Jacksonian Democrats Guardians of Democracy? hmmm .
After the Era of Good Feeling's developments in agriculture, commerce and industry settled in America, a shift power from the elite into the middle and lower classes began in the 1820's and 1830's. This was personified by the empowerment of the Jacksonian Democrats. Jacksonian democrats believed that they were guardians of the Constitution and that they upheld its principles and defended its ideals of a democratic society. They were strict interpreters of the Constitution and supported a government that represented its entire people, not just the wealthy. In their minds, it was important that all white men have the right to vote, not just the rich white men. They believed that they protected individual liberty and held Locke's natural rights in high esteem. They believed that they propagated economic opportunity. Upward mobility was what America was known for, and they believed that was one of the better aspects of America and should be preserved at all costs. However, although the Jacksonian Democrats were viewed as guardians of the Constitution and promoters of political and economic equality based on the instilled European standards that deemed the equality of political power and economic opportunity between white men as radical, they did not truly give equality to all peoples such as the American Indians, slaves and women or develop economic systems to favor a true democracy.
With the introduction of the American public to a subsequent economic depression during the Panic of 1819, much of the public's fear and suspicions blamed the bank, an institution not under popular control, for the depression because it had called in its loans on short notice. Jackson shared the same opinions stating, "It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country and its institutions might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people," (DOC B).