DBQ – Andrew Jackson
Jacksonian Democrats believed that they were protecting individual liberty, political democracy, the equality of economic opportunity, and upholding the rights of the Constitution of the United States. In my opinion, the Jacksonians were, to some extent, guardians of the United States. However, the Jacksonians did have their flaws. When it came to protecting individual liberties, Jacksonians favored the white male population, but totally ignored others. They wanted to move all of the Indians who lived in the eastern lands to western lands past the Mississippi River. Jackson bolstered their case. Even after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Cherokee tribe and its right to remain where it was, Jackson did not comply and he forcefully ejected the native people from their land. The Trail of Tears shows the painful journey the Indians had to take; the journey killed almost 4,000 people (doc. G). Jackson, by instigating the demise of the Bank, failed to protect the individual liberties of the wealthy class. In Document C, Daniel Webster states, “…It manifestly seeks to inflame the poor against the rich; it wantonly attacks whole classes of people, for the purpose of turning against them the prejudices and the resentments of the other classes.” This quote shows that Jackson violated the wealthy peoples’ liberties because of his own biased opinions. Jacksonians also had some achievements and failures in their attempt to maintain political democracy in the United States. Andrew Jackson encouraged the implementation of a two-party system; he felt that it would be a better way to inject public opinion into the government because each party had to compete for public support. Harriet Martineau said, “I had witnessed the controversies between candidates for office on some difficult subjects, of which the people were to be the judges.” (doc. D). Although he protected political democracy, Jackson failed to grant everyone the right to...
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