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Jefferson Jackson Democracy Comparison Essay

3. Both Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were strong presidents who viewed themselves as serving the interests of the “common man.” Compare and contrast the presidencies of Jefferson and Jackson. What were their respective views of the “common man” (be sure to define)? Specifically how did their actions and policies as President fulfill their vision (or not)? Provide examples. Be sure to pay attention to broader developments in politics, society, economy as they are relevant to understanding the actions of these men within their historical period. President Jefferson and President Jackson were similar in many ways. The Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy had views and goals, which were alike and different in various ways. Both were in favor of the common man and felt that it is common people who should have the biggest influence on government, and not the wealthy aristocrats. For that reason, they both opposed the bank (Jefferson as Vice President) because they knew it made the rich richer and the poor poorer. They also both supported state rights and felt that the federal government should not get involved with state affairs. Both men’s actions clearly showed that the common man does not include minorities such as Native Americans and Blacks. When Jefferson began his office, he started to limit the power of the federal government. He lowered government spending, fired tax collectors, fired many government employees and reduced the size of the military. Thomas Jefferson was a strong supporter and spokesman for the common man and self-government. He strongly

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Comparison of jeffersonian and jacksonian democracy



1. Political

To what extent was universal white manhood suffrage achieved?

Jefferson - Believed property requirement was a test of character that man of initiative should be able to meet
Jackson - Property requirements for voting had been eliminated


Which citizens were considered eligible for office holding?

Jefferson - Believed the educated elite should rule, although he proposed education for all to prepare poorer individuals for public office
Jackson - Believed all men were qualified to hold office and that political positions should be rotated

How were candidates for president chosen?
Jefferson - Candidates were chosen by caucuses of political leaders
Jackson - Nominating conventions were introduced during Jackson’s time


2. Economic

Jackson concepts of the “chosen class”?
Jefferson - Yeoman farmer as the “chosen class”
Jackson - included planters, farmers, laborers, and mechanics in “chosen class”


Industrialization?
Jefferson - Originally feared the consequences of industrialization
Jackson - Accepted industry as essential to American economy


How did the Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge decision affect the access to corporate charters prevalent in Jefferson’s time?
Jefferson - In J’s time corporate charters were granted to favorites of state legislators & often implied monopoly rights to a business
Jackson - Roger Taney, Jackson’s appointee as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, ruled in Charles River Bridge decision that corporate charters should be available to all who chose to risk starting a business


Attitude toward the Banks?
Jefferson - Both disapproved, originally at least, disagreed with a loose interpretation of the elastic clause
Jackson - saw Bank as a monopoly of the rich


3. Social

Attitude toward slavery?
Jefferson - Owned slaves, saw slavery as an evil that time would eradicate
Jackson - Owned slaves, but seemed little interested in abolition


Attitude toward equality for women & American Indians
Jefferson - Neither man saw women or American Indians as equals
Jackson - Had a particularly negative attitude toward Native Americans

Education?
Jefferson - An educated man himself, believed education was necessary for office-holding and for preparing citizens for participation in a democracy
Jackson - Had little education & believed education was relatively unimportant


Obstacles to Upward Social Mobility?
Jefferson - Education & ambition were keys to success; however, he was never able to build support for his proposed system of public education
Jackson - Ended the Bank & with it, control over credit, CRB decision opened opportunities for individuals to get corporate charters & thus rise on both economic and social ladders. Jackson, a self-made man, believed his economic progress had accounted for his own upward social mobility & others could follow his example


4. Religious

Separation of Church from Politics?
Jefferson - Most state constitutions had eliminated established churches after the Revolution;
Jackson - Massachusetts, the last state to maintain an established church, ended the practice in 1834
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