Chapter

Jacksonian Era Democracy

Alexander Tsesis

in For Liberty and Equality

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780195379693
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949847 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195379693.003.0006
Jacksonian Era Democracy

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During the Jacksonian period of American history, the Declaration of Independence was incorporated into the mission statements of various antielitist causes. The document's statements about popular government offered interest groups a framework for demanding greater voice in politics and a reduction of social distinctions. In the short run, however, it was white males rather than society as a whole who benefited most from rising democratization. Jacksonian America became increasingly industrialized, as urban centers grew and markets expanded, helped along by new forms of transportation and mechanization. With the growth of commerce between states, the Declaration became a centerpiece for divergent movements: on the one hand it was a patriotic standard raised to celebrate the nation's expansion and interstate connection through new canals and railroads, but on the other it inflamed the sentiments of those who were leery of the growing power of federal government.

Keywords: Declaration of Independence; Andrew Jackson; white males; democratization; industrialization; commerce; federal government

Chapter.  9300 words.  Illustrated.

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