Forwarded from Anthony (western Farmers)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
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 
gold standard.

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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