Article Review: Pessen's 'The Jacksonian Character'

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Reflections Upon "The Jacksonian Character" In Pessen's article, "The Jacksonian Character," he provides an energetic explanation of the phrase that is the title, but he also writes upon the changing and distinct nature of national character. The example of national character in this writing is the Jacksonian character, made popular during the Jacksonian era of American history. The Jacksonian era is approximately three decades during the 19th century, from 1820 1850 aroundabout, as there is some historical argument as to the exact moment it began. During this period in American history, there was a great deal of expansion westward. New territories were adopted into the continental United States and several other territories actually became states. Andrew Jackson was elected President of the USA for the second time in the 1830s. By the close of the Jacksonian era, the country would be preparing to enter the Spanish American War under President John Polk, yet another huge step toward the American philosophy of "manifest destiny" and westward expansion. The Jacksonian Character, then, describes a trend American character that was somewhat created by the times and a character type that defined them as well. During this time in America, there were real life cowboys and real life frontiersmen. People were hitching up wagons and traveling west for adventures in the frontier that was the rest of the country, which was most of it at the time. The thirteen original colonies, now

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