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Jacksonian Democracy

            The first and truest ideas of democracy were embodied in the politicalideas of Andrew Jackson and the Jacksonian democrats. Calling themselves theguardians of the United States Constitution, the Jacksonian politicians engenderedwide spread liberty under a government which represented all men, rather than onlythe upper class. While some policies under the democrats had evident flaws, theywere, for the most part, eager social reformers who strived to put the power ofgovernment into the hands of the common citizens. .
             The convictions and ideals of the Jacksonian Democrats can be bestillustrated through a passage written by George Henry Evans. Evans was an editor with strong democratic principles who created "The Working Men's Declaration ofIndependence" (Doc. A). Within the declaration, Evans stresses the importance ofestablishing democracy. He uses words and phrases from Jefferson's "Declarationof Independence" to clarify his points and stress his convictions. Stating theabsolute "necessity of the organization of the party," Evans explains that it will bepossible to prevent the upper class from subverting the "indefeasible andfundamental privilege" of liberty. And finally, Evans states that it is the commoncitizen's right to use every constitutional means necessary to "reform the abuses"and "provide new guards for future security." In doing so, he documented thecharacteristic attitude of the majority of the country in the 1820's and 1830's.
             Evans was only one of the many Jacksonian democrats to contribute to thesuccess of the party and to the reforms that they made. Chief Justice Roger B.Taney's opinion in the Supreme Court Case of Charles River Bridge v. WarrenBridge was a capitalist decision that was a typical response for a Jacksonian democrat (Doc. H). This decision stated that while the Charter of 1785 allowed theCharles River Bridge to be constructed, it did not prohibit any other bridges frombeing constructed.

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