V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > H. North America, 1789–1914 > 1. The United States, 1789–1877 > b. The Early National Period > 1832–33
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
In the nullification episode, a South Carolina state convention declared the tariff laws of 1828 and 1832 unconstitutional and void within the state. Jackson repudiated the nullifiers and on Jan. 16, 1833, he asked Congress for additional power to enforce the tariff law. On March 1, 1833, Congress enacted the Force Bill. Meanwhile Henry Clay had brought forward (Feb. 12, 1833) his compromise tariff, providing for gradual reduction of the tariff until July 1, 1842, when it would reach the 20 percent level.  1
The bank controversy. Jackson construed his election over Clay as popular approval of his veto of the Bank Bill, and he resolved to crush the institution. In 1833 the removal of the deposits began, which entailed the transfer of government funds to certain state banks known as the pet banks.  2
The General Trades' Union linked all the trade societies of New York in one organization. Trade unionism began to supersede the workingmen's parties as the characteristic form of labor activity, until the collapse of the movement in the panic of 1837.  3
Invented by Cyrus McCormick (1809–84) and Obed Hussey (1792–1860), wheat reapers allowed farmers to harvest 10 to 12 acres per day. At the same time, McCormick's farm implements factories would change the lives of numerous urban workers in cities like Chicago.  4
The Whig Party attracted southern particularists who were angered by Jackson's handling of the nullification episode, those who feared the leveling tendencies of Jacksonian democracy, the supporters of the bank, and the industrial and financial groups. It was largely held together by a common hatred for and distrust of Jackson.  5
Texan independence. The American colonization of Texas had begun in 1821 when Stephen Austin (1793–1836) obtained a grant of land on condition that he settle a certain number of families thereon. This was followed by similar grants to other empresarios who introduced a substantial number of American settlers. This movement, largely of southerners, was part of the westward movement of the American people. Beginning in about 1830 difficulties developed. In 1836 the Republic of Texas was established. The decisive battle was that of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836).  6
1837, March 4–1841, March 4
MARTIN VAN BUREN (1782–1862), eighth president.  7
Panic of 1837. Fundamentally, this crash was due to the wave of speculation and reckless expansion that swept the country in the years 1833–37. The situation was complicated by the failure of certain great business houses in Britain that had invested heavily in American securities, by poor crops in the West in 1835 and 1837, and by Jackson's Special Circular (July 11, 1836), which required that public lands be paid for in “hard” money.  8
In the face of declining employment and rising wheat prices, hungry workers broke into warehouses in New York City and Philadelphia.  9
John Deere (1804–86) invented the steel plow, which would help transform farming in the West by facilitating the breaking of prairie sod.  10
Mount Holyoke Seminary, first women's institution of college rank, was opened by Mary Lyon (1797–1849).  11
Struggle between Van Buren and the Whigs over the independent treasury proposed by Van Buren for the deposit of government funds. The Whig leaders favored the establishment of a third United States Bank. Independent treasury plan adopted (1840).  12
Difficulties between the United States and Canada. Alexander McLeod, a Canadian, boasting that he had killed an American, was arrested and tried in New York courts. His acquittal averted the possibility of serious difficulties between the United States and Great Britain.  13
Difficulty over the northeastern boundary was finally adjusted in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (Aug. 9, 1842).  14
The Underground Railroad was organized. The fugitive slave Harriet Tubman (c. 1820–1913) became the most outstanding black conductor on the Underground Railroad. She returned to the South 19 times and liberated more than 300 slaves.  15
One quarter of the Cherokee Nation died when the U.S. Army marched them to Indian Territory in what is now the state of Oklahoma.  16
Congress adopted gag resolutions against antislavery petitions.  17
Samuel F. B. Morse (1791–1872) invented the electric telegraph. By 1860, some 50,000 miles of telegraph wire linked various parts of the country.  18
1841, March 4–1845, March 4
WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON and JOHN TYLER (1790–1862), the ninth and tenth presidents. Harrison died on April 4, 1841.  19
The Pre-emption–Distribution Act struck a compromise between the preemption of public lands and the distribution of proceeds from the sale of public lands among the various states.  20
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.