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Did the Election of 1828 Represent a Democratic Revolt of the People

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    Despite the outcome I fully believe that the election of 1828 did in fact, create a democratic revolt of the people because of the social and political backlash that the election created. The election of Andrew Jackson as President in 1828 marked the beginning of an era known as Jacksonian Democracy or the Age of the Common Man. The changes in politics during Jackson’s presidency provided various social and economic changes. Actually, political change began several years before Jackson became president. In the Election of 1824, Jackson had the most popular and electoral votes, but did not win the election.

    Because the vote was split four ways, he did not have the majority of the Electoral College and John Quincy Adam became president. Jackson supporters believed that voters were told to vote for Adams or Clay through secret political maneuvers. They accused them of making a “corrupt bargain. ” Adams and Jackson both ran for president again in the Election of 1828, which was also known as a revolution. Jackson and his followers had a new campaign tactic, which was accusing Adams’ wife of being born out of wedlock.

    Adams accused Jackson’s wife of adultery. This election attracted a lot of interest and had three times as many voters as the Election of 1824. Jackson won and became president in 1829. During his presidency, Andrew Jackson gave all men the opportunity to hold government jobs. This is why this period is called the Age of the Common Man. Before Jackson became president, rich southern planters and northern merchants dominated the government. Now, under Jackson’s rule, white males of the lower and middle classes began to vote in large numbers.

    There were new state suffrage laws, which enabled more citizens to vote, due to better education, changes in political parties, and an increase in newspaper circulation. Western states also adopted these laws, which were called Universal male suffrage. All white males from one end of the country to the other were allowed to vote regardless of their religion or social class, and could hold government jobs, even if they were in the middle or lower classes. Also, voters and politicians now nominated candidates, rather than the political party leaders in Congress.

    This and other events led to a more democratic society. Jackson also gave government jobs to regular people. This was called the spoils system. He appointed people to federal jobs depending on whether they had campaigned for the Democratic Party. Anyone currently in office who was not a democratic was replaced with a democrat. This was called the spoils system because it promoted a corrupt government. He also believed in rotation in office. He wanted to make it possible for more democrats to have government jobs, so he limited a person’s time in office to one term.

    The spoils system showed how one man was no better than another and helped build a strong two-party system. In the two-party system, supporters of Jackson were Democrats and supporters of his rival, Henry Clay, were the Whigs. The Democratic Party resembled the old Republican party of Jefferson, while the Whigs represented the Federalist party of Hamilton. Jackson was similar to Jefferson because he opposed increasing federal spending and the national bank. He vetoed 12 bills, which was more than the total of all 6 presidents before him.

    One of the things he vetoed was the use of federal money to make the Maysville Road, because it was entirely in one state. It was also the home state of Henry Clay, Jackson’s rival. Jackson also aided the common woman. Peggy O’Neale Eaton, the wife of Jackson’s secretary of war, was gossiped about by other cabinet wives. They didn’t invite her to parties because they believed she was an adulteress. Most of the cabinet resigned when Jackson tried to force their wives to accept Peggy Eaton. Because of this controversy, Jackson’s vice president, John C.

    Calhoun, resigned and Martin Van Buren was chosen to be the new vice president. Jackson disliked Native Americans and agreed with citizens who wanted to take over lands previously owned by them. Jackson decided to make the Indians leave their homelands and settle west of the Mississippi. In 1830, he signed the Indian Removal Act. This forced thousands of Native Americans to resettle. When Georgia passed laws that required the Cherokees to move to the west, they were challenged in the courts. The court cases were Cherokee Nation v. Georgia and Worcester v.

    Georgia. In 1838, after Jackson left office, the U. S. army forced the Cherokees to leave Georgia. This was called the “trail of tears. ” Jackson favored states’ rights if it didn’t lead to disunion. In 1828, when South Carolina called the Tariff of Abominations unconstitutional, the nullification theory was created, in which each state could declare a federal law null and void. Not only did South Carolina nullify the tariff of 1828, but it also nullified another tariff in 1832. The collection of tariffs within South Carolina was forbidden.

    Jackson told the secretary of war to prepare for military action and persuaded Congress to pass a Force bill giving the president the authority to take military action. In his Proclamation to the People of South Carolina, he stated that nullification and disunion were treason. Jackson gave the opportunity for a compromise by suggesting the lowering of the tariff. South Carolina postponed nullification and Jackson forced militant advocates of states’ rights to retreat. He also gained southern support because he shared their alarm of a growing antislavery movement in the North.

    Citizens of the South trusted that Jackson would not give the benefits of democracy to blacks. Another issue that Jackson dealt with during his presidency was the rechartering of the Bank of the U. S. Jackson had the suspicion that Nicholas Biddle, the bank’s president, abused the banks powers and served the interests of the wealthy. Jackson felt that it was unconstitutional. In 1832, Clay decided to challenge Jackson, by persuading Congress to pass a bank-recharter bill. Jackson vetoed the bill because it helped the wealthy at the expense of the common people.

    Most voters approved Jackson’s attack on the “hydra of corruption. ” After Jackson was reelected in 1832, he vetoed the recharter of the national bank and also withdrew all federal funds. He then transferred the funds to state banks, which were called “pet banks. ” Jackson did not run for reelection in 1836, but left his political views and ideas. He was the first president of the modern day Democratic Party, who believed in the common man. His political legacy continued decades after the Jacksonian era came to and end.

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