The Trail Of Tears: Jacksonian Democracy

882 Words4 Pages
While Jackson was a hero of the people, having routed the British at the Battle of New Orleans and up rising his way from poverty to wealth, he was elected primarily because his followers believed he stood for certain ideal. The Jacksonian Democrats were self-styled guardians of the United States Constitution, political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of economic opportunity. As a strict constitutional constructionist, Jackson guarded what he considered the spirit of the constitution, By passing the “force bill,” Jackson made a statement that the position of John C. Calhoun and his home state was unconstitutional, and that he, as president, was prepared to back his ideas with force if necessary. Jackson advanced his…show more content…
Georgia and Worcester v. Georgia cases.(G) Ironically, Jackson’s reputation as a hero and champion of the people stems, in part, from his legendary Indian battles such as Horseshoe Bend and those with Chief Osceola and the Seminole nation. The Seneca Falls convention, while accomplishing little in the way of reform, sadly points out the inequity which existed for American women. Philip Hone, a member of the Whigs, points out the inequality of immigrants. He recorded in his diary “the disgraceful scene which commenced the warfar, “A band of Irishmen of the lowest class came out…armed with clubs, and commenced a savage attack upon all….”(E) Perhaps the most tragic disgrace of the enslavement African Americans is pointed out by the Acts and Resolutions of South Carolina. The legislature of South Carolina requested that federal laws be passed to make it illegal to print or distribute material which had the “tendency to excite the slaves of the southern states to insurrection and…show more content…
Jackson’s veto of the Bank Bill vividly illustrates this point. “It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.”(B) While Daniel Webster, a Whig opponent, publicly denounced Jackson’s veto as “executive pretension”. Jackson firmly believed “that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people.”(B) Jacksonian commitment to equality of economic opportunity is further told in the opinion of Jackson’s Supreme Court appointee, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, in the Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge case. While Jackson’s arch-nemesis John Marshall had cleared the way for competition in Gibbons v. Ogden, Taney pointed out in characteristic Jacksonian fashion, that charters, like the Constitution, must be interpreted strictly. “There is no exclusive privilege given to them over the waters of Charles River.”(H) This shows commitment to equal economic
Open Document