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What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848
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AMERICAN HISTORY > 10. WHAT GOD HATH WROUGHT- BATTLES OVER SOVEREIGNTY, CHAPTER 10 (367 - 410) ~ December 31st - January 1st; No Spoilers, Please

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Oct 26, 2012 09:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 37655 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

For the week of December 31, 2012 - January 1, 2012, we are reading Battles over Sovereignty which is Chapter 10 of What God Hath Wrought.

The tenth week's reading assignment is:

WEEK TEN: December 31, 2012 - January 1, 2013
10. Battles over Sovereignty (367 - 410)

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book is being kicked off on December 31st. We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, or on your Kindle. This weekly thread will be opened up on December 31st.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Bentley will be moderating this discussion.

Welcome,

~Bentley


TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

What Hath God Wrought The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe by Daniel Walker Howe

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS - ON EACH WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREAD - WE ONLY DISCUSS THE PAGES ASSIGNED OR THE PAGES WHICH WERE COVERED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS. IF YOU GO AHEAD OR WANT TO ENGAGE IN MORE EXPANSIVE DISCUSSION - POST THOSE COMMENTS IN ONE OF THE SPOILER THREADS. THESE CHAPTERS ARE EXTREMELY DENSE SO WHEN IN DOUBT CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY TO RECALL WHETHER YOUR COMMENTS ARE ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC. EXAMPLES OF SPOILER THREADS ARE THE GLOSSARY, THE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE INTRODUCTION AND THE BOOK AS A WHOLE THREADS.

Notes:

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations:

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author used in her research or in her notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations. No self promotion, please.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...

TOC and the Syllabus

The following is a link to the table of contents for the book and the weekly syllabus:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...

Book as a Whole Thread

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...

What Hath God Wrought The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe by Daniel Walker Howe


Theresa | 84 comments Jackson's crusade against the Bank of the US was very exciting. Biddle's failed recharter bid, Jackson dissolving the BUS despite it's support from the public and Congress and the censure of President Jackson made for some good reading. It's such a shame that Jackson let his own feelings/opinions of something cloud his judgement. He assumed dissolving the BUS was the will of the people because he was re-elected. Maybe if someone other than Biddle was heading the BUS, Jackson would have acted differently.

It seemed to me that Jackson's plan backfired. I'm not sure if he would have agreed on this. But as Howe mentioned on page 445 (Nook ebook) "Jackson, who had declared his dislike for 'all banks', witnessed the total number of banks in the country double between 1832 and 1837." Paper currency was still being used, but it wasn't as stable and the economy experienced a mild, short recession. The ultimate backfire was that we now have in place the same institution that Jackson crusaded against today in the Federal Reserve.

I wonder what Jackson would say if he saw America today. and whose idea was it to use Jackson's picture on the $20 bill?!?


message 3: by Bryan (last edited Jan 28, 2013 07:32AM) (new) - added it

Bryan Craig He would probably think it very odd, indeed, to be on the 20 dollar bill.

I can't remember if he distrusted national banks, but was fine with local/state banks, or hated all banks.


Theresa | 84 comments I think Howe said he hated all banks, but state banks were more tolerable than a national bank.


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1172 comments This chapter was very critcal in that it explained Jackson's beginning of exerting a new form of presidental power. He did not see cabinet members as folks to goven with him but extensions of his work and if they would not do it his way he would dump them. I think that he was the first president to so aggressively use his power.

I think we have to remember that we are only 50 years after the Constituion establishing a democratic government (still experimental) and that the colonies (excuse me - States) had been around and functioning a lot longer. I think Jackson was a "god fearing" man - all his concern for chastidy and marriage etc still 30 years before Darwin.

I beleive that Jackson felt that with the continent open to the west, and he would get rid of the indians so it would be open, the concept of the Jeffersonian yeo man farmer could go on for a long time. He could see moving forward without a US Bank or other new ideas. Canals and rivers were likely enough for him without extensive road systems.

What does strike me during this chapter are all the individuals - Clay, Calhoun, Webster etc etc. who took these stands and struggles to build a country that could not have been envisioned anywhere in the world 75 years before.

What I also see here again (because I have thought it before) is that the character of South Carolina was different from all the other states that had been settled by immigrants from Europe. Page 404 "South Carolina had been founded in the 17th century by colonists from Barbados...." not mentioned is that they brought their slaves and plantation economy and philosophy with them. These are the guys who first voted for "nullification" of Federal law and the first state to attack a Union faciltiy to start the Civil War. These guys did not come to America hoping they could succeed. If they failed they would have just gone back to Barbados. Very different from the rest of the colonists I think.

My other major new realizaton from reading this chapter is the unique situation the US had regarding taxation. So the primary tax for the country was the tariff system. But we had the ever increasing acreage of America as we moved west for the government to gain revenue with by selling the land. No other country in the 19th centruy had this expansion opportunity which began with dollars to the government. This went on certainly into the beginning of the 20th century. Maybe this explains the resistance of Americans to paying taxes. We still get government revenue from land and oil lease sales etc. here in the USA - no other western first world country has this I think unless maybe it is/was Britain with the North Sea Crude.

I don't mean to skip over Biddle or the other details but the flavor or if you wish fabric of American developement is being exposed.


message 6: by Bryan (new) - added it

Bryan Craig Thanks Vince. Your comments about SC are particularly interesting. This makes sense that they pushed nullification based on their culture and history.


message 7: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 37655 comments Mod
Vince I have to echo Bryan's comments about your South Carolina comments being quite interesting. I guess a take it or leave it philosophy which seems still part of their past and present today. They do seem to march to a different drummer.

Your comments were quite interesting Vince. And thank you Bryan for keeping things going while I was dealing with Sandy.


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