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									                     DBQ ESSAY QUESTION ONE
Step 1: Analyzing the question

Directions: The first step in doing any DBQ is determining exactly what the
question is asking you to do. Jot down your ideas in your workspace.

Jacksonian Democrats viewed themselves as the guardians1 of the United States
Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of economic

In light of the following documents and your knowledge of the 1820’s and 1830’s
to what extent do you agree with the Jacksonians' view of themselves?

In order to answer this question fully, you will need to include a consideration of:
    1--who the Jacksonians2 (or Jackson's supporters) were
    2--the constitutional3 issues of the 1820's and 1830's and how Jackson dealt with
    3--any evidence that political democracy4 was being challenged or developed at this
    4--issues of individual liberty5 raised during the 1820's and 1830's
    5--issues involving equality of economic opportunity6
    6--how well the view that Jacksonian Democrats were guardians of the four areas
can be supported.

Give specific examples of all four areas. You will find some examples in the documents,
which you will read and analyze first. Draw on information that you have learned in your
studies to provide other examples and to help explain the extent to which you agree with
the statement.

Step 2: Recalling relevant information

Directions: When answering any essay question, you should briefly list the main
events of the time period addressed before you read the documents (do so in
your work space). This will become your "outside information" that you will weave
into your essay. Essays that lack this required outside information do not
generally receive very high scores.

  Or protectors.
  This includes the various groups in Jackson's broad coalition, such as small farmers and urban workers.
  This includes issues such as states' rights, nullification, and the U.S. Bank.
  A simple definition of democracy is a government in which people have a voice or there is majority rule.
  This includes issues about slavery, women, and Native Americans.
  This includes opportunity for small farmers and working men and women.
Outside Information

This is some7 of the information that AP students included in their essays.

Age of the Common Man
Age of Jackson

U.S. Constitution
  Jackson's philosophy--elected by the people and responsible to them
  Webster-Hayne debate
  Maysville veto
  nullification/tariff crisis (Calhoun and South Carolina)
  Bank veto

Political Democracy
  majority rule--by white men
  politics and elections; disputed election of 1824
  campaign of 1828 (rise of Democratic and National Republican
  formation of the Whig Party
  Working Men's Party, labor and trade unionism
  spoils system

Individual Liberty
   position on slavery
   Indian removal (generally Cherokees)
        Worcester v. Georgia, Cherokee nation cases
   Black people, immigrants, and urban rioting
   de Tocqueville and American democracy
   Reform and reformers (Garrison, Grimke sisters, abolition, women's
        rights, etc.

Equality of Economic Opportunity
  Working Men's Party
  Bank recharter (Jackson, Clay, and Biddle)
  Taney, removal of federal deposits from U.S. Bank and pet banks
  Taney and the Supreme Court
  specie circular
  panic of 1837
  Lowell mill girls

 You should not be overwhelmed by this list. It includes information from thousands of essays, not one
particular essay. You could do very well if you include only a small amount of the information here,
particularly if you develop it well. There is, of course, additional relevant information not listed here.
Step 3: Drafting the thesis statement and outline

Directions: Before you read the documents, draft a thesis statement and outline
for your essay (in your work space). This will help you organize your thoughts. It
will also ensure that you include ample outside information. You will have a
chance to revise this after you read the documents and before you begin to write.

Sample Draft Outline

Thesis statement that evaluates the extent to which Jacksonian Democrats were the
guardians of democracy.

I.    Jacksonian Democrats and the Constitution
      A. President responsible to the common people
      B. Defies Supreme Court ruling concerning Cherokee
      C. Willingness to use force against South Carolina
      D. Supreme Court and monopoly

II.   Political democracy
      A. Increased political participation, expansion of right to vote
      B. Spoils system, kitchen cabinet
      C. Labor and unionism
      D. Elections of 1828 and 1832
      E. Formation of the Whig Party

III. Individual liberty
     A. American society/democracy
     B. Indian removal policy
     C. Continued existence of slavery
     D. Women's rights

IV. Equality of economic opportunity
    A. Veto of Bank, establishment of pet banks
       Maysville Road veto
    B. Specie circular
    C. Panic of 1837 and Whigs
    D. Competition and monopoly

Sample Thesis Statements

Thesis 1: Jacksonian Democrats, supporters and followers of Andrew Jackson, were
indeed the guardians of democracy and the interests of the common people. They
insisted on a strict adherence to the Constitution, the expansion of political democracy,
and the protection of individual liberty and equality of economic opportunity. There were,
however, some areas where they failed.

Thesis 2: Supporters and followers of Andrew Jackson believed themselves to be the
guardians of the Constitution and the common people and took credit for an increase in
universal male suffrage during the 1820's and 1830's. However, the issues of slavery,
the removal of Native Americans, women's rights, states' rights, and the national bank
recharter and veto offered more challenges than the Jacksonian Democrats could
successfully handle. The Jacksonian Democrats were more the beneficiaries of political
democracy than the guardians of it.

Step 4: Analyzing documents

Directions: Click on the letter buttons, above, to read documents. As you read a
document, note the main idea and source. Also think about how each document
might relate to outside information as well as to other documents. Jot down notes
in your work space.

Document A

Source: George Henry Evans, "The Working Men's Declaration of Independence" (December

"We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal; that they are
endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life,
liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights" against the undue
influence of other classes of society, prudence, as well as the claims of self defense,
dictates the necessity of the organization of a party, who shall, by their representatives,
prevent dangerous combinations to subvert these indefeasible and fundamental
privileges. "All experience hath shown, that mankind" in general, and we as a class in
particular, "are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right
themselves," by an opposition which the pride and self interest of unprincipled political
aspirants, with more unprincipled zeal or religious bigotry, will willfully misrepresent.
"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations" take place, all invariably tending to
the oppression and degradation of one class of society, and to the unnatural and
iniquitous exaltation of another by political leaders, "it is their right, it is their duty," to
use every constitutional means to reform the abuses of such a government, and to
provide new guards for their future security.

Note on Document A: George Henry Evans was one of the organizers of a party to represent the
men of the working class. In this document establishing the Working Men's Party, he paraphrases
the Declaration of Independence partly to make the point that the working class has inalienable
rights just as any other class in society. Like the colonists, the working class will suffer evils done
to them by the government only up to a point. But after many abuses, it is time to use all
constitutional means available to working-class men to reform the government and protect their
right to equal economic opportunity. It is not completely clear whether or not this is a pro-
Jacksonian document. After all, the Jacksonians supposedly represented the "common" people.
But the date on the document is well into the first year of the Jackson administration, indicating
that some working-class members regarded the Democrats as excluding them and abusing their
rights instead of protecting these rights. Only after Jackson was in office did they organize their
own party to guard their equal economic opportunity--but they probably could not have done this
until after the right to vote was expanded to include them.

    Note the date. Does it help you determine if this is a document supporting or criticizing Jackson?
Document B9

Source: Andrew Jackson's veto message (July 10, 1832)

        I sincerely regret that in the act before me I can perceive none of those
modifications of the bank charter which are necessary, in my opinion, to make it
compatible with justice, with sound policy, or with the Constitution of our country. . . .
The present Bank of the United States . . . enjoys an exclusive privilege of banking, . . .
almost a monopoly of the foreign and domestic exchange.
        It appears that more than a fourth part of the stock is held by foreigners and the
residue is held by a few hundred of our own citizens, chiefly of the richest class.
        Of the twenty-five directors of this bank five are chosen by the Government and
twenty by the citizen stockholders. . . . It is easy to conceive that great evils to our
country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands
of a few men irresponsible to the people.
        Is there no danger to our liberty and independence in a bank that in its nature
has so little to bind it to our country?
        It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of
government to their selfish purposes.

Note on Document B:
In 1832, Congress passed the bill to recharter the Bank of the United States, and it quickly
became a campaign issue. In this document, Jackson is giving the reasons for his veto. He argues
that the Bank had to be dismantled because it was a financial monopoly that favored the wealthy.
Moreover, over a fourth of the stock was held by foreigners. The remainder was held by a few
hundred rich people who were not responsible to the citizens and who could use their power and
wealth for their own selfish purposes. The Second United States Bank was not compatible with
justice, therefore it was unconstitutional. You might use this document to support your argument
that Jackson was a guardian of the Constitution and of the interests and rights of the common
people, especially their right to equal economic opportunity. His attack on the concentration of
power in the hands of a few would have met with the approval of the Working Men's Party and of
western farmers, land speculators, owners of small businesses, and state bankers, but not of
people such as Daniel Webster, who was primarily responsible for the recharter bill.

 Compare this to Document A. Do you think the Working Men's Party would have supported Jackson's
veto of the Bank charter?
Document C10

Source: Daniel Webster's11 reply to Jackson's veto message (July 11, 1832)

[This message] extends the grasp of executive pretension over every power of the
government. . . . It appeals to every prejudice which may betray men into a mistaken
view of their own interests, and to every passion which may lead them to disobey the
impulses of their understanding. It urges all the specious topics of State rights and
national encroachment against that which a great majority of the States have affirmed
to be rightful and in which all of them have acquiesced. It sows, in an unsparing
manner, the seeds of jealousy and ill-will against that government of which its author is
the official head. It raises a cry that liberty is in danger, at the very moment when it
puts forth claims to powers heretofore unknown and unheard of. It effects alarm for the
public freedom, when nothing endangers that freedom so much as its own unparalleled
pretenses. This even, is not all. It manifestly seeks to inflame the poor against the rich;
it wantonly attacks whole classes of the people, for the purpose of turning against them
the prejudices and the resentments of the other classes. It is a state paper which finds
no topic too exciting for its use, no passion too inflammable for its address and its

Note on Document C:
Senator Daniel Webster (and Henry Clay) were Jackson's main opponents in Congress. They
knew that President Jackson opposed the Second Bank and hoped to create popular opposition to
Jackson in an election year. They anticipated that many Democrats favored the Bank and that
Jackson would not dare to veto it. When Jackson did veto the bill to recharter the Bank, however,
Webster accused Jackson of pitting the poor against the rich and creating ill will and fear for
political gains.

According to Webster, it was the increased power of the executive under Jackson that was to be
feared. You might recall a political cartoon showing King Andrew Jackson stomping on the
Constitution and vetoing the Bank charter. Clearly, Webster and those who became members of
the Whig Party in opposition to "King" Jackson did not view Jackson as a guardian of the

Document D12

Source: Harriet Martineau,13 a British author, reporting on her 1834 visit to the United States in
Society in America (New York, 1837)

I had been less than three weeks in the country and was in a state of something like
awe at the prevalence of not only external competence but intellectual ability. The
striking effect upon a stranger of witnessing, for the first time, the absence of poverty,
of gross ignorance, of all servility, of all insolence of manner cannot be exaggerated in
description. I had seen every man in the towns an independent citizen; every man in the

   Compare this document to Document B.
   It is important to note the source. Was Daniel Webster a Jacksonian Democrat or a critic?
   Be sure to compare Martineau's report to Document A.
   Who is Martineau? From what viewpoint did she observe conditions in the United States?
country a landowner. I had seen that the villages had their newspapers, the factory girls
their libraries. I had witnessed the controversies between candidates for office on some
difficult subjects, of which the people were to be the judges.

With all these things in my mind, and with evidence of prosperity about me in the
comfortable homesteads which every turn in the road and every reach of the lake
brought into view, I was thrown into painful amazement by being told that the grand
question of the time was "whether the people should be encouraged to govern
themselves, or whether the wise should save them from themselves."

Note on Document D:
Martineau was a British author who made a visit to the United States in 1834. On a relatively
short trip, she had seen nothing but independent citizens in the towns and landowners in the
country, but no poverty, ignorance, servility, or insolence. She had witnessed debates prior to
elections in which all men would be voting. This seemed so democratic that she was surprised to
find that it was a big issue in 1834.

If you compare this document with George Henry Evans' views on the position of workingmen,
you may feel that the two documents are contradictory. Remember Martineau's frame of
reference. This document does suggest that there was a fair measure of political democracy and
economic opportunity in the 1830's.

Document E14

Source: Philip Hone, a New York City businessman and Whig politician, describing riots
in eastern cities during the 1830's, in The Diary of Philip Hone,15 1828-1851 (New York,

Thursday, April 10.--Last day of the election; dreadful riots between the Irish and the
Americans have again disturbed the public peace. I happened to be a witness of the
disgraceful scene which commenced the warfare. . . . A bank of Irishmen of the lowest
class came out of Duane Street from the Sixth Ward poll, armed with clubs, and
commenced a savage attack upon all. . . . There was much severe fighting and many
persons were wounded and knocked down. . . . In a few minutes the mob returned with
a strong reinforcement, and the fight was renewed with the most unrelenting barbarity.

Friday, August 22, 1834.--Riot in Philadelphia. The spirit of riot and insubordination to
the laws which lately prevailed in New York has made its appearance in the orderly city
of Philadelphia, and appears to have been produced by causes equally insignificant--
hostility to the blacks and an indiscriminate persecution of all whose skins were darker
than those of their enlightened fellow citizens. . . . Several houses were pulled down and
their contents destroyed on Tuesday of last week; the police were attacked and several
of the police officers badly wounded.

  You should compare Hone's report to that of Martineau in Document D.
  As a businessman and Whig politician, Hone is not likely to have been sympathetic to people of the
"lowest class."
Note on Document E:
This businessman and Whig politician does not share the British author's view of the citizenry in
Document D. He notes violence against groups such as African Americans and Irish immigrants.
This class antagonism and discrimination probably had roots in social and economic inequality.
You may recall that the nativist movement was strong in the United States, and that it was
particularly hostile to Irish Catholic immigrants at this time. You may also recall that free Black
people in the 1830's had very restricted civil rights and restricted economic opportunities. This
document might cause you to consider the Jacksonians' position on slavery.

Document F

Source: Acts and Resolutions of South Carolina16 (1835)

        3.      Resolved, That the legislature of South Carolina, having every confidence
in the justice and friendship of the non-slaveholding states, . . . earnestly requests that
the governments of these states will promptly and effectually suppress all those
associations within their respective limits purporting to be abolition societies, and that
they will make it highly penal to print, publish, and distribute newspapers, pamphlets,
tracts and pictorial representations calculated and having an obvious tendency to excite
the slaves of the southern states to insurrection and revolt.
        7.      Resolved, That the legislature of South Carolina regards with decided
approbation the measures of security adopted by the Post Office Department of the
United States in relation to the transmission of incendiary tracts. But if this highly
essential and protective policy be counteracted by Congress, and the United States mail
becomes a vehicle for the transmission of the mischievous documents, . . . [we] expect
that the Chief Magistrate of our state will forthwith call the legislature together, that
timely measures may be taken to prevent [such mail] traversing our territory.

Note on Document F:
In these Acts and Resolutions, the legislature of South Carolina asked non-slaveholding states to
suppress abolitionist societies and make it illegal to print or distribute information about
abolition. South Carolina warned Congress that if it allowed abolitionist material to be sent
through U.S. mail, the state would take measures to prevent that mail from entering or crossing
South Carolina. You may recall that in his annual message to Congress in 1835, President
Jackson attacked the abolitionists and their incendiary publications. He urged Congress to ban
abolitionist materials from the mails. The following year, Congress passed a "gag rule" to bring a
halt to the abolitionist petitions that were flooding Congress. This document gives you evidence
of a major failing in the Jacksonians' guardianship of individual liberties and the constitutional
right to free speech.

  Note that this request is being made by the legislature of South Carolina. What position has South
Carolina taken toward federal actions of which it disapproved?
Document G

Source: Woolaroc Museum, Bartlesville, Oklahoma.17

Note on Document G:
This mural depicts the 1,200-mile march that the Cherokee were forced to undertake in the fall
and winter of 1838 from Georgia to the new Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. You may
recall that Jackson made clear in his first message to Congress that he meant to remove all Native
Americans east of the Mississippi to provide land for White settlers. You may also remember that
Jackson carried out this policy despite two contrary rulings by the Supreme Court. The Cherokee
appealed to the Supreme Court in 1828 after Georgia denied their claim to nationhood, arguing
that Georgia's denial of their independence violated the U.S. Constitution. In Cherokee Nation v.
Georgia, Chief Justice John Marshall upheld their view. In another case in 1832, Worcester v.
Georgia, Marshall held that the tribal nations were guaranteed by the United States. Jackson's
removal policies were carried out after he left office, when the Cherokee and other southeastern
tribes were sent to Oklahoma under army guard. You might conclude that Jackson's actions
toward the Cherokee show his disregard for the constitutional power of the Supreme Court and
for the individual liberties of the Cherokee.

Document H

Source: Chief Justice Roger B. Taney's18 opinion in Supreme Court case Charles River
Bridge v. Warren Bridge (1837)

The interests of the great body of the people of the state, would, in this instance, be
affected by the surrender of this great line of travel to a single corporation, with the

     Does the location of this picture give you any information?
     Do you know who appointed Taney to the Supreme Court?
right to exact toll, and exclude competition, for seventy years. While the rights of private
property are sacredly guarded, we must not forget, that the community also have rights,
and that the happiness and well-being of every citizen depends on their faithful

. . . The charter of 1785 to the proprietors of the Charles River bridge . . . confers on
them the ordinary faculties of a corporation, for the purpose of building a bridge; and
establishes certain rates of toll, which the company are authorized to take. . . . There is
no exclusive privilege given to them over the waters of Charles River, above or below
their bridge; no right to erect another bridge themselves, nor to prevent other persons
from erecting one; no engagement from the state, that another should not be erected;
and no undertaking not to sanction competition, nor to make improvements that may
diminish the amount of its income.

Note on Document H:
Andrew Jackson appointed Roger B. Taney to the Supreme Court as Marshall's successor. In this
case, Justice Taney is ruling that the Charles River Bridge Corporation had not received
monopoly rights to a bridge over the Charles River in its charter of 1785 and that the rights of the
community are as important as the rights of private property. The state could therefore give
charters to other companies to build bridges over the Charles River, even if they competed with
the existing bridge. This is an attack on monopoly and privilege in the building of transportation
facilities. You might conclude that this decision supported the rights of the community against
monopolies, a position Jacksonian Democrats supported in their efforts to maintain equal
economic opportunity.

Step 5: Revising the thesis statement and outline

Directions: Revise your thesis statement and outline to amend your main points,
if necessary, and incorporate information from the documents. Scroll back to your
draft thesis statement and outline in your work space, then make your changes.

Sample Revised Outline19

Thesis statement that evaluates the extent to which Jacksonian Democrats were the
guardians of democracy.

I.   Jacksonian Democrats and the Constitution
     A. President responsible to the common people
     B. Defies Supreme Court ruling concerning Cherokee (Document G)
     C. Willingness to use force against South Carolina
     D. Supreme Court and monopoly (Document H)
     E. Gag rule (Document F)
     F. Use of veto (Documents B and C and outside info)
  This outline incorporates all of the documents and allows for the inclusion of a great deal of relevant
outside information. In addition, it provides the opportunity to cover the four areas required in the question
and to discuss both sides of the statement.
II.   Political democracy
      A. Increased political participation, expansion of right to vote
           (Document D)
      B. Spoils system, kitchen cabinet
      C. Working Men's Party (Document A)
      D. Elections of 1828 and 1832
      E. Formation of the Whig Party (Document C)
      F. Women and most free African Americans had no vote

III. Individual liberty
     A. American society/democracy (Documents D and E)
     B. Indian removal policy (Document G)
     C. Continued existence of slavery
     D. Free African Americans and immigrants (Document G)
     E. Women's rights

IV. Equality of economic opportunity
    A. Veto of Bank, establishment of pet banks (Documents B and C)
       Maysville Road veto
    B. Specie circular
    C. Panic of 1837 and Whigs
    D. Competition and monopoly (Document H)
    E. Labor movement (Documents A and E)

Sample Revised Thesis Statements20

Thesis 1: Jacksonian Democrats, supporters and followers of Andrew Jackson, were
indeed the guardians of democracy and the interests of the common people. They
insisted on a strict adherence to the Constitution, the expansion of political democracy,
and the protection of individual liberty and equality of economic opportunity. There were,
however, some areas where they failed.

Thesis 2: Supporters and followers of Andrew Jackson believed themselves to be the
guardians of the Constitution and the common people and took credit for an increase in
universal male suffrage during the 1820's and 1830's. However, the issues of slavery,
the removal of Native Americans, women's rights, states' rights, and the national bank
recharter and veto offered more challenges than the Jacksonian Democrats could
successfully handle. The Jacksonian Democrats were more the beneficiaries of political
democracy than the guardians of it.

  This is the time to revise your draft thesis statement. Does the majority of your evidence from the
documents and from your own study support the Jacksonians' view of themselves as guardians of
democracy, or does it refute it?
Step 6: Writing the essay

Directions: Now you should be ready to write your essay.

Scoring Guide

8-9      Contains a well-developed thesis that clearly addresses the extent to which the
         Jacksonians' view of themselves was accurate
         Presents an effective analysis of the extent to which the view is accurate in the
         four areas; treatment may be uneven
         Effectively uses a substantial number of documents
         Supports the thesis with substantial and relevant outside information
         Is clearly organized and well written
         May contain minor errors

5-7      Contains a thesis that addresses the Jacksonians' view of themselves
         Has limited analysis, is mostly descriptive; deals with two or three aspects of the
         question in some depth OR deals with three or four aspects in a more general way
         Uses some documents effectively
         Supports the thesis with some outside information
         Shows evidence of acceptable organization and writing; language errors do not
         interfere with comprehension
         May contain errors that do not seriously detract from the quality of the essay

2-4      Presents a limited, confused, and/or poorly developed thesis
         Deals with two or three aspects of the question in a general way OR three or four
         aspects in a superficial way
         Simplistic explanation
         Quotes or briefly cites documents
         Contains little outside information or information that is generally inaccurate or
         Demonstrates weak organizational and/or writing skills that interfere with
         May contain major errors

0-1      Contains no thesis or a thesis that does not address the question
         Exhibits inadequate or inaccurate understanding of the question
         Contains little or no understanding of documents or ignores them completely
         Contains inappropriate or no outside information
         Is so poorly organized or written that it inhibits understanding
         Contains numerous errors, both major and minor

Sample Essay 1: Excellent (score of 9)

Jacksonian Democrats were not the "guardians of Democracy" that they claimed to be,
but instead were merely guardians of their own sectional interests and Andrew Jackson's
inflated ego.21 Jacksonians were skilled at emotionalizing issues and rallying the support
     Very strong and sharply focused thesis.
of the South and West. Their primary goals were not Constitutional justice and individual
liberty, but instead they strived to suppress New England, the Whig party, and business
interests and to preserve state's rights.

Andrew Jackson (despite allegations to the contrary by South Carolina and Tennessee)
was born in North Carolina and grew up a son of the frontier. The hero of the Battle of
New Orleans and a proven hothead (he flagrantly disobeyed orders and hanged a few of
the enemy in the Seminole War), Jackson was also not what one would call an
intellectual. Emotionalization of campaign issues got him elected in 1828 over a superior
statesman, President John Q. Adams. Through an over-emotionalized revivalistic
campaign style, Jackson's camp brought the common man out of the backwoods into the
voting booth. (Records show that voter participation rose dramatically through the
Jackson era). By exploiting the class difference between the urban Eastern industrialists
and the South-and-Western agrarian, Jackson's aides turned "Old Hickory" into a symbol
for the fight against the upper class and intellectualism. Henceforth it mattered little what
Jackson did as president, as long as it was perceived as the will of the common man.22

The Bank of the United States, under the direction of Nicholas Biddle, had, to an extent,
become an agent by which "fat-cat" Northern merchants filled their money bags. The
Bank was not good, however, for Western speculators who had borrowed a great deal of
money from the bank and now, in the late 1820s, were feeling the crunch of leveling-off
land prices. Because the Bank did not benefit Jackson's constituency (and because of a
personal dislike for "Czar" Biddle), Jackson vetoed the bill for recharter of the Bank,
proclaiming that was in the "hands of a few men irresponsible to the people." He of
course meant the common individual. Intellectuals like Daniel Webster saw through this
exploitation of industry/agrarian conflict. Webster's reply in Document C shames
Jackson for turning a political issue into an emotional quandary.23 (It should be noted, in
fairness to Andrew Jackson, that Webster owed several thousand dollars to the B.U.S.).
Still, Jackson claimed to be protecting the rights of individuals, instead of the interests of
Western speculators.24 In Roger B. Taney's decision (Taney was a Southern and a
Jacksonian) in the 1837 Charles River Bridge Case, business was overruled by the
rights of the community and the individual, or was it? Taney's decision really set a
precedent for state's right intervention in commerce, though it claimed to support the
individual's liberty.25

Sometimes, however, it was Jackson's ego and not sectional favoritism that drove
Jacksonian democracy. When Chief Justice John Marshall (a Federalist) ruled that the
Cherokee nation had a right to its territory, Jackson declared, "Justice Marshall has
made his decision now let him enforce it." Jackson claimed that the "common man"
wanted the Indians removed and promptly sent the Cherokee down the "Trail of Tears"
to Oklahoma. The move was actually fueled by Jackson's dislike for Marshall and his
feeling that the executive branch superseded the Court. Jackson vetoed the Maysville

   There is a wealth of outside information here and excellent discussion of attack on Eastern interests.
   Sophisticated use of document.
   Good use of bank document and outside information.
   Good interpretation of Taney case as states' rights.
Road project in Kentucky, claiming that the Constitution mandated internal
improvements in intra-state areas be the responsibility of local government.26 He
declined to mention that the road ran through the home district of his archrival, Whig
Speaker of the House Henry Clay. In truth, Jacksonian Democracy did not protect
individual rights, as evidenced by the mistreatment of blacks, Indians, and immigrants.
Most Jacksonians were slaveholders, and until Jackson's individual pride was damaged
by the nullification crisis of 1828 (Jackson resented upstart South Carolina and John C.
Calhoun, due to the Eaton affair), Jackson was an advocate of slavery. The Cherokees
were brutally mistreated by Jackson's removal policy. Irish immigrants were often the
victims of big city riots in the East, which Andrew Jackson did nothing to prevent. These
injustices were usually concealed from visitors like Harriet Martineau and Alexis De

Jacksonian Democracy did little for individual liberty and constitutional justice, but
instead hid behind emotionalized issues. Jackson's ego dictated policy, as did the needs
of the South and West. Several examples of suppressed individual freedom occurred.
Jacksonians were more the protectors of self interest, than the guardians of Democracy.

AP Reader analysis:
This is a superbly written essay far surpassing the requirements for the top category. It
contains a comprehensive, well-developed thesis that the Jacksonian Democrats acted for
their political self-interest, not for constitutional justice and individual liberties.
Information from the documents is woven throughout the essay and in some instances
used implicitly. Throughout the essay, the thesis is consistently supported by information
from the documents and outside evidence.

Sample Essay 2: Good (score of 6)

Since the founding of the Constitution, the leaders of the U.S. had preserved the
supremacy of the federal government over local governments. However, during the
1820s and 1830s, the tide turned with the introduction of Jacksonian
Democracy.28Followers of Andrew Jackson believed they were the moral guardians of
the constitution and used it to protect states rights. They believed in having as little
government as possible. Their policies were aimed at the "common man" and sought to
bring individual liberties to them. One area that they did not tolerate though, was foreign
immigrants and the Indians.29 Jackson did not believe in giving them equal opportunity
as given to the Americans.

Jackson himself had a humble upbringing as an orphan. Perhaps this led him to
emphasize the common man's importance in society and bringing in opportunity. He
wanted to achieve bringing the federal government down to the level of society. As a

   Good use of Cherokee case and Maysville Road to illustrate Jackson's positions on the Constitution.
   Excellent paragraph on individual rights and sophisticated use of documents.
   The thesis statement could be better focused. The main issue was not federal vs. state supremacy, but
democratizing the federal government.
   Shows some understanding that there are two sides to the question.
staunch state's rightist,30 he believed in localizing government. When he was elected, he
used the spoils system, or rotation in office to allow for political diversity and
compatability in office.31 One Jacksonian Democrat, George Henry Evans created the
Working Men's Declaration of Independence. It applied the beliefs of Jacksonian
Democracy to the Declaration, our basis for forming the Constitution. Here, he shows
how the Jacksonian Democrats believed in allowing individual liberty though the rights to
reform government and guard the natural laws of society.

Also under Jacksonian Democracy came the new view of economics and society. The
major dealing of Jackson was the defeat of the Second Bank of the United States.
Jackson believed that since in the constitution, there was no justification to create such a
bank, it was illegal. He also felt that having one large federal bank deprived state banks
from a chance at survival. When the Bank's charter was up for renewal in 1832, Jackson
naturally vetoed the recharter bill. He used his presidential veto quite freely. He states
that the bank provides for the exclusive privilege of banking and concentration in the
hands of few men. Eventually Jackson bled the bank dry of its funds and issued pet
banks, similar to those proposed by the Jacksonian Democrats.32

Jacksonian Democrats were challenged by the imminent nullification laws of South
Carolina. Jackson immediately demanded that S. Carolina withdraw the bill and comply
with the laws of the federal government. The Force Act was issued which allowed naval
and armed troops to enter S. Carolina to enforce the laws.

One major area of dispute was the intolerance of foreigners by the Jacksonian
Democrats. Jackson first had trouble with the Native Americans. He was undecided
whether to expel the Indians or leave them alone on their reservations. It was obvious
that Jackson did not tolerate the Indians. Most of the legislation passed under him went
against the Indians. The painting from the Woolaroc Museum shows the migration of the
Indians from their homeland to some other area. The Jacksonian Democracy did a great
injustice to the native Americans. Also at the voting polls, great riots began between
Americans and foreigners over the 1834 elections. Americans learned to not tolerate
foreigners and came down on them with barbarity.33

The Jacksonian Democrats basically provided the U.S. with the development of the
common man and a government working in favor of the people much like populism of
the 19th century, these movements believed in crushing elitism in society. As Harriet
Martineau states, the people were the judges and this allowed for the formation of the
U.S. as a better society for almost everyone.

AP Reader analysis:
The thesis here is not focused clearly on the issues and therefore doesn't guide the essay
as well as it might. The essay does use the documents and outside information in arguing
the strengths and limitations of the Jacksonians. More analysis of the documents and a
sharper thesis statement would have improved this essay.

   Error. Jackson opposed Calhoun’s position on the Nullification Doctrine.
   Good use of outside information in this paragraph.
   Good paragraph on Bank, using documents and outside information.
   Two good examples of the limits of Jacksonian democracy.
Sample Essay 3: Unsatisfactory (score of 3)

Jacksonian Democrats, which were found in the 1920's and 1930's,34 believed in strict
interpretation of the Constitution, individual freedoms, equal opportunity, strong
government in the states, and equality of white men and women.35 Many people did not
agree with Andrew Jackson or his methods of getting things done. Jackson was a racist.
He did nothing for the slaves, and harassed the Indians. Jackson always used his poor
background as a stand, that even the common man can become president.36

Jacksonian Democrats stressed that individuals had rights above the whole. Any man,
no matter what his background had the rights of happiness, life, and liberty (Document
A). Harriet Martineau, a British author could not believe that in America every man was
an "independent citizen". He even wondered if people governing themselves was very
safe (Document D).37

Jacksonian Democrats may have viewed themselves as giving more power to the
people, but that did not hold to be completely true. Jackson did a few good things to give
people a choice. Jackson vetoed the Bank of the United States because he felt it gave
the people no choice. If the bank had control over the nation's money, then neither the
government or the people could decide where they wanted their money placed
(Document B).38 Many people disagreed with Jackson's so-called patriotism. Daniel
Webster, who was for the Bank of the United States, felt that Jackson was being
unreasonable. Webster thought that since freedom was not truly endangered, that
Jackson was being too passionate about it (document C).39 Jackson felt that if people
were denied even simple freedoms, that over the course of time larger and more
important freedoms would be taken away.

Jackson continually supported laws or passed laws that denied rights. In Document E
riots are described. The riots were a direct result of Jackson's laws.40 Jackson seemed
to completely disregard the rights of immigrants and anyone else who was not white
Protestant. States in the North were opposed to slavery, wrote literature, and mailed
things to slaves to get them to consider freedom as an alternate lifestyle. South Carolina
asked the Northern states to halt all writing about abolishing slavery, they did not their
slaves to get restless (Document E). Jackson supported this stand.

The worst thing that Jackson did against another society was move the Indians. He had
thousands of Indians forcefully moved from their homes. He had Indians murdered,
thrown out, and even tortured. Only a few Indians wanted their people to be relocated,
and those were the only ones he even tolerated. The trek he sent the Indians on was

   This misdating is a minor error.
   What evidence is there that Jacksonians supported equality for women?
   This paragraph has some good information in it, but it needs to be better organized.
   Harriet Martineau was a woman. This shows misunderstanding of her praise for American society.
   This misinterprets Jackson's bank veto message.
   This does not correctly interpret Webster's concern.
   Error. There is no evidence in the document that the riots resulted from any Jackson policy.
known as the "Trail of Tears" (Document G). Over 1/3 of the Cherokee nation died on
that trip, and mostly because of Jackson's selfishness.41

On the whole Jacksonian Democrats had good ideas. They wanted people to have
choices, as shown in "Charles River Bridge vs. Warren Bridge" (Document H), and they
gave power to the people. Jackson truly felt that he was representing the whole when he
had Indians moved, and condoned slavery. Jackson may have once been a "common
man", but when he was president he didn't listen to the "common man" any longer.
Hopefully the United States will never have another president that was so openly
prejudiced. It would be nice to think that people would have better judgment than to
reelect another Andrew Jackson.

AP Reader analysis:
This essay conveys the idea that Jackson's policies tended to favor one group, White
Americans, at the expense of Native Americans and African Americans, but it does not
connect the ideas. Documents are used in a superficial and descriptive manner or are
misread. There is little outside information to support the generalizations.

     What specific evidence is there of Jackson's selfishness?

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