Andrew Jackson and the Jacksonian Period.

Essay by lbooneUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2003

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Andrew Jackson is the most significant political figure in American history, for under Jackson modern American government took shape. In the Jacksonian era, the white middle class took power and has never relinquished it. Because of this, the Jacksonian era has been described as the ?Age of the Common Man?. According to this view, a democratic, egalitarian culture emerged. This cultural emergence had a dramatic and wide ranging impact on American life. The previously disenfranchised middle class voted for people more like themselves -- for those who would uphold their interests. This resulted in a group of leaders very different from the upper- class founding fathers -- a group of men who would do anything to avoid being thought aristocratic or elitist, or even non-middle class. These changes promoted social mobility and a more democratic system with Andrew Jackson as leader and James K. Polk as a fitting example.

In the eyes of many Americans, Andrew Jackson truly represented the ?common man?, hence the era in which he presided over was known as the ?Age of the Common Man?. Not only had Jackson fought in the American Revolution like so many other American men, he was the first president to be of humble beginnings. Andrew Jackson had been born in a log cabin on the Appalachian frontier, while many other presidents were refined seaboard gentry .Also known as the ?Champion of the People?, President Jackson stressed the importance of the peoples virtue, intelligence, and capacity for self-government (Martin 235).This political ideology was known as democratic republicanism. Jackson also expressed a deep dislike for the ?better classes?, who claimed to be more ?enlightened? than the common men and women. His dislike for the ?better class? led to reforms that encouraged a democracy and social mobility for the...