The Age of Jackson (1824–1848) has been celebrated as the era of the "common man." To what extent do you think the period lives up to this description? Discuss at least two specific developments in economics, politics, and society in your response.

The Age of Jackson, celebrated as the era of the common man, saw growing numbers of white men achieve the right to vote and land ownership increase with the country's westward expansion. However, nonwhite men were either not granted voting rights or could not afford poll taxes. Moreover, Indigenous people were forced to relocate from their lands to make way for white homesteaders, a practice codified under President Jackson's 1830 Indian Removal Act.

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Certain changes that occurred from 1824 to 1848 validate the celebration of this era as the period of the common man. With regard to land, the country’s expansion westward added land that was to be cultivated. Thus, the opportunity to own land as settlers moved westward created a growing group...

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Certain changes that occurred from 1824 to 1848 validate the celebration of this era as the period of the common man. With regard to land, the country’s expansion westward added land that was to be cultivated. Thus, the opportunity to own land as settlers moved westward created a growing group of landowners. At the same time, most states eliminated the requirement that men own land in order to gain the right to vote in elections. New states entering the Union did not impose the property requirement, and twelve of the original thirteen states had eliminated the requirement by the time the nation entered the Civil War.

This made it easier for white men to participate in the country’s elections and therefore have a stake in politics. The election of Andrew Jackson in 1828 symbolized the era as that of the common man, as he was the first president who did not come from one of the elite East Coast founding families. Jackson had lost in the 1824 election, even though he won the popular vote. Thus, campaigning for the 1828 election took on new dimensions. Although Jackson himself largely eschewed making public appearances, as campaigning by candidates was viewed negatively, his supporters threw dinners, rallies, and parades to promote his campaign.

When he won, President Jackson expanded the invitation to attend his inauguration to more people than had any president before him. As a result, people crowded into the White House and the festivities turned chaotic, with and furniture and china getting broken as people rushed to the newly elected president to shake his hand and as they tried to partake of the refreshments being served.

However, it is important to note that while political participation among the general population increased, this trend was primarily only extended to adult white men. Black and Indigenous men generally did not enjoy voting rights, and it was not even a consideration at that point that suffrage would be extended to women. Thus, voting was no longer ostensibly associated with a person's wealth, but it was delineated along racial and gender lines. Moreover, even though property ownership was eliminated as a right to vote, the introduction of poll taxes and other requirements masked certain persistent wealth requirements, selectively making it more difficult for people without means to participate in elections.

Moreover, other treatment of minorities does not support this period as that of the common man. It was primarily white men who received the right to vote, as noted, which is not universal suffrage. Moreover, under President Andrew Jackson, Indigenous people were moved from the lands that they had long occupied to make way for white homesteaders. This was codified with the 1830 Indian Removal Act, which authorized the American army to forcibly remove Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes from Georgia and other proximate states and led to the Trail of Tears.

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