The Age of Jackson Podcast
A Podcast on Antebellum America (ca.1812 - ca.1845) hosted by Daniel N. Gullotta and sponsored by Andrew Jackson's Hermitage.
068 The World of First Lady Sarah Polk with Amy S. Greenberg
While the Woman's Rights convention was taking place at Seneca Falls in 1848, First Lady Sarah Childress Polk was wielding influence unprecedented for a woman in Washington, D.C. Yet, while history remembers the women of the convention, it has all but forgotten Sarah Polk. Now, in her riveting biography, Amy S. Greenberg brings Sarah's story into vivid focus. We see Sarah as the daughter of a frontiersman who raised her to discuss politics and business with men; we see the savvy and charm she brandished in order to help her brilliant but unlikeable husband, James K. Polk, ascend to the White House. We watch as she exercises truly extraordinary power as First Lady: quietly manipulating elected officials, shaping foreign policy, and directing a campaign in support of America's expansionist war against Mexico. And we meet many of the enslaved men and women whose difficult labor made Sarah's political success possible. Lady First also shines a light on Sarah's many layers and contradict...
067 Lobbyists and the Making of US Tariff Policy with Daniel Peart
Since the 2008 global economic crisis, historians have embraced the challenge of making visible the invisible hand of the market. This renewed interest in the politics of political economy makes it all the more timely to remind ourselves that debates over free trade and protection were just as controversial in the early United States as they have once again become, and that lobbying, then as now, played an important part in Lincoln's government "of the people, by the people, for the people." In Lobbyists and the Making of US Tariff Policy, 1816-1861, Daniel Peart reveals how active lobbyists were in Washington throughout the antebellum era. He describes how they involved themselves at every stage of the making of tariff policy, from setting the congressional agenda, through the writing of legislation in committee, to the final vote. Considering policymaking as a process, Peart focuses on the importance of rules and timing, the critical roles played by individual lawmakers and lobbyists, and the high degree of uncertainty that characterized this formative period in American political development. The debate about tariff policy, Peart explains, is an unbroken thread that runs throughout the pre–Civil War era, connecting disparate individuals and events and shaping the development of the United States in myriad ways. Duties levied on imports provided the federal government with the major part of its revenue from the ratification of the Constitution to the close of the nineteenth century. More controversially, they also offered protection to domestic producers against foreign competition, at the expense of increased costs for consumers and the risk of retaliation from international trade partners. Ultimately, this book uses the tariff issue to illustrate the critical role that lobbying played within the antebellum policymaking process. - Daniel Peart is a senior lecturer in American history at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of Era of Experimentation: American Political Practices in the Early Republic and the coeditor of Practicing Democracy: Popular Politics in the United States from the Constitution to the Civil War. His most recent work is Lobbyists and the Making of US Tariff Policy, 1816-1861. --- Support for the Age of Jackson Podcast was provided by Isabelle Laskari, Jared Riddick, John Muller, Julianne Johnson, Laura Lochner, Mark Etherton, Marshall Steinbaum, Martha S. Jones, Michael Gorodiloff, Mitchell Oxford, Richard D. Brown, Rod, Rosa, Stephen Campbell, and Victoria Johnson, as well as Andrew Jackson's Hermitage in Nashville, TN.
066 Francis J. Grund's Aristocracy in America with Armin Mattes
In Jacksonian America, as Grund exposes, the wealthy inhabitants of northern cities and the plantation South may have been willing to accept their poorer neighbors as political and legal peers, but rarely as social equals. In this important work, he thus sheds light on the nature of the struggle between “aristocracy” and “democracy” that loomed so large in early republican Americans’ minds. Francis J. Grund, a German immigrant, was one of the most influential journalists in America in the three decades preceding the Civil War. He also wrote several books, including this fictional, satiric travel memoir in response to Alexis de Tocqueville’s famous Democracy in America. Armin Mattes provides a thorough account of Grund’s dynamic engagement in American political and social life and brings to light many of Grund’s reflections previously published only in German. Mattes shows how Grund’s work can expand our understanding of the emerging democratic political culture and society in the antebellum United States. - Armin Mattes earned his Ph.D. in History at the University of Virginia, working with Peter Onuf on the origins of American democracy and nationhood. Dr. Mattes then spent the 2012-2013 academic year as the Gilder Lehrman Research Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, where he completed his first book, Citizens of a Common Intellectual Homeland: the Transatlantic Context of the Origins of American Democracy and Nationhood, 1775-1840, which was published by University of Virginia Press in 2015. His newly translated and annotated edition of Francis J. Grund’s Aristocracy in America was published in Spring 2018 on the Kinder Institute’s Studies in Constitutional Democracy monograph series with University of Missouri Press, and immigrant is also currently at work on a book project that explores the transformation of the meaning and practice of political patronage in America from 1750 to 1850. Dr. Mattes has taught at the University of Virginia and Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (Germany), and he served as a Kinder Institute Research Fellow in History from 2014-2017. --- Support for the Age of Jackson Podcast was provided by Isabelle Laskari, Jared Riddick, John Muller, Julianne Johnson, Laura Lochner, Mark Etherton, Marshall Steinbaum, Martha S. Jones, Michael Gorodiloff, Mitchell Oxford, Richard D. Brown, Rod, Rosa, Stephen Campbell, and Victoria Johnson, as well as Andrew Jackson's Hermitage in Nashville, TN.
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