Jacksonian Democracy Dbq

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Ever since the Constitution was written, there have been many interpretations of the phrase “all men are created equal”. Does that include every human, or just the white man? The seventh president of the United States, Andrew Jackson, and his party, the Jacksonian Democrats, proclaimed themselves to be defenders of the Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of economic opportunity. But during the Jacksonian Era, only white males could vote. Additionally, the Jacksonians violated the basic rights of Native Americans by kicking them off of their own land. Also, they ignored the laws of the Constitution on multiple occasions. Even though the Jacksonians did uphold the ideals of equal economic opportunity to some extent,…show more content…
During the Jacksonian Era, there was an increase in demand for slaves because of the newly invented cotton gin. Because of African Americans’ skin color, they were treated as the lowest class in society. Philip Hone, a New Yorker, describes, “Hostility to the blacks and an indiscriminate persecution of all whose skins were darker than those of their enlightened fellow citizens” (E). Majority of the Whites resented Blacks and saw them as mere tools. Because of this immoral view, the African Americans could not vote and express their thoughts freely until much later. A British author, Harriet Martineau, describes the United States as a country where “every man in towns an independent citizen; every man in the country a landowner” (D). She would be correct if she meant every white man. Under Jackson’s rule, the property requirements and tax paying requirements for voting were lowered, so more white males could vote. Jackson increased white male suffrage and advocated equality for all white males. From a Jacksonian perspective, Jackson promoted political democracy and supported the Constitution. But in reality, Jackson left the women, the African Americans, and the Native Americans in the dust. The Jacksonians did not see them as their equal. Although Jackson and his party increased white male suffrage, he ignored everyone else’s political rights; therefore,…show more content…
Jackson, born in Tennessee, is a good example of rags to riches. He and the Jacksonians strongly opposed the Bank of the United States. Jackson feels that the National Bank “enjoys an exclusive privilege of banking….almost a monopoly of the foreign and domestic exchange” (B). In their eyes, the Bank had too much power as an economic institution, and only served the wealthy Americans. By discontinuing the National Bank and transferring its money to the state banks, Jacksonian Democrats promoted equality of economic opportunities and combatted against economic monopoly. Even though there was a higher risk of inflation, there were more loans for the farmers. In 1837, there was a Supreme Court case between Charles River Bridge and the Warren Bridge. The proprietors of the Charles River Bridge were the first to build it. But after a few decades, the toll of the Charles River Bridge was too high, so the Warren Bridge was built in opposition of it. The Court sided with the Warren Bridge. Roger B. Taney, the Chief Justice at the time, says that the charter gave the shareholders of the Charles River Bridge “no right to erect another bridge themselves, nor to prevent other persons from erecting one” (H). This case exemplified Jacksonians’ belief in equality of economic opportunity. They fought hard against monopoly and strive towards equal economic opportunity
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