Why is Jackson's presidency called the "Age of the Common Man"?

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Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United States of America. His presidential term, which spanned from 1829-1837, is often known as the “Era of the Common Man” for several reasons. First, Andrew Jackson was the first president of the United States from humble beginnings. He came from a poor family that was not part of the political elite at the time. He was mainly self-educated and had not attended a prestigious university.

Second, Jackson’s term may have only been made possible because the “common man” was finally allowed to vote. Around the 1820s many states began to drop the requirement of landownership as a prerequisite to voting. Therefore, the right to vote was expanded from only property-owning men to include all white men over 21.

Third, Jackson referred to himself as a “common man” and marketed himself as a champion for the “common man” throughout his campaigns and presidency. In keeping with this, many of the issues he focused on were important to the average American at the time, including concessions for farmers and policies aimed at making America more egalitarian (for white men).

Finally, Jackson’s defeat signaled the Era of the Common Man because he, a common man, defeated John Quincy Adams, a member of the elite. John Quincy Adams’ background and pedigree was similar to all of the presidents before him. He was wealthy, Harvard educated and came from a renowned family. In fact, Adams’ father, John Adams, had been the second president of the United States. Therefore, when Jackson won the election against Adams it showed that the people preferred to be led by a commoner.

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