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Jacksonian Democrats. Essay

1412 words - 6 pages

Jacksonian Democrats viewed themselves and their leader, Jackson, as the guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of economic opportunity. Advancements were made for the common man during Jackson's administration and for practically no one else, which makes this view seem incorrect. Jacksonian Democrats proved to be only the guardians of the "common man" and his rights only to a certain extent. You were labeled a common man only if you fell into their category of what the common man was.Jackson fully supported the "common man" or the "sturdy American" like no other president before him. At his inauguration, he gave the common man access to the White House and riotous behavior ensued. The locals complained that "barbarians" had invaded the White House; the stewards finally saved day by taking the punch bowls outside . The type of common man that was favored by the Jacksonians was a poor westerner who desired land, freedom of choice, and a say in politics. The problem with this was that anyone else who would fall out of this category: women, slaves, Native Americans, wealthy, Easterners, Northerners, were often denied their own rights (Doc D). The exempting of those who wouldn't fit the category of the common man, helped stress universal manhood suffrage.The belief in the common man was a certain aspect of the Jacksonian political democracy. Other aspects of political democracy of the Jacksonians included the spoils system. The practice of dispensing government jobs in return for party loyalty was called the spoils system. At a national level, President Jackson believed in appointing people to federal jobs strictly according to whether they had actively campaigned for the Democratic Party. Any previous holder of office who was not a Democrat was fired and replaced with a loyal Democrat.Another aspect of Jacksonian political democracy included the rotation of officeholders. To make it possible for a maximum number of Democrats to hold office, Jackson would limit a person's tenure in office to just one term and appoint some other deserving Democrat in his place. Jacksonians had contempt for experts and believed that ordinary Americans were capable of holding any government office. Both the spoils system and rotation of officeholders affirmed the democratic ideal that one man was as good as any another man.Like the common man, laborers and non-elites garnered support from the Jacksonians, which was displayed in "The Working Men's Declaration of Independence" (Doc A). Unlike the common man and laborers, the Native Americans were discriminated against during the reign of Jackson. The Natives had their rights as citizens of the United States constantly violated all the way up until they were forced to go on their "Trail of Tears" (Doc G). The Trail of Tears occurred as a result of Jackson's strict laws against the Native Americans. It took place from 1838-1839 under the presidency of Martin Van...

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