Jacksonian Democracy Essay Research Paper Jacksonian DemocracyFor

Jacksonian Democracy Essay, Research Paper

Jacksonian Democracy

For quite some time Americans have been led to believe that

during the 1820s and 30s,

Jacksonian Democrats were the guardians of the people, and

worked to improve the nation for

the people. The truth remains, however, that during this

period, President Jackson vetoed a bill

to recharter the Bank of the United States of America,

infringed on the rights of Native

Americans, used brute force to bring Southerners under

submission during the Tariff of 1832.

He enacted the Spoils System which did not guarantee the

best leadership, and was morally

corrupt. Although the nation s economy and political

democracy flourished during the reign of

President Jackson, constitutional rights, equal opportunity

and individual liberties were


In her 1834 visit to America, british author Harriet

Martineau wrote of the nation s

economy being strong and properous. The absence of poverty

and ignorance and independence of

every man are some of the observations she recorded (D).

The national economy did in fact

boom during the 1820s and early 30s. With Samuel Slater s

introduction of the Factory System

to America, and Eli Whitney s Cotton Gin, the United

States speed in manufacturing textiles

increased rapidly. In 1837, however, America experienced a

tremendous financial depression.

Bad land speculation, and the fall of the Federal Bank (due

to Jackson s failure to recharter the

Bank in 1832) were the two main factors that caused the

financial crisis.

Consequently, along with the inflation of the nation s

economy, working environments

drastically changed. Quaint master and apprentice shops

were quickly overtaken by

uncomfortably crowded factories. While owners of assembly

plants enjoyed a luxurious living,

workers were subject to poor working conditions, low

salaries, and meager meals. Because

wages were so low, whole families were required to work in

order to pay costs of living. This

exploited children as young as ten years old. Because of

these conditions and the exploitaion of

children, relationships between employers and employees

were very professional, and cold. These

emotions were reflected in The Working Men s Declaration

of Independence (A). It wasn t

until the 1840s that Labor Unions were granted by the

President, and workers began to finally

receive the protection needed to secure their rights as

workers and Americans.

In his Diary from 1828-1851, Phillip Hone recorded

observations of what he noticed

during two riots between the Irish and Americans. He also

speaks about quarrels between the

Irish and Blacks, and Blacks and Whites (E). It is

important to understand what was happening

between the Irish and Americans, and between the Irish and

the Blacks. The Irish fleeing british

overlords traveled to America in search of a new life,

hoping to claim land in the west.

Consequently, due to shortage of funds, many were too poor

to make the trip out west, and

forced to live in the slums of eastern cities. Present

Americans, however, found the new

competition between immigrants for jobs unrewarding, and

many business owners would not

employ Irish Immigrants. Thus, equal economic opportunity

for immigrants did not exist.

In Jackson s veto message of 1832, he accused the Bank of

monopoly because it was

dominated by rich aristoctrats and foreigners (B). The

problem remains, however, that after

dismantling the Bank, Americans suffered a huge financial

depression. This not only affected the

U.S., but the world. Jackson s decision to kill the Bank

also was contrary to the will of the

majority of the states who affirmed the Bank to be rightful

(C), thus violating their constitutional

rights and liberties.

In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act. The

Trail of Tears was very hard

on the Native Americans (G). More than 100,000 individuals

were forced to vacate their

homelands, and travel to a new assigned territory. Many

did not even make it to their destination.

Sickness, and murders took the lives of countless

individuals. In 1828, Georgia declared the

esstablished Cherokee Tribal Council illegal, and assumed

power over the Cherokee. Siding with

the Indians, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the

established Cherokee Nation legal. Jacksonians

refused to recognize the Court s decisions, which infringed

on the power of the Court, and

violated the rights of Native Americans. When South

Carolina passed the Acts and Resolutions in

1835, it became a crime to distribute pro-abolitionist

material. This was also not supoported by

Jacksonians because it infringed on the constitutional

rights of people, and promoted sectionalism.

It might be noted that Jacksonians were more autocratic

rather than democratic.


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