DBQ: Jacksonian Democracy

Essay by HSworkdefinedHigh School, 11th gradeA+, March 2005

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In the 1820's and 1830's, the Jacksonian Democrats believed they were protecting many aspects of freedom for the American people and I agree with their beliefs to a limited extent. The Jacksonian Democrats were successful in maintaining the political democracy during this time. However, they were completely defeated in their attempt at establishing and preserving individual liberty. While, they were successful in some aspects of guarding the equality of economic opportunity.

I agree with the Jacksonian Democrats on the topic of Political Democracy. As Andrew Jackson points out in Document B, "It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people" and further more, "It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.". He was criticized for his own actions by Daniel Webster in Document C, where he called him hypocritical and irresponsible.

Webster claimed that Jackson was bad for the country and was not satisfying the needs of the majority. However, this is less fact, as it is pure criticism by Webster, one of Jackson's biggest critics. In spite of these claims of power abuse, Jackson used a system of rotation of office to keep the members of equal power. Regardless of Jackson's efforts to give power to the people, "the grand question of the time was 'whether the people should be encouraged to govern themselves, or whether the wise should save them from themselves.'" As stated in Document D. Political Democracy was a priority for Andrew Jackson and he successfully established a government to protect it.

Jacksonian Democrats did not protect individual liberty. Though Jackson was a strong supporter and activist in the...