Andrew Jackson and American Democracy

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Andrew Jackson and American Democracy

It's popular to refer to Andrew Jackson's administration as the "era of the common man." The truth of this statement is controversial, even though political engagement increased throughout the first three decades of the nineteenth century (Pessen, 1971). While women, African Americans, and Native Americans continued to be barred from the political process, white men's political engagement grew significantly. Most of those who profited from the Jacksonian reforms were white people with the property since voting and land restrictions were loosened to let more of these people engage in politics (Locke & Wright, 2020). Jackson's detractors said he introduced "the reign of King Mob" because of the rise in the number of ignorant and uneducated white males participating in politics. It was feared that because these people lacked the information and expertise to make wise judgments, their involvement would cause anarchy and turmoil.

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Native Americans and African Americans suffered terrible effects due to Jackson's policies and historical circumstances. Thousands of Native Americans were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands due to the Indian Removal Act, culminating in the Trail of Tears. This tragedy claimed the lives of thousands of Native Americans (Wilentz, 1971). The "Second Middle Passage," in which African Americans were forcefully transported from their homes in Africa and sold into slavery in the United States, occurred due to the emergence of King Cotton and the rising need for enslaved labor. While political involvement did increase under the administration of Andrew Jackson, it mostly benefitted wealthy white males (Locke & Wright, 2020). Native Americans and African Americans suffered greatly due to Jackson's policies and the historical circumstances, with Native Americans being forcibly relocated and African Americans continuing to be held in slavery. When evaluating Jackson's presidency and its effects on American democracy, it is crucial to consider these things.

The Industrial Revolution

Between the 1790s and 1860, the Industrial Revolution in the United States underwent a dramatic transition that permanently altered the nation's social and economic climate (Olson, 2002). During this time, manufacturing moved away from manual labor toward machine-based output, factories grew, mass production increased, and new forms of communication and transportation emerged. The increase in population and urbanization, as well as developments in technology, communication, and corporate structure, all had a role in this shift (Locke & Wright, 2020). People moved to cities from rural regions in quest of factory jobs, which led to the expansion of cities and urbanization. The rise in population also increased the need for products, which sparked the creation of new business models and technological advancements that made it possible for things to be produced and distributed more effectively.

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By enabling the quicker and more effective movement of people, commodities, and information, technological advancements in transportation, such as the steam engine, and communication, such as the telegraph, accelerated the progress of industrialization. Consequently, new industries were created, and old ones expanded, greatly increasing economic activity. Urban life, the workplace, and consumer lifestyles were all touched by the modernization of the United States (Locke & Wright, 2020). Cities expanded due to urbanization, and new housing, transportation, and public services emerged. Machines supplanted manual labor, changing the nature of employment and giving rise to new types of labor relations, such as the expansion of unions and strikes. Finally, when mass manufacturing and new technology made items more accessible and inexpensive, changing consumer culture, consumers' lives were revolutionized (Locke & Wright, 2020). Between the 1790s and 1860, the United States underwent an Industrial Revolution that fundamentally altered the nation's economic and social climate. Population increase, urbanization, transportation improvements, communication, technology, and corporate organization greatly aided this process. Industrialization influenced the lives of workers, consumers, and urban residents, ushering in a new age of economic prosperity and social transformation.

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Locke, J. L., & Wright, B. (Eds.). (2020). The American Yawp: A Massively Collaborative Open US History Textbook, Vol. 2: Since 1877. Stanford University Press.

Olson, J. S. (2002). Encyclopedia of the industrial revolution in America. Greenwood Publishing Group.

Pessen, E. (1971). The Egalitarian Myth and the American Social Reality: Wealth, Mobility, and Equality in the" Era of the Common Man". The American Historical Review76(4), 989-1034.

Wilentz, S. (1997). For many years, American historians had little difficulty finding labels to describe the period from 1815 to 1848. To some it was the age of Jackson, dominated by Old Hickory and the Democratic party; to others, the era of the common man, a time of sweeping. The New American History Critical, 61.

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