To what extent was the Age of Jackson a period of reform?

To a great extent, the Age of Jackson was a significant period of reform. With the right to vote given to non-propertied white men, better access to education, and the end of the Bank of the United States, the country was reformed in notable and far-reaching Populist ways.

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In a number of ways, the Jacksonian era can be considered one of the earliest periods of widespread American reform. Most reforms were Populist in nature and helped empower the non-elite classes. Consequently, this period of reform was also referred to as the "Era of the Common Man."

For one thing, this period experienced one of the greatest extensions of the right to vote in American history. Over the course of the 1820s, ideas about who had the right to vote expanded to include all adult white men. Some tax-paying requirements remained in certain states through the 1850s. However, during Jackson's time, most property-owning and tax-paying requirements to vote were done away with. The secret ballot was also introduced, which made it possible to vote without being subjected to intimidation at the polls. These were massive Populist reforms that forever changed the political structure of the country and made the United States considerably more democratic.

This period also experienced educational reforms. Previously, most formal educations were limited to the elite. Common schools expanded during and shortly after Jackson's presidency, bringing basic education to children of all social and economic classes. This greatly expanded literacy in the country and helped to empower the lower classes.

The Second Bank of the United States was considered an instrument of the business-owning elite. Jackson ended its role as the country's national bank in 1833 and removed all federal funds from it. These funds were redistributed to various state banks, changing the whole nature of how the country handled its money.

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