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The Failure Of Jacksonian Democrats Essay

1612 words - 7 pages

Democracy, a new form of government, a government for the people, was seen in different lights. As time progresses, the government becomes firmer in its regime and doctrine, yet keeps the same focus; for the people. The United States was created for the people, and by the people, and the need for the people to continue to be the main focus was crucial. However, once Jackson was elected president, the idea of people staying the main focus of government began to falter. Those who support Jackson wished for something in return, and Andrew Jackson supported the rights of the spoils system, thus giving his people the seats they thought they deserved. However, as time went on, the focus on the ...view middle of the document...

However, as time progressed, the true, wanton greed of the chosen officials was unveiled (The American Pageant 262). The original plan, which was to change the government in favor of the “common man” was twisted into a game of power and wealth, for officials’ greed for money overpowered their conscience. Although George Henry Evans exclaimed, “...we as a class in particular, are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable” (Document A), should have focused his words on the actual common people, for those in power almost found them illegitimate next to their own greed. The Jacksonite’s point of view hindered their “guardianship” of the Constitution, for in the Declaration of Independence, it states that a government is to hear out the disagreements of its people. Jackson’s opinion that everyone was equally good was proven false through his colleagues, leaving a darker imprint on the federal government.
The uprising leading to South Carolina’s distress was caused by the Jacksonite’s cynical idea of a new Tariff. This Tariff supported New England manufacturing, increasing the prosperity of textiles than overseas, and the Western rising property values and population. This revenue may have sent an overwhelming boom over the North, West, and Southwest, yet the Old South grew weary. Southerners dealt with unprotected tariffs whilst selling their goods, yet, after the “Yankee Tariff”, they had to buy manufactured goods from the North in order to tend to their farms (The American Pageant 263). The South lost their privileges of buying cheaper, non-tariffed goods from overseas, leading to a decrease in revenue and widespread agitation. Looking up to their southern Jacksonian democrats, they suddenly felt betrayed, for the officials held the responsibility to take their people’s concerts to heart, yet their agreement on passing the “Black Tariff” held them “...against federal encroachments on states’ rights” (The American Pageant 264). As tensions grew, South Carolina, an Old Southern state took matters into their own hands. John C. Calhoun, the current vice president, ruled against the Jacksonites’ tariff, joining his state and creating The Exposition, denouncing the tariff as unconstitutional. Through the Constitution, the states’ are given the right to nullify any federal law that is deemed unconstitutional (The American Pageant 265). Through the valid argument of the Old South, the crack in the Jacksonian Democrats’ theory of guardianship over the Constitution became visible.
When Jackson inherited this “political hot potato” (The American Pageant 263) toward tariffs, his reaction to South Carolina was close to absurd. Congress attempted to please the Old South, creating the Tariff of 1832, which barely touched upon what the South was aiming for. South Carolina thus declared the tariff null and void, and eventually threatened secession from the Union. Support over their actions was proven through the states’ rights located in the...

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