Essay on Jeffersonian Vs. Jacksonian Democracy in the US

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How might we distinguish ‘Jacksonian democracy’ from ‘Jeffersonian democracy’?

A period of nearly 30 years are associated with the Presidency of Jefferson, his successors and his ‘democracy’ from 1801 until Andrew Jackson’s election in 1828. A vision of a united, equal America, limited government and natural aristocracy ruled the Jeffersonian style of democracy. However, with the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828, a new form of democracy, differentiating in multiply ways to the Jeffersonian America, engulfed the American political and social scene. Jacksonian Democracy, a dream of the common man, the use of the Presidential veto, and Anglo-Saxonism as well other elements dominated this form of democracy and era. Despite this, many
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Glenn E. Hoover submits a slightly different approach, suggesting that Jefferson was not a supporter of elitism but instead “he recognized that there was among men, a natural aristocracy of ability. However, these differences…did not justify any unequal treatment”. Therefore, it can be seen that Jeffersonian democracy did not favour the privileged but recognised their existence within society, acknowledging the ability for people to transcend social classes through their own efforts.
Jackson conversely championed, as Edward Pessen put it, the common ‘white’ man and was distrustful of the Jeffersonian natural aristocracy. Jackson was known to have had a simple rural background, the first president to be known by a nickname and the first President to have achieved the most prestigious office in America without rising through high office at Washington. All these factors strengthened the idea that his democracy favoured the common man, something the Jeffersonian could not claim. To Jacksonians, the country’s future lay in the hands of the common ‘white’ man, an idea supported through the fact that “the percentage of [the] eligible population that voted...[averaged] sixty-nine percent…Hence, from Jackson forward presidents could claim…they were the representatives of the people”. Countering the claim that Jackson favoured the common

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