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9. Democracy in America -- Part 1
Jackson was still standing.
He returned fire after Bleeding.
The other man was mortally wounded.
"If he had shot me through the brain, I would have hit him," Jackson said.
Jackson fought at least one duel in Kentucky during his long and controversial career.
Many of Jackson's later dealings on the battlefield and in politics would be characterized by the tenacity, toughness, and revenge that carried Jackson alive out of that battle.
By the time of Andrew Jackson's death forty years later, he would become an enduring and controversial symbol, a kind of cipher to gauge the way Americans thought about their country.
Most Americans think democracy is a good thing.
We assume the nation's political leaders believed the same.
The answer was no for many of the founding fathers.
Many people participated in early U.S. politics.
The founding elites were frightened by the growing influence of ordinary citizens.
At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Alexander Hamilton warned of the "vices of democracy" and said he considered the British government to be the best in the world.
The second convention delegate, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, refused to sign the Constitution.
The elite believed that too much participation would undermine good order.
It would prevent the creation of a republican society.
The Revolution launched a wave of popular rebellion that could lead to a dangerous new type of dictatorship, according to Benjamin Rush, a Philadelphia physician and politician.
He wrote that the temple of tyranny has two doors.
We bolted one of them but left the other open because we didn't guard against the effects of our own ignorantness.
In the late 18th and early 19th century, warnings did nothing to quell Americans' democratic impulses.
Americans who were allowed to vote went to the polls in large numbers.
People made public demonstrations.
They delivered speeches at celebrations.
They petitioned Congress, openly criticized the president, and insisted that a free people should not defer to elected leaders.
The elite of every state and party learned to listen to the voices of the multitudes.
An American president holding the office that most resembles a king would symbolize the democratizing spirit of American politics.
There was a troubling pattern emerging in national politics and culture.
The first decades of the 19th century saw a shift in American politics towards "sectional" conflict between the states of the North, South, and West.
The state of Vir ginia has had more influence on the federal government than any other state.
Four of the first five presidents were from Virginia.
The country's population grew fastest in northern states due to immigration.
Political leaders in the north were becoming concerned about the influence of Virginia and other southern states in federal politics.
Many northerners feared that the southern states' interest in protecting slavery would make it hard for them to win votes in congress.
As northern states gradually ended slavery, southern states became dependent on slave labor, leading to a clash over federal policy.
The Missouri Crisis was the most important instance of rising tensions.
The balance of political power between northern and southern states became the focus of public debate when white settlers in Missouri applied for statehood in 1819.
Missouri had more than ten thousand slaves and was poised to join the southern slave states in Congress.
Congressman James Tallmadge of New York proposed an amendment to Missouri's application for statehood.
If more slaves were brought to Missouri and children born to them were freed before the age of 25, Congress should admit Missouri as a state.
Tallmadge opposed slavery for moral reasons, but he also wanted to maintain a sectional balance of power.
The Tallmadge Amendment met with resistance from politicians in the south.
It was defeated in the Senate despite the support of nearly all the northern congressmen who had a majority in the House.
A senator from Illinois proposed a compromise when Congress returned in 1820.
Jesse Thomas hoped his offer would prevent future disputes over slavery and statehood.
Congress would admit Missouri as a slave state as part of the Missouri Compromise of 1820.
Congress would admit Maine as a free state in order to maintain the balance between the number of free and slave states.
The rest of the Louisiana Purchase territory would be divided along the southern border of Missouri.
Slavery would not be allowed in other new states north of this line, but it would be allowed in new states to the south.
The Missouri Crisis ended peacefully after the compromise passed both houses of Congress.
Not everyone felt relieved.
The sectional nature of American politics was made impossible to ignore by the Missouri crisis.
The Democratic-Republican party was split along sectional lines by the Missouri crisis.
The slavery debate was demonstrated by the Missouri Crisis.
Thomas Jefferson was alarmed at how readily some Americans spoke of disunion and even civil war over the issue.
"This momentous question, like a fire bell in the night, awakened and filled me with terror," Jefferson wrote.
I thought it was the end of the Union.
The Missouri Crisis did not lead to disunion and civil war as Jefferson and others feared.
Slavery's expansion into new western territories was not settled.
The issue would cause more trouble in the future.
He rose from humble frontier beginnings to become one of the most powerful Americans of the 19th century.
On the border between North and South Carolina, Andrew Jackson was born to two immigrants from Ireland.
He grew up in dangerous times.
He joined the American militia at the age of thirteen.
The British officer slashed at his head with a sword after he refused to shine the officer's shoes.
His two brothers and his mother died of disease during the war, leaving him an orphan.
Jackson had a deep hatred of Great Britain because of their deaths.
After the war, Jackson moved west to frontier Tennessee, where he prospered, working as a lawyer and acquiring land and slaves.
Jackson won a seat in the Senate after being elected as a U.S. representative, but he resigned within a year due to financial difficulties.
Jackson was able to get a general's commission at the War of 1812 because of his political connections.
General Jackson was nicknamed "Old Hickory" by his troops because of his lack of combat experience.
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