AP USH Period 1
Jacksonian Democracy DBQ
The Jacksonian democracy of the 1820s-1830s is often associated with an expansion of the political influence, economic opportunities, and social equality available to “the common man,” a concept of the masses which President Andrew Jackson and his newly founded Democratic party came to represent. The new administration certainly saw gains for the majority; namely, public participation in government increased to unprecedented levels, and several economic decisions were made to favor the people over monopolies. Beginning with their exaggerated portrayal of the “corrupt” 1824 election however, the Jacksonian democrats also left a legacy of substantial miscalculations in policies and acts of hypocrisy that conflicted with their claimed intents to promote and protect popular democracy. In particular, the dangerous implications of various political and economic policies, along with the deliberate disregard of social inequality, are aspects of the Jacksonian age that most clearly demonstrate discrepancies between Jacksonian ideals and realities. The political field saw the first advances accredited to the Jacksonian democracy in the forms of extended suffrage and increased government participation, but it also involved many questionable federal acts that conflicted with the vision of political democracy. With Andrew Jackson’s election in 1828 introducing the first president from West of the Appalachians, the common men that Jackson championed naturally arose to the political stage as well. States all across the country adopted universal suffrage for white males on their own in the 1820s, but Jackson indeed bolstered the democratic trend through influence in newspapers, popular campaigning, and even a huge inauguration party at the White House open to the masses. In terms of campaigning however, the election of 1828 was the first in which the political parties directly attacked each...