The Monsters of the Bank War

The Bank War was when President Andrew Jackson vetoed Congress’ Bill to reauthorize the Bank of America.  The Congress wanted the Bank to be reauthorized because they thought that its corporations would help build The United States up.  Andrew Jackson vetoed Congress’ bill because he did not approve of the Bank.  This was because the Bank only made profit for the rich, its workers consisted of unelected bankers, and Jackson thought it to be an undemocratic institution that only helped advance the wealthy, not the middle class.  Jackson also vetoed the bill because he did not approve of the way that the Bank was run.  Jackson said “the present bank of the United States…enjoys an exclusive privilege of banking….almost a monopoly of the foreign and domestic exchange.”(James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the presidents).  Jackson did not like how the workers of the bank had privileges that others did not.  Also, he did not like that the workers of the bank consisted of foreigners and the richest class of Americans.


The perspective of the political cartoonist is that Jackson, Martin Van Buren, and Jack Downing are doing the right thing and trying to kill the monster that represents the states whose bankers are supporting the Bill to reauthorize the Bank of America.  In the cartoon, Jackson appears powerful as he tries to fight the monster.  The monster that symbolizes the states appears sly and deceiving, the heads on the monster have their tongues sticking out.  


Based on the Bank War, Andrew Jackson is the democratic ideal because he is fighting for the middle class and those who are not wealthy.  Andrew Jackson deserves the “people’s president” reputation because he will not allow the bankers from the Bank of America to receive special privileges and wants to focus on what is best for the United States as a whole.  In Andrew Jackson’s Veto message to the Bank he declares that, “it is easy to conceive that the great evils to our country…might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people.” (James D. Richardson, A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the presidents).   Andrew Jackson deserves the “people’s president” reputation because of his act to veto the Bill to reauthorize the Bank; he is focused on what is best for the entire nation and is not tolerant of the irresponsible General Jackson slaying the many headed monsterbankers who solely wanted what was best for them.




The undemocratic United States in the 19th Century

Democracy should be defined as a government ran by the people.   In a democracy the supreme power of the government should be fully invested in the people and there should be a system of representation that is based on free election.  The United States was starting to become democratic in the 19th century, although it was not very democratic to begin with.  In the painting below, The Country Election, there are many white men who have come to vote.  Through details in the painting, we are able to understand how undemocratic the United States was in the 19th century.  On the right, an election official asks a voter to contribute his vote aloud and then it would be recorded.  There was no privacy and voting and no sure way to know if your actual vote was being submitted.  From the painting you can see that the group of people gathered to vote is mainly white, rich men.  In The United States during the 19th century, people could only vote if they occupied more than 50 acres of land, were male, and white.  This voting policy was undemocratic because in a true democracy, everyone should be able to vote.  A black man is pouring alcohol on the left; he does not have the right to vote and is benefiting from the amount of men gathered because they can buy drinks from him.  The Country Election shows how undemocratic the United State was during the nineteenth century because only a wealthy, white man could vote and voting was not private.


The United States was undemocratic in the 19th century because a man was given the right to vote primarily based on his wealth and the amount of land he owned.  Ben Franklin states, “Today a man owns a jackass worth fifty dollars and he is entitled to vote; but before the next election the jackass dies. The man in the meantime has become more experienced, his knowledge of the principles of government, and his acquaintance with mankind are more extensive, and he is therefore better qualified to make a proper selection of rulers – but the jackass is dead and the man cannot vote. Now gentlemen, pray inform me, in whom is the right of suffrage? In the man or in the jackass?” (Benjamin Franklin, The Casket, or Flowers of Literature, Wit and Sentiment 1828).  Ben Franklin makes the point that a man’s voting requirements were only based on his occupations.  In this quote, a man who owns a donkey is allowed to vote.  A year later, he has gained wisdom about the government but the donkey has died.  Due to the undemocratic voting rules, the man is no longer allowed to vote.  Even if he gained wisdom and lost his possessions, he had lost the right to vote.  The United States was undemocratic in the 19th century because the right to vote was not based on a person’s knowledge, but based solely on a person’s material possessions. 

Thomas Dorr was an attorney who attorney who attended Harvard; he was concerned about the voting restrictions in Rhode Island and created a campaign to form a new constitution and terminate the undemocratic voting restrictions.  Thomas Dorr was against the fact that only a certain type of people were allowed to vote in the United States.  He was against the undemocratic voting system and the false claims that were made.  Dorr was upset by the fact that many could not vote, he focused on the undemocratic rules, “Enough has been said in vague and general terms, about “unwholesome citizens,” “persons not to be safely trusted,” “without property and vicious”–about “protecting the sound part of the community against those who have nothing at stake in society”…. Let those who use this language come out and say, if they will venture the assertion, that the body of traders and mechanics, and professional men, and sons of landholders, are the base and corrupt persons who are aimed at in these sweeping denunciations.” (Thomas W. Dorr).  Thomas Dorr wanted voting restrictions to end and was against the denunciations that were being made.  He did not agree with the cruel names that middle class people were being called and wanted a change in the voting situation in Rhode Island.

The chart below shows that electors were selected by the people and not the legislature.

 In the 19th century, the United States was not very democratic because many people could not vote and the small minority of white men that could vote was only given that privilege because of their possessions and not their knowledge.  Although the United States was not very democratic, it became more and more democratic over time.

The Failures of the Revolutions of 1830 and 1848

The revolutions of 1830 and 1848 were mainly failures as many historians have concluded.  In the French Revolution of 1830, Charles X and many royalists wanted an absolute monarchy so Charles X restricted the press, limited the right to vote, and suspended the legislature which was made of conservatives.  Liberalists during the Revolution wanted a constitutional monarchy, to extend suffrage, and for the middle class to have more power.  The result of these goals was that the Radicals revolted causing Charles X, the conservative monarch, to flee to England.  His cousin, Louis Philippe, became king under vote and set up a republic.


In the Revolution of 1830, Charles X failed because he lost all power and had to flee his country.  The Radicals did not discover success and did not get the constitutional monarchy that they desired.  Louis Philippe only extended suffrage to the wealthier citizens of France which resulted in failure for citizens who were not wealthy.   Louis Philippe was a better leader compared to Charles X.  In the Proclamation of Deputies it is written that, “The Duke of Orleans (Louis Philippe) is devoted to the national and constitutional cause; he had always defended its interests and professed its principles.  He will respect our rights…we shall assure ourselves by laws all the necessary guarantees in order to render liberty strong and durable”. (Duvergier, Lois, 84-85).  Louis Philippe was devoted to France and respected the French citizen’s rights.  Although he was a better ruler than Charles X; he only guaranteed suffrage for wealthier citizens; therefore, not impacting the lives of those who did not possess wealth. Overall, the French Revolution of 1830 was a failure because both the conservatives and liberalists in France did not accomplish their goals.


The Decembrist Revolt of 1825 was a complete failure.  The Decembrists wanted a constitution for Russia, but their goal ended in complete disaster and they never attained the constitution that they desired.  The Decembrists wanted a constitution because,  “During the campaigns in Germany and France [against Napoleon and his army] our young people became acquainted with European civilization, which made a strong impression on them so that they could compare everything they had seen abroad with that which presented itself at every turn at home…” (Mikhail Fonvisin (1787-1854), A Decembrist, Explains the Causes of the Revolt, c. 1825).  Many young Russians saw what was occurring outside of Russia and wanted the changes that were occurring to be made to their country too.


The Decembrist Revolt was a complete failure because the revolutionists never attained the constitution that they desired.  Tsar Nicholas was the opponent of the Decembrists; he never gave Russia the constitution they wanted.  Tsar Nicholas killed his own people at the Decembrists’ Revolt on December 14 1825, “I saw that I must either take it upon myself to spill the blood of a few and almost surely save everything, or spare myself at the cost of definitely sacrificing the state….” (

Tsar Nicholas Describes the Decembrists’ Revolt on 14 December 1825).  Tsar Nicholas took the lives of his own people at the Decembrists’ Revolt; he never gave the Russians the constitution they wanted.  Below is a Showme presentation on the Decembrist Revolt of 1825.


The Hungarian Revolution of Independence in 1848 was almost a complete failure as well.  Hungarian Nationalists wanted independence from Austrian conservatives.  They also wanted a constitution.  In Hungary, “Revolution quickly spread to other parts of the empire. In Budapest, Hungarian nationalists led by Louis Kossuth demanded an independent government. They also called for an end to serfdom and a written constitution to protect basic rights. In Prague, the Czechs made similar demands. Overwhelmed by events, the Austrian government agreed to the reforms.” The Austrian government conformed to the Revolution at first, but later many revolutionists were killed, imprisoned, or forced into exile.  The Hungarian Revolution was a complete failure because the Hungarians never attained the constitution they wanted and many died.  Below is a picture of the Austrian Emperor and Russian Czar overwhelming the Hydra of Revolution (Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs).

History (1)



Monroe Doctrine Post


Monroe’s first woe was that Russia had established a trading presence along the North Western coast of North America in 1799 and tried to extend their territory farther south to California.  Then, in 1821, Russia claimed that their territory in Alaska extended into Oregon and beyond.  Russia claimed that the west coast was a place for possible colonization and then closed the area to shipping.  In this woe, Russia is giving the Minister of the United States instructions in order to make an agreement of the rights of the two nations on the northwest coast of the United States.  The Minister will meet with a representative of Russia in St. Petersburg.  The United States was relieved that Russia wanted to have a peaceful negotiation with them about the territory on the northwest coast of the U.S but also felt threatened.  The United States felt threatened by Russia because they feared that Russia would ignore their claims and spread out and colonize which would be an example to other countries that have settlements in the United States to spread out as well.


In the Monroe Doctrine, James Monroe wrote that, “In the discussions to which this interest has given rise, and in the arrangements by which they may terminate the occasion has been judged proper for asserting, as a principle in which the rights and interests of the United States are involved, that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers….” (Monroe Doctrine).  This passage focuses on the discussions that were had when the Minster was in St. Petersburg and focuses on the arrangements that the United States made with Russia.  The arrangement was that the United States would no longer be considered a place for colonization by European powers since it is a free and independent country.


The second woe that Monroe had was that the Holy Alliance was rumored to be discussing assisting Spain recover her colonies in South and Central America, who had recently gained their independence through revolutions.  The United States determined that any countries that intervened with the colonies that were already free would be seen as an unfriendly disposition to the United States.  Monroe writes, “But with the governments who have declared their independence, and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration, and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling, in any other manner, their destiny, by any European power in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition towards the United States.”  (Monroe Doctrine).  Monroe supports the independence of the colonies and will not tolerate the Holy Alliance’s conservative ideas to recover the colonies in South and Central America who recently gained their independence.


In Monroe’s third woe, George Canning, who was the British foreign secretary, asked Monroe to join an alliance against any attempt by the Holy Alliance that was trying to regain colonies for Spain and maintain Russia’s claim on Oregon.  Monroe was given advice from Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, and James Madison but ultimately decided to steer clear of European drama but still maintain an alliance with England and work with one another.  Monroe wrote that he wanted to, “cultivate friendly relations with it, and to preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and manly policy, meeting in all instances the just claims of every power, submitting to injuries from none.” (Monroe Doctrine).


A Russian diplomat would be pleased that the Minister of the United States was coming to St. Petersburg to negotiate what would be done about their land on the northwest coast of the United States.  The Russian diplomat would not be pleased about Monroe’s stand on countries no longer being able to colonize in the United States and his stand on independent colonies in South and Latin America.  Russia would also have to make the decision if they would want to test Monroe’s commitment or let it be.


A Latin American Revolutionary would be generally pleased that the United States was protecting them and supporting their independence but would be annoyed that the United States still maintained a relationship with European powers.


Congress would approve of the idea of negotiating with Russia since it would help with foreign trade.  Members of Congress feared that the U.S military was not strong enough to help protect countries in South and Latin America.  The picture below shows a Russian Diplomat who is pleased that the Minister of the United States was coming to St. Petersburg to peacefully negotiate over the topic of Russia’s land on the northwest coast of the United States.

“a full power and instructions have been transmitted to the Minister of the United States at St. Petersburgh to arrange, by amicable negotiation, the respective rights and interests of the two nations on the northwest coast of this continent.” ( Monroe Doctrine).



Congress of Vienna: Balance of Power

The Congress of Vienna utilized the concept of Balance of Power in order to solve the problem of boundaries that was created in Europe after Napoleon was defeated.  Adjustments were needed to be made to the map of Europe while still maintaining diplomacy, or international relations.   Balance of Power assures that all countries hold equal power and therefore cannot overcome another.  The changes that Napoleon had made to the map were reversed and the concept of Balance of Power was applied so that nations could maintain roughly equal power. 

The Congress of Vienna utilized Balance of Power through creating boundaries that distributed equal power to the nations of Europe in which reshaped the political and cultural landscape.  France was surrounded by strong countries so it could not revolt again as it had before in the French Revolution.  Also, the boundaries resembled the Old Regime of Europe.  Below is a map of the boundaries that the Congress of Vienna enforced using the concept of Balance of Power.  The Balance of Power was shared between the countries Russia, Austria, Britain, Prussia, and France. 

Map  of Europe

Metternich would have approved of the concept of Balance of Power because it was a peace settlement in which all countries in Europe had the same amount of power.  Metternich was a conservative; meaning that he thought reform and innovation would lead to chaos and revolutions.  Metternich would have supported the Congress of Vienna’s decision to utilize the concept of Balance of Power because in the picture above you can see that the Austrian Empire was very large and that Austria had a lot of territory once the old boundaries were restored.   Metternich would also accept the concept of Balance of Power because it restored the boundaries from the Old Regime to Europe.  Metternich approved of the old boundaries that were reestablished using the concept of Balance of Power because as a conservative; he would want traditions to remain and things to be the same as they always were.

The impact that the Congress of Vienna’s decision to restore boundaries using the concept of Balance of Power meant that countries had equal power and no one country could overcome another.  After Napoleon was defeated, he was ultimately seen as an enemy and not the country of France.  Also, France had to pay reparations to its Allies and in the end, the Balance of Power in Europe created a peace settlement. 


Ideology Vine Post

Our vine defined conservatism by showing that conservatism is an ideology in which tradition is the reason for social and political action and the class system was dominated by the monarchy and the Church.  The vine begins with a priest announcing that the government should be ruled by a person of Divine Right.  Then, a liberalist shouts, “The church does not need to be the head of the social system.”  A fellow conservative then shouts, “Traditions will remain”, as she pushes the liberalist.  The definition of conservatism is the establishment of traditional practices in society. The vine demonstrates this because the conservative wanted the Church and monarchy to remain at the top of the social system and did not want traditions to be broken.  The priest in the vine represented a conservative outlook because he wanted the Church to remain at the top of the social and political system and traditions to remain.  A conservative then denounced the liberalist’s free thinking thoughts by saying that “traditions will remain”, to show that conservatism is not based on new ideas but traditions.  Conservatism influenced social and political action in the nineteenth century because it was based on a government run by the monarchy, which was a class system dominated by the aristocracy, and based on the Church being the head of the social and political system as well.  In, “The Rise of New Ideologies in the Nineteenth Century for AP European History”, it says that nineteenth century conservatives “opposed innovation and reform, arguing that the French Revolution had demonstrated that they led directly to revolution and chaos.”  (“The Rise of New Ideologies in the Nineteenth Century for AP European History”).  This passage shows that nineteenth century conservatives impacted the political action in the nineteenth century through opposing revolution and reform and wanting to have a government run solely by traditions. 



Liberalism is the ideology in which the government promoted individual freedom.  Liberalists had very different views compared to conservatives and viewed traditions as “impediments to that freedom, and therefore, campaigned for reform.”  (The Rise of New Ideologies in the Nineteenth Century for AP European History.”).  Liberalism is not based on traditions and is based on the government asserting individual liberty.  One vine represented Liberalism by people reading a piece of paper and then one individual who ripped the paper in half.  This vine demonstrated what Liberalism is because it showed that Liberalism is about an individual’s freedom and their own decisions.  Liberalism affected social and political action in the nineteenth century because a constitutional monarchy was wanted instead of absolutism and liberalists desired to end traditional aspects of the government like the Church and aristocracy.  Liberalists were “in favor of a meritocracy and middle-class participation in the government.” (The Rise of New Ideologies in the Nineteenth Century for AP European History.”). The majority of Liberalists in the nineteenth century were of the middle-class. 



Liberalism Vine- 

Nationalism is the ideology in which people have a strong love and pride for their country.  Nationalism influenced social and political action in the nineteenth century because the ideology “asserted that a nation was a natural, organic entity whose people were bound together by shared language, customs, and history.” (“The Rise of New Ideologies in the Nineteenth Century for AP European History.”).  Nationalism is where people are united through the same customs, language, and history.  In the nineteenth century, Nationalism was similar to Liberalism because both ideologies had a shared optimism and believed “that their goals represented the inevitable, historical progress of humankind.” (“The Rise of New Ideologies in the Nineteenth Century for AP European History.”).  One vine showed that nationalists did not approve of foreign rulers, two French school girls talked about how they did not approve of their new Italian principal.  The vine showed that a country wanted to be unified and did not want anyone who was not from their country to have power.


Nationalism Vine-