Apush Jacksonian Democracy Essay Question

Ap History Jacksonian Democracy Essay

DBQ: Jacksonian Democracy

Jacksonian democracy was created during the antebellum America. The Jackson democrats made an attempt to grant power to the lower classes while decreasing the influence of the rich and potent. The Jacksonian democrats viewed themselves as saviors of the common people and ruled by the means of a powerful executive branch who attempted to destroy aristocracy in America. In reality, they were typically very wealthy, they disregarded the capability of the federal government, and they desired equality only for the white man. The Jacksonian’s view of themselves was pompous because of their political views, their animosity towards minorities, and their economic policies.

     Although viewed as defenders of all common men, Jacksonian democrats shunned minorities by only assisting white men. In fact, The Diary of Philip Hone (Doc E) describes the insurrections and disturbances that broke out throughout the nation by minorities. The minorities received no aid from the efforts that the Jacksonian democrats made to increase equality, and as a result many rebelled. Jackson’s brutality in his Indian removal practices such as the Trial of Tears, (Doc G), is another example minorities receiving no aid. Fearful of aggravating southern voters, Jacksonians also made no attempt to provide egalitarian efforts towards slaves. Women were also ignored in the Jacksonian’s view of equality. Clearly the Jacksonian Democrats beleived that although “all men are created equal” (Declaration of Independence, Doc A), a man’s equality did not stay with him through life.

     Although Jacksonians attempted to assist whites through economic means, many of their policies failed. As multiple advancements resulted in a huge increase in population the old economy was replaced by cash-crop agriculture and capitalist manufacturing. A split between the industrializing, urban North, agrarian, rural South, and the expanding West was forming. The Jacksonians passed the Tariff of 1828, helping western agriculture, and northern manufacturing but was detrimental to the South. Also, Jackson vetoed the US bank’s recharter in 1832. As Andrew Jackson’s veto message...

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Study Questions

Did Jackson support states' rights?

Although the quick answer may appear to be "no," Jackson in fact had a strong states' rights record: his handling of the Georgia-Cherokee problem is one example. What he opposed was states extending themselves into federal business in a way that could threaten the Union, as was the case with the Nullification Crisis.

Although Jackson won the popular vote in the 1824 Presidential race, he did not win the Presidency. What prevented him and why?

Jackson did not win more than half of the electoral vote, which threw the race into the U.S. House of Representatives. There, each state–large and small–has only one vote. New York tipped the race in favor of John Quincy Adams.

What part of his own experiences helped motivate Jackson in the Battle of New Orleans?

The American Revolution against Britain had left Jackson an orphan and claimed both of his brothers as well. For the rest of his life he harbored a severe dislike of the British–especially when they were on American soil.

Essay Topics

Why did Jackson support Indian removal after making a name for himself as an Indian destroyer?

Do you think Jackson was right to distrust the Bank of the United States?

Party politics reached a new high in Jacksonian America, with interplay between the Democrats, the National Republicans, the Whigs, and others. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of political parties?

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