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Jackson Dbq Essay

1617 words - 7 pages

The Jacksonian Era, in the 1820’s and 1830’s, was a very critical period in American history. Many historians have different views on whether the Jacksonian Democrats, Andrew Jackson’s followers and supporters, were guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty and the equality of economic opportunity. Although Jacksonian Democrats view themselves as guardians of all these, they were wrong about most of it. The Jacksonian Democrats did a good job protecting and expanding political democracy and protecting equality of economic opportunity, but failed to be guardians of the constitution as well as individual liberty.
Andrew Jackson was born along the ...view middle of the document...

In 1929, shortly after Jackson gained presidency he was defending the spoils system. He stated how Americas government was primarily for the people and how “no one man has any more intrinsic right to office station than another” (Document I). This illustrates how Jackson was using the spoils system, not to corrupt the government like some thought, but rather to make America more of a democracy. He incorporated the spoils system planning on using it to allow more people be qualified for government positions. A true democracy is one where the common man can participate in government and this is what Jackson pushed for. Jackson focused a lot on making all white men equal and he was for the most part successful. He actually made it difficult to distinguish between classes during this era, which is a huge accomplishment. People would come to America and report about the democracy that Jackson has expanded. One of the reporters was a British author, Harriet Martineau, who visited the United States in 1834 and reported about the democracy. Harriet commented, “I had seen every man in the towns an independent citizen” (Doc. D). This reveals how much Jackson incorporated Democracy and how he was a major push in the US government’s history. This quote also means that Jackson gave all white males land and money so for the most part they are equal. She is actually impressed with the political democracy in the U.S. Although it is pretty clear that Jackson was a guardian of political democracy, some may still argue that he was not a help to democracy in America because he only gave rights to white males. The people who believe this feel that he should have fought for women’s rights and colored peoples rights as well. This is not a good argument because Jackson had to make small steps he can’t just change everyone’s rights over the course of his presidency. Opening voting rights to all white males was enough to consider Jackson as a guardian of democracy because it gave America a big push to get where they are today. Jacksons pushing for equal opportunity was not only visible in the democracy it was also very clear economically.
Jackson’s economic expansion and end to monopolies was what allows one to refer to the Jacksonian Democrats as guardians of equality of economic opportunity. Jackson supported the ide of competition and worked hard for equality of economic opportunity. This idea of competition was in the Supreme Court case Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge in 1837. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney opinion towards this case was that other bridges should be able to be made over the Charles River even if they competed with the existing bridge (Doc. H). This means a lot because Jackson appointed Taney to the Supreme Court, which means he most likely had very similar beliefs as Jackson. They wanted to create competition allowing more people the chance to prosper. This illustrates how the Jacksonian Democrats were largely guardians of...

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