The Evolution of American Democracy

1440 Words May 7th, 2007 6 Pages
The Evolution of the American Democracy "United States can be seen as the first liberal democracy. The United States Constitution, adopted in 1788, provided for an elected government and protected civil rights and liberties. On the American frontier, democracy became a way of life, with widespread social, economic and political equality. The system gradually evolved, from Jeffersonian Democracy or the First Party System to Jacksonian Democracy or the Second Party System and later to the Third Party System. In Reconstruction after the Civil War (late 1860s) the newly freed slaves became citizens, and they were given the vote as well." (Web, 1) "After 1815 Americans transformed the republic of the Founding Fathers into a democracy. State …show more content…
Congress ultimately compromised, balancing the new slave state of Missouri by admitting Maine as a free state. Congress then declared that slavery would be allowed in the Louisiana Purchase territories south of a line drawn west from the southern border of Missouri. Slavery would be banned north of that line. The immediate crisis was solved, but the fault line between slave and free states remained open. The same politicians (Martin Van Buren of New York was the most active of them) who opposed the Bank of the United States also argued that Jefferson's coalition of slaveholding and nonslaveholding farmers would never have permitted the dangerous, divisive question of slavery to get into congressional debate. They organized a disciplined coalition for states' rights and limited government that supported Andrew Jackson for the presidency in 1828. That coalition became the Democratic Party. In the 1820s, many politicians had come to believe that organized parties were essential to democracy. Parties gave ordinary men the power to compete with the wealth, education, and social connections of traditional leaders. Parties also created disciplined organizations that could control political debate. Beginning with Jackson's administration, the Democrats were opposed by the Whig Party. The Whigs were led by Henry Clay of Kentucky, Daniel Webster of
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