Forwarded from Anthony (western Farmers)
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Sep 12 14:12:06 MDT 2003
DMS thinks an alliance did not exist between northern small farmers and
southern slaveholders in the “Jacksonian” period” (1820’s to 1850’s).
“My recollection is a little bit different, regarding Jacksonian
democracy, and an alliance between the Southern slaveholders and
Northern small farmers-- I don't think such an alliance existed.”
Here is a more detailed recollection on this point.
My post said ‘western’ farmers, not northern farmers. The west I was
referring to was basically the old ‘Norwest Territories’ (Ohio, Indiana,
Michigan, parts of Wisconsin and Illinois - if memory serves.)
The Northwestern territory was filled with small family farms in a
series of wars against the Indians - more or less simultaneous with the
wars against the Indians in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. The two
most important military leaders of these wars - William Harrison in the
North ( a whig), and Andrew Jackson in the south each had a turn at the
Presidency. These wars were fought around and after the “War of 1812”.
Tennessee and Kentucky, the ‘border zone’ had been settled earlier,
after earlier Indian wars had depopulated those states of their original
The alliance of the Northwest and Southwest in Indian extermination,
land theft and speculation, and the formation of new states in the West,
was the basis of ‘Jacksonian Democracy’. If I remember correctly, Every
governor of every north western state (Ohio, Indiana, Michigan,
Illinois, Wisconsin) was a Jackson Democrat until 1856. Democrats (or
Democratic Republicans as they were called) also controlled the state
legislatures. The Whigs power base in the West was limited to Al Gore
country (Tenneessse and Kentucky).
The alliance had two other important points of common interest (one of
which I neglected in my earlier post.)
Anti-protectionism united the south and the ‘western’ farmers. So did
“hard money and easy credit.” (the one I left out earlier.) The tarriff
crisis in the Jackson administration was only the begining of a long
battle over tariffs that did not end until the south was defeated in the
civil war. On the other hand the issue of hard money and easy credit
(National Bank crisis during the Jackson administration) was never fully
solved until the Richard Nixon finally took the US compltely off the
In any case the alliance held until the Kansas Nebraska Act was passed,
and the Repbulican party was formed in Wisonsin and Illinois 1854-1856.
All the best, Anthony
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