Internal Improvements And Protective Tariffs In Henry Clay's American System

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Internal Improvements and Protective Tariffs One of the main points of Henry Clay’s American System, the necessity of subsidies for internal improvements and protective tariffs, was a source of debate between Jackson and Clay. While in Senate Jackson voted for protective tariffs and internal improvement bills, but soon “became convinced that the internal improvement policies favored by his enemies were a species of corruption and an outrageous drain on the treasury” . When the Maysville Road project was proposed that would build a highway across Kentucky, Jackson was quick to veto the bill. He viewed the issue of the road as a local, not national issue, therefore making it unconstitutional. Clay, borrowing a line from Hamilton, argued the road was a national issue and cited the necessary and proper clause. Jackson argued that even if the Maysville Road was a national issue he would still have vetoed the bill because “the treasury was now exhausted and the road could not be built without an increase in the national debt” . In the views of Jackson, the national debt prevented true independence. His main goal was to reduce and repay the debt. As president he made…show more content…
Following the legacy of Alexander Hamilton, Clay was a strong supporter of the Bank of the United States, which was a part of his American system. Clay saw the bank as a necessity for economic growth in America. However, when the bank was up for re-charter in 1832, Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill. In his well-written veto Jackson, explained his decision to veto the bill citing it unconstitutional. Jackson believed “if the government would stop creating inequality by giving artificial stimulation to the engines of the Market Revolution…men would be left in a state of modest but natural inequality” . His ideas resonated with the common people who had already grown to fear big banks due to the Panic of

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