|Essay type:||Rhetorical analysis essays|
|Categories:||Politics Democracy Andrew Jackson American history|
The elections of 1828 marked a new sense of victory for the newly elected President Andrew Jackson as he managed to gain 70% of the total votes with a 60% participation increment of the election practices (USHistory par. 1). This turnout was more than double the turnout of 1824, which in itself was a testament to his political influence. Furthermore, his political message was that the country was corrupted by the "Special Privilege" that was illustrated by the policies of the Second Bank of the United States (USHistory par. 1). He further provided that the best form of reform included the absolute acceptance of the majority rule that is expressed through the voting process. However, his campaign was vague regarding specific policies as it stressed his life story as a common man who rose from a modest upbringing to become a successful political candidate (USHistory par. 1).
The election of Andrew Jackson became a symbol for the "politics of the common man," and his era was commonly identified as the Jacksonian Democracy, which refers to the ascendancy of his democratic party into power. Furthermore, the term can be used to describe the complete range of democratic reforms that progressed alongside the success of President Jackson. Some of these reforms included increased suffrage of the minority groups as well as restructuring federal institutions, among others. Additionally, the Jacksonian Democracy can be perceived as a political impulse that is tied to the subjugation of Native Americans, slavery as well as the celebration of white supremacy. Sinha noted that some scholars dismiss the term Jacksonian Democracy as a contradiction due to the essence of democracy (145).
During the leadership of Andrew Jackson, the United States was identified as a country of change in regard to the political and social spheres. The society of the United States was recognized as one that was full of opportunity as the citizens felt that they were capable of making a better life for themselves if they are given a chance. The Jacksonian era was appealing to the people as it was meant to be the era of the common man, and Andrew Jackson stood for values that were favorable to the ordinary people. However, his leadership had nothing beneficial to offer the women, Native Americans, and African Americans despite the offers of the popular presidency and majority rule. Even though some women made significant advancement in their lives during this era, minority groups such as African Americans and Native Americans did not experience any substantial change in their lives.
President Jackson's leadership was more tyrannical as compared to that of his predecessors. President Jackson increased his authority when he claimed that only he was the sole representative of all the American people. He further claimed that "whatever may be the opinion of others, the president considers his reelection as a decision of the people against the bank" (McCormick 11). Even though the Jacksonian era was focused on the further realization of the country's progress, they struggled with reconciling the future with the past as they often rejected the past. According to Wulf, the nature of the development that the Jacksonian democracy aimed at achieving emphasized in the broadening of the suffrage and did not result in equal socio-economic improvement for the minority groups. Despite this revelation, the national government encouraged this progress (par. 3).
According to Prosper, President Jackson was a strident partisan and a staunch patriot who denounced the nullification as well as secessions. At the same time, he admonished policies such as the tariff that facilitated sectional divisiveness. Furthermore, his nationalism was reflected in the espousal lower western land prices as well as his aggressive Indian removal policy (63). His dominant personality was essential in his presidency as he indulged in violent hatred that reflected his animus. Furthermore, he demonized any person who crossed him, including Nicholas Biddle, who was the president of the Bank of the United States and John C. Calhoun. Nevertheless, to his admirers, President Jackson may be identified as a valid symbol of the accomplishments of the United States. To those who oppose his presidency, he seems as a self-obsessed and vengeful man. To the detractors, President Jackson is perceived as an impatient tyrant. The different opinions in regards to his presidential characteristics have resulted in a substantial division among the historians (Feller par. 5).
The Jacksonian democracy has prevailed as the era of the common man in the history books. However, the extent to which this era, despite the common term, was democratic is minimal as the period supported the sovereignty of the white man over the other races and women. It is debatable whether President Jackson and his supporters took actions that resulted in the expansion of suffrage or if their ascension to power was a result of the ongoing trends in the country. Nevertheless, it might be a combination of the two opinions.
Feller, Daniel. "Andrew Jackson: Impact and Legacy." Miller Center, 20 June 2017, millercenter.org/president/jackson/impact-and-legacy.
McCormick, Richard P. "The Jacksonian Strategy." Journal of the Early Republic, vol. 10, no. 1, 1990, p. 1.
Sinha, Manisha. "Afterword: The History and Legacy of Jacksonian Democracy." Journal of the Early Republic, vol. 39, no. 1, 2019, pp. 145-148.
USHistory. "Jacksonian Democracy and Modern America." ushistory.org, 2020, www.ushistory.org/us/23f.asp. Accessed 28 June 2020.
Wulf, Naomi. "The Politics of Past and Progress in Jacksonian Democracy." ATQ (The American Transcendental Quarterly), vol. 20, no. 4, Dec. 2006, www.questia.com/library/journal/1G1-159862530/the-politics-of-past-and-progress-in-jacksonian-democracy.
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