Jacksonian democracy can be defined as the era of economic and political reforms of 1820-1830.
Jacksonian democracy was named after Andrew Jackson, the nation’s 7th President. It began in 1828 when Jackson was elected President and ended in 1837. The democracy of Jackson is related to numerous political and economic changes:
- The name of Jackson is associated with the beginning of the development of a multi-party system. Jackson was the first representative of the Democratic Party, the political opposition, to be elected as President of the country. Thus, the era of the one-party system in the country was interrupted.
- Suffrage was changed: all white male citizens had the right to vote. It marked the beginning of the formation of the modern US electoral system. By 1850, almost all requirements for property taxes and fees had been removed.
- Jackson followed a policy of spoils or patronage system, meaning the promise of jobs for those who supported him. Jackson replaced approximately 10 percent of the government with spoils appointees. As a result, there were many people unqualified for their positions in the government.
- In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act addressed the issue of Native Americans’ relocation. It was expected that through the law, a process of voluntary land exchange would begin, and, as a result, Indians living in the south-eastern states would move to the uninhabited lands in the west and become their owners. In fact, Native Americans were forced off their lands.
- In 1828, the Tariff of Abominations was passed that sought to protect western and northern agricultural goods from the competition. A high import tariff was put on foreign, mainly British, manufactured products. As a result, Britain imported less and bought less southern cotton. The south had to buy more expensive items from the north. The law was not beneficial for the south. Jackson decided to lower the tariff to avoid a civil war.