A.P. U.S. History Notes
Chapter 13: “The Rise of Jacksonian
~ 1824 – 1830 ~
Politics for the People
When the Federalists had dominated, democracy was not respected, but by the 1820s, it was
Politicians now had to bend to appease and appeal to the masses, and the popular
ones were the ones who claimed to be born in log cabins and had humble
Those who were aristocratic (too clean, too well dressed, too grammatical, to highly
intellectual) were scorned.
Western Indian fighters and/or militia commanders, like
William Henry Harrison
, were quite popular.
Jacksonian Democracy said that whatever governing that was to be done should be done
directly to the people.
, it was based on universal manhood suffrage.
In 1791, Vermont became the first state admitted to the union to allow all white
males to vote in the elections.
While the old bigwigs who used to have power sneered at the “coonskin congressmen” and
the “bipeds of the forest,” the new democrats argued that if they messed up, they messed up
together and were not victims of aristocratic domination.
Nourishing the New Democracy
The flowering the political democracy was in part caused the logical outgrowth of the
egalitarian ideas that had taken root in colonial times.
The steady growth of the market economy also nourished it.
More and more people understood how banks, tariffs, and internal improvements
affected the quality of their lives.
panic of 1819
Missouri Compromise of 1820
also helped it grow.
In the panic of 1819, overextended banks had called back their debts, and often, farmers
unable to pay up lost their farms while the bankers didn’t have to lose their property because
they simply suspended their own payments, and the apparent favoritism caused outcry.
The problem with Missouri had aroused Southern awareness to how the North could try to
crush their slavery once and for all.
During the Jacksonian era, voter turnout rose dramatically, as clear political parties developed
and new styles of politicking emerged.
In 1824, only ¼ of all eligible voters voted, but that numbered doubled 4 years later.
Candidates increasingly used banners, badges, parades, barbecues, free drinks, and
baby kissing in order to “get the vote.”
Now, more members of the Electoral College were being chosen directly by the
people rather than be state legislatures.
Since secret meetings now became unpopular, presidential nominations by
congressional caucus emerged predominantly.
Briefly, nominations were made by some of the state legislatures, but by 1831, the first of the
circuslike national nominating conventions were held.