In the 1820-1840 period, Jacksonian Democrats viewed themselves as guardians of the Constitution. Meaning that they felt that they were true followers of the ideals of the Constitution, including political democracy, individual liberty, and equality of economic opportunity. These Jacksonian democrats were involved in many events occurred in this time period that contradicted their opinion, such as issues dealing An immense issue concerning the nation was the control and stability of the national bank.When president Jackson vetoes the Renewal of the Bank charter on July 10, 1832 (Doc. B), he argued that the control of the bank was not in the ands of the common people, but instead in the hands of foreign people and the rich populous of the nation. The common men in the nation, especially westerners such as Jackson, had blamed the Panic of 1819 on the national bank. Thus proving that Jackson desired equality among each person of the country.
Jackson found that The Constitution testifies that the government should be in the hands of the people, and the national bank was an important figure of he government.Therefore, Jackson viewed the bank as unconstitutional, opposing the Supreme Court ruling in McCulloch vs. Maryland case in 1819. This case decided that the national bank was constitutional.
Since people other than the common controlled the bank, the Democratic Jacksonians disapproved of this. This eventually caused the “Bank War”. Jackson instead put the nation’s money in “wildcat” banks across the country. Daniel Webster, a key figure of the national bank, wrote a response to Jackson’s veto on the next day (Doc. C).Webster vigorously opposed the veto and states that “It raises a cry that Liberty is in danger”. He claims that Jackson abused his presidential powers as he attempted to ruin the national bank. Foreign visitors, such as Harriet Martineau, see each person of America as free and independent (Doc.
D). However, this could not be farther from the truth. Philip Hone’s statements (Doc. E) about riots in Philadelphia and New York were among the lower class Irish, the minority, and the white Americans exhibited an example of class and economic diversity.
In the Nullification Crisis, Jackson threatened to use force against the nullifiers. He also issued a proclamation that prohibited South Carolina from being able to nullify federal tariffs. By doing this, Jackson strongly went against state rights, proving himself as an orthodox federalist. The Acts and Resolutions of South Carolina (Doc. F) are examples of declarations for state rights that Jackson would have opposed. This shows how Jackson increased his powers of presidency beyond the ones that were intended for him stated in the Constitution.
A prime example of contradiction of beliefs is the Trail of Tears. When the Jacksonians passed the Tariff of 1828, they were spurring western agricultural expansion as well as manufacturing in New England. This eventually led to the need to rid the western frontier of Native Americans. Jackson and the Jacksonian democrats were campaigners of individual rights but ignored the rights of Native Americans.
This and the removal act of 1830 were anti-Native American acts that showed a great lack of equality between white Americans and Native Americans.Although Jackson did this for the majority of the country, it still violated a staple idea of the Constitution, that all men are created equal. This non-universal opinion of democrats was not shown after Jackson’s decisive victory at Horseshoe Bend, in Alabama on March 1814. Continuing conflicts between the Jacksonians and the Native Americans continued with the Black Hawk war, which, again, Jackson and his followers flexed their strong political muscle and used their power to eradicate the rights of the Native Americans.
Because the Jacksonian Democrats gave the common man a false sense of power and a right to economic opportunity, the working class felt that it had a voice to speak out against any abuses of their rights as stated in “The Working Men’s Declaration of Independence” (Doc. A). This statement was not enough to change the Jacksonian’s decree of “equality” of men, they were in a false state of satisfaction believing that the nation was content and equal. The Jacksonian Democrats placed the community’s interests above private interests, as shown in the Supreme Court case, Charles River Bridge v. Warren Bridge (Doc. H).
The issue of this case was over the property rights of the Charles Bridge, the monopoly of a corporation, and the Warren Bridge, which would help the community as a whole. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Warren Bridge, emphasizing the importance of the common man’s interests over private, wealthy individuals’ interests under the Jacksonian Democrats. Although the Jacksonians declared that they stood for equality and the common man, their true intentions were masked. In reality, they supported the rich white male and his desires and ignored the minorities and the poor.
Their support of the Constitution was tainted by their greed.