Jacksonian Democrats Dbq Essay

1200 words - 5 pages

Over 2000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Plato warned against the dangers of Mob Rule and the effects which may occur under such a government, stating that a Philosopher King would be better suited to run a country. Andrew Jackson would probably have agreed with such a statement, for he himself was more willing to direct the United States towards his own personal beliefs and economic aspirations than towards a government ruled completely by the people. In the 1820s and 1830s, Jacksonian Democrats held a majority of power within the US, labeling this period in history as the "Jacksonian Era", all the while pursuing personal and nationalistic goals in the name of the "common man". Giving the pretense of a false sense of equality to the ordinary persons of America, they pulled strings and made corrupt bargains which they viewed as necessary to keep "democracy" going. They viewed themselves as the guardians of not only the United States Constitution, but also political democracy, individual liberties, and equality of economic opportunity. In truth, they used these values, in particular the constitution, as facades to their political schemes.In numerous cases, most notably Andrew Jackson's veto message, the Constitution of the United States was used to uphold the faulty decisions made by him and his supporters, with no clear interpretation as to why it is unconstitutional other than that it is his "opinion" to act thus. Even though such an "opinion" may be based more on personal profit and opinion than on the Constitution, he had the right to veto, and therefore used this right when he vetoed the rechartering of the national bank. In fact, he had during his presidency utilized vetoes considerably more than all of his predecessors put together. Before they had been able to dismantle the national bank, Jacksonian Democrats had supervised a redirecting of funds within the nation in order to move funds away from a monopolistic national bank towards several dozen smaller banks located within separate states. To say that these actions were "guarding the United States Constitution" would be farfetched, since these decisions considered the Constitution last and Jacksonian Democrats' benefit first. They were using the noblest of documents within the United States government so that they might further their own ambitions.These Jacksonian Democrats also prided themselves at being the guardians of equality in economic opportunity, having worked actively to demolish, or at least lessen, Property Qualifications, which were the legal requirements for voting. This may seem to be a noble cause, but was nevertheless promoted in order to win elections. If they could manage to win voter eligibility for the minor people, such as inferior land-owners, those people would almost be guaranteed to vote for a Democrat. The concept worked well, since the amount of voters began to rise at the beginning of the Jacksonian Era, with most of the new-comers voting for the Democrats....

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