Jacksonian Democracy Essay

Probably one of the most significant trends of historical development of the USA in the 19th century was the introduction of Jacksonian democracy. Obviously, it was a very significant event in the political life of the country that influenced other spheres of life, including social and economic. The formation of Jacksonian democracy was the result of work of Andrew Jackson and than it was developed by his followers who stood on the same ground.

The entity of Jacksonian democracy was based on deep social contradictions that existed in American society of the 19th century. The main problem of American society of that epoch was the fact that a limited and very small number of people controlled the life of the whole country since they possessed economic power and consequently they produced serious impact on political life of the US. Andrew Jackson gained glory in the war of 1812 and became very popular among Americans later became a founder of the movement that finally got his name. So, Jackson and his followers suggested an alternative to such state of things and they insisted on the change of such a situation that was absolutely injustice and, thus, unbearable for the majority of American population.

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The basic idea of Jacksonian democrats was the idea of popular government that would be created really in a democratic way. It means that they wanted to stop the rule of a circle of privileged and richest people in the US and admit all Americans to rule their countries through the parliament and governmental institutions that would be elected by all citizens and under the public control.

However, it should be pointed out that they paid much attention to the executive branch of power. They promoted its strengthening that obviously made the structure of American division of powers a bit overlapped since traditionally democracy was associated with equal rights and opportunities for three branches executive, legislative and judicial power.

Also, it is quite noteworthy that Jacksonian democrats focused their attention not only on a political aspect of the life of American society of the 19th century. They were also very concerned about economic inequality that existed in the US and they tended to create a kind of alternative to several basic banking institutions that belong to a few representatives of American political and economic elite. As a possible alternative they suggested to create and develop state banks that could be competitors of other banks that belongs to a limited number of people.

It is obvious that it could really improve the position of average Americans and contribute to the development of democracy in American society and it really did but sill their policy was quite arguable. They were severely criticized and not only by their contemporaries and their political opponents but later their ideas were not considered to be perfect. The reason is quite simple. In fact, Jacksonian democracy, being quite progressive for its epoch still was a kind of selective democracy since Jacksonians did not strive for equality for all people living in the US. They practically ignored problems of slaves who had practically no rights at all as well as Native Americans.

Naturally, it makes Jacksonian democracy only a vague prototype of real democracy. As well as their ideas strengthening of executive branch of power are far from contemporary understanding of a really democratic state. But nonetheless, their ideas about social equality and justice turned to be quite useful, especially for future generations of Americans.
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