HST 141 Dr. Kerns
The Unfinished Nation: Chapter 8 “Varieties of American Nationalism”
Chapter 8 Main Themes:
A thorough study of Chapter 8 should enable the student to understand:
American Nationalism: Between 1820 and 1840, many American politicians
advocated programs that stressed the supremacy of the central government over
the states, called for direct federal involvement to aid the growth of
commerce, and in general advocated an aggressive course of action designed to
American System: The plan, advanced by Henry Clay, that was designed to foster commercial growth and economic stability. Its basic components consisted of a tariff to protect "infant industries" and to secure American jobs (thus making it appealing to labor), a national bank into which the money from the tariff (and other taxes) would be deposited, and an internal-improvements program paid for by the federal government. As conceived, money raised from taxes would pay for the roads, canals, and the like designed to improve transportation and thus stimulate more commerce, which would produce more jobs and revenue. To keep this growing economy stable would be the function of the bank, which would issue notes and make loans for business development and expansion. Therefore, all three elements were linked in a cycle of taxing, banking, and spending that made it difficult to oppose one without opposing them all.
Commerce Clause: The clause in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8) that gives the national government the power to regulate foreign commerce as well as commerce between the states (interstate commerce).
Contract Clause: The clause in the Constitution (Article I, Section 10) that prohibits the government (national or state) and individuals from impairing the obligation of contract.
Diplomacy : The conducting of negotiations between nations and the drawing up of treaties. The act of concluding an alliance to national advantage.
Internal Improvements: The building of canals and roads, the improvement of harbors, and the clearing of rivers to improve transportation and stimulate commerce. To be done with the help of the national government, this was a major part of the postwar nationalistic program. The concept was opposed by those who felt it was too expensive or was an unconstitutional assumption of the rights and responsibilities of the states.
Monroe Doctrine: President James Monroe's declaration in 1823
that the Western Hemisphere was off limits to further European colonization and
that the United States would consider any effort by the European powers
"to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to
our peace and safety." This policy of opposing outside interference in
Necessary-And-Proper Clause: The clause in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8) that authorizes Congress to make "all laws" necessary and proper to carry out its powers; also called the "elastic" or "implied powers" clause.
Bank: Usually defined as a state bank in the West, organized with little
capital resources, free with credit, and generally unsound. These banks were
responsible for much of the land speculation in the West, and when the bank of