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17 March 2016

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BabelFish

Bravo, Richard! An excellent continuation of Pat's essay and very illuminating of a history that, for many, has faded into fable and misinterpretation. I will look forward to additions to this chapter.

kao_hsien_chih

After reading both the colonel's essay and Mr. Sales', I'm pondering if the better comparison for Trump is Teddy Roosevelt.

There are some obvious parallels: they were both born to considerable wealth in New York. They are both far abler, intellectual, and clear headed than people give them credit for. They are both shameless self promoters who wrap themselves in a quasi-populist aura and bombast (and perhaps seriously believe their talk without completely falling for it--a difficult achievement if true), and Trump is in process of breaking the Republican Party in much the same fashion as Roosevelt did in 1912 (and, in a sense, even when he was the president, years before 1912). And ultimately, they are, in a somewhat odd sense, genuinely believed to be men of the people--including possibly by themselves.

Medicine Man

Richard: Your description of the financial misery present in 1819 sounds a lot like the present day circumstances. The narrow greed of a certain set of people giving rise to reckless speculation, wild cat banking, and masses of people over invested in real estate. History really does rhyme, doesn't it.

William R. Cumming

As always Richard thanks for your insights. In particular I note your awareness that Jackson was a decider and before the Presidency had been at the heart of great decisions including military campaigns. In other words he had withstood the weight of events.

If in fact it is at least arguable that America is in decline then tough choices face citizens and residents. It will be of interest to see which candidates are chosen by the American electorate to make those choices.

Matthew

Thank you Richard for a wonderful. Militant nationalist is the perfect phrase for Jackson. As our talking heads like to say about the ME, Jackson grew up a "very rough neighborhood." Running for public office was a potential fatal choice. Your opponent might challenge you to duel if you beat him at the ballet box.

An interesting counterfactual: Imagine President Jackson had died in 1855 instead of 1845. Would he have helped save the Union? Would he have gotten his wish of shooting Henry Clay and hanging John C. Calhoun?

James

Richard- Thank you for continuing the conversation about President Jackson. You and the Colonel are quite right that he is a pivotal figure for understanding American Populism. If you would allow me, however, I would like to point out a few differences between Jackson and Trump that are also relevant to our current situation. I am an avid reader of SST but as a former REMF I have been content to shut up and be educated. When it comes to American history though, I have some expertise. President Jackson was a plain spoken soldier but he was also what used to be called a ‘gentleman,’ meaning not a well born and well educated member of the upper class but a man who minded his manners concerning women. Several of his duels can be traced back to harsh words spoken about his wife and his initial break with Calhoun can be sourced to the callous and cruel treatment of a Cabinet member’s wife by untitled aristocrats. The political rupture that followed was real and substantial but because personal relationships had been poisoned, it could not be overcome. This is not to say that the General was unforgiving. He was able to form political and personal friendships with people who had literally shot him but in those cases the ‘honor’ of a lady was not involved. Mr. Trump OTOH is not simply plain spoken; he is a cad. Politically, the most critical difference between Trump and Jackson is that the President was very pro-immigrant; Jefferson’s (and Jackson’s) political support was not only in the South but also in the cities of the North. That support was particularly strong among the rabidly republican Irish immigrants (and refugees) who hated the Crown. The Alien and Sedition Act was aimed at that constituency. Jackson was what we would now call Scots-Irish but in his day that just meant plain Irish. He was a member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. He was the first member of his family to be born in the New World. He lost one brother in combat during the Revolution; another died as a POW. His mother died while nursing American prisoners. The President was, by today’s standards, a child soldier. Even if we discount the story of the General’s abuse at the hands of a British officer while he was a POW, Jackson had no reason to forgive the aristocracy of birth for killing his entire foreign born family and devastating his native country. Jackson’s political positions demonstrate that in America at least, populism does not equal nativism. As an Arkansan and an Irish-American I would also like to remind SST readers that today is the birthday of Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne who was shot by American nativists before the Civil War for adhering to the pro-immigrant stance of the party of Jefferson and Jackson. Cleburne and future Confederate Major General Thomas Hindman killed their nativist assailants and had to flee to Democratic and pro-immigrant Mississippi to avoid a lynching. They became Democratic party activists, fire breathing secessionists, Confederate nationalists, and advocated freeing the South’s slaves. http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/primarysources/patrick-r-cleburne-et-al.html

Richard Sale

No it doesn't, and it never goes away.

Richard

scott s.

James / Richard:

So what was Jackson's relationship to the Albany Regency?

James

Scott - Albany Regency was associated with Van Buren so I'd say it was a Jackson ally but not beholden personally to Jackson.

William R. Cumming

Thanks for this insightful comment. Time will tell!

William R. Cumming

Did you know that professional historians have concluded Lincoln a "Clay" man?

William R. Cumming

Not sure of your reference to the Alien & Sedition Act: "The Alien and Sedition Act was aimed at that constituency."

Enacted under President John Adams and repealed it was opposed by Madison [in secret] and others in the so-called Virginia Resolutions. A story that should be emphasized even now as the struggle to control the DEEEP STATE continues.

William R. Cumming

Wiki Extract:

Martin Van Buren (Dutch: Maarten van Buren -About this sound pronunciation (help·info); December 5, 1782 – July 24, 1862) was an American politician who served as the eighth President of the United States (1837–41). A member of the Democratic Party, he served in a number of senior roles, including eighth Vice President (1833–37) and tenth Secretary of State (1829–31), both under Andrew Jackson. Van Buren's inability as president to deal with the economic chaos of the Panic of 1837 and with the surging Whig Party led to his defeat in the 1840 election.

Of Dutch ancestry, Van Buren learned early to interact with people from multiple ethnic, income, and societal groups, which he used to his advantage as a political organizer. A meticulous dresser, he could mingle in upper class society as well as in saloon environments like the tavern his father ran. A delegate to a political convention at age 18, he quickly moved from local to state politics, gaining fame both as a political organizer and an accomplished lawyer. Elected to the Senate by the state legislature in 1821, Van Buren supported William H. Crawford for president in 1824, but by 1828 had come to support General Andrew Jackson. Van Buren was a major supporter and organizer for Jackson in the 1828 election. Jackson was elected, and made Van Buren Secretary of State.

During Jackson's eight years as president, Van Buren was a key advisor, and built the organizational structure for the coalescing Democratic Party, particularly in New York. In 1831, following his resignation as Secretary of State, Jackson gave Van Buren a recess appointment as American minister to Britain, but Van Buren's nomination was rejected by the Senate, cutting short his service in London. He was successful in the jockeying to become Jackson's picked successor, and was elected vice president in 1832. Van Buren defeated several Whig opponents in 1836, and was elected president. He was the third sitting Vice President to be elected directly to the presidency, following John Adams in 1796 and Thomas Jefferson in 1800, and the last for 152 years, until George H. W. Bush was elected in 1988.

Matthew

WRC: Clay, like Daniel Webster, is one of those great "almost made it" men.

Matthew

James: James: Cleburne's family was part of the Protestant Anglo-Irish Ascendancy. These are the people who produced the Duke of Wellington and Gen. Pakenham (killed at Battle of New Orleans), and many, many other great soldiers.

Tidewater

Tidewater to Richard Sale and All,

Thank you and also Col. Lang, for the two essays on Jackson and how that turbulent era might apply to the coming election. One thing that ought to be remarked on are current racial tensions between black and white, even the possibility of "something" happening, perhaps black rioting in the near future or police assassination; which was also a deadly serious concern in the white population around 1800, the fear of black slave rebellion--which led into the Nullification Crisis in South Carolina.

There is a lot of historical focus on the Tariff designed to protect New England manufacturing after the War of 1812, which meant that southerners would pay a lot more for what they imported. Men like Thompas Cooper defined this action by the central government as a progressive transfer of power to the north, a steady debilitation of the agricultural South that would never end until the South was brought to servitude and ruin. It called into question the whole idea of the Union.

Henry Savage, from Camden, S.C., in "Seeds of Time", wrote a brilliant 312-page book (published in 1959) which discusses the "Background of Southern Thinking."

The agricultural system, Savage wrote, was "enormously productive of wealth, more for the North, however, than for the South. More than half of the nation's exports were products of Southern soil--and in every instance, their production made the section poorer by diminishing the resources of forest and mine, or by depleting the soils and subjecting them to devastating erosion. Virtually all of the nation's tobacco, sugar, rice, and cotton came out of the South. Cotton alone comprised forty per cent of the country's exports. But out of every dollar received for it, forty cents stayed in the North, in the form of factors' commissions, interest charges, freight, and insurance. The sixty cents remaining had to take care of the cost of growing the crop, its ginning and delivery to port, and, if anything were left over, the profit to the farmer..." And there was always the risk of bad years, crop failures.

"Even greater were the North's profits flowing from Southern commodities through their fabrications in the North: the spinning and weaving of cotton, fashioning of lumber into usable articles, the making of rum from molasses, and ropes from hemp.

"Beyond that the North further profited from the South's plantation economy...Corn and pork, the standard fare of its slaves, and to a large extent of the masters, too, were mostly imported instead of being raised..."

The society was agricultural, it was rural, and in it there was "the all-pervading presence of the Negro in great numbers." The Negro "was most numerous in what is known as the Black Belt, a strip beginning in Tidewater Virginia and extending with increasing width southwardly to Florida and westwardly along the Gulf coast to beyond the Mississippi, in most of which his numbers greatly exceeded the white population."

Savage notes that all the early Southern leadership came from out of the Black Belt. White leadership had always been anxiously concerned with the predicament that would become "the peculiar institution." The black man was the hand that was dealt. What were you going to do about the slave-based society that you inherited from your great grandfather? What COULD you do about it? It was absolutely believed that the black man was racially inferior. Underneath it all was a kind of grim, mutual, cynical understanding that the overly emotional Caliban man-child brute was going to have to be permanently controlled. White fear evolved into a white society marching finally in lockstep: "Give me Slavery or Give me Death." The black issue was non-negotiable, an existential threat. It was the South's problem and the South had to be allowed to deal with it as it saw fit.

There had always been black rebellions, as on the Stono River, in the Eighteenth century. Then came the black revolution in Haiti, from 1791 to 1804. Refugees into Norfolk and Charleston brought horror stories. There was a real and growing fear. In 1800 came the Gabriel insurrection around Richmond, that reached from Dinwiddie on the south side all the way north to the Rappahannock. In 1822 came the Denmark Vesey rebellion in Charleston. This uprising had sent organizers up to Georgetown by boat on the waterway behind the sea islands. That was surprising! In 1832 came the Southampton County (Nat Turner) rebellion, almost certainly influenced by slave knowledge of the so-called "Santo Domingo" insurrection picked up in Norfolk.

And finally, the Abolition movement began.

I think Andrew Jackson's response to the Nullification crisis was brilliant, a textbook case of good leadership. Step by step he made the right moves. He prevailed in the end, in a struggle that lasted essentially from 1828-1832. This struggle was essentially a civil war within South Carolina between Unionist and Secessionist. Nevertheless, out of it came the larger war of 1861-1865.

Bad things happened then. I think bad things are happening now. I think racial attitudes that were held by white men in Jacksonian times are still held by millions of American whites. There seems to be panic about this in the present American leadership that somehow the clock is going to be turned back. And as a result, somewhere a black community blows up. And that will not be the end of it.

I also think that blacks will continue to be killed by police on a regular basis and that grand juries will not indict.

I don't think blacks can compete with Hispanics and I think that they know it. I was told by a black guy on a job, that I should just find Hispanics to get the job done. Recently I picked up a bad vibe from a black workmen. I thought I caught a whiff of class warfare. Something is going on and it is not exactly rational.

I think overall black wealth has significiently diminished since 2008. (Also in South Africa.) I don't think the economy will come back; not the economy by and large as it exists for blacks. Blacks are still on the bottom and they will stay on the bottom.

Noone knows what to do about this.

Something big and bad this way comes.

William R. Cumming

Clay and Webster no Cruz and Rubio. I listened to many Senate debates as a teenager with a friend [later Station Chief in Rome] and still watch on C-Span from time to time. No lions in this Senate IMO!

James

Sorry I am so late in responding Mr. Cumming. The 1799 rising in Ireland led to a considerable increase in Irish immigration to Philadelphia especially. These immigrants were republicans and very close in ideology to Jefferson. Residence in the US required a personal license from the President according to Article 1 of the Alien Act (not the Enemy Alien Act). This would allow the sitting president to screen immigrants by political position. In combination with the Enemy Alien and Sedition Acts, foreign born persons could be deported for voicing opinions that would not show due respect to the president personally.

James

Sorry for being so slow to respond Matthew. Cleburne's grandfather was indeed a member of the Ascendency nobility, Cleburne was also related to the Scottish nobility. His mother was a Roane-an Old English family related to the Gaelic aristocracy but Protestant like the Burkes. Cleburne was usually thought of as Irish but he was also claimed by the Scots (as was Parnell). He was very proud of his service as an NCO in an Irish regiment of the British Army.

William R. Cumming

Thanks for your insights as always. The Census Bureau staffs up each time for the Decennial Census but are you aware of the politics of the Census? IMO certain US populations subject to dramatic under counts. Blacks, however defined, specifically. Perhaps the Constitution's original expressed 2/3 of each non-citizen still valid.

William R. Cumming

Wiki Extract:

The Alien and Sedition Acts were four bills passed by the Federalist dominated 5th United States Congress, and signed into law by Federalist President John Adams in 1798. They made it harder for an immigrant to become a citizen (Naturalization Act), allowed the president to imprison and deport non-citizens who were deemed dangerous (Alien Friends Act) or who were from a hostile nation (Alien Enemies Act), and criminalized making false statements that were critical of the federal government (Sedition Act). The Federalists argued that they strengthened national security during an undeclared naval war with France. Critics argued that they were primarily an attempt to suppress voters who disagreed with the Federalist party, and violated the right of freedom of speech in the First Amendment.[2] Three of the acts were repealed after the Democratic-Republican party of Thomas Jefferson came to power. But the Alien Enemies Act remained in effect, was revised and codified in 1918 for use in World War I, and was used by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to imprison Japanese, German, and Italian aliens during World War II. Following cessation of hostilities, the act was used by President Harry S. Truman to continue to imprison, then deport, aliens of the formerly hostile nations. In 1948 the Supreme Court determined that presidential powers under the acts continued after cessation of hostilities, until there was a peace treaty with the hostile nation. The revised Alien Enemies Act remains in effect today.

The Naturalization Act increased the residency requirement for American citizenship from five to 14 years. At the time, the majority of immigrants supported Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans, the political opponents of the Federalists. The Alien Friends Act allowed the president to imprison or deport aliens considered "dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States" at any time, while the Alien Enemies Act authorized the president to do the same to any male citizen of a hostile nation above the age of 14 during times of war. Lastly, the controversial Sedition Act restricted speech which was critical of the federal government. Under the Sedition Act, the Federalists allowed people, who were accused of violating the sedition laws, to use truth as a defense. The Sedition Act resulted in the prosecution and conviction of many Jeffersonian newspaper owners who disagreed with the government.

The acts were denounced by Democratic-Republicans and ultimately helped them to victory in the 1800 election, when Thomas Jefferson defeated the incumbent President Adams. The Sedition Act and the Alien Friends Act were allowed to expire in 1800 and 1801, respectively. The Alien Enemies Act, however, remains in effect as 50 USC Sections 21–24.

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