18 November 2014
The Jacksonian Rule
The 1820’s in the United States saw a presidential election won on a “corrupt bargain”, a Yankee Misfit in office, and the end of the era of Good Feelings; the United States was desperate for a fresh new face to take office and restore power to the people. Andrew Jackson and his comrades did what they believed in, what they thought was necessary to uphold the use of the constitution to guide the administration and give power to the people, retain the balance of economic powers in the government regarding the national bank, and using political democracy in advantageous ways, that sometimes were controversial, through the Spoils System and the Kitchen Cabinet.
When Andrew Jackson was elected into office, fear rang out among the Whigs about Jackson being “King Mob” and that power would be given to uneducated citizens who were part of the “Jacksonians”, this would be proven true, and was crucial to the Jackson administration. These worries were not completely unwarranted, as only a year before Jackson took office, many riots broke out in the eastern cities, in an account of the riots by Phillip Hone, there were several houses torn to the ground and several police officers were wounded in the unusually rowdy city of Philadelphia. (Doc E) These riots proved that America was capable of turning into a ‘mobocracy” gave Andrew Jackson the challenge of reigning in his wild supporters. Although all of these riots were going on, Andrew still wanted to give power to the people and decided to clean house in Washington, which saw the aging politicians get kicked out of office, and brought in people who were simply the highest bidder, or very close friends to someone in the Jackson administration. The control that Jackson gained at the start of his term showed that he could gain power and allowed the commoners to play a bigger role in politics and use this power to control his own people. He protected the rights of the constitution and allowed the people to reform the government, as stated by George Henry Evans; it is the people’s right, their duty, to use constitutional means to reform the abuses and control of the government. (Doc A). The interpretation by Evans of the constitution fell right in line with what the Jacksonians were trying to do accomplish, and helped support the cause. The power that Jackson gave to his loyal supporters was so large that it inspired many states and politicians to rethink policies and laws passed, and caused much turmoil throughout the United States. A British author, Harriet Martineau, was impressed greatly from the intellectual abilities and advancements in American technology, but was shocked when she found out that people were questioning whether to govern themselves or to allow the wise to save them (Doc D). The United States of America was clearly not ready for the advancements in the political freedoms granted by Andrew Jackson at that time but there is no question that Jackson defended the basic rights stated in the Constitution. The system that gave more political power to friends of Andrew Jackson not only supported Jackson’s quest to defend the right of the people, but also helped him gain massive control in the federal government.
The Spoils System, the official term for his plan to stack the offices with allies, allowed Jackson to take control of the political democracy, which may have been seen as an abuse of power, but was an ultimate power play that is still used in today’s political landscape, and along with this, his use, sometimes abuseof powers as president guided America to a better future. Andrew Jackson had the ultimate power in Congress, and could get any law he wanted to be passed or any law vetoed. Andrew Jackson ignored any mandate from the Supreme Court that ruled in favor of Cherokee Indians, who were illegally deported from their lands, in order to focus on the bigger picture. One may say that this...
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