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Pennsylvania in the 1810s


Gettysburg Pennsylvania
Gettysburg Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania supported the war effort during the War of 1812 (1812-1815), fought between Britain and the United States over the maritime rights of neutral powers. Albert Gallatin, a Pennsylvania congressman and financier, served as secretary of the treasury until 1814, then played a prominent role in peace negotiations that ended the conflict. In 1812 the state capital was established at Harrisburg.

After the war, Pennsylvania’s Jeffersonian factions agreed on many issues: They supported high tariffs to protect American industries from competition, public aid for such internal improvements as roads and canals, and a federally chartered bank.

They disagreed mainly about who should hold important offices. In the disputed presidential election of 1824, voters were split between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Jackon, who gained fame as a hero in the War of 1812, portrayed himself as a champion of the common people. Although Jackson won the most electoral votes in the election, no candidate won a majority, and Adams won the presidency when the issue was decided by the House of Representatives. Pennsylvania’s Jeffersonians then became two different parties, one favoring Adams and the other, stronger faction favoring Jackson, who won election as president in 1828. When Jackson, as president, proved an enemy to internal improvements, higher tariffs, and the second Bank of the United States—which was based in Philadelphia—he ruined many local Pennsylvania politicians.

By 1835 the Jacksonians lost control of state politics to a union of the Whig Party, whose purpose was to oppose Jackson, and the Anti-Masonic Party, which formed to oppose the influence of Freemasons in politics, claiming the fraternal group was antidemocratic.

In addition to Jackson’s antibank policy, a major issue that occupied Pennsylvanians during the 1820s and 1830s was building and managing a huge state-owned network of canals and railroads, the Pennsylvania State Works. In 1834 the state established a public school system. "Pennsylvania" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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