How and why did Jacksonian democracy fail African Americans, Native Americans, and women?

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The presidency of Jackson was known for its democratic reforms. Many states abolished their property requirements to vote; this meant that nearly all white men over the age of twenty-one could vote. Campaign managers now sought to appeal to this larger group of voters by hosting barbecues and giving out...

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The presidency of Jackson was known for its democratic reforms. Many states abolished their property requirements to vote; this meant that nearly all white men over the age of twenty-one could vote. Campaign managers now sought to appeal to this larger group of voters by hosting barbecues and giving out mementos such as hickory sticks in order to promote the candidate. However, not all Americans were included in Jacksonian democracy.

Women could not vote and in most states were prohibited from owning property without their husband's approval. Women were important voices in the early temperance and abolitionist movements, but without the vote their voices went largely unnoticed. Women protested their lack of rights in the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, but by then Jackson had already been dead three years.

African Americans were still slaves during this period, and Jackson himself was a prosperous Tennessee slaveowner. Even in the North free blacks could not vote and faced discrimination. Only a small group of abolitionists promoted equality for both races, and many who were against slavery advocated sending former slaves back to Africa.

Native Americans suffered during the Jackson era. Jackson signed off on the Indian Removal Act, which allowed the government to remove the Five Civilized Tribes from the Southeast. Even though John Marshall stated that the treaty with the Cherokee gave them a right to their land, Jackson did not enforce the ruling. Thousands died on the march to Oklahoma in what would become known as the Trail of Tears. The government also successfully fought the Black Hawk War during this period.

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During and after Andrew Jackson's presidency, American democracy expanded. More men were able to vote as states ended property requirements for voting, and more offices were elected by popular election rather than being chosen by state legislatures or electors.

However, this expansion of suffrage (the right to vote) was limited to white men. Women, African Americans, and Native Americans were denied many basic citizenship rights, including the right to vote. In fact, most African Americans were not considered citizens at all, because they were slaves and therefore considered property.

The lack of the right to vote led women to become increasingly involved in social reform movements such as temperance (a movement to ban or restrict the consumption of alcohol) and the abolitionist movement (ending slavery). Women saw these reform movements as methods to become more involved in social and political affairs.

Native Americans perhaps suffered the most during Jackson's presidency. Jackson initiated what came to be known as the Trail of Tears, forcibly removing thousands of Cherokee, Seminole, Creek, Chickasaw and Choctaw Indians from their lands in the Southeast to lands further west. Thousands of Native Americans died during this forced relocation. Jackson chose to remove the Native Americans after gold was discovered in Georgia, and he even refused to comply with the Supreme Court when they ruled in favor of the Cherokee tribe.

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