Jacksonian Democracy, which can be an ambiguous and controversial concept, primarily refers to the rise of Andrew Jackson and the Democratic party post-1828. Additionally, it implies a variety of democratic reforms that occurred during the Jacksonians’ success, including expanding voting rights and restructuring federal institutions. However, viewed from another perspective, Jacksonianism can be seen as a political drive connected to slavery, the oppression of Native Americans, and the glorification of white supremacy. This association is so strong that some scholars have rejected the term “Jacksonian Democracy” considering it contradictory.
The Jacksonian Democracy was a genuine democratic movement that advocated for equality, sometimes even embracing radicalism. However, it mainly focused on the interests of white men. Instead of being a rebellion specific to a particular class or region, this movement formed a diverse and occasionally conflicting national coalition. Its origins can be traced back to the democratic fervor during the American Revolution, the Antifederalists in the 1780s and 1790s, and the Jeffersonian Democratic Republicans. Nonetheless, it directly emerged from the substantial social and economic transformations of the early nineteenth century.
During this time, there was a market revolution that brought about significant changes. Historians have recently analyzed these changes. In the Northeast and Old Northwest, transportation advancements and increased immigration led to the decline of traditional farming and skilled craftsmanship. Instead, cash crop agriculture and capitalist manufacturing emerged. The South experienced a boom in the cotton industry, which revitalized the plantation economy dependent on slave labor. This expansion extended to encompass the most fertile lands in the region. In the West, white settlement, farming, and speculation were made possible by taking Native American and mixed-blood Hispanic lands.
The market revolution did not benefit everyone equally, especially nonwhites who experienced it as a complete disaster. However, the tensions created within white society by this revolution would lead to the rise of Jacksonianism. This affected mortgaged farmers and the emerging working class in the Northeast, non-slaveholding individuals in the South, and tenants and aspiring yeomen in the West. All of these groups had concerns that the expansion of commerce and capitalism would result in increased reliance on others rather than endless opportunities.
In every part of the country, during the market revolution, a number of up-and-coming entrepreneurs believed that the established elites would hinder their progress and manipulate economic growth for their own benefit. This gave rise to a complex political crisis by the 1820s. Both self-made individuals and common people were disappointed because certain elitist republican beliefs from the previous century persisted, particularly in the coastal states, stating that the government should be left in the hands of a naturally virtuous and wealthy aristocracy.
During the 19th century, there was an increase in chartered corporations, commercial banks, and other private institutions that led to the emergence of a new wealthy class. Government policy after the War of 1812 favored centralized and top-down approaches to economic development. However, these policies primarily benefited those who were already wealthy while also perpetuating inequalities among white individuals.
Throughout and following the Era of Good Feelings, there were various occurrences that further solidified the belief that power was concentrated within a confident minority. These events included the neo-Federalist decisions made by John Marshall’s Supreme Court, the negative consequences of the panic of 1819, and the establishment of John Quincy Adams’s and Henry Clay’s American System. Proposed solutions for this issue centered around strengthening democracy and redirecting economic practices. Within current states, reformers sought to reduce or eliminate property requirements for voting and holding public office, as well as ensuring equal representation.
A new generation of politicians emerged who challenged the old republican opposition to mass political parties. Labor movements arose among urban workers, who advocated for political reforms. Southerners called for lower tariffs, greater respect for states’ rights, and a return to strict constructionism. Westerners demanded more affordable land and relief from creditors, speculators, and bankers, particularly the despised Second Bank of the United States. Following his loss in the controversial “corrupt bargain” election of 1824, Jackson expanded his political support in the lower and mid-South, uniting various sources of discontent from across the nation.
However, when successfully opposing President John Quincy Adams in 1828, Jackson’s supporters primarily emphasized his reputation as a brave warrior, presenting the election as a choice between Adams, who excelled in writing, and Jackson, who excelled in combat. It was only after assuming office that the Jacksonian Democracy refined its principles and beliefs. This process brought about a fundamental change in the context of national political discussions. The primary objective of the Jacksonians, both at the federal level and within individual states, was to eliminate social class disparities in government and dismantle the hierarchical, credit-driven mechanisms of the market revolution.
The Second Bank of the United States was targeted by the Jacksonians and other hard-money initiatives, aiming to diminish the influence of a select group of wealthy private bankers on the nation’s economy. During this time, government-backed internal improvements lost favor due to their perceived unnecessary expansion of centralized power, primarily benefiting those with connections. The Jacksonians justified their support for rotating officeholders as a means to counteract entrenched elitism.
To assist struggling farmers and planters, Jacksonian leaders implemented a relentless (and possibly unconstitutional) program of removing Native Americans, while also supporting low land prices and the preemption rights of settlers. These policies were the foundation of a democratic ideology, which targeted voters who felt marginalized or impacted negatively by the market revolution. By modernizing certain democratic aspects of the republican tradition, they argued that a republic could not survive without economically independent citizens. Sadly, they believed this state of republican independence was highly fragile.
The Jacksonians believed that throughout history, a conflict has existed between a small group of wealthy individuals seeking to exploit the majority. They argued that this struggle was the root cause of major issues, as the wealthy elite in America aimed to increase their power. The Jacksonians advocated for equal rights and limited government as ways for people to prevent the already privileged classes from further enriching themselves by controlling and depleting public institutions.
In a broader sense, the Jacksonians advocated for a political culture centered around equality for white males and distinguished themselves from other reform movements. They viewed nativism as a prejudiced form of elitist puritanism. They opposed the idea of Sabbatarians, temperance advocates, and other moralists enforcing their beliefs onto others. The Jacksonians not only expressed their opinions, but also promoted a social outlook that ensured every white man had the opportunity to achieve economic independence and live according to his own preferences. They envisioned a system of laws and representative government that was completely free from any form of privilege.
The Jacksonian leaders faced opposition from various sources, including factions within the coalition that had elected Jackson as president. Among the dissenting voices were southern plantation owners, particularly from South Carolina, who were concerned about the Jacksonians’ promotion of egalitarianism. They worried that if nonslaveholding southerners embraced these ideals too much, it could jeopardize their own privileges and possibly even the institution of slavery. Furthermore, they had doubts about Jackson’s commitment to safeguarding their interests, which eventually led to the nullification crisis in 1832-1833 and Jackson’s forceful suppression of extremist threats against federal authority.
During the late 1830s, a larger opposition in the southern region emerged, particularly among wealthy planters who were unhappy with the severe economic downturn of 1837. These planters were also suspicious of Martin Van Buren, who succeeded Andrew Jackson and was perceived as a northerner. On the other hand, in the rest of the country, the ongoing hard-money and anti-bank campaigns by the Jacksonian leaders offended more conservative individuals. These individuals, known as Bank Democrats, were not in favor of completely limiting the paper money credit system, despite their dissatisfaction with the Second Bank of the United States.
The opposition, however, consisted of a coalition from different social classes. Its strongest support came from areas that were rapidly commercializing and saw the market revolution as a symbol of civilized progress. The oppositionists argued that economic growth, if carefully guided, would benefit everyone rather than creating a divide between the few and the many. They believed that government support, which included tariffs, internal improvements, a strong national bank, and aid to various charitable organizations, was crucial for this growth.
Strongly influenced by the evangelical Second Great Awakening, core oppositionists viewed moral reform as a cooperative endeavor to alleviate human degradation and enhance the nation’s wealth. They were hesitant about territorial expansion as their priority was to strengthen the existing country. The Jacksonians’ exaggerated assertions of presidential authority and patronage systems infuriated them, as they believed this resulted in corruption and autocracy rather than democracy.
The Jacksonians believed that personal rectitude and industriousness determined a person’s success or failure, rather than political inequalities. They used class rhetoric to disrupt the harmony between the rich and poor, which would otherwise lead to widespread prosperity. By 1840, both the Jacksonian Democracy and the Whig party (opposite of Jacksonian Democracy) had gained large national followings and turned politics into a debate about the market revolution. However, within a decade, sectional disputes over slavery threatened to overshadow this debate and divide the major parties. This shift was largely due to the racially exclusive vision of the Jacksonians, who assumed racism alongside their insistence on equality for white men. Despite this, there were some exceptions, such as Frances Wright and Robert Dale Owen, who were attracted to the ideals of the Jacksonian Democracy.
Both in the North and South, democratic reforms that benefitted common white people, particularly in terms of voting rights and representation, were achieved at the cost of free black individuals. The reasoning behind Jacksonian policies on territorial expansion was based on constitutional principles, but also involved a belief that Native Americans (and in some regions, Hispanics) were inferior. The Jacksonians were resolute in keeping slavery separate from national matters, motivated by practical and ideological reasons.
Mainstream Jacksonians did not have any moral concerns about the enslavement of black individuals and had no intention to interfere with it in places where it already existed. Additionally, they believed that the growing opposition to slavery would divert attention from the social disparities among white men and disrupt the party’s fragile alliances. Many Jacksonians secretly felt that the slavery dispute was merely a distraction created by dissatisfied elites in an attempt to regain control from the true popular movement.
During the 1830s and 1840s, the dominant Jacksonian leaders confidently defended the belief that their opinions aligned with the majority of white Americans. They actively opposed any involvement of slavery in the political discussions, labeling abolitionists as troublemakers and disrupting their mail campaigns. They implemented the congressional gag rule, which silenced any debate on abolitionist petitions. At the same time, they resisted the influence of radical proslavery individuals from the South.
During the period of intense conflict, the Jacksonians encountered difficulties with their belief in white equality. While opposing antislavery, they tried to silence dissenters through gag rules, which violated the equal rights of white individuals. Moreover, their endorsement of expansionism, often referred to as “manifest destiny” by the Democratic Review, heightened divisions between regions. Slaveholders demanded access to new territories for slavery, causing outrage among northern whites. The latter had hoped to settle in areas devoid of slavery, fearing that its presence would diminish the value of white free labor. These contradictions eventually led to the collapse of the Jacksonian coalition in the 1850s. However, as early as the mid-1840s, during debates surrounding Texas annexation, the Mexican War, and the Wilmot Proviso, sectional divisions loomed ominously. The presidential candidacy of Martin Van Buren on the Free-Soil ticket in 1848 represented the discontent of northern Democrats with increasing southern influence.
The Southern Democrats who were slaveholders started to question whether anything less than strong federal support for slavery would result in the downfall of their social class and the nation founded by white men. Meanwhile, the Jacksonian mainstream, which had suffered setbacks, remained hopeful that the party and the country could stay united by discussing old issues, avoiding the topic of slavery, and using the idea of popular sovereignty. This moderate group, led by individuals like Stephen A. Douglas, maintained influence until the mid-1850s but had to constantly appease the concerns of the South, which only added to the growing tensions between regions.
Jacksonian Democracy suffered its demise at Fort Sumter, although its decline had already taken place many years before. The fate of the Jacksonians was ironically fitting. By capturing the discontent of the 1820s and 1830s and transforming it into a successful national party, they promoted the democratization of American politics. By criticizing the wealthy elite and championing the everyday individual, they also played a part in making American society more politically active, widening the scope of electoral involvement to encompass an immense majority of the voting population.
Despite its politicalization, the Jacksonian Democracy ultimately faced its downfall as the issue of slavery entered the concerns of even a small portion of the electorate. Removing this issue without contradicting the egalitarian principles upheld by the Jacksonians proved impossible. Modern Americans should not take satisfaction in this, as the legacy of the Jacksonian Democracy, which intertwined aspirations for equality and justice with the belief in white supremacy, still remains powerful even after its demise in the 1850s.
Throughout the decades following the Civil War, the enduring influence of that legacy served as a stronghold for the new Democratic party. This coalition united struggling farmers burdened with debt and immigrant laborers alongside the Solid South. The Second Reconstruction in the 1950s and 1960s forced Democrats to confront their party’s historical background, only to witness both party dissidents and Republicans seize upon this same theme. As the twentieth century came to a close, the tragic combination of egalitarianism and racial prejudice, which played a pivotal role in Jacksonian Democracy, continued to afflict American politics. This toxic mixture tainted some of the nation’s noblest aspirations with its darkest elements.
“The Early Republic: Primary Documents on Events from 1799 to 1820” is available online (American History Online.Facts On File, Inc.URL: http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE52&iPin=EHRP1056&SingleRecord=True;accessed December 6, 2012).In 2012, Richard L. Wilson’s article on “Jackson, Andrew” from “American Political Leaders, American Biographies” was sourced from American History Online by Facts On File, Inc. The source can be directly accessed at http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?ItemID=WE52&iPin=APL137&SingleRecord=True and was accessed on December 6th of that year.
Gun Ban In The Philippines
“Never Forget, even for an instant, that the one and only reason anybody has for taking your gun away is to make you weaker than he is, so he can do something to you that you wouldn’t allow him to do if you were equipped to prevent it. This goes for burglars, muggers, and rapists, and even more so for policemen, bureaucrats, and politicians. ” — Alexander Hope. Gun ban has always been an issue here in our country and certain groups have been arguing about what should be the decision over the said issue.
The PROGUN (Peaceful Responsible Owners of Guns) who claim that guns should not be banned because self-defence is a natural right; it is one of the most basic rights accorded to a human being and it must not be taken away from law abiding citizens. Gunless Society believes that guns are the main cause of the gradual increase in crime rates and thus should be banned immediately. Are guns really the main cause of killing? Will the gun ban policy have the potential to decrease the crime rate?
So many questions that can be affiliated with the gun ban, but what should be the real decision for it? Should it be implemented to prevent gun-related crimes or should it not be banned which can make crimes increase due to the knowledge of the criminals about the gunless law abiding citizens which makes them unsafe and easier to be oppressed. The gun ban has always been an issue in our country. The first argument of the pros is guns are the reason why crime rates are high (e. g. hold-up, robbery, gun for hire groups, hostage) and should be eradicated to attain peace and order because according to a news, the Philippine National Police (PNP) claimed that during the gun ban in 2010 elections, 70 % of the crime rate decreased. This only shows that gun ban is an effective means of decreasing gun-related crimes. . On the other hand, the opponents of the gun ban states that if it is to be implemented, it will only increase crime rates because everything illegal related to guns (unlicensed, smuggled) will go high and the free people are defenceless which can make the criminals confident in using unlicensed guns.
According to the Senate Bill No. 48 by Senator Lacson during the Fourteenth Congress of the Republic of the Philippines, this country (Philippines) is the second in terms of bringing smuggled firearms in Japan and the Philippines is also the final destination of smuggled firearms, and the opponents believe that this rate will only increase due to the gun ban because it is the best and most efficient way for criminals to obtain their guns in doing crimes to the defenceless and law abiding citizens.
The second argument in favour of the gun ban is that guns are made for cops/military people to protect the citizens in our country because guns are complex and an individual must need special training to learn how to use guns. It is said that guns are not simple defence materials because before one must have a gun, he need to pass certain tests. The pros believe that guns are not toys that are needed to be obtained, and kept by anyone and it would be better if the security people are the ones who have guns because they are more skilled than ordinary people.
While the proponents believe that guns should be for cops/military people, the opponents claim that the number of police officers in our country is not enough to provide each one of us security/protection and we need to learn how to protect ourselves in an easy and convenient way. Self-defence is a natural right; it is one of the most basic rights accorded to a human being. Not only the manpower is lacking, but also the firearms of the policemen are not enough to provide them guns for protection.
According to Representative of Second District Cagayan de Oro, Rufus Rodriguez, “It is clear that our PNP is definitely short-changed and it is troublesome to know that our policemen have to purchase their own guns using their meager salaries just so they can perform their duties properly. Using that statement, not all police officers can provide their own guns using their salaries because they also have their families to feed, and even the guns for the police officers have issues that is why they cannot have their guns to perform their jobs well and it will be better if the civilians can have their own guns which are licensed.
Also, there is an article by Tito Fiel of the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the PNP are looking for manpower volunteers because they lack manpower which is not a good issue because it only show that the PNP does not have enough police officers to provide us security. Lastly, the pros believe that most people nowadays cannot be trusted and thus there must be a law regarding the guns to be banned because the prohibition of guns will result in public safety.
They claim that people nowadays are starting to be reckless and not trustworthy and thus must not be permitted to have guns because it will only cause an increase in crime rate. For the cons, people must own guns for their safety and all they need to enhance is the responsibility in owning a gun. A gun does not kill but a person does. If we allow guns to be banned, we will only be controlled by our government which can lead to fear and chaos. All the people need are responsibility and discipline and they will not have a gun without passing certain tests that could prove that they are eligible to handle a gun for their safety.
If the government will ban guns, a lot of people will find a way to protect themselves like the use of knives, bombs, and even physical injury. Some cons will also make rallies for banning the guns which can lead to chaos. In the place we are living today, a lot of us will need firearms to arm ourselves. The gun itself does not kill; it will always depend on the person handling the gun. The gun does not even have a life, how can it control itself? There are certain rules that must be followed before obtaining a gun; therefore, guns must not be banned.
The bottom line is, guns do not have lives. It is with the people who have the gun. For me, guns must not be banned because a lot of people use it for self-defence, especially if their work requires strong security and there are certain laws that are implemented before giving someone a gun. It is better not to ban guns but people have it in a legal way than to ban guns while the smuggled ones are flowing freely in the market while the law abiding citizens’ lives are in harm. Guns must not be banned. Self-defence is a natural right and no one must interfere with it. In a society like this, all of us have their self-defence gears which we can use whenever an emergency arises.
Horn, Norman. 40 Reasons to Ban Guns. Retrieved from http://libertarianchristians. com/2009/02/13/40-reasons-to-ban-guns/ Issues in the Philippines: Pro-Gun or Gunless Society?. Retrieved from http://travelman1971. hubpages. com/hub/Issues-in-the-Philippines-Pro-Gun-or-Gunless-Society Lawmakers want probe into police’s lack of firearms. Retrieved 21 November 2012 from http://www. sunstar. com. h/cagayan-de-oro/local-news/2012/01/27/lawmakers-want-probe-police-s-lack-firearms-202885 PROGUN, INC. About Us; A message from the Secretary General. Retrieved 21 November 2012 from http://progun. ph/about_us Ramos, Marlon. PNP claims 70% drop in crime, credits election gun ban. Retrieved from http://newsinfo. inquirer. net/breakingnews/nation/view/20100724-282915/PNP-claims-70-drop-in-crime-credits-election-gun-ban Senate Bill No. 48. Retrieved 21 November 2012 from http://www. senate. gov. ph/lisdata/40963488!. pdf
Thomas Dublin In “Women, Work, And Protest In The Early Lowell Mills” Short Summary
In Thomas Dublin’s article, “Women, Work, and Protest in the Early Lowell Mills,” he talks about the conditions of factories. He describes the work and the personal problems that women endured working in factories during the Industrial Revolution. Lowell was originally a rural area. “In 1820, there had been no city at all-only a dozen family farms along the Merrimack River in East Chelmsford. ” (Dublin 264). A year later, a group of Boston capitalists brought began to build a major textile factory. Two years later, the factory opened, it mostly employed mostly women from the rural area.
The women at the mills protested the unfair conditions at the mill many times. First, the women working in the factory were underpaid. The factory and the women working in the factories were extremely efficient which caused the factory to overproduce cloth. The price of cloth began to decrease. “The high profits if the early years declined and so too, did conditions for the mill operatives. Wages were reduced and the pace of work within the mills was stepped up. ” (Dublin 265). The women worked together to decide how to fix the wage cut problem. They tried to ask to the managers to restore the original wages but the managers did not listen. In 1834 and 1836, they went on strike to protest wage cuts (Dublin 265). The strike went on for months but still the managers did not give in to the protests. The mills provided the women with food and shelter and the women knew that they would not be able to get that at another job. Some of the women decided to quit while the women who were desperate for money, had no choice but to stay. Next, the conditions in which the women worked and lived in were terrible. The average women would work 73 hours a week. “Between 1843 and 1848 they mounted petitions campaigns aimed at reducing the hours of labor in the mills” (Dublin 265).
Their petitions had no effect on management and did not change the working hours of the mill. “Their work day ended at 7:00 or 7:30 P. M. , and in the hours between supper and the 10:00 curfew imposed by management on residents of company boarding houses, there was little time to spend with friends living “off the corporation”” (Dublin 265). The women had no time to themselves. While working, the women had multiple tasks and work on many different machines daily. Since the women sometimes worked twelve hours a day, they became very tired and it was extremely dangerous for them to operate the machines.
Their boarding houses were extremely crowded. “A typical boarding house accommodated twenty five young women, generally crowded four to eight in a bedroom. There was little possibility to privacy with the dwelling and pressure to conform to group standards was very strong. ” (Dublin 267). The women were surrounded by the people they work with the entire day. If they did not like them, they would be left because the other women were very close with each other. Lastly, the women became very close to each other. They were with each other the entire day.
They faced similar problems and they worked together to find a solution to them. When the women protested the lower wages and working too many hours at the mill, the women worked together to convince management to change their mind and to organize the strikes. Without the women becoming friends, the protests would never have happened. “The existence of community among women, in turn, was an important element in the repeated labor protests of the period…” (Dublin 265). When a woman would need some time off for an illness or to enjoy themselves, the other women would do extra work so the woman on break would still get paid.