Subject: History and Political Science Date: February 19, 2012 Topic: The Legacy of Andrew Jackson Of the three issues related to Andrew Jackson, elucidated by Robert V. Remini, I have taken up democracy for a critical analysis and also for tendering of my own views on this subject…
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By 1837, the word democracy has largely supplemented the term republicanism in national discourse.”(8) Andrew Jackson was commonly known as Old Hickory for his roughness. As for his passion for democracy, considered in isolation, he was matchless in its defense. It was the political compulsion for him and his associates at that time. This passion took him to Washington ultimately as the seventh President of the United States, from 1829–37.Jackson was a shrewd politician and his sixth sense must have counseled him that the word democracy possessed the mass appeal for the common man as compared to republicanism. What a politician needs is the mass support, and the winning position in the number game and the word ‘democracy’ was his flagship tool in his political vocabulary. Once he and his supporters were convinced about the magical properties of that word the result was obvious. Roberts argued how he went about popularising it. He wrote, “….the substitution occurred because Jackson and company—and most particularly Jackson—deliberately worked to bring about that substitution. His messages to congress and other official statements were saturated with the single idea that the majority of people have a right and duty to govern this nation.”(8)He visualised a people’s movement by using the tool of the word called democracy. He was a man of masses, whether he was serving in the military or his later engagements in the political activity in different capacities. Jacksonian Democracy: Jackson and his associates mastered the art of creating and maintaining the popular base in the political arena. He reached the top post of American President not with the backup of a recognised political party but through the mandate of mass of voters. This was an incredible achievement in the American political history. The word democracy was his political weapon, and the time and the favorable tidings were on his side. The power of the traditional political organisation was on the wane, and the rise of new independent leaders emerged in the political vacuum. They had perfected in the art of appealing to the mass of voters. They eulogised the virtues of the individual candidates, highlighted on their merits by convincing the people as to why such an approach is necessary for upholding the principles of democracy. Though he was born in poverty and later rose to become one of the largest landholders in Tennessee, his heart reached out to the common man and he carefully nurtured his prejudice against wealthy people. This was his strength derived out of his oft-repeated love for the word --democracy. He was not a tailor-made President of America, with expertise or experience in different segments of politics. His practical sense and determination saw him through any ticklish issue that confronted his Presidency. He created a scary scene about Washington and its coterie of wealthy people, to retain his base- support of masses and pleaded for the rights of the states vs. the Central Government. Robert writes, “Jackson’s concern over the development of a powerful Central Government in this country emanated from both his fear that is jeopardised the freedom of the individual and the sovereign states and his fear that centralisation generated elitism, which excited the interest and attention of the rich because of the economic benefits it produced. Government then becomes the
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(The Legacy of Andrew Jackson Book Report/Review)
“The Legacy of Andrew Jackson Book Report/Review”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/history/1443100-the-legacy-of-andrew-jackson.
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