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Research paper example essay prompt: Jacksonian Era - 726 words

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Jacksonian Era Jacksonian Era The Jackson democrats attempted to amplify the strength of lower classes' poor, while decreasing the influence of the rich and powerful. Economically, they benefited from governing during a time of leading advances in transportation, which boosted commerce and helped the common man. Politically, they invested power into an overwhelmingly powerful executive branch. The Jacksonian democrats portrayed themselves as saviors of the common people and ruled via a powerful executive who attempted to destroy aristocracy in America. However, they were atypically wealthy, supported equality between white men only, enacted disastrous economic policies and disregarded the capability of the federal government. Further, they did not introduce democracy in America, rather merely used it and benefited from it. During the first half of the 19th century numerous advancements enhanced the growth of the United States.

A market revolution occurred as a yeoman and cash crop agriculture and capitalist manufacturing replaced artisan economy. Despite the prosperity, a split was emerging between the industrializing urban north, rural South, and the expanding West. The Jacksonians passed the Tariff of 1828, which opened opportunity for western agriculture and New England manufacturing, but was detrimental to the South. Andrew Jackson and Jacksonian democrats believed that the US bank placed too much control into the hands of a wealthy few. Due to this fact, Jackson vetoed the bank's recharter in 1832.

In attempt to benefit the lower, working classes, he placed the federal money in "pet" state banks. This attempt destabilized the national currency, decreased currency in markets, and displayed favoritism in Jacksonian policies. Like most Jacksonian economic policies it failed and the reduction in currency spread inflation which the Treasury Act of 1840 could not stop. Jacksonians tried to assist whites through economic policies but failed. Foreign observers viewed that in America, every man is free and independent, but there was great division in American attitude.

Disturbances and insurrections broke out across the country by minorities, because they were not helped by egalitarian efforts which were focused on white males. Jackson's hypocrisy and cruelty in his Indian removal practices (after his decisive victory at Horseshoe Bend, Alabama, March 1814) showed the non-universal principles held by the democrats. Fearful of angering Southern voters, Jacksonians veered away from extending egalitarian policies to slaves. Women received little improvement. Although viewed as defenders of all common men, Jacksonian democrats shunned minorities and only assisted white men.

Andrew Jackson was the first president to fully utilize the powers of the executive branch and establish it as an equal, if not superior branch. Henry Clay viewed Jackson as dictatorial and unconstitutional and persuaded the Congress to discipline him in 1834, but Jacksonian propaganda continued to portray Jackson as a common man. Jacksonian democrats did not sustain three separate and equal branches of government, as Constitutionally required. Jacksonians were strict constitutionalists, vetoing the Maysville Road Bill because it did not benefit the whole country and it eliminated the bank. However, they also participated in the passionate nationalism prevailing at the time.

Contrary to Calhoun and South Carolina's reassertion of the confederation principles of the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions, Jacksonians believed in a firm union. In the compromise Tariff of 1832, they reduced the previous tariffs, but also included a Force Bill, which authorized the President to use arms to collect dues in South Carolina. Jacksonians were tough nationalists in foreign affairs too, almost going to war with France in 1835 upon failure to pay its debt. They also were instrumental in dramatically increasing the electorate and encouraging participation in the political process. Jacksonian democrats were above all outstanding propagandists. They were able to portray themselves as defenders of the common man, while they usually tended to be wealthy and 'common man' appointees were often inefficient and corrupt.

They also tried to further reform movements but ended up decreasing economic opportunity. Although often supporters of states' rights and individuality (i.e. the bank issue), they also were strong nationalists (i.e. South Carolina nullification). Jacksonians strived to preserve the unifying principles that the Constitution contained, but acted in contempt of it when they asserted the overwhelming power of the executive branch.

Jacksonian democracy did allow more people to vote than ever before and made government more directly responsible to the people. Finally, they established a strong executive, directly responsible to the people, and increased faith in government. Overall, Jacksonians honestly attempted to help common Americans.

Related: jacksonian, jacksonian democracy, foreign affairs, universal principles, economy

Research paper topics, free essay prompts, sample research papers on Jacksonian Era