Flaws of Jacksonian Democracy

2066 Words Oct 6th, 2011 9 Pages
After the Battle of New Orleans, Andrew Jackson (“Old Hickory”) first became publicly recognized as a war hero and an Indian fighter. Very few people, if any, probably predicted he would one day become the president of the United States; but he did! In the election of 1828, Jackson campaigned as an authentic man of the people and was elected president by a landslide. During the campaign, Jacksonians created a new political party—the Democrats, the first modern one created, that supported Jackson and his run for office. Upon Jackson entering office, America saw the birth of a new era of mass democracy. Jacksonian Democrats viewed themselves as the guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and …show more content…
In fact, he was the foundation for the formation of the modern Democratic Party. British visitor to the United States Harriet Martineau described this in Document D (Society in America), “I had witnessed the controversies between candidates for office on some difficult subjects, of which the people were to be the judges.” Furthermore, when Jackson first entered office, he used the “spoils system,” or rotation of major governmental officeholders, as a legitimate use of political democracy. He supported his veto of the Bank charter, although unconstitutional, by pointing out that the Bank directors were not chosen democratically. Instead, as Document B (paragraph 3) illustrates, the government chose five directors and the a few, wealthy citizen stockholders chose the remaining 25. These directors were obviously not chosen in a democratic manner; and when Jackson “killed” the Bank, he also got rid of this undemocratic election process. Yes, Jackson did make sure to protect white male suffrage, but rather than conferring with the popularly elected officials, he listened mainly to the advice of close friends and unofficial advisers, also known as his “Kitchen Cabinet,” including Amos Kendall and Francis P. Blair. This almost defeated the purpose of popular elections. Although he protected political democracy in the above manners, Jackson

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