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             JACKSONIAN ERA
By Dan
Cho, Derek
and Joe
  “The people is firm and tranquil in its
   movements, and necessarily acts with
 moderation, because it becomes but slowly
impregnated with new ideas; and effects no
   changes, except in harmony with the
       knowledge it has acquired.”
-George Bancroft, historian and Jacksonian

 “In a country where offices are created
solely for the benefit of the people no man
  has any more intrinsic right to official
           station than another.”
       -Andrew Jackson, President
  [The] Introduction:

A very brief history until 1828
By the time General Andrew Jackson was elected into office,
 America had undergone radical changes, such as the shift
toward a market economy and immense population growth.
With this population growth came a shift westward, which in
 turn brought about the creation of improved transportation,
    including canals, highways, railroads and steamships.
 Regional political divisions had become quite pronounced.
By 1824, the masses were already beginning to
favor Jackson, but John Quincy Adams took the
election through the House of Representatives
after gaining the support of Henry Clay, who
became Adams‟ Secretary of State (hence the
„Corrupt Bargain‟ accusations from Jacksonians).
But Adams was ignorant of the changing political
atmosphere, as seen by his proposition to give
Federal support for internal improvements. This
did not sit well with those who opposed the
'American System', which had grown in number
since 1819.
So in 1828, Jackson took the presidential office,
  much due to his national reputation as a war
  hero and as a representative to the common
  man. Jackson used his association with the
  everyman to in turn help make the
  government better work for the masses. If
  anything, the barriers holding people back
  from influence and power were reduced
  during Jackson’s presidency, allowing a more
  democratic functioning of the government.
  Jacksonian politicians attempted to make
  decisions that would benefit the majority.
 [Political] Aspects of
Democratic Expansion:
       1828 - 1840
Political Aspects on Expansion
 Suffrage
   By 1821, New York, Maryland, South Carolina,
    Massachusetts and Connecticut all reduced
    voting requirements
   By the end of the 18th century, most states had
    done away with property requirements, instead
    charging „poll taxes‟
   No new state admitted between 1796 and 1821
    had property requirements for voting
   Shift from voting out loud (viva voce) to ballots
   Members of electoral college were selected by
    popular vote in most states
   Blacks and women still lacked suffrage
Political Aspects on Expansion
 Changing campaign methods
   Attempted to appeal to the masses
   Beginning in the early 1800‟s, both Federalists
    and Republicans tried to appeal to the common
    people by hosting free barbecues and clambakes
   In the election of 1828, both parties used
    propaganda; Jackson was accused of being an
    unlearned man, while Adams was portrayed as
    too aloof and aristocractic
   Jackson used his image as a war hero to
    increase his popularity
Political Aspects on Expansion
 The „Job‟ of Politicians
   Politicians now had to serve the „common
    people‟, and do away with the previous belief of
    running the government through a small
   Jackson and the “Rotation in office”
   Jackson believed that:
     any man with common sense could undertake
       government duty
     Constant rotation of government staff would
       prevent corruption by greed and give jobs to
       more people
   Called the „Spoils System” by critics
   Did not cause much uproar
Political Aspects on Expansion
 The Multi-Party System
     Jacksonian Democrats v. Whigs (later the
     Third parties, such as the Anti-Masonic* and
      Working Man‟s Parties, arose from the belief that
      some voices were not being heard
     This is a democratic aspect because more
      parties meant that more people had a better
      chance of voicing more specific wants in
* Anti-Masonic was a Whig-supporting group that was against the fraternal
order of the Masonic Lodges, which were exclusive clubs for the rich.
[Democratic] Issues
   Of the Jacksonian Era
ISSUE: The 2nd National Bank
   Jackson vetoed the Bank believing that
    there was too much cash flow and that
    power was concentrated in the
   Jackson took money out of federal
    banks and placed it into state banks
       This allowed state banks to make more
        loans, namely to speculators.
ISSUE: The 2nd National Bank
   Jackson wished to limit the power of the
    deposit (“pet”) banks, but caved in and
    eventually signed the Deposit Act, which
    created more deposit banks and limited
    Federal control over them.
   Was this Democratic:
       YES, in theory: it attempted to take power from
        the rich bank owners
       NO: it just put power into state banks
ISSUE: Nullification
   Calhoun argued that only tariffs that were to
    raise revenue were constitutional
       This was despite the fact that the Constitution
        gave the federal government the right to levy
       Tariff of 1828 was meant to deter shipping into
        the US, so it was „unconstitutional‟ to Calhoun – it
        didn‟t benefit all equally (it helped the North)
       Calhoun followed the Kentucky and Virginia
        compromises in stating that the US was a compact
        between states and that states had the right to
        deny, or „nullify‟ an unjust law
ISSUE: Nullification
   South Carolina issued the South Carolina
    Exposition and Protest, written by Calhoun,
    arguing against the tariff.
       SC feared that a government that passed sectional
        tariffs would also go against slavery
       SC was one of two states to have slaves as a
        majority of the population
            Slave revolts, such as Nat Turner‟s, led to fear in slave
             states like SC
   In November 1832, SC nullified Tariffs of
    1828 and 1832
ISSUE: Nullification
   Jackson‟s “Olive Branch and the Sword”
       Tariff of 1833 – Compromise Tariff
            Provided gradual lowering of duties from 1833
             to 1842
       Force Bill
            Allowed the federal government to collect taxes
             and customs duties by force
            Made primarily against South Carolina
       Called the “Compromise of 1833”
ISSUE: Nullification
   Was this democratic?

       YES: because it preserved the Union

       NO: went against South Carolina‟s wishes
        and gave more power to the government
            On a side note, this hurt Jackson, since pro-
             nullification „nullifiers‟ in the South joined the
             Whig party after this
ISSUE: Charles River Bridge
   Owners of Charles River Bridge connecting
    Boston and Cambridge declared that their
    charter granted them a monopoly
       They sued the proprietors of the competing
        Warren Bridge
       1837, the Supreme Court ruled against the Charles
        River Bridge owners
       Protected democracy because if the owners won,
        turnpike charters could be used against competing
        railroad and canal construction
[Alexis] de Tocqueville:
 A foreign view of American
Alexis de Tocqueville

   Born in 1805 in Paris
   Family was highly aristocratic
   Learned man – studied law
   Began to believe that the French aristocracy
    was in decline – adapted more liberal views
   Visited America and Britain in 1831-1832 to
    study their governments
   Published Democracy in America in 1835,
    continuing the series in 1840
Democracy in America

   Tocqueville saw democracy as the inevitable
    product of government, and hoped to study it
    to discover its strengths and weaknesses
   Tocqueville was heavily influenced by his
    own aristocratic upbringing, which made him
    take a critical look at American democracy
   Part I focused on democracy as a whole in
    America and the institutions created to
    perpetuate it
   Part II focused on the mentality of Americans
Democracy in America cont’d –
Pros and Cons
   PROS:
       Progress is encouraged, since there is always
        hope of excelling, instead of being isolated by
        class restrictions
           “Aristocratic nations are naturally too apt to narrow the
            scope of human perfectibility; democratic nations
            expand it beyond compass”
       Judicial Review in America
       Freedom of Press
       Freedom of Religion
Democracy in America cont’d –
Pros and Cons
   CONS:
       „Mediocrity‟ – since everyone has an „equal‟
        chance to excel, but only a few can actually „make
        it‟, many people with equal skill are left out
           “On my arrival to the United States I was surprised to
            find so much distinguished talent among the subjects,
            and so little among the heads of the Government”
       Possibility of despotism from the „majority rule‟
       Equality itself – could stifle government‟s function
        in the search to „please everyone‟
[Social] Democracy

   Women‟s Rights
    Social Aspects of the Expansion: Women’s Rights

   Women‟s Rights: Early women‟s          The Seneca Fall‟s Convention:
    rights advocates such as                A women‟s rights conference
    Lucretia Mott and the Grimke            pushing for the passage of
    sisters argued against both             twelve resolutions in favor of
    racial and gender discrimination.       women‟s rights such as
   The abolitionist William Lloyd
                                           Women‟s rights did not gain
    Garrison argued in The
                                            very much attention until after
    Liberator against the                   the civil war due to other
    exploitation of women slaves.           problems like the Temperance
                                            movement against alcohol,
                                            public school reforms and the
                                            abolitionist movement.
                         Lucretia Mott

Elizabeth Cady Stanton
• The actual electoral processes moved toward
  democracy by creating ballot voting, eliminating
  property restrictions, and, in some states,
  selecting the members of the electoral college
  through popular vote
• Events such as Jackson‟s veto of the Bank, the
  striking down of monopolies and the limiting of
  the government offices to reduce corruption
  showed the movement toward democracy.
• More people had the ability to work in

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