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The Faults Of The Age Of Jackson

911 words - 4 pages

With the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828, many felt a new age of political, economic, and social equality was about to emerge. However, the Age of Jackson was plagued by numerous racist policies, as well as unconstitutional job placement in the White House. Jackson also slyly prepared the country for a financial panic, while handing blame to his predecessor, Martin van Buren. While the Jacksonian Democrats believed themselves to be the procurers of democracy and equality, they promoted segregation in society, took almost totalitarian hold of the government, and set the country up for an economic depression.

Jackson elevated the plight of the working man without creating equality. Instead, he heightened the separation of the classes and cruelly discriminated against those not seen as true Americans. This is first proven by the Trail of Tears. The Cherokees of Georgia were arguably the most civilized of the Native American tribes, creating an alphabet, then a tribal constitution. In 1828 Georgia tried to make the tribal council of the Cherokees an illegal government. Although the Supreme court upheld the right of the Cherokees three consecutive times, Jackson assumed the power of the judicial branch to override these decisions. Jackson conceitedly claimed that the Cherokees had no chance of surviving in the white world and cast them out into frigid Oklahoma. The voyage was not without military escorts, who shackled some of the innocents (G). Because of Jackson's racist policies, an entire people were forced out of their homeland. Similar treatment befell the Irish and German immigrants, who were treated by many as if they were below the already poor, lower class Americans. Fighting between these two groups was not uncommon, and riots often broke out (E). Americans resented these immigrants for their Roman Catholic religion, and believed foreigners were to blame for the unfavorable job market. Occupations requiring little skill went to the dirt-poor Irish, who would work for far less than anyone else. Persecution from the Jacksonian Democrats of the age was fairly indiscriminate, and targeted blacks, immigrants, and Native Americans. The Age of Jackson furthered class segregation by empowering the poor white landowners to a place above these people. In George Henry Evan's "The Working Men's Declaration of Independence", he stresses the need for unity among the lower class, not among all people, claiming that the working man is victimized above all others. Jacksonian Democrats failed to see the necessity of unity among all people, but instead focused on empowerment of themselves only.

Jackson took totalitarian hold of the government by assuming both judicial and congressional power. This is clear from his treatment of the Cherokees. He also used the spoils system to unconstitutionally place his supporters in public office....

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