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Jacksonian Democracy

Long before the American Civil War, there was what is commonly known as the Jeffersonian democracy. This was democracy as most of the Americans especially the poor were not entitled to some basic rights. For example, poor Americans were not allowed to vote, own property or even pay taxes. In a broader sense, the Jacksonian democracy refers to the era known as the Second Party democracy that ran from the mid-1830s to 1854. This ear was marked with a lot of spirit for democracy. Jackson was fighting for equal political policies, but they bore a greater movement to fight for democracy in all aspects. It was the time that the idea of forming the government by few elites was opposed with a lot of vigor. The Jacksonian did not give much weight to principles of the Jeffersons of like only having the elite and the wealthy in the government. They wanted equal rights and opportunities for all white males adult American citizens.

General principles of the Jacksonian democracy

The democracy was built on a few general principles that aimed at making sure that the national cake was shared fairly and broader the participation of the public in the government.

  • Expand suffrage: the right to vote was not given to all men. The Jacksonian democracy aimed at improving this. By 1850, all the requirements for voting, paying taxes and owning property had been dropped.
  • Patronage: The political winners in election contests were to appoint public office bearers. The Jacksonian believed that this would make political leaders perform as they are answerable for poor governance. They, however, believed that these appointees were not supposed to stay over in appointed positions as this would encourage and lead to corruption.
  • Manifest Destiny: The Jacksonian fought for the rights of the slaves. They were to be driven out of their place for cities to be built. This was opposed, and Martin Buren advocated for limited slavery in new areas to give a chance to poor white men.

Delivery on the promised reforms

Through Jacksonian democracy, there was the formation of a party that was mainly supported by farmers, Irish Catholics, and city-dwelling laborers. They promised reforms that revolved around the key principles above. Many people were already falling for the new party, and it was winning hearts in a landslide. They were keen to fight for the promised reforms and by 1850 many citizens enjoyed what they fought for. The helm of the reforms was through the American Civil War.

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