4.3 Politics and Regional Interests

7 min readdecember 22, 2022


Sally Kim

Milo Chang

Milo Chang

AP US History 🇺🇸

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Attempted Secession

A group called Essex Junto became angry over the decline of New England’s influence and attempted to have New York, New Jersey, and New England secede from America to become the Northern Confederacy with Canada. The Essex Junto was a group of Federalist political leaders. They opposed the War of 1812, leading them to participate in the secessionist Hartford Convention.
The Hartford Convention was a meeting of Federalist Party leaders that took place in Hartford, Connecticut in 1814. It was called in response to the perceived abuses of power by the federal government and the perceived neglect of the interests of the Northern states.
The Hartford Convention was attended by Federalist Party leaders from several Northern states and was held in secret. The attendees drafted a series of resolutions outlining their grievances with the federal government and their proposed solutions, which included the creation of a second legislative chamber and the expansion of the powers of the states.
The Hartford Convention was seen as a political failure and did not have a significant impact on the direction of the country. It was also unpopular with the general public, who saw it as an attempt by the Federalist Party to undermine the authority of the federal government. The convention was a major factor in the decline of the Federalist Party and contributed to its eventual demise.
Aaron Burr, who had been the third vice president of the United States, traveled towards New Orleans to talk to the military governor of Louisiana. In 1805, Burr was accused of plotting to establish an independent state in the western United States and of seeking foreign support for his plan. He was charged with treason, which is defined as the act of betraying one's country by attempting to overthrow the government or aiding the enemies of the state.
Before Burr could carry out his plans, he was discovered and arrested for treason. Burr's trial for treason was a major event in U.S. history and attracted widespread attention. He was ultimately acquitted of the charge, but the trial and the accusations against him damaged his reputation and political career.
It is not entirely clear why Burr pursued this plan or what his motivations were. Some historians believe that he was motivated by ambition and a desire for power, while others believe that he was motivated by financial considerations. Some have speculated that he hoped to establish an independent state in the West as a means of securing his own political power, while others have suggested that he hoped to profit financially from the sale of land in the new state.
🎥 Watch: AP US History - Antebellum Politics

Native Americans

During this period, the United States was in the process of expanding westward and seeking to incorporate new territories into the union. This expansion was driven in part by a desire for land and resources and was facilitated by treaties and land purchases from Native American tribes. However, it also involved the forced removal of Native Americans from their ancestral lands, as well as conflicts and wars with Native American tribes.
Many Americans took advantage of the Native Americans and sought their lands. In one example, the Treaty of Fort Wayne, the exploitation of the Indians resulted in them giving away 3 million acres for 2 cents per acre.
A Shawnee who called himself The Prophet, Tenskwatawa, had a vision of a deity that said the dependence on the Americans’ goods, such as guns and alcohol, was the worst possible sin. If the Natives rejected these items, the deity would help drive the white settlers away.
Tenskwatawa preached a message of spiritual and cultural revival and promoted a return to traditional Native American ways of life. He gained a following among the Shawnee and other Native American tribes, and his message played a role in the formation of the Native American resistance movement known as Tecumseh's Confederacy, named after Tenskwatawa's brother.
In the Battle of Tippecanoe, William Henry Harrison led an army against Tecumseh's Confederacy. It resulted in Harrison becoming a national hero. This battle in 1811 was a significant victory for the United States and marked the beginning of Tecumseh's War, which lasted until 1813.
The conflicts that made up Tecumseh's War were sparked by tensions between the United States and Native American tribes in the Old Northwest, which were fueled by the growing settlement of the region by white settlers. Tecumseh and other Native American leaders formed an alliance in an effort to resist the expansion of the United States and to protect their ancestral lands.
While the Native American alliance led by Tecumseh was able to achieve some initial successes, the United States military ultimately emerged victorious in the conflict. This victory helped to establish the United States as a dominant military power in the Old Northwest and facilitated the expansion of the country into the region.
In the First Seminole War from 1817-1818, Andrew Jackson invaded Spanish territory of East Florida due to raids by Seminole Indians. Since free African Americans and runaway slaves lived in the area where the Seminoles lived, Jackson justified that he was returning fugitive slaves.
John C. Calhoun had a plan, where Indians east of the Mississippi River would “voluntarily” give up their land for land west of the river. It passed in the Senate, but the House of Representatives rejected it.
🎥 Watch: AP US History - Age of Jackson

Henry Clay’s American System 

Henry Clay created the American System legislative proposal. With a tariff and the Bank of the US, America would become economically self-sufficient and would not be dependent on Europe. Furthermore, better infrastructure would improve the travel between regions, which would reduce sectionalism. 
Called for
Actually happened
  • Rechartering of the Bank of the US
  • Protective tariff for the manufacturing sector
  • Federal funding for internal improvements
  • Tariff of 1816: 25% tax on imported fabric and 30% tax on iron, leather, paper
  • 2nd Bank of the US (1816-1836)
The national bank was intended to provide a stable currency and a source of credit for the development of industry and commerce. The protective tariffs were intended to promote the growth of domestic industry by protecting it from foreign competition. The internal improvements (like roads and canals) were intended to promote the development of infrastructure and facilitate trade and communication between the states.
Opponents of the American System argued that it represented an unconstitutional expansion of federal power and an unfair burden on the states. They argued that the national bank was a violation of states' rights and that the protective tariffs were harmful to trade and commerce. They also argued that the internal improvements were costly and unnecessary and that they represented an unfair burden on the states.

Panic of 1819

The Second Bank of the United States attempted to control inflation by limiting loans, which triggered the Panic of 1819. The Panic of 1819 was triggered by a combination of factors:
  • Land speculation: The Panic of 1819 was fueled in part by speculation in western lands, which was fueled by the availability of cheap land and the belief that the value of these lands would increase as the United States expanded westward. Many speculators borrowed heavily to purchase land, and the collapse of land values during the panic led to widespread defaults on these loans.
  • Agricultural prices: The Panic of 1819 was also driven by a decline in agricultural prices, which was caused in part by a surplus of crops on the market. This surplus led to a decline in prices and made it difficult for farmers to repay their debts.
  • Bank failures: The Panic of 1819 was exacerbated by the failure of several banks, which contributed to a lack of confidence in the financial system and a credit crunch. The failure of these banks also led to a contraction in the money supply, which further exacerbated the economic downturn.
As the crisis spread, it led to widespread business failures, unemployment, and a decrease in property values. Many state banks closed, and unemployment, bankruptcies, and imprisonment for debt all increased. People in the West called for land reform and showed opposition to the national bank.

Missouri Compromise

In 1820, Missouri applied for statehood, but it wanted to be admitted as a slave state. The Tallmadge Amendment prohibited further introduction of slavery and allowed emancipation for all slave children born in Missouri at age 25. The House of Representatives accepted it, but the Senate rejected it.

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

The issue was the balance between the free and slave states. If the Tallmadge Amendment passed, it would tip the balance. Henry Clay developed a plan to maintain the balance: the Missouri Compromise which included (1) Maine would be admitted as a free state and Missouri as a slave state. (2) Slavery would be prohibited in the area north of the 36 degree 30 minute line.
The Missouri Compromise was seen as a temporary solution to the issue of slavery in the western territories and helped to alleviate tensions between the North and the South. However, it was ultimately unable to resolve the fundamental differences between the two regions and the issue of slavery continued to be a major point of conflict in the United States for decades. The Missouri Compromise was eventually nullified by the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which allowed for the expansion of slavery into the western territories.
🎥 Watch: AP US History - Slavery and the South
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