Andrew Jackson's Presidency

Start Free Trial

The Jacksonian Period Has Been Celebrated As The Era

The Jacksonian Period (1824–1836) has been celebrated as the era of the "common man." To what extent did this period live up to its reputation? I need to use two of the following to answer the question: economic development, politics, reform movement.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Politically, the so-called "Jacksonian Era" lives up to its billing as the era of the "common man" in a couple of ways. The first is that many states expanded the right to vote in the years before and during the 1830s. This led to an electorate increasingly composed of small landholders, laborers, and the urban working class. Accordingly, politicians had to appeal to these new voters, and one way they did this was by billing themselves "men of the people" and their opponents as the opposite. Andrew Jackson, for example, though a wealthy planter and lawyer by the 1820s, became "Old Hickory"; Whig presidential candidate William Henry Harrison later depicted his opponent Martin Van Buren as an effete dandy. Jackson and Van Buren both pursued policies that directly appealed to "ordinary" Americans, including Indian removal and the so-called "Bank War." In this sense, this really was an era of the "common man."

At the same time, there are some caveats needed. The first is that the "common...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 1067 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team