President Andrew Jackson and his followers, the Jacksonian Democrats, viewed themselves as guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of economic opportunity. They were accurate in their perception of themselves to a great extent. Though they did not always achieve success, as in the case of political democracy and the Specie Circular, they were effective guardians of political democracy and equality of economic opportunity. However, sometimes they chose to neglect their guardianship of the Constitution and individual liberties when they dealt with people of other status or race, such as the Cherokee.
Jacksonian Democrats both guarded and neglected people’s individual liberties. In the first year of Jackson’s presidency, the working class already felt that their rights were oppressed and abused by the political leaders (doc. A). They called for reform because the current political leaders did not guard their liberties to fair wages and work hours. They also called for the right to vote but the Jacksonians solved that problem in the following years. Jackson’s Party also betrayed its guardianship of individual liberty in its treatment of foreigners. In the 1820s and 1830s, there was still discrimination and antagonism towards the Irish and blacks (doc. E). Jacksonian Democrats were primarily farmers, the richest of them slave-owners like Jackson, so they did not protect blacks’ individual rights because they viewed them as property. Thus, blacks were seen in lower social status and treated as such. This fomented riots and insubordination against the government. White men were given many economic opportunities and were educated and well off (doc. D). The Jacksonians discriminated its guardianship of individual liberties based on race. Because of this, Jacksonian society could not be labeled as a democracy since not all people had their unalienable rights.
In conclusion, the Jacksonian...
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