The Brief American Pageant ,
| Suggested Lecture Topics|
Developing The Chapter: Suggested Lecture Or Discussion Topics
- Analyze the rise of mass politics and popular democracy.
Focus on the increasing democratic American celebration of "the people" in opposition to entrenched elites, as well as specific political innovations: the end of property qualifications, political conventions, political machines, and the spoils system.
REFERENCE: Harry L.
Watson, Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America (1990).
- Contrast Adams and Jackson as symbols of the old and new politics. Show how the Jacksonians used the "elitist" and "corrupt" election of 1824 to arouse popular feelings for their sweeping democratic victory in 1828.
REFERENCES: Samuel Bemis, John Quincy Adams and the Union (1956); Robert V. Remini, Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Freedom (1981).
- Develop the theme of rising sectionalism in the late 1820s and 1830s. Show how the assertion of states' rights and nullification in the tariff controversies reflected growing southern fears of northern political and economic power.
REFERENCE: William J. Cooper, The South and the Politics of Slavery, 1828-1856 (1978).
- Connect Jackson's political battles with the emergence of the second two-party system. Show how Jackson especially appealed to plain people who distrusted eastern bankers and capitalists, while the Whigs grew out of the various groups that disliked Jackson and the Democrats.
REFERENCE: Robert V. Remini, Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845 (1984).
- Explain both the Indian removal and the Texas rebellion as products of the expansionism and "land hunger" of the time. The emphasis might be on how, in both cases, the U.S. government essentially reacted to local political developments.
REFERENCES: Michael Green, The Politics of Indian Removal (1982); Anthony Wallace, The Long, Bitter Trail: Andrew Jackson and the Indians (1993).
- Show how the Whigs turned the Democrats' own political techniques against them in the "log-cabin and hard-cider" campaign of 1840.
REFERENCE: Robert G. Gunderson, The Log-Cabin Campaign (1957).