The American System

How and why is it important?

Why?

The American system is so important to the history of America because it increased federalistic views and strengthened the unity between the states. High tariffs to protect industry and make money for the federal government. The American System's main goal was to Strengthen the economy of the U.S.

Nationalism V.S. sectionalism

Nationalism- Believed that the United States needed to be united for it to work, felt that federal economy, transportation methods, and Tariffs would empower the federal government.


Sectionalism- Belief that the United States could be a little less united for the people's sake. Felt that with a powerful federal government, the common people would not have a voice. Believed that smaller local governments would achieve a truer democracy.

Key Components

  • The second bank of the united states
  • High Tariffs
  • Maintenance on public land
  • Stabilize currency
  • other internal improvements

Henry Clay

Henry Clay was the Senator of Kentucky and is known as the father of the American System. While he was the speaker of the house, he was known as a warhawk, or someone who felt that the war of 1812 was necessary. Although he was a slave holder, he believed that all people should have freedoms, including Native Americans. While many of his arguments fell unsuccessful at the time, the American System stuck and Improved the Unity of the United States.