To What Extent Was Jacksonian Democracy Democratic? Essay

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To What Extent Was Jacksonian Democracy Democratic?

During the administration of Andrew Jackson, the United States was a nation of change both politically and socially. American society was a society of opportunity. Americans felt that, given a chance, they could make a better life for themselves. This was the era of the common people, the era of democracy. Andrew Jackson appealed to the American people because he stood for values many regarded with favor. However democratic Jackson may seem, he was more tyrant-like than any of his predecessors. His major offerings to the nation included majority rule and a popular presidency, however offered no benefits to women, African Americans, nor Native Americans. Jacksonian Democracy was
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Whereas some women in some states made some strides under Jackson's rule, Native Americans and African Americans did not. Jacksonian Democracy had nothing to offer these two minorities.

Most Americans believed that the area between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains, "The Great American Desert," would provide a permanent Native American reservation. Jackson often spoke about protecting the Native Americans from fraud and of how humane the government's removal policy was, but the policy as carried out was cruel.

In Georgia, the Cherokee Indians had developed a lifestyle that included schools, mills, and turnpikes. In the 1820's, under pressure from the state to give up their lands, they wrote a constitution, hired lawyers, and sued in the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Marshall upheld the rights of the Cherokee against Georgia. However, Jackson refused to carry out the decision that ordered Georgia to return Cherokee lands. He is quoted as to have said, "Marshall has made his opinion, now let him enforce it."

When the Cherokee resisted the governments “generous” offer of lands farther west, Jackson sent in the army. Forced from their homes to what is now Arkansas and Oklahoma, 4,000 Native Americans died of starvation, disease, or exposure on the march that the Cherokee called the “Trail of Tears.” This is in no way democratic, but it seems very much like despotism. By
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