Spoils System Was Part of the Jackson Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Spoils System was part of the Jackson administration's method of job placements. Because Jackson was heavily opposed to the officeholders in the federal government, his first act once sworn into presidential office was to fire those he believed to be part of a "self-serving bureaucracy" and to reward his supporters by hiring them into office. The system was a form of patronage in the 1830s, and Jackson managed to remove at least one-fifth of the federal officeholders.

The Nullification Crisis

The controversy over the act of nullification -- in which a state can declare a law unconstitutional -- heightened during Jackson's presidency in 1832. South Carolina erupted angrily after the passing of a tariff bill that barely lowered the tariffs issued in 1828 and 1832. Because Jackson was heavily opposed to the process of nullification, he proposed to pass a bill on using the military as a forceful solution to ensure Congress obedience. The crisis ended after the force bill and the compromise by Clay were signed in1833.

3. Nativism

Nativism was an idea that grew around the 1830s, at the rising height of incoming foreigners to the country. Alarmed at the growing Irish and Catholic population in the United States, the Native American Party was created in 1845. By 1850, nativists banded together to oppose the rise of Catholics and foreigners to public office. The "Know-Nothing" party emerged as a political organization, demanding a more restrictive naturalization law and the establishment of literacy tests in order to vote. The party was relatively successful in the northeast, though the hype of the establishment died down after 1854.

4. The Lowell System

The Lowell System was one of the systems of recruitment during the 1820s and 1830s, in which labor could be provided for in textile mills. The system was a common practice in Massachusetts, and it recruited farmers' daughters and young women around their late teens or early twenties. The women would then work for a number of years and later return home and marry after saving some wages. It was a decent lifestyle, as the Lowell wages were fairly generous, and the living conditions were well-maintained at the time.

5. The Cult of Domesticity

The "Cult of Domesticity" was a separate sphere of outlook for most middle-class women in the 1830s, where they placed a higher value and comfort in the female role of the domestic house. The rise of a "female culture" came about -- with a focus on fashion, shopping, homemaking, and other domestic concerns. This outlook separated the middle class women from the public, mostly limiting their interests. Other than teaching and nursing, work for women elsewhere was reserved for the lower class.

Part Two: Opposing Viewpoints Essay (Anti-Mormon Campaign)

Mormonism was at the major onslaught of controversy during its inception in the 1830s. Because of the move to separate church and state, Mormonism was a threat not only to political standing, but it also created an increased tension between the predominantly Catholic United States. Hence an anti-Mormon campaign came about, dispelling the group all the way to Salt Lake City, Utah, in the interests of the federal government and the Catholic heads of Church.

The creation of Mormonism -- or the Church of Latter-Day Saints -- was brought about by Joseph Smith, Jr. The evangelist was a part of the Second Great Awakening -- a revival taking place in the U.S. sometime during the 19th century (Boddener). Smith claimed his ideas of a new religious order came about through messages he received from God during his time of "religious uncertainty" (Boddener). The Mormon teachings became popular, and the LDS grew to a large enough denomination that produced discomfort amidst the rest of the nation. Smith was duly killed by a resentful anti-Mormon group, and Brigham Young took over.

To mainstream America, Mormonism was a "threat and menace," containing "blasphemous teachings [that] undermine Christianity" (Boddener). American democracy and the U.S. Constitution specifically stated that there is to be a separation of Church and State. Mormonism, however, threatens this tenet of separation, and therefore the religion itself has become a clear defiance of American laws. The aspect of polygamy, especially, became a heavily controversial Mormon teaching. In an extermination order given by the state of Missouri, the Mormons openly showed "avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of [Missouri]" ("Extermination Order"). Because of the increasing government pressure against polygamy, Mormon leaders later denounced polygamy and plural marriage, indicating that these practices were not necessarily the teachings of the religion ("Mormon Manifesto").

Mormons, however, found this assault on their religion unconstitutional in and of itself. The campaign against polygamy, especially, endangered the "personal liberty of Mormons to practice [their] own religion in peace" (Boddener). The constitution gave form to the freedom of religious practice, which the Mormons were entitled to without fear of retribution from the federal government. After all, the Mormons practiced "the doctrines of Christianity, as revealed in the Old and New Testaments" (Brigham Young). Later on, even the state of Missouri signed a repeal of an extermination order, stating that "the exercise of religious freedom is without question one of the basic tenets of our free democratic republic" ("Extermination Order").

The anti-Mormon campaign took place during the 1830s, a time period that also brought about controversy regarding slavery as well as religious awakenings. A further tension between Utah becoming a free or a slave state may have also produced reason for the campaign against the Mormons. Young declared that Utah should be a free state, because slavery "would prove useless and unprofitable" (Brigham Young).

In retrospect, the tension against the Mormons boiled down to the aspect of shutting a religion down for its unappealing teachings. While many Americans may have balked at the idea of polygamy and the teaching of the Mormon faith, it is by far more unconstitutional for the repression of this religion. It lies in Mormon responsibility to determine the separation of Church and faith, but it is not within federal rights to force this act upon a religious sect. The forcing would become unconstitutional.


"Brigham Young Interview (Excerpt) (primary document)." Issues & Controversies in American History. Facts On File News Services, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. .

"Extermination Order' Expelling the Mormons from Missouri (primary document)." Issues & Controversies in American History. Facts On File News Services, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. .

"Mormon Manifesto Disavowing Polygamy (primary document)." Issues & Controversies in American History. Facts On File News Services, n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. .

Boddener, Chris. "Anti-Mormon Campaign." Issues & Controversies in American History. Facts On File News Services, 14 Mar. 2007. Web. 10 Apr. 2011. .

Brinkley, Alan. American History. A Survey. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009.

Part Two: Opposing Viewpoints Essay (Temperance Movement)

The Temperance movement became one of the largest movements during the 19th century. By 1919, this movement became large enough that the era of Prohibition came to take place, furthering the cause against alcohol and the consumption thereof. Needless to say that many people disagreed on such a matter, and once more the issue of morality, religion, constitutional law, and the federal government are further tested on the issue.

By 1919, the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was ratified, establishing the prohibition of the production and sale of alcohol (Kauffman). While Prohibition itself took place between 1920 and 1933, it was the temperance movement that ushered in this era, and the moderation of alcohol was a serious issue for many reformers and activists. Temperance itself began "as a religious movement"; religious leaders and moral followers -- particularly women -- were heavily against the use of alcohol, though they were later followed by businessmen and other state politicians (Kauffman). The focus at the beginning was a movement on the limitations of whiskey, gin, and other distilled spirits. However, temperance grew to include the rest of alcoholic drinks.

It is easily understandable how many citizens came to support the temperance laws passed by the state. To those of rigid moral denominations, alcohol was a form of evil in humanity. Preacher Lyman Beecher proclaimed it to be a "criminal disease," a "physical and moral influence of [sin] upon its victims" (Lyman Beecher). The effects of too much alcohol encompassed a wide array of problems within the workforce and the household. People were belligerent, abusive, morally degraded, and incompetent. Timothy Shay Arthur, staunch temperance supporter, linked the increase of murders, suicides, crime, and pauperism to the "consumption of this enormous quantity of intoxicating drinks" ("The Monster"). Because people did not have the power to resist the temptation of drink, reformers put it upon the government to take care of this problem.

The laws against alcohol, however, did not sit right with many others. Some argued that the interference of the right to drink was a movement that affected a majority of foreigners: Irish and German immigrants were seen as "heavy drinkers and brewers," which might be cause for prejudice…

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