Andrew Jackson was a man of his time, elected in 1828 he became the seventh president of the United States of America. He leads several victorious battles during his time, this includes when he lead an attack on the British on January 8, 1815, since this leap was taken it helped contribute to his presidency. As read within the Background Essay, he started out as the Tennessee representative at only 29 he gradually moved up within a year to become the senate.
In 1824, Jackson decided to run for president of the United States, the vote was separated down the middle and Jackson was outraged at the results he argued that he had the majority of the people’s votes and it was only fair for him to be elected. Motivated Jackson was determined to create a new form of democracy, by saying he would listen to the people and do their will this earned him the presidency in 1828, this was the first of his two terms. In 1832, Jackson was reelected and served his second term.
Although the question is, how democratic was Andrew Jackson? To be democratic is to let the people rule and to have a voice, Andrew Jackson was seen as democratic by some yet by others undemocratic this is the controversial issue that will be discussed. Andrew Jackson can be seen a both democratic and undemocratic based off of some of his actions during his presidency. Andrew Jackson promoted democratic elections and financial policies but his Indian removal policies were very undemocratic.
Jackson’s election policies were democratic because they increased the power of many people. While serving his terms he was for the people voting and deciding what they wanted, he believed they were capable of leading themselves. As seen in Document 1 over the course of time Jackson had an impact on the ways people were able to have rights, when looking at the chart an individual is able to notice from around the time of 1824 the methods of electing presidential electors was changing from it being more legislative to eventually become by the people.
As it reaches 1828, the time when Jackson was elected president, it is noticeable that the majority is now by the people this is consistent till around 1836 when a new president was about to be elected because Jackson’s term was coming to an end. As said in Document 2 “.. was a “revolution” compared to that of the 1800… “Shall the people rule? ” cried the lacksonians. The answering roar seemed to be “The people shall rule”.. this is showing that Jackson believed that people should have a voice, people believed in Jackson and what he was saying, even though some believed in him others didn’t as said by Daniel Webster in Document 2″ Persons have come five hundred miles to see General Jackson, and they really think that the county is rescued from some dreadful danger. ” when this is being said, it shows that he believed Jackson was not really going to help, yet Jackson was making it seem as if there were a danger among them and they need to be helped when really the only danger was Jackson himself.
This evidence helps explain that Andrew Jackson’s election policy was democratic because he was able to change the methods for voting during that time period since Jackson was able to do so this helped to create a democratic in which people were able to have a voice. Not only did this democratic give people a voice, but it also helped change it from the government deciding on who would rule. Over a course of time due to Jackson the methods of voting changed from the majority from being legislative to it becoming the people’s vote.
Jackson’s financial policies were democratic because they increase Americans access to money. On July 10, 1832, Jackson wrote Congress as seen in Document 4 explaining his concerns about how he believed that the government and the rich had too much power when it came to the banking system. He believed that the federal banks were a bad thing, but we should rather have money distributed to local banks by doing so this it would limit the power of both the government and the wealthy.
As Jackson says in Document 4 “It appears that more than a fourth part of the stock is held by foreigners and the (rest) is held by a few hundred of our own citizens, chiefly of the richest class. ” This is showing that he was not for the higher powers having all of the say as he also says” .. the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of the government to their selfish purpose. ” the more power that government and the wealth gain the worse it will be for people of a lower class.
Not only did Jackson believe these things, but he also believed that a large sum of money should go toward farmers since they were the majority during that time. Even though Jackson was a powerful man in what he spoke, he received a letter from Daniel Webster on July 11, 1832, as seen in Document 5, in this letter Webster revolted back by saying” … the seeds of jealousy and ill-will against the government of which is the author is the head….
It manifestly seeks to inflame the poor against the rich, it wantonly attacks whole classes of the people, for the purposes of turning against them the prejudices and resentments of the other classes. ” When Webster is saying this he is exclaiming that he believes the only reason that Jackson decided to write a letter about the “issue” was because he was envious and despised them because they were much wealthier and of a higher power not only this but he also believed that Jackson just simply wanted to start a ruckus amongst the poor and wealthy people.
This evidence helps explain that Andrew Jackson’s financial policy was democratic because it ensured that not only the government and the wealthy would have access to that much money, but it also opened banks up to people such as the lower class and farmers. Since this happened it helped to ensure that nothing evil would happen from the higher powers. This was democratic because it enabled many people the right and say as to what happened to the money. Jackson’s policies on Indian removal were not democratic.
On December 7, 1829, Jackson wrote a letter to congress basically saying he was trying to move the Native Americans out of their land, but to make it seem as if this is the best thing for them and as if the Native Americans wanted this to occur. As said by Jackson in Document 8 “This emigration should be voluntary… (but) if they remain within the limits of the states they must be subject to their laws” by him saying this he is stating that the Native Americans should move, but if they choose to disobey and stay they will have to live under the state’s laws, but in an unfair sense.
The Native Americans will be ated unfair and will not have a voice in what is happening, yet Jackson was for a democracy where people were able to share and voice what they had to say. Even though Jackson had done this to the Native Americans they still spoke up. On August 21, 1830, the Native Americans wrote discussing how they felt on the matter of being evicted off of their land, they believed that they had a right and they had nowhere to go. As said by the Native Americans in Document 9 “…
The country west of the Arkansas territory is unknown to us… The far greater part of that region is… badly supplied with food and water… All our neighbors… would speak a language totally different from ours, and practice different customs… ” when this is being said, they are talking about the white man and how they are being treated as if they are an object, hardly as a person at all, they do not understand what is happening nor do they like what is happening.
This evidence helps explain why Andrew Jackson was not democratic because it shows that even though Jackson helped give people a voice he chooses who he thought deserved a voice. Since Jackson took the Native American’s land and forced them to either leave or to live under their law it showed he only cared for whites. This was not democratic of Jackson because if he were truly democratic he would have heard the voice of the Native Americans and not taken away their native land and forced them into such terrible conditions.