The American System

by Henry Clay

What does the system propose?

  • A strong banking system, to provide easy and abundant credit
  • A protective tariff, behind which eastern manufacturing would flourish
  • A network of roads and canals

Who supported the plan and who did not?

A specific man that supported the American System was Alexander Hamilton. John Quincy Adams also supported it. He had no doubts that Congress and the President had the right to build infrastructure like roads and canals. In fact, Adams had proposed an idea similar to the American System in the 1790s. However, President Jackson's administration disapproved. President Madison also showed his disapproval by vetoing the bill to give states aid for infrastructure, deeming it unconstitutional.