How Democratic was Andrew Jackson?
Old Hickory never backed away from a fight. Even at seventy-five Andrew Jackson was still fighting and leaving a trail of card games, busted up taverns, liquor bottles, and bloody noses in his wake which earned him the nickname Old Hickory. Jackson became a lawyer on the North Carolina Frontier at age twenty-one and later moved west to Tennessee where he settled down with his wife. In 1815, Jackson was made an American hero because he and his troops were victorious as they held off a British attack known as the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson was elected president in 1828 and reelected in 1832. Jackson felt strongly that the common man was the power behind the government, which is why he extended the vote to the common man. In light of this extension of democracy however, Jackson’s legacy is tainted by many controversial decisions that seemed rooted in self-interest and not the people. Jackson also dealt poorly with Native Americans and their removal from their lands. Although Jackson was democratic by extending the vote to more of the population, he did not listen to the will of the people, selfishly abused his presidential powers, and mistreated the Native Americans.
Jackson was democratic because he extended voting rights and encouraged participation in the government to different classes. In 1824, six states in the United States elected presidential electors by legislature (Doc 1). By 1832, only one state elected presidential electors by legislature which can be credited to Jackson and a new spirit that he brought to politics. Many state legislatures had been dominated by the wealthy and elite. Jackson presented more equality in voting by granting lower class people the ability to vote. Some describe the election of 1828 as a political revolution because, “Jackson's victory accelerated the transfer of national power from the country house to the farmhouse,” (Doc 2). Because of Jackson, there was a major shift in...
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