The Egalitarian Impulse And The Salary Act Of 1820

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By 1820, the belief that white land-owning men deserved governmental control was challenged by a the Egalitarian Impulse. This movement was inspired by religious leadership and the Second Great Awakening, and encouraged representation of common men and republican equality. The Egalitarian Impulse became more influential with the Salary Act of 1816, when Congress had given itself a major raise. For it, 70% of its members were voted out of office, and a nation-wide uproar prompted Congress to repeal the Act. Commoners felt this exemplified why the elite didn’t deserve so much power. This mindset signaled the rise of Jacksonian Democrats, the first American mass-based party. Andrew Jackson, a Southerner lawyer and planter and hero of the Battle of New Orleans, was considered a self-made man. The normalcy of his background earned him expansive support, making him more trusted than John Quincy Adams. Adams beat Jackson in the 1824 election but began his presidency on a bad note. He seemed to be stuck in the past with goals that …show more content…

In 1825, Georgia finalized a fraudulent treaty entitling themselves to most of the Creek Indians’ land, but the Cherokees refused to leave. Georgia then deprived the Cherokee Indians of all legal rights in 1828, which influenced Jackson’s Indian Removal Act in 1830. The Act allowed state officials to override federal protection of Native Americans so Georgia could force the Cherokees westward to Oklahoma, or Indian Territory. In 1838, the military lead thousands of Cherokees there on what was called the Trail of Tears. Along the way, about ¼ died of hunger, disease, and the mistreatments of white men they encountered. Tribes such as the Sauk and Fox Indians who also refused to leave were attacked and defeated by federal troops and Illinois militia units in Black Hawk’s War, named after the leader of the Indian

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