The Era of the “Common Man”
The Jacksonian Period (1824-1848) had been celebrated as the era of the “common man.” To what extent did the period live up to its characterization? Consider two of the following in your response: Economic development, politics, and reform movements.The Jacksonian period, nicknamed the era of the “common man,” lived up to its characterization.
President Andrew Jackson influenced the life of the common man forever. He brought politics to the common man by expanding voting rights, once a topic only discussed by the wealth elite.He partook in movements that reformed the nation, and bettered life for American citizens.
Also, Jackson developed the economy in such a way that he gave reassurance to the common man, that he was economically safe; during this time, many Americans did not feel that they were in a state of economic stability, but Jackson gave them their piece of mind. This time period was a turning point in the history of America because Andrew Jackson recognized the nation’s problems, addressed the issues of the common man, and bettered the lives of most, if not all Americans.Jeffersonian Democracy was a new view brought to American politics during the early 19th century. American voting was revolutionized because direct voting methods, such as voting by voice were eliminated, and replaced by indirect voting methods, such as ballots. During this transformation, voter participation skyrocketed. By 1840, nearly 80 percent of adult white males journeyed to the polls. Voting popularity increased when property qualifications for voting and office holding were abolished.
Under the new constitution, adopted in 1821, all adult white males were allowed to vote as long as they paid their taxes or had served their country. Years later, taxpaying qualifications were eliminated creating universal manhood suffrage for the first time, in America (http://w ww. digitalhistory. uh. edu/database/article_display. cfm? HHID=633). Although universal white manhood suffrage was finally a reality, women and African Americans were still constrained from voting.
Although, women and African Americans still could not vote, there was a huge change in politics.There was an increase in the interest in presidential elections; for the first time in American history, the election of 1828 was the focus of the public attention. All candidates, including Jackson, attempted to gain the support of the public by addressing common issues. Now, all governing bodies had become more responsive to public opinions, and individual Americans were getting the opportunity to voice their opinion in American politics. Before, during, and after his presidency, President Andrew Jackson partook in reform movements that bettered the American nation and the life of the common man.First off, Jackson attempted to deplete the national debt, through reforms. He ended the Federal Reserve, being the Second National Bank of the United States.
When the bank asked congress for a renewal bill, Jackson vetoed this legislation. Jackson removed deposits from the national bank, and placed them in state banks. Andrew Jackson was the last American president to attempt to rid America of debt, through a series of reforms (http://www. examiner. com/la-county-nonpartisan-in-los-angeles/top-10-americans-for-monetary-reform-3-president-andrew-jackson).During his presidency, Jackson also strived for educational reforms. Although Jackson had little formal education himself, he saw the importance of educational reform in such ways to create taxes to support public schooling.
During the age of Jackson, adults had the opportunity to achieve a higher education, and it was becoming mandatory for children to receive a formal education. Lastly, during this era, there were a series of movements that attempted to perfect the human condition through “cleans society of moral evils. During this time period, the Temperance Movement and the Mormon Movement created a new sense of community and an impersonal society (http://www. ethanlewis. org/history/downloads/guides/Ch12. pdf). There is no question that Jackson’s term was as a reform president; reforms to all aspects of modern society bettered the lives of the American people.
When Jackson took office, one of the leading issues in congress concerned economic development policies.Andrew Jackson backed the system of protective tariffs, which fostered domestic industry along with federal subsidies for transportation projects. Jackson supported this American system, and saw that it was a way of securing economic independence and improving the country’s strength (http://millercenter. org/academic/americanpresident/jackson /essays/biography/4). Jackson also ended the cycle of land speculation, in Eastern states, by relocating the Native Americans off of Eastern land. From this, new land opened up to Americans, who now had areas to expand.