This is on the period of jacksonian democracy and how they saw themselves as the guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, and individual liberty.

Essay by howard_drakeHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2004

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Jacksonian Democracy

The Jacksonian democrats saw themselves as the guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of economic opportunity. However, were they really all they claimed to be? They did attempt to increase the power of lower classes while decreasing the influence of the rich and powerful. Economically, they benefited from governing during a time of huge advances in transportation, which boosted commerce and helped the common man. The Jacksonian democrats portrayed themselves as saviors of the common people, but this is a controversial subject. They were unusually wealthy, supported equality between white men only, enacted devastating economic policies, and disregarded the capability of the federal government. The Jacksonians saw themselves as guardians but as for the people, only a select few may have seen that.

During the Jacksonian reign, numerous advancements sped up the growth of the United States. A market revolution occurred as cash-crop agriculture and capitalist manufacturing replaced artisan economy.

Despite the prosperity, a split was emerging between the industrializing, urban north, agrarian, rural South, and the expanding West. The Jacksonians passed the Tariff of 1828, which opened opportunity for western agriculture and New England manufacturing, but was damaging to the South. Andrew Jackson believed that the US bank placed too much control into the hands of a wealthy few (Document B). Therefore, Jackson vetoed the bank's re-charter in 1832. In attempt to benefit the lower, working classes, he placed the federal money in "pet" state banks. This attempt weakened the national currency. Like most Jacksonian economic policies, it failed. Jacksonians tried to assist only the whites through economic policies but failed in that also.

Foreign visitors viewed that in America, every man is free and independent (Document D), but there was great division in American attitude. Disturbances and riots broke...