How Democratic Was Andrew Jackson?
Democracy is defined as rule by the people, either directly or through elected representatives. Politically, being a democracy basically means the people have a say in government. A democratic person would typically believe in voting rights for all adults, the right to run for political office, freedom of speech, majority rule, and many other things. Andrew Jackson seemed to be the main political leader with this type of government. Some say that he was the founder of the Democratic Party, but he was not democratic in all circumstances. The policies that he put on the Native Americans did not show democracy at all. While some of his decisions, like giving everyone a chance in the government and closing the national bank, were fairly democratic. I believe Jackson was both democratic and undemocratic. He did have democratic ideas, but his ideas didn’t actually always benefit all of the people. For example, “Andrew Jackson’s Bank Veto Message to Congress,” he explains that the bank is “almost a monopoly of the foreign and domestic exchange” (Document 4). I believe he had a point in when he talked about how much power the few rich men had. He said that they often bend the laws of government for their own self purposes using money. In the quote above it also seems like he is just trying to keep the money and power in America, but by shutting the whole system down he is taking down the rich and raising up the poor (Document 5). Yes it was democratic that he tried to balance out the power between the rich and the poor, but by doing so he took down the rich. This was undemocratic considering that it did not benefit all the people.
Another reason to consider Andrew Jackson as democratic was the presidential elections between 1816 and 1836 (Document 1). In the 1816 election all 8 states had the state legislature choose the president. In the next election 9 states had the state legislature choose and 3 states had the people...
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