The Jacksonian period symbolized the era of the common man. To what extent did the period live up to its characterization?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The period of time when Andrew Jackson was president was called Jacksonian Democracy. It was a time when the common man became more involved in government and when the needs of the common man were considered more by government.

During Jackson’s presidency, the common man was able to become more involved in government. In some places, the requirement of needing to own land in order to vote was dropped. This led to a significant increase in the number of white males who voted between 1824-1840. Another change that was made was that the people began to choose the electors to the Electoral College instead of having the state legislature do it. A third change was having nominating conventions choose the candidates of a party instead of having caucuses do this. This allowed party members, instead of party leaders, to choose the people who would run for office. Finally, the spoils system was developed. The spoils system is when a winning candidate gives government jobs to his or her supporters. Andrew Jackson was able to give government jobs to the common man. Thus, instead of these jobs going to the wealthy or upper class, more common people were working in government. Andrew Jackson’s presidency helped the common man a great deal.

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