Jacksonian Democracy

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Jacksonian democracy is the political philosophy of United States President Andrew Jackson and his supporters. Jackson's policies followed the era of Jeffersonian democracy which dominated the previous political era. Prior to and during Jackson's time as President, his supporters (the beginnings of the modern Democratic Party) were resisted by the rival Adams and Anti-Jacksonian factions, which later gave rise to the Whigs. More broadly, the term refers to the period of the Second Party System (mid 1830s-1854) when Jacksonian philosophy was ascendant as well as the spirit of that era. It can be contrasted with the characteristics of Jeffersonian democracy. Jackson's equal political policy became known as Jacksonian Democracy, subsequent to ending what he termed a "monopoly" of government. During the Jacksonian era, the electorate expanded to include all white male adult citizens, rather than only land owners in that group.

In contrast to the Jeffersonian era, Jacksonian democracy promoted the strength of the presidency and executive branch at the expense of Congress, while also seeking to broaden the public's participation in government. They demanded elected (not appointed) judges and rewrote many state constitutions to reflect the new values. In national terms the Jacksonians favored geographical expansion, justifying it in terms of Manifest Destiny. There was usually a consensus among both Jacksonians and Whigs that battles over slavery should be avoided. The Jacksonian Era lasted roughly from Jackson's 1828 election until the slavery issue became dominant after 1850 and the American Civil War dramatically reshaped American politics as the Third Party System emerged.
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