For quite some time Americans have been led to believe that during the 1820 s and 30 s, Jacksonian Democrats were the guardians of the people, and worked to improve the nation for the people. The truth remains, however, that during this period, President Jackson vetoed a bill to recharter the Bank of the United States of America, infringed on the rights of Native Americans, used “brute” force to bring Southerners under submission during the Tariff of 1832. He enacted the Spoils System which did not guarantee the best leadership, and was morally corrupt. Although the nation’s economy and political democracy flourished during the reign of President Jackson, constitutional rights, equal opportunity and individual liberties were discouraged. In her 1834 visit to America, british author Harriet Martineau wrote of the nation’s economy being strong and prosperous.
The absence of poverty and ignorance and independence of every man are some of the observations she recorded (D).
The national economy did in fact boom during the 1820 s and early 30 s. With Samuel Slater’s introduction of the “Factory System” to America, and Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin, the United States’s peed in manufacturing textiles increased rapidly. In 1837, however, America experienced a tremendous financial depression. Bad land speculation, and the fall of the Federal Bank (due to Jackson’s failure to recharter the Bank in 1832) were the two main factors that caused the financial crisis.
Few periods in America have influenced the current government structure, size, and economy rather than the “Roaring Twenties” and the “Great Depression”. At the beginning of the 1920s, the United States was converting from wartime to peace time economy at the time weapons for World War I were no longer useful. In this decade, America became the richest nation in the world and a culture of ...
Consequently, along with the inflation of the nation’s economy, working environments drastically changed. Quaint “master and apprentice shops” were quickly overtaken by uncomfortably crowded factories. While owners of assembly plants enjoyed a luxurious living, workers were subject to poor working conditions, low salaries, and meager meals. Because wages were so low, whole families were required to work in order to pay costs of living. This exploited children as young as ten years old. Because of these conditions and the exploitation of children, relationships between employers and employees were very professional, and cold.
These emotions were reflected in “The Working Men’s Declaration of Independence” (A).
It wasn’t until the 1840 s that Labor Unions were granted by the President, and workers began to finally receive the protection needed to secure their rights as workers and Americans. In his Diary from 1828-1851, Phillip Hone recorded observations of what he noticed during two riots between the Irish and Americans. He also speaks about quarrels between the Irish and Blacks, and Blacks and Whites (E).
It is important to understand what was happening between the Irish and Americans, and between the Irish and the Blacks. The Irish fleeing british overlords traveled to America in search of a new life, hoping to claim land in the west.
Consequently, due to shortage of funds, many were too poor to make the trip out west, and forced to live in the slums of eastern cities. Present Americans, however, found the new competition between immigrants for jobs unrewarding, and many business owners would not employ Irish Immigrants. Thus, equal economic opportunity for immigrants did not exist. In Jackson’s veto message of 1832, he accused the Bank of monopoly because it was dominated by rich aristocrats and foreigners (B).
The problem remains, however, that after dismantling the Bank, Americans suffered a huge financial depression. This not only affected the U.
S. , but the world. Jackson’s decision to kill the Bank also was contrary to the will of the majority of the states who affirmed the Bank to be rightful (C), thus violating their constitutional rights and liberties. In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act. The “Trail of Tears” was very hard on the Native Americans (G).
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More than 100, 000 individuals were forced to vacate their homelands, and travel to a new assigned territory.
Many did not even make it to their destination. Sickness, and murders took the lives of countless individuals. In 1828, Georgia declared the established Cherokee Tribal Council illegal, and assumed power over the Cherokee. Siding with the Indians, the U. S. Supreme Court declared the established Cherokee Nation legal.
Jacksonians refused to recognize the Court’s decisions, which infringed on the power of the Court, and violated the rights of Native Americans. When South Carolina passed the Acts and Resolutions in 1835, it became a crime to distribute pro-abolitionist material. This was also not supported by Jacksonians because it infringed on the constitutional rights of people, and promoted sectionalism. It might be noted that Jacksonians were more autocratic rather than democratic.