Development of American Society During Andrew Jackson's Presidency Essay

Development of American Society During Andrew Jackson's Presidency Essay

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Following the transformation of the American society after the War of 1812 and preceding the Civil War, the two terms of President Andrew Jackson proved to be a crucial time in the development of American society. Jackson and his supporters convinced themselves, and many Americans, that they were, in fact, protectors of American ideals. In their eyes, they remained true to the roots and foundations of the United States. But, in reality, the Democratic party of the 1820s and 1830s did quite the opposite, limiting state’s rights by denouncing nullification, infringing upon the liberties of numerous individuals, including thousands of Native Americans, and instituting social and economic unrest through the institution of high tariffs and the manipulation of class mentality. It is not a stretch to assert that many of the government’s decisions during Jackson’s presidency greatly contributed to the bloody Civil War that would ensue just thirty years later.
Possibly one of the largest debates (apart from the bank controversy) of the Jackson era was the controversy over nullification. President Jackson and John C. Calhoun, his vice-president, locked horns over the idea that each state possessed the right to nullify, within its borders, federals laws it deemed unconstitutional. The issue was spurred by the Tariff of 1828 which imposed a high protective duty that favored western agriculture and northern manufacturing but forced Southerners to pay more for manufactured goods. Moreover, the tariff threatened to reduce the sale of British textile products to the U.S. and, in turn, lower British demand for cotton. Calhoun encouraged Southern states to nullify the tariff within their borders as, he believed, only tariffs that raised r...


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..., Jackson and his loyal Democrats still believed that their position was justified.
What began as a crucial age in United States politics and American advancement ended with nothing more than a struggling economy and increased sectional conflicts. President Andrew Jackson and his loyal Democratic party, upon being elected, took a self-proclaimed position as the guardians of the United States Constitution, state’s rights, individual liberties, and America’s revered economic system. These ideologies, though, proved to be inconsistent with the actions taken by Jackson and his supporters. Such political mistakes like the nullification controversy and the political war over the Bank of the United States proved to be crucial blows to the American System which, fueled by sectional tensions, slowly descended into the deadliest conflict of American History, the Civil War.

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