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Jefferson's and Jackson's ideas of who should participate in governance:
A point of clarification:
In Jefferson's time, there was a political party which believed that only wealthy men should govern. Wealthy menwere best qualified by theexperience of making andmanaging their wealth,to know how government could help and how it could hurt. Therefore, theoretically they could avoid bad government, unless they decided to use government to help just themselves, and not the whole country.
Jefferson believed that anyone who had a sufficient means of supporting himself so that he was not dependent upon any other man for a living, should be allowed to vote and govern. He believed that people who were not self employed would be controlled, in how they voted, by their boss or by the richest candidate. He believed these people should not be allowed to vote.
ByJackson's time, Jefferson's idea of who should be allowed to vote was pretty much accepted, so that small farmers and small business men could vote. Jackson believed that every, free, adult, white male should be allowed to vote, irrespective and regardless of how he made his living. (In Jackson's day and in Jefferson's day, almost no one believed women would ever vote, nor slaves, and most Indians were not citizens and did not want to be citizens of the U.S.) Jackson believed that if all free, adult, white males voted, the will of the majority would thus be expressed and he thought that the majority could never be wrong (which I don't agree with).
So, Jefferson's idea of the common man, did not include as many people as Jackson's idea of the common man.
President Jackson and President Jefferson both believed that the individual states should have more control over their own governments than having one federal government controlling all the states. They believed that the federal government should only convene when international affairs are involved.
It is very true that they believed in the common man but it is important to note that the concept of common man did not include minorities. Both presidents owned slaves and both supported moving Native Americans to new lands so white man could take the land over for themselves.
In my opinion, the most important similarity between these two men is that they are both democrats. They both believe in the common people rather than in elites.
Jefferson was the leader of the Democratic-Republicans. This was the party that wanted more power for the common people. They wanted there to be less hierarchy in American society. They wanted America to be dominated by small farmers.
Jackson also favored the common people. He wanted to do things like destroying the Bank of the United States because he felt that it favored the rich over the common people.
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