Andrew Jackson a Democrat

Topics: Andrew Jackson, John C. Calhoun, John Quincy Adams Pages: 6 (2477 words) Published: November 21, 2005
In 1829, a new kind of President elected to office was Andrew Jackson a Democrat, indeed his promises in office were to uphold the United States Constitution along with Political democracy being assured. Jackson promised individual liberty and economic opportunity. Yet, Jacksonians contradicted themselves with everything they claimed to be. Jacksonians even believed they where flawless. In December of 1829, George Henry Evans wrote "The Working Men's Declaration of Independence"(Doc A). Under the portrayed image of Jackson at the expense of vested interest he rewrote the Declaration of Independence to establish a meaning of individual liberty among the people, the average man, and to give a feeling of security against the ill-treatment of the government. This document established that the citizens had a say in what the government does and that they may reform the abuses of such a government. To further enforce individual freedom, Jackson denies no free American. He follows the rule for equal opportunity, and allows any man to hold office by means of election rather than appointment. This was just a political pact to the people though. Jackson rotated federal jobholders using the spoil system, though only nine percent were replaced it was the most important nine percent. During this era, the Jacksonian Democrats felt that there were equal economic opportunities for all Americans. Jackson felt that the Bank of the United States was mainly for the rich class and foreign countries rather than the country as a whole. He vetoed the national bank in favor of a sub-group of pet banks that would be friendlier to the classes of a lower standard (Doc B). Yet Before Jackson even vetoed the bank charter Daniel Webster already had a response ready for Jackson (Doc C). Webster claimed Jackson's veto of the charter was prejudice. He claimed the populace was being lied to and vetoing the charter was not democratic. Yet, Harriet Martineau, a British author in 1834, reported that she as an observer saw the intellectual ability of the citizens. She viewed every man in town an individual citizen and every man in the country a landowner. Martineau felt that her findings were an evident sign of prosperity when compared to British standards (Doc D). Another instance of democracy at its finest is Chief Justice Roger B. Taney's opinion in the Supreme Court Case of Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (Doc. H). This decision stated that while the Charter of 1785 allowed the Charles River Bridge to be erected, it did not prohibit any other bridges from being constructed. Therefore, Taney exclaimed the economy of the regions along the Charles River would benefit from the bridge. In Taney's action, he was eliminating the monopolies of the elite and creating equal economic opportunities for all citizens who need to use the bridge. This prevented a paying of a toll straight into the owner's pocket. The owner of the bridge would visibly be part of the richer class. Thus, a show of democracy had been conceived. The Jacksonians felt that they had a political democracy. Although, as president, Andrew Jackson took total advantage of his power. King Andrew vetoed dozens of bills for one reason or another. He kicked men out of the government that had done him wrong, although Adams agreed that some of these men deserved their fate. Although Jackson did not practice what he preached, he replaced the men that he relieved with men from the social and intellectual class. Although Jackson proclaimed about individual rights of the everyday citizen, his appointees were far from common men. Jacksonian democrats where not always constructive, there were a few who took Jackson's ideas outlandishly to produce a period in American history with some low points. This holds true for the period of 1820 - 1830. A number of low-class citizens misinterpreted democratic reforms as an opportunity to disregard decorum and law. Philip Hone, a Whig...
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