Jacksonian Essay

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Ryan Gurayah
Mrs. Kane
Social Studies, per.5
8 December 2011

Jacksonian Democracy

American suffrage has been expanded at different times during history. In colonial times, suffrage was limited to males and then typically only to men, who were major landowners and tax payers. The effort to expand suffrage during the “ Age of Jackson” was a fierce struggle between those who favored it and those who opposed what they saw as a dangerous expansion of democracy. As years and centuries passed, arguments were revealed in a debate over expanding suffrage during the “Age of Jackson”. Throughout the debate, many of the presented arguments were for the expansion of suffrage. The Jeffersonian democracy was for the people, claiming the people should do the government. In 1821, a committee insisted on dropping the requirements that voters should be property owners. Nathan Sanford, the chairman of the committee, stated that the ability to vote were through the virtue and morality of the people (doc.1). Another person who was for expanding suffrage was George Bancroft, who was a historian, teacher and political leader. In his speech at Williams College in 1835, he stated that the best government is on the common people and not the rich (doc.5). He also expresses the fact that property doesn’t have to be owned to vote and the public opinions matters (doc.5). Not only were there people going for the expansion of suffrage but also people going against it. James Kent, a chief justice of New York States highest court, opposes the proposal of 1821 to drop property ownership requirements. He implied that the universal suffrage was to jeopardize the rights of property and the principles (doc.2). He also stated that they were lazy and evil, casting burdens of society upon the industrious and virtuous (doc.2). Francis Trollope, who was also against the expansion of suffrage, published Domestic Manners of the Americas. In this, Trollope defers the expansion of suffrage...
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