Question: In what ways were the late nineteenth-century Populists the heirs of the Jacksonian-Democrats with respect to overall objectives and specific proposals for reform?
The Populists of the late nineteenth-century were in many aspects the heirs of the Jacksonian Democrats, carrying on the legacy and tradition left behind. The Populists were very similar to the Jacksonians in many of their overall objectives and specific reform proposals.
During the Jacksonian Era from about 1828-1842, the Democrats set the standard to be carried on later by the Populists. The Jacksonian Democrats identified with the common man. They wanted all democrats to agree. In 1828, Andrew Jackson was elected president and he was later reelected in 1832. In the year of his reelection, Jackson established the spoils system to reform the government, removing some federal officeholders ("To the victor belong the spoils") and made the right of elected officials to appoint their own followers to public office and established feature of American politics.
Also in this year, Jackson vetoed the bill to recharter the Bank of the United States. This sets the tone for his, and the Democrats, ongoing battle with the Bank and its president, Nicholas Biddle, later to rise to climax when Jackson removed federal deposits from the Bank of the United States. A year later, in 1833, the nullification crisis erupted, pushing Jackson and his Democrats into another battle, this one with John Calhoun and nullification. Jackson insisted that nullification was treason and those implementing it were traitors. The nullification crisis was averted by compromise: the lowering of the tariff of 1828, the tariff of abominations, gradually be lowered. Jackson believed in a distinct, but simple theory of democracy, that it should offer "equal protection and equal benefits" to all its white male citizens and favor no...