Discuss the ways in which American politics had become more democratic by 1840 than at the time of Jefferson's election in 1800.

American politics had become more democratic by 1840 in several ways. Many states no longer required citizens to own property in order to vote. Ordinary people began to participate in political societies and debates. Politicians began to campaign for votes by portraying themselves as no different from the common man. However, voting was still reserved only for white men.

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By 1840, the United States had become a more democratic society in several ways. First, the size of the electorate had changed. Many (but all not all) states lowered or dropped property ownership as a requirement for voting. This opened the door for many small farmers, laborers, and especially factory...

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By 1840, the United States had become a more democratic society in several ways. First, the size of the electorate had changed. Many (but all not all) states lowered or dropped property ownership as a requirement for voting. This opened the door for many small farmers, laborers, and especially factory workers to vote in at least some elections, like those for local officials and state legislators. This contributed to a second, related change in American politics. American politics over time developed a distinctively democratic style in which ordinary people expected to be able to contribute to political debates. Mass meetings, the development of politically oriented "societies," and other political phenomena were part of this process. For the first time, politicians actively campaigned (usually through surrogates) for votes. Martin Van Buren, for example, held modern-style campaign events in New York City on behalf of Andrew Jackson. Politicians appealed to the "common man" by styling themselves as ordinary people themselves. Jackson was especially effective in doing this, adopting the persona of "Old Hickory," which stressed his backcountry upbringing and military successes while understating the fact that he was, by the 1820s, a prosperous and politically powerful planter in Tennessee.

In 1840, William Henry Harrison, from the newly-formed Whig Party, won the presidency, as his surrogates painted him as a man of plebeian virtues, a drinker of "hard cider" who lived in a log cabin. Neither of these was an accurate portrayal of the man, but like Jackson, he had risen to notoriety as an "Indian fighter," a fact that points to the highly racialized character of American democracy during the period. Antebellum democracy was for white men only, a reality illustrated by the fact that many states, as they extended the vote to ordinary whites, stripped this right from free men of color. The spread of democracy in the United States from 1800 to 1840 occurred amid—indeed, depended upon—the destruction and relocation of Indian peoples east of the Mississippi as well as the expansion of slavery and the degradation of the rights of free men of color. Moreover, it accompanied a "cult of domesticity" that valorized domestic roles outside the public sphere for women. In these important ways, democracy in the United States became more limited during the period.

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