What were the social and cultural beliefs that became widespread during the Age of Jackson?

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There were several main cultural experiences and attitudes that became prevalent during the "Age of Jackson." These ideas helped shape the country for the generations to come and created a culture that was unique to its time.

First and foremost, there was an exaltation of the Common Man. This is...

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There were several main cultural experiences and attitudes that became prevalent during the "Age of Jackson." These ideas helped shape the country for the generations to come and created a culture that was unique to its time.

First and foremost, there was an exaltation of the Common Man. This is the foundation of the American Dream (as it would come to be known in the future). People from humble beginnings were stepping out and taking action to improve their lives, and many of them were gaining significant wealth. This was exalted and praised as a milestone of self-sufficiency, where people who started with little or nothing could strive and eventually prosper.

The Great Awakening occurred during this time period, sparking a religious fanaticism throughout the nation. This piety and religious fervor bathed the nation in newfound faith, which went hand-in-hand with the other ideas that came about in this period. The Awakening stirred the idea that even those of meek beginnings could be successful or do work for the Kingdom of God.

Finally, an attitude of expansionism took over the nation. Partly inspired by the potential for wealth and a homestead, partly motivated by religious fervor and evangelical opportunities, people spread to the Western frontier to make a life and expand America in accordance with Manifest Destiny.

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Andrew Jackson was President of the United States from 1829 to 1837. Known as “the Age of Jackson,” this period was characterized by some major tensions that impacted the social and cultural beliefs of the time. In a self-avowed conflict with American aristocracy, Jackson claimed to be in support of the working “common man.” His democratization efforts allowed non-landowning white men the right to vote for the first time. However, although this was a step in the right direction, slavery was in full force, so there was clear hypocrisy. At the same time, warfare with indigenous people was at a high point during this era. Many tribes were forcibly removed from their land. Fortunately, the abolitionist movement was gaining strength as well. All across the board, people definitely had strong opinions about freedom, justice, and race.

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The Age of Jackson was considered the era of the "Common Man." People admired others who came from humble beginnings and became successful. Candidates after Jackson tried to portray themselves as humble even if they were quite successful. William Henry Harrison campaigned as a simple farmer who enjoyed log cabins and cider even though he was one of the most prosperous farmers in Ohio and a governor of that state. Promoters sold Lincoln as a candidate who split rails even though Lincoln was a successful patent lawyer for much of his professional career. The "common man" naturally mistrusted big business and big government. This attitude helped to put an end to the Bank of the United States.

Another widespread notion was American expansion and exceptionalism. White America thought it had a birthright to expand into western territories. This led to the expulsion of the Five Civilized Tribes in the Southeast and national growth west of the Mississippi River. Cotton production boomed during this time period at the expense of thousands of slaves in the South. The idea of the common man only applied to white males at this time.

Another widespread notion was the Second Great Awakening. People moving West sought to have closer ties with their home churches. Different religious sects such as Shakers and Mormons grew during the Age of Jackson as well.

The Age of Jackson was a dynamic period that exalted ordinary individuals over the affluent. People sought to make their mark in politics, religion, and commerce. It was a time of exponential growth in the United States where anything seemed possible. If a soldier from the frontier could rise to the highest office in the land, then anything was possible.

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Jackson's rise to power in 1828 brought with it many sweeping changes to social and political life in America. In a backlash against the harsh capitalism and cash-crop economies that emerged after the Civil War, Jacksonian policies advocated worker's rights and demanded equal opportunities for white men, hoping to dismantle the new aristocracy that had risen to power. However, the policies came at the expense of black Americans and other people of color. In fact, many Jacksonians were actually pro-slavery and painted abolitionists as dangerous revolutionaries. Gag rules were imposed to halt any healthy debate on the topic. Jacksonians were fervently "pro-American" and not only believed the lands of the West were rightfully theirs but that Native peoples should be removed to make room for their own expansion.

Jackson had little use for women. At best, he ignored them. Women were not included in any of the labor reforms that Jackson seemed so passionate about. The were often seen as toxic, as a threat to the white male infrastructure that was in place. Suffrage didn't even make it onto Jackson's radar, and with lack of a strong champion, most women were virtually homebound due to work, children, and other familial responsibilities.

While it is true that the economy grew during Jackson's time in office, it did so at the expense of society itself, which was so steeped in racism and sexism that initiatives that were lauded as progressive were actually a way to control and mold society to Jackson's ideals.

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