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Essay Samples > Analysis > The American System
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The American System

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The American system can be seen as a plan that was aimed at strengthening the nation; based on government subsidies. The system was advanced by the members of the Whig Party, by the party’s leading politicians (Gerstle, Fahs and Johnson). However, the system was mainly associated with the prominent politician Henry Clay.  The prominent politician was at this time the speaker to the House of Representatives. The American System, as clay outlined it, had three major components. The three components were the chartering of an American national bank, a national transport system, and a tax or tariff on all imported goods. All these proponents had initially been proposed by another individual; Alexander Hamilton (in 1790) (MindSparks).

A national bank was established in the year 1816; for twenty years. This was the second bank after the first one, founded in 1791, was left to expire in 1811. The reason for the expiry of the first banks was due to the administration’s fear of the rich people in the society. For the case of the tariff, it was established in 1816. The tariff was the first of its kind in that it was the most protective in the history of America. The tariff aided in protecting local manufacturers who were suffering from dumping. The dumping was brought about by British firms who flooded cheaper goods; the intent being to prevent growth of American industries (Baxter). The national transport system was proposed to be funding for canals and roads; internal improvements. However, it was shrouded in excess controversy. The reason for the controversy was brought about by personal interests; politicians’. While some supported inter-state road development, others supported the development at the local level. Those that supported the development at local levels did so in the realization of political gains if funds were directed at their areas. In this perspective, the president disagreed with them and vetoed local proposals; on grounds of unconstitutionality (Grandin and Williams).      

In conclusion, Henry Clay’s idea of the American can be termed as a noble idea. The notion of the system achieved immense success (Piehl, Cohen and Kennedy). This can be reflected to the fact that most of the proposals were implemented. 

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