Jacksonian Democracy Dbq Essay

1198 Words Nov 12th, 2012 5 Pages
Kathy Dai
M. Galvin
AP USH Period 1 Jacksonian Democracy DBQ The Jacksonian democracy of the 1820s-1830s is often associated with an expansion of the political influence, economic opportunities, and social equality available to “the common man,” a concept of the masses which President Andrew Jackson and his newly founded Democratic party came to represent. The new administration certainly saw gains for the majority; namely, public participation in government increased to unprecedented levels, and several economic decisions were made to favor the people over monopolies. Beginning with their exaggerated portrayal of the “corrupt” 1824 election however, the Jacksonian democrats also left a legacy of substantial miscalculations
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Furthermore, Jackson’s presidency was characterized by use of the spoils system and the systematic rotation of officeholders. These stipulated that federal jobs were strictly given to loyal Democrats and that federal offices could be held for only one term. While these practices were meant to emphasize equal political opportunities and build party loyalty, they inherently promoted government corruption. In fact, the power that Jackson wielded by trading federal positions for party loyalty both overextended his executive power and practiced the same corrupt bargaining of office that the Democrats accused John Quincy Adams of in the election of 1824. Thus, the Jacksonian democrats dealt clear detriments and hypocrisies to the system of popular democracy that they so strongly advocated, despite their encouragement of universal white male suffrage and participation in office. Similarly, the Jacksonian age affected the economy both in accordance with the Jacksonian ideal of equal economic opportunity and against it; an executive branch act and a judicial branch decision were made with the intent of favoring the people, but substantial opposition highlighted the negative side effects that undermined the Jacksonian goal. President Jackson represented the executive branch with his bold move of vetoing a bill which proposed a rechartering of the Second Bank of the United States.

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