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Webster-Hayne debate

A heated 1830 Senate debate between Sen. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts and Sen. Robert Hayne of South Carolina concerning the question of states rights vs. federal authority on the topic of protectionist tariffs.


The Book of Mormon

Published by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1830, it is the foundation of Mormon beliefs. America-centric belief system.


Latter Day Saint movement

A series of independent church groups that can trace their origins to a Christian primitivist movement started by Joseph Smith, Jr. during the Second Great Awakening in the 1820s.


Indian Removal Act

A law signed by Pres. Jackson in 1830 calling for the relocation of Native Tribes to land West of the Mississippi Territory, protested by missionaries.


Jeremiah Evarts

A Christian missionary strongly opposed to the Indian Removal Act.


Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek

A treaty signed between the Choctaw and the U.S. government in 1830, after the Indian Removal Act, which ceded millions of acres of land in Mississippi in exchange for land in Oklahoma.


The Liberator

An abolitionist newspaper founded by William Lloyd Garrison, 1831–1865. It's harsh, critical tone led to southern states attempting to outlaw its publication and arrest distributors.


Cherokee Nation v. Georgia

(1831) The Supreme Court ruled that they do not have the authority to hear a suit brought by the Cherokee Nation, as the Cherokee have a relationship to the United States like that of "a ward to its guardian."



Part of the Second Great Awakening, Millerites were the followers of William Miller who predicted the second coming of Christ.


Nat Turner

An African-American slave who was hanged for plotting the most deadly slave revolt in American history in the state of Virginia in 1831. In the aftermath, Southern states forbid the education of free blacks, restricted rights of assembly, to bear arms, to vote, and required white ministers to be present at black worship services.


Worcester v. Georgia

(1832) The Supreme Court found that states have no jurisdiction in Indian Country.


Black Hawk War

A brief 1832 conflict caused by a peaceful migration of Native Americans into Illinois. Numerous Native Americans were killed in this war which was fought by the U.S. Army.


1832 Democratic National Convention

The first nominating convention of the Democratic Party, Martin Van Buren was chosen to replace John C. Calhoun as Andrew Jackson's running mate.


Petticoat affair

Peggy Eaton, wife of Secretary of War John Henry Eaton, was blacklisted by the wives of members of Jackson's cabinet due to her reputation as a hussy. Jackson demanded that their wives either be more friendly to Peggy Eaton or they resign, all members of his cabinet and his Vice President John C. Calhoun resign in 1831 and Jackson's "Kitchen Cabinet" is formed.


Kitchen Cabinet

The unofficial advisors of President Jackson formed after his break with his official cabinet after the Petticoat affair.


Second Bank of the United States charter

A charter to renew the Second Bank of the United States which was vetoed by Jackson in 1832, it wasn't up for renewal until 1836, but the Republicans wanted to force his hand going into re-election, sparking the Bank Wars.


Benjamin Bonneville

An American explorer who lead the first wagon train across the Rocky Mountains in the 1830s.


Trail of Tears

The unconstitutional ethnic cleansing of Native American tribes during the 1830s, the trail specifically refers to the 1838 removal of the Cherokee from Georgia.


United States presidential election, 1832

Incumbent Democrat Andrew Jackson defeated National Republican Henry Clay, Anti-Masonic William Writ, and Nullifier John Floyd. By the end of his first term, despite Jackson's popularity, his administration was fractured by public conflict with his Vice President John C. Calhoun. His advocacy of the dissolution of the electoral college and of rotation of office in the federal government earned the ire of strict constitutionalists. Speaker of the House Clay introduced a charter for the Bank of the United States in 1832, even though it wasn't necessary to do so until 1836, forcing Jackson to veto the charter. Despite criticisms he had doomed the economy, the veto was well-received by voters.


Nullification Crisis

A sectional crisis during Jackson's presidency in which South Carolina threatened to secede over their power to declare the tariffs of 1828 and 1832 unconstitutional.


Force Bill

A bill signed by Jackson in 1833 designed to strongarm South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis, gave the president the right to use whatever force necessary to enforce tariffs.


The Bank Wars and Pres. Jackson's censure

During his first term, Jackson decided to dismantle the Bank of the United States and find a friendlier source of funds for his western expansion plans. Jackson claimed that the bank had too many foreign investors, favored the rich over the poor, and resisted lending funds to develop commercial interests in America’s Western territories. Jackson vetoed the charter to renew the bank in 1831. An 1831 meeting with his cabinet generated classified documents regarding Jackson’s veto of the bank legislation. Soon after, Congress overruled Jackson’s veto. During his second term, Jackson appointed a treasury secretary to dismantle the Bank of the United States, and redirect its money to state banks until a new federal banking system could be created. Henry Clay passed a resolution to see Jackson's 1831 documents, Jackson refused, and he was censured by Congress.


Ursuline Convent Riots

An 1834 event triggered by the rebirth of rabid anti-Catholic sentiments in antebellum New England. A convent full of Roman Catholic Nuns was burned down by a Protestant mob.


Whig Party

A political party formed in 1833 in opposition to Jackson's economic and social conservatism. The Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the Presidency and favored a program of modernization, banking and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing. It appealed to entrepreneurs and planters, but had little appeal to farmers or unskilled workers. It included many active Protestants, and voiced a moralistic opposition to the Jacksonian Indian removal policies. The party fell apart in 1854 over the issue of slavery, with the northern voter-base mostly gravitating to the new Republican Party, and the Southerners mostly joining the Know Nothing Party


Nonintercourse Act

A series of Congressional statutes regulating commerce between Americans and Indians, established inalienability of aboriginal title.


Richard Lawrence

A man who tried to assassinate president Jackson in 1835, Jackson himself believed the man to be a part of a conspiracy.


Great Moon Hoax

A series of six newspaper articles published in 1835 which brazenly claimed that life was found on the moon.


Second Seminole War

AKA the Florida War. A war fought from 1835 to 1842 between the U.S. Army and the Seminole. The costly war resulted in partial relocation of the Seminoles to Indian Territory.


Treaty of New Echota

An 1835 treaty in which a group nominally representing the Cherokee nation ceded much of its Southeast territory, it was the legal basis of The Trail of Tears. The treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate, but not by the Cherokee National Council or by Chief John Ross.


Toledo War

1835-36. A bloodless war between Ohio and Michigan over control of the Toledo Strip.


Fort Parker massacre

The Comanche tribe slaughtered the pioneer Parker family in Texas, 1836, and took their children as captives. The children married into the tribe, and refused to leave.


Specie Circular

An 1836 executive order of Andrew Jackson requiring payment for government land to be in gold. This was to prevent over-speculation of land formerly Indian territory. Carried out during van Buren's presidency, the devaluation of paper currency only increased with Jackson's proclamation. This sent inflation and prices upwards, many blamed it for the Panic of 1837.


Transcendental Club

A group of liberal-minded New England intellectuals in the late 1830s which would eventually start Transcendentalism.


United States presidential election, 1836

A unique election won by incumbent Democratic Vice President Van Buren. He faced off against four Whig candidates, William Henry Harrison, Hugh L. White, Daniel Webster, and Willie Person Mangum. At this point, the Whig Party was not unified and had chosen to run each candidate in a small group of states to deprive van Buren of an outright victory. Jackson had alienated some state's righters with his anti-Nullification beliefs, and alienated nationalists with his strong actions against the federal bank. Van Buren was attacked as sympathetic to anti-slavery perspectives. While the popular-vote tallies were close, Van Buren was ultimately able to maintain his party’s hold on the presidency. Second place William Henry Harrison introduced a populist style of active campaigning.


Richard Mentor Johnson

Vice President under Van Buren. Controversial due to his rumored personal relationship with a slave. The electoral college did not give Johnson enough votes to win the Vice Presidency outright, forcing the Senate to hold a vote which he narrowly won.


Panic of 1837

A financial crisis in the United States that touched off a major recession that lasted until the mid-1840s. Pres. Jackson had made efforts to wrest control of the banks out of the hands of East coast elites, in the process creating state banks (pet banks) that printed almost worthless money and issued loans irresponsibly. Federal land became very expensive, and financial crises in Europe led to devalued cotton and a trade deficit. Pres. van Buren moved to establish an independent U.S. treasury system in 1840 to hold and disburse government funds. Though initially defeated, the federal system became permanent in 1846. Many state governments were bankrupt due to infrastructure spending in the 19th century. On the national level, Congress passed a federal bankruptcy law removing about $450 million in debt from a million creditors. However, by bailing out investors the credit system itself was substantially undermined. Conditions in the South were much worse than the conditions in the Northeast. The Depression was typified by a pessimistic mood, and led to the hopeful expansionism of the late 1840s.


Broad Street Riot

An 1837 riot in Boston against Irish immigrants.



A Seminole leader tricked and kidnapped by the American Army during the Second Seminole War to be used as a negotiating tactic, he died in their custody in 1838.


Elijah Parish Lovejoy

An influential abolitionist killed by a pro-slavery mob in 1838 in Illinois.


Mary Lyon

An influential leader in womens' education rights, she founded Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1838. Her vision fused intellectual challenge and moral purpose. She valued socioeconomic diversity and endeavored to make the seminary affordable for students of modest means.


Samuel Morse

The inventor of the telegraph, praised in America during the 1840s.


Sidney Rigdon

A leader of the Latter Day Saints, he felt he should succeed Joseph Smith, Jr. upon his death in 1844, sparking a Mormon schism, which was eventually won by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.


Potawatomi Trail of Death

The forced removal by United States forces of members of the Potawatomi nation from Indiana in 1838.


Grave Creek Stone

An 1838 archaeological discovery that was believed to contain evidence of a primitive language, but has since been discovered to be a hoax.


Missouri Executive Order 44

AKA The Extermination Order, An 1838 order issued by the governor of Missouri which ordered all Mormons to leave the state under threat of extermination at the hands of a militia, led to war crimes against the Mormon population.


John Ross

A Principal Chief of the Cherokee, mixed-blood like many Cherokee councilmembers, lead negotiator with the U.S. from 1816 into the 1820s. Among Cherokees, he led the majority National Party which opposed relocation, and was the leader of the minority that supported the North during the Civil War.


Stand Watie

A Principal Chief of the Cherokee from 1862-1866, led the Treaty Party, which accepted relocation as inevitable. Although, unpopular early on, he led the majority of Cherokees in supporting the South during the Civil War.


Respite of 1838

The Panic of 1837 saw some immediate relief from 1838-39, due to English and French creditors, but conditions worsened again in 1839 when creditors raised their interest rates.



An 1836 essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson in which he put forth the nature of transcendentalism. Transcendentalism suggests that the divine, or God, suffuses nature, and suggests that reality can be understood by studying nature.