History Essay

Submitted By sarsting11
Words: 624
Pages: 3

With the election of Andrew Jackson American democracy was changed forever. His goal which was later formulated by Abraham Lincoln was to create a “government of the people by the people for the people”, which in Jacksons time excluded blacks and women. Jackson aimed to help involve the American people more in politics so it would indeed be a government by the people. Jackson aimed to include people in the government by two major means, expanding the power the people had in electing presidents, and then allowing the government to appoint more officials which would allow presidents to reward the people who had supported them. Through these ways Jackson created a new type of democracy that was more “for the people” than it had been before.
In early American politics under the constitution presidents were elected by the Electoral College which was in turn elected by the Electoral College which was at the time chosen by the state legislature. In this system the people of America had very little influence on the outcome of the election, as the few who actually went out to vote could only vote for electors who were handpicked by the elitists in the government. Additionally, previously the presidential nominations were not made by the public but rather by private groups such as the Masons who by secret meeting were assumed to be picking the candidates.
This all changed with the coming of Andrew Jackson who revolutionized the democratic election of the president in a few key ways. Since the early days of the colonies the requirements that had been set in order for one to vote was an above 21 year old male who owned land. This restricted many people from voting as there were many people who did not own land. One of the major aspects of Jacksonian democracy was Universal male suffrage which removed the requirement of ownership of land to vote. This was one of the major ways in which Jacksonian Democracy gave more people the right to vote so that election results would reflect a view of a greater percent of the population.
Another way in which Jacksonian democracy expanded the influence of the people on presidential elections was the introduction of the two part system and the third parties that accompanied them. As now the people had a direct say in the election of the electors it was extremely important for parties to