How Democratic Was Andrew Jackson: Document Analysis

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Updated: 4 December, 2023

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Words: 606|Page: 1|4 min read

Updated: 4 December, 2023

How Democratic Was Andrew Jackson: Document Analysis
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In assessing the democracy of Andrew Jackson's presidency, it becomes clear that his tenure was marked by a complex interplay of democratic ideals and actions that sometimes contradicted them. Jackson's fervent belief in the power of the people was evident in his dedication to expanding the democratic process and ensuring greater citizen involvement in the government. He championed the idea that government positions should not be the exclusive domain of an elite few, asserting that every citizen had the right to participate in the democratic process.

One of Jackson's significant democratic achievements was the gradual shift towards popular election of presidential electors. Additionally, Jackson's efforts to extend American territory westward, while controversial in their consequences for indigenous peoples, can also be viewed as an attempt to provide opportunities for citizens to settle in new regions and contribute to the nation's growth.

His frequent use of the presidential veto, especially concerning the National Bank, raised concerns about an overreach of executive power and disregard for the will of the majority in Congress. Critics argued that these actions represented self-interest rather than the common good, highlighting a tension between Jackson's commitment to democracy and his exercise of presidential authority.

How democratic was Andrew Jackson? Andrew Jackson’s belief in Democracy was that all branches and agencies of the government must listen to and follow the wishes of the people. He wanted to change the way the country had been run before he took charge. He didn’t think that the people were really getting there fair say on things. To understand how democratic was Andrew Jackson, document analysis is the proper way.

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Andrew Jackson was very Democratic because he wanted the people to have more say and power in the government, he wanted to extend our boundaries so that people could move more out west, and he wanted the national bank to be ran differently than it was. Andrew Jackson thought that our country wasn’t Democratic enough so when he campaigned he told the people that he will listen to them and do there will. He believed that the people in office before him did a terrible job of this. In the year 1816, the people choose presidential electors by the legislature, and by the year 1832, most of the presidential electors were chosen by the people except in one state only which was South Carolina. Then again in 1836, the presidential electors were chosen by the people in all but one state which was once again South Carolina. Then on December 3, 1829, in a letter to congress Jackson said, “In a country where offices are created solely for the benefit of the people, no one man has any more right to (government jobs) than another.” This shows that he believes that any citizen of the country has a right to be in the government.

The second reason that Andrew Jackson was Democratic was that he wanted to extend our country for the people. He wanted the Indians to move out west to what is now Oklahoma so more Americans could move off of the east coast and develop our country more. A lot of people today say that this was a terrible dictator thing to do, but really it wasn’t he told them that they could stay in the condition that they obeyed our laws. He also paid the Indians who decided to go to Oklahoma.

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Old Hickory never backed away from a fight. Even at seventy-five Andrew Jackson was still fighting and leaving a trail of card games, busted up taverns, liquor bottles, and bloody noses in his wake which earned him the nickname Old Hickory. Jackson became a lawyer on the North Carolina Frontier at age twenty-one and later moved west to Tennessee where he settled down with his wife. In 1815, Jackson was made an American hero because he and his troops were victorious as they held off a British attack known as the Battle of New Orleans. Though Jackson was democratic by expanding voting rights, he made many controversial decisions that reflected self-interest and not the common man.

Many of Jackson’s critics believed that he ignored the separation of powers and abused his powers as president. In response to Andrew Jackson’s Bank Veto Message, Daniel Webster explained that, “President Jackson’s message extends the grasp of the chief executive over every power of the government…”. Jackson crushed the majority vote of Congress by the use of the presidential veto. He selfishly broadened his power as president and disregarded the majority’s desires. Because Jackson caused the fall of the National Bank, the United States struggled to manage money and loans and this consequently led to the Panic of 1837. In Andrew Jackson’s letter to Congress, he asks for their consideration of, “a law which limits appointments to four years”. Jackson wanted to rotate government officials so that he could implement spoils.

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In sum, after a thorough analysis of documents and facts, this essay manages to answer how democratic Andrew Jackson was in his views and actions. Andrew Jackson was not only the Democratic president. He was also the first ordinary man to take office. Jackson was known for passing several Indian removal acts. His inauguration showed a presidential transition from the aristocratic elite to the common man.

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How Democratic Was Andrew Jackson: Document Analysis. (2021, December 22). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
“How Democratic Was Andrew Jackson: Document Analysis.” GradesFixer, 22 Dec. 2021,
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