What is Jacksonian democracy?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Jacksonian democracy was the trend in which the United States became much more democratic.  It was a movement in American politics that brought about democracy for all white men.

In the years before the rise of Jacksonian democracy, the United States was much less democratic.  In many states, there were property requirements for voting.  Politics was seen more as a pursuit for the elites.  It was not something that the common people did.  In Jacksonian democracy, by contrast, politics came to be a mass participation process.  It no longer mattered if people were educated or not.  They could participate in politics and even be elected to important office.

This trend can be seen in the policy outputs of Jacksonian democracy as well.  The most obvious example of this was in the “Bank War.”  There, Jackson destroyed the Second Bank of the United States because he felt that it was a tool of the elite that was being used to harm the common people.  This sort of policy came out of the idea that politics was something that could be done by the common people and for the common people.

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