The Aftermath of the Panics

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Robert M.T. Hunter, Speaker of the House.

Amidst the Panics of 1837 and 1839, the Whigs enjoyed significant gains in Congress, which led to Robert M.T. Hunter, a pro-states’ rights southerner, becoming Speaker of the House. Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 506. Further, besides the changing composition of Congress, the federal government’s policies would change, as a result of the Panics.

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The Panic of 1837

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A Political Cartoon About the Panic of 1837.

In Martin Van Buren’s inaugural address, in March of 1837, he boasted of the prosperity and expansion of commerce that had occurred under his predecessor, Andrew Jackson. Just months later, the Panic of 1837 would begin. Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 502.

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Patronage and Prosperity

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Photograph of Amos Kendall.

Amos Kendall was a journalist and a staunch supporter of President Andrew Jackson. In return for his support, he was one of President Jackson’s closest advisors, save Martin Van Buren. Kendall even “formulated the rationale for the spoils system as ‘rotation in office’ and ghostwrote the Bank Veto Message as well as several of Jackson’s other major state papers.” Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 495.

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Voting in the Early 1800s

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Depiction of Voting in the Early 1800s.

In the early 1800s, an American polling place “displayed many of the worst features of all-male society: rowdy behavior, heavy drinking, coarse language, and occasional violence.” Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 491.

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