave population of nearly two hundred and fifty thousand, at the same date, had spread well into the interior, but cotton did not achieve the position there which it held farther south. The interior farmers worked small farms of wheat and corn, laboring side by side with their Negro slaves in the fields. [Footnote: Bassett, Slavery in N. C., in Johns Hopkins Univ. Studies, XVII., 324, 399.] South Carolina had over three hundred thousand slaves-more than a majority of her population—and the black belt extended to the interior. Georgia's slaves, amounting to over two hundred thousand, somewhat less than half her population, steadily advanced from the coast and the Savannah River towards the cotton-lands of the interior, pushing before them the less prosperous farmers, who found new homes to the north or south of the cotton-belt or migrated to the southwestern frontier.[Footnote: Phillips, Georgia and State Rights, in Am. Hist. Assoc., Report 1901, II., 106.] Here, as in North Carolina, the planters in the interior of the state frequently followed the plough or encouraged their slaves by wielding the hoe. [Footnote: Phillips, Georgia and State Rights, in Am. Hist. Assoc., Report 1901, II., 107.] Thus this process of economic transformation passed from the coast towards the mountain barrier, gradually eliminating the inharmonious elements and steadily tending to produce a solidarity of interests. The south as a whole was becoming, for the first time since colonial days, a staple-producing region; and, as diversified farming declined, the region tended to become dependent for its supplies of meat products, horses, and mules, and even hay and cereals, upon the north and west.
The westward migration of its people checked the growth of the south. It had colonized the new west at the same time that the middle region had been rapidly growing in population, and the result was that the proud states of the southern seaboard were reduced to numerical inferiority. Like New England, it was an almost stationary section. Prom 1820 to 1830 the states of this group gained little more than half a million souls, hardly more than the increase of the single state of New York. Virginia, with a population of over a million, increased but 13.7 per cent., and the Carolinas only 15.5 per cent. In the next decade these tendencies were even more clearly shown, for Virginia and the Carolinas then gained but little more than 2 per cent.