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Traders and Settlers of the Westward Migration

1. To where did the traders and settlers of the westward migrations described in this chapter go? How connected did they remain to the economy of the eastern seaboard and why?

2. What caused the "Era of Good Feelings?"? What were the reasons for its demise?

3. Describe the nation's most important economic needs during the early 1800's.

4. Discuss the development of the Monroe Doctrine, its effect on nationalism, and the pros and cons surrounding it.

5. In what ways did Andrew Jackson try to minimize the power of the federal government? In what ways did he strengthen it? Do you see any ideological consistencies in his positions and, if so, what are they?

6. What was the "second party system?"? How did the ideologies of the Democrats and the Whigs differ? To what elements of the electorate did each party appeal? How did the rise of this system change American politics?

7. Analyze the growing tension between nationalism and states' rights, as particularly reflected in the nullification crisis and the Webster-Hayne debate.

8. What caused of the Panic of 1837, and how did it effect of the panic on the presidency of Van Buren?

9. How did the dominance of cotton affect the development of the Southern economy, including the industrial and trade sectors?

10. How did the slave system affect the lives of white Southerners, including planters, non-slaveholders, and women? How much did the lives of slaves differ depending upon their particular situations? Consider issues of region, urban versus rural locations, and gender, among other factors.

11. Discuss the cultural shift in America during the Jacksonian era, including the rise of the middle class/"common man." What was Andrew Jackson's philosophy of government and how did this impact the office of the presidency. How would you describe the meaning of "Jacksonian Democracy," and Andrew Jackson's relationship to it?

Solution Preview

Firstly, as far as the directions go, if these are only discussion questions, all you really need would be a few bits of discussion and maybe a reference to be able to contribute your thoughts. Beyond that, a few of the questions do mention "this chapter" and the like, which suggests you'll want to check your class material against things here, just to make sure you're on-track. But I'll be discussing each question briefly, as best as I can with the guidance you've offered, and a source to review as well for each.

Secondly, as far as content goes:

1) Traders and settlers had a vast number of reasons for migration; but most in both what are now the U.S. and Canada were mostly dealing in fur, so we can use them as an example. They continued to move westward because the raw animal skins from hunting were abundant. With less people around, they were clearly more able to hunt freely and find animals unawares; the lack of incorporation or industrialization to that point also helped them. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean they could get by on their own. Without serious and constant demand for furs in the East, both for the colonists and for exportation, they'd have no livelihood at all. So while they mostly traveled west and north by following rivers and other similar bodies of water (animals need water too, of course), they were always in touch with the eastern seaboard for the sheer fact that they needed someone to buy the furs. Here's more on that:

2) The "Era of Good Feelings" was only called that because there was a lack of political opposition; the "good feelings" were because (it was assumed) everyone in the country agreed. As you may remember from the time the dominance of the Republican Party ended, this lack of opposition ended up being a huge problem. It is also worth noting that the Era was "good" because of a vast amount of positive change: transportation revolutions like the steamboat and railroad, tariffs raised in order to protect and stimulate domestic economy, and (for better or worse) isolationism under Monroe Doctrine to protect Americans from foreign influence and develop on their own. What eventually ended the era was the fact that politics had become much too one?sided, economy had grown to reveal a serious disparity in wealth between owners and workers, and all politicians were able to freely appoint whomever they wanted in government. In other words, when one party rules, they have all the power, and most people are unable or unwilling to think that another option is even possible. This of course changed with Van Buren and then eventually Jacksonian Democracy. Here's more on that:

3) While I mentioned this a bit in the last response, the major economic issues revolved around protectionism and tariffs. Monroe and those who followed him were more than willing to ...

Solution Summary

The traders and settlers of the Westward Migrations are examined. The expert discusses the development of the Monroe Doctrine.