Andrew Jackson's Presidency Questions and Answers

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Why is "the age of the common man" or "the age of Jacksonian Democracy" an ironic name for the period from 1816 to 1840?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The first answer is absolutely correct.  The Jacksonian Era did ignore the rights of women and non-whites.

However, I would argue that it is not ironic to call this the age of the common man.

During the Jacksonan Era, the "common man" really was represented by American government.  There was universal white male suffrage and government policies generally followed what common people wanted.

What I'm trying to say is that the first answer is correct about what was ignored.  But we must also realize that common men of this era wanted those groups to be ignored.

So, the name "Age of the Common Man" is only ironic if you go by our current understandings of racial and sexual equality.  If you compare the era to what had come right before it (or to other countries of the time) it really was the Age of the Common Man.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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write16,848 answers

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Indeed, Jacksonian Democracy did increase democratic sentiments with a "common man" touch.  It is a bit misleading because some of the elements during this time period did not...

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