DBQ Jackson

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 11th grade November 2001

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During the early 1800's, the United States government was introduced to the Jacksonian Democrats who thought of themselves as the leaders and strict enforcers of the United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of the equal economic opportunity. Jacksonian Democracy was the belief that the people should have direct governing of themselves; this concept praised liberty of the individual and enforced their basic principles of the government clinging to states' rights and federal restraint in social and economic affairs. However Jacksonian Democrats fell short of fulfilling and supporting their principles and beliefs by their actions because of their selfish interests; they wrecked the national finance structure, treated humans in an inhumane manner, and demolished the amity of society and the value of community.

Andrew Jackson's election in 1828 signaled the rise of the common man. Western farmers and eastern workers mainly elected him thinking that Jackson would support them.

During his presidency property qualifications for voting was eliminated in most states and there was a growing change in the nature of political campaigns. He enacted the Spoils System that did not guarantee the best leadership, and was morally corrupt. Although the nation's economy and political democracy flourished during the reign of President Jackson, constitutional rights, equal opportunity and individual liberties were discouraged. In her 1834 visit to America, British author Harriet Martineau wrote of the nation's economy being strong and prosperous. The absence of poverty and ignorance and independence of every man are some of the observations she recorded (Doc D). The national economy did in fact boom during the 1820s and early 30s, but by the end of his term, the economy was a wreck and in desperate need of a change. The New Democracy was based on universal white male suffrage rather than the old...