DBQ: Jackson essay

Essay by showshooter February 2007

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During Andrew Jackson's presidency in the 1820s-1830s, his supporters, known to the U.S. as Jacksonians Democrats, had four main goals. They tried to act as guardians of the United States Constitution, attempted to provide political democracy, strived to protect and promote individual liberty for all, and tried to give equality of economic opportunity. Unfortunately, Jacksonians did little to guard the constitution of the United States, and only provided political democracy to the extent of free white landowning males. Ironically, the same constitution that they protected stated that "...All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights...", meaning that everyone deserves to have rights, not just Caucasian men.(Document A). Jackson himself was a slave owner and didn't believe it was proper to give slaves rights. During his term, Jackson also cast out many Native Americans , taking control of their land and giving it to the white folks, forcing many of them to move further and further away from their homes(Document G).

Providing an economic opportunity for everyone is probably the only thing that the jacksonian democrats lived up to. By vetoing the senate's new bank charter, in which a fourth of the stock is held by foreigners and the rest by a few of America's richest citizens, Jackson and his followers helped keep any one individual from becoming too powerful or too involved with the nation's funds(Document B). When Harriet Martineau, a British author, visited the United States in 1834, she admired the way in which every person was financially well-informed and noted how well educated the people were as well(Document D). This is due to Jackson's good use of America's money.

Since they mostly favored the common man, the Jacksonians didn't do such a good job of upholding a democratic political...