The Jacksonian era proved to be a trying time for all, from the plantation owners of the South, to the politicians of the North. They were all fighting for what was important to them. A select few were actually fighting for the people, including President Andrew Jackson. The continual conflict during Jackson’s presidency, regarding citizens’ rights and exactly how much power should be delegated to the government and to the people, proved to be the most important political conflict of the era. Jackson’s insistency that the people’s voice should be regarded in all aspects of government presented many problems in Congress. Jackson’s platform- a people’s government- set the stage for the future of the Democratic Party.
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.
In Jackson’s eight year presidency in the first half of the 19th century, was both very popular among the people and amazingly respected for his vigorous leadership abilities. People sought to him to be the savior of the union. Jackson was known both famously and infamously for his actions in and out of the White house. His reactions and mind were the inspiration that created the Jacksonian Democracy, which infused American life in the early 1800’s. The creating of a two-part...
One of the things that made Andrew Jackson unique and contributed to the style and tone of the new political age was his commitment to the idea of democracy. By democracy, Jackson meant majoritarian rule. “The people are the government”, he said, “administering it by their agents; they are the Government, the sovereign power”. In his message to Congress he announced his creed: “The majority is to govern,” he declared; and he repeated this commitment at every opportunity. He felt that the electorate should select all its officials in Washington, starting with the President. Jackson advocated a single term of either four or six years for the chief executive and he proposed this change to Congress. Jackson also felt that Senators should be elected to four-year terms by the people, not by the state legislatures. He would even have the electorate select its federal judges for terms of seven years which indicated his commitment to rotation of office as a means of democratizing the government. (Schlesinger pp.314, 402-406)
Ultimately, the Jacksonian Era was filled with reform movements that sought to expand democratic ideals. Starting with the prison reforms in 1829 to women’s rights in 1848, all these reforms were very democratic. However, all of these reforms looked toward a brighter future; a future which democracy would be the framework in which the United States of America would function under.
A movement in the 1820’s caused the average person to obtain more rights and advocated the “New Democracy” that would lead to the transformation of the wealthy in American politics. Andrew Jackson would represent the frontier aristocracy and the common folk and rid politics of its spoils system. However, the “Tariff of Abominations” and South Carolina’s nullification crisis would be the beginning of a sectional and slave issue that would interrupt the spirit of a nationalistic feeling. Jackson would use his executive power to kill the National Bank and call it an evil diminishing the financial power of the elite. Jackson also concentrated on expanding the nation westward. He would eventually remove all the Native Americans from their southeastern lands to Oklahoma. American settlers would rise against Mexico and announce their independence in Texas but Jackson would refused to annex Texas to the US. In the election of 1836, his opponents were the Whig Party but they lost to Martin Van Buren, who Jackson had personally chosen to be his successor. Van Buren was left with Jackson’s bad policy making such as the bank and the country suffered a depression and the Panic of 1837 followed. The Whigs used this to their advantage and in 1840 chose to make one of their own into a democratic figure. This would be the beginning of a two party system that had political differences but shared the spirit of democracy.
Andrew Jackson was, and still is, a controversial subject when referring to his presidency and his contributions to America. Nonetheless, he is still one of the most polarizing political and influential beings of his time. The creation of an extremely successful political party, that is still in use today, was one of his greatest achievements. Jackson’s intense drive for discipline and organization helped mold the role of the president for future candidates. Jackson’s impact was so severe that his era was titled “The Age of Jackson” . This title was extremely well deserved because during Jackson's time before and during his presidency he made many heavily criticized and appreciated
For the first time in American history, a presidential election was the focus of public attention. Jackson's election in 1828 marked a new direction in American politics. Jackson’s early presidency was unlike many others because his general vision was to bring American people into the presidency. The Age of Jackson was the widespread desire for equality of opportunity, born of the conviction that no one should have special privileges at the expense of anyone else (pg. 132). He had faith in the American people to know what is in the best interest of the nation. He spoke on behalf of ordinary people and against established elites. The Age of Jackson is a period in history referred to as the rise of political democracy in America through the creation of the Democrat party. President Andrew Jacksons goal was to reform the government by reestablishing the Spoils System, where he fired anyone that was not a loyal Democrat and replaced them with new federal workers for partisan reasons. Jacksonians’ believed that the role of the government was to fulfill the country’s destiny by looking after the economic
Jackson responded to the people of South Carolina, “The law of the United States must be executed… disunion by armed force us treason.” (“Andrew Jackson” 6). Jackson was given permission by congress to use military force in South Carolina because they refused to obey the law. A compromise was also made to the tariff that South Carolina nullified. South Carolina accepted compromise and repealed the nullification. Jackson prevented a crisis and established that federal law ruled over state law. The question of whether federal government had more power than state government would cause more problems in the future for the United States with slavery, and more recently gay marriage. However Andrew Jackson tried to establish early on in American history that the federal government had more power, and if people accepted this, many problems could have been avoided with the advice of Jackson (“Andrew Jackson” 6).
Andrew Jackson created a spoils system which gave jobs to his followers and created the first ever democratic system. “Jackson’s supporters worked to make the political system more democratic…” (Appleby, 2000) Jackson wanted to make a democracy because he thought that the old Caucus System was unfair. As a result of this Andrew Jackson created a democratic system in which many people can be involved in the election process. This process greatly changed the way the government worked because it made it so that the President is the choice of the people and not a political party. Also, “...Jackson fired many federal workers and replaced them with his supporters.” (Appleby, 2000) The practice of replacing government employees with your supporters became known as the spoils system. These two systems shook the government's system. Because of Andrew Jackson we have the presidents that we know today. This shows that Andrew Jackson should be on the 20 dollar