Imagine that you were an American voter living in the year 1828. (If you are female or African American, yes—I realize back then you were not allowed to vote. But this is a hypothetical, so just imagine that the laws were different then than they were, and that all of you in this class could vote, whether you are male, female, African American, etc.) There was a presidential election that year, with the two major candidates being Andrew Jackson of the Democratic Party and John Quincy Adams of the National Republican Party. Answer this question: in that election, which candidate would you have voted for, and why? In your answer, be certain to discuss, for the candidate for whom you choose to vote, the policy positions he held and explain why those positions lead you to vote for him. You must also use at least two quotations from your Tindall and Shi textbook that help explain your position.

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You should start by considering the ways and policy questions where the two candidates were different. Slavery and states' rights were already growing issues in the national debate.

Foreign policy was also being argued; you can look at Adams's position, as president, in the movement for independence for Panama.

Economic policy and banking presented other areas of disagreement. Government corruption was a related issue. What did Jackson have to say about the Second Bank of the United States? You should be able to explain the issue and why you would have taken one side over the other.

Which of these issues are the most important to you as a voter, and why?

The two candidates also stood on opposite sides of a classic question in a representative democracy. Should an elected public official strictly serve the will of the constituents who put the official in office, or should the official follow their own best judgment in spite of public opinion? I'm not familiar with your textbook, but Adams made a public statement of his views on the subject that was not well received, and that might be one of the quotes you have. There is no right or wrong answer between the two views, and this debate, which dates back at least to Edmund Burke in eighteenth-century England, continues today. You should look at the policy issues first, but if you can also answer this part thoughtfully, I'd expect a very good grade!

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