The Jacksonian Era is often described as a time when the United States experienced the “democratization of politics.” Is this accurate? How was democracy defined in this era?
In a democracy each and every citizen of the state is supposed to have an equal say in the government. Today everyone has the opportunity to vote and has equal rights with no restrictions to American citizens. On the other hand back in the Jacksonian Era this was different. Before his time this wasn’t necessarily the case though and during Jackson’s era many improvements were made while many improvements that should’ve been made weren’t. During the Jacksonian Era the democratization of politics, which was seen as the equality and justice toward white males, were in place in many aspects according to the contemporary opinion yet it didn’t achieve a true democratization and equality among all.
Among the biggest improvements to the political system included the expansion of voting to a larger group of males. In the map in Document 1 it is evident that in 1800 there were clear limitations to voting. By the 1828 election in which Jackson is elected there is a substantial increase the type of voters. This is because by this time almost all white males were allowed to vote and most of them did which greatly increased the effect of the common man. This common man directly impacted the results in this elections and the coming elections and this new voting block allowed for a wider range of voters and gave more men a say in government. The map shows the restrictions each states held on voters and allows one to realize how much the voting system changed to include more voters. The improvement displayed America’s effort in achieving their goal of universal white male suffrage, a democratic goal they felt necessary. A French travel reported in 1835 that America’s democracy was an efficient one and an equal one. The traveler reports this in the year 1835 after Jackson has left office and his...
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