Essay Sample: American Republic under Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy

Published: 2022-02-23
Essay Sample: American Republic under Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Democracy Andrew Jackson American history
Pages: 2
Wordcount: 444 words
4 min read

Jeffersonian and Jacksonian presidency and style of democracy both envisioned a more united America characterized by equality and limited aristocracy. However, the two forms of democracy differed in their views regarding the role of government and citizen participation in governance. Jefferson's democratic-republicans hailed as people from the revolutionary war period. They believed that by acquiring education citizen had a better chance of participating in government more meaningfully. In other words, they believed that the educated elite should hold government positions. Also, Jefferson's strict interpretation of the constitution made him believe that the federal government should be small, simple and limited so as not to intervene in citizen's lives directly.

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Despite the significance of Jeffersonian democracy in the history of the United States, it had a lot of flaws that would later be revealed during the Jacksonian era. Jackson's Democratic Party was of a new generation and took the idea that the government belonged to the people and should basically be run by the citizens (Benson, 2015). Jackson had a strong belief that everyone was qualified to take up leadership in public offices and he made that easier by disregarding academic qualification and experience. He became the father of a spoils system of national politics after appointing his close allies to various public offices despite their experience or qualification. Additionally, it is during his period that nominating conventions were proposed to ensure a rotational system of political positions.

Causes of changes

Unlike his counterpart, Jackson had little education and had risen to the realms of power through chance. With this regard, he likewise believed that all men were qualified for leadership and that all they needed was an opportunity. This prompted his leadership to rule out education and experience as the main basis for disqualifying people from holding public offices. Jeffersonian democracy believed that the elite should rule as such individuals from poor social class with limited access to education were left out (Shi & Tindall, 2016). To promote equality Jacksonian democracy introduced a rotational system through nominating conventions.

Significance of changes

With the emergence of Jacksonian democracy concentration of power in the hands of a few wealthy elites was revolutionized. For the first time in the history of the United States, the common man became a voice in government affairs. The Democrats' policies actualized the full potential of peoples rule. Alongside equality and social justness Jacksons, mighty legacy increased industrialization (Young, 2018).


Benson, L. (2015). The concept of Jacksonian democracy: New York as a test case. Princeton University Press.Shi, D. E., & Tindall, G. B. (2016). America: A narrative history. WW Norton & Company.

Young, J. (2018). Reconsidering American liberalism: The troubled odyssey of the liberal idea. Routledge.

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