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Last Best Hope of Earth

A Blog Covering US History and Politics

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White House

America’s First Sex Scandal

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Andrew Jackson. By: Alexander Hay Ritchie.

Upon arriving in the White House, Andrew Jackson appointed John Eaton as Secretary of War. Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 336. Little did Jackson know the extent to which this decision would plague the first year of his presidency.

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The Dawn of the Age of Jackson

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Inauguration of Andrew Jackson. By: Robert Cruickshank.

Andrew Jackson, upon taking the White House, was bound to change the political landscape of America, and he did so quickly.

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Election of 1828: A New Level of Contention

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Rachel Jackson. By: Ralph E.W. Earl.

The Election of 1828 introduced a new level of contention into American politics, and it centered on personal attacks.

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Quincy Adams’ Economic Agenda

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John Quincy Adams Shakes Hands with Admiral of the Fleet James Gambier. By: Amedee Forestier.

President John Quincy Adams, in his First Annual Message to Congress delivered on December 6, 1825, set forth his agenda for developing the American economy. Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 251.

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The Conception of the Democratic Party

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A Foot Race. Political Cartoon of the Election of 1824.

Following the Election of 1824, newly elected President John Quincy Adams went into the White House with a great deal of hope for the future. He was a lifelong student of Cicero and “envisioned the American republic as the culmination of the history of human progress and the realization of the potential of human nature.” Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 245. In fact, historians have remarked that Quincy Adams was the “most learned president between [Thomas] Jefferson and [Woodrow] Wilson.” Id.

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The Aftermath of the War of 1812

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Depiction of the Battle of Lake Erie, during the War of 1812.

As news arrived in America on February 13, 1815 that the Treaty of Ghent was finalized and that peace between America and Britain was complete, Americans had a complete change of mind. Rather than dwell on the burning of Washington, D.C. or the humiliation of Britain’s invasion, Americans relished the victory of General Andrew Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans and the peace. See Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 71.

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Wrapping Up the War of 1812

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The Burning of the White House. 1814.

By the end of the War of 1812, President James Madison had weathered what is likely one of the tumultuous years that any president has had to endure. The British had landed a force, marched on Washington, D.C., and burned the White House. President Madison had trusted his Secretary of War John Armstrong when he doubted the possibility of a British invasion, only to be caught off guard when a scouting party, led by Secretary of State James Monroe, located just how close the British were to Washington. See Daniel Walker Howe, What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, 63-64.

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