Andrew Jackson's Presidency

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"Jacksonian Democracy" describes the general spirit of white egalitarianism and the actual expansion of the voting franchise that was associated with the politics of Andrew Jackson and the Democratic Party in the 1820s and 1830s. It coincided with territorial expansion in the United States, especially in the Old Southwest (Alabama, Mississippi) and Northwest (Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, Illinois). Most of these new states, and a number of old ones, had looser voting requirements, allowing for white men with limited property to vote. Jackson deliberately campaigned by appealing to these new voters, and crafted his "Old Hickpry" image accordingly. Jacksonian Democrats evinced a strong distaste for eastern, especially northeastern elites. As president, many of his decisions (Indian Removal, the Bank of the United States veto) appealed to "the common man." Indian Removal underscored one of the fundamental contradictions within Jacksonian democracy. While white men had more political and economic opportunities than ever before, these opportunities came at the expense of Native Americans and African Americans, as many of these "common men" were moving into lands with the full intent of setting up small cotton plantations to be worked by slaves. 

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