Jacksonian Democracy

Topics: Andrew Jackson, Suffrage, John Quincy Adams Pages: 3 (753 words) Published: May 6, 2014
Although a “corrupt bargain”, the election of 1824 began a period in American history in which the needs of the “common man” were addressed instead of those of the New England Federalists or aristocratic plantation owner. One of the most remarkable changes surrounding the Jacksonian Period was the advent of universal white male suffrage. In addition, presidential campaigns had to evolve in order to reach a mostly uneducated, uninformed majority. Finally, reform movements sprung up that contributed to the political changes that benefited the “common man.” Although, the Jacksonian Period celebrated the common man through political enfranchisement and reform, the era did limit the inclusion of non-white males.

One of the most remarkable changes surrounding the Jacksonian Period was the advent of universal white male suffrage. By the election of 1824, several western states had been admitted to the Union. These new states such as Alabama, Missouri, and Ohio lowered their property qualifications to vote thereby encouraging higher participation by the average farmer, merchant, or laborer sending the theory of “rule by the best people” out the window. Granting greater access to the common man upset the balance of power away from New England during the heated debates of the tariff in which the Vice President, Calhoun, was able to force a showdown with Jackson ultimately resulting in a compromise tariff of 1833. However, both of these actions had negative consequences on the Common Man such as the Panic of 1837 in which many farmers lost their farms with the creation of the Specie Circular Act and workers lost their jobs due to high tariffs. However, this frustration during Van Buren, Harrison, and Tyler administrations universal white manhood suffrage led to the rise in third parties of the Anti-Masonic Party and the Know Nothing Parties providing more options for the Common Man. Ultimately, a new era of politics arose in which the presidents no longer...
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