In Chapter 10 of your textbook, you read about how Jacksonian Democracy set the United States on a new path. Depending on whom you consult, the era of Jacksonian Democracy paved the way for democratization of the United States accompanied by widespread economic development and western expansion. In particular, these experts focus on the abolition of property qualifications to vote, the expansion of universal male suffrage, the growth of political parties and direct elections, politics focused on regional instead of national interests, and the economic development which came from Westward expansion. Others note how this period expanded slavery, denied political rights to women, African-American, and Native-Americans, contributed to rising sectional divides between the North and South with the Nullification Crisis, and ushered in the process of Indian Removal and Manifest Destiny that later contributed to the genocide of indigenous peoples in the Western United States.
In many ways, these arguments are difficult to reconcile, as one interpretation shows how Jacksonian Democracy brought America into a new wave of democracy and capitalistic development while the other interpretation shows how this era continued to foster violence and subjugation while denying freedom and political rights to others.
In a response that is at least 250 words, addresses our readings and other classroom materials, answer the prompt below:
- What path did Jacksonian Democracy set the early American nation upon?