The differences between Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democracies.

Essay by lemonade727High School, 11th gradeA+, May 2003

download word file, 3 pages 4.3

Webster's dictionary defines equality as "An instance of being the same in number, rank, or meaning." This definition may be interpreted in many ways. Equality is measured by the times, circumstances, and mind set of the people in the culture in question. The United States has reached many different levels of equality throughout its history. A product of the times, it is always changing. Both Jeffersonian democracy and Jacksonian democracy were based on the beliefs in the freedom and equal rights of all men. However, Jacksonians acted more thoroughly on these ideas. While these two men essentially shared many of the same beliefs and ideas, there was a noticeable difference to how they acted on them and spoke out about them.

Jeffersonians believed in equality and rule by the educated. Jefferson believed education would be the cure of all evils. He said, "Educate the people generally, and tyranny and injustice will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

(Hart, Albert, History Told by Contemporaries, Volume iii.) Jacksonians thought the best way to end corruption was to allow all the common people to vote and have their say in their government.

The United States Bank was first established while George Washington was in office. Jefferson did not approve of such a bank, fearing it would cause a monopoly. Even with these thoughts, he did nothing about it while he was in office. Jackson made it clear that he wanted no bank to be associated with the government. He even discussed it in public near his re-election, even though it could have hurt his chances of winning. When the re-charter of the bank was passed through congress, Jackson exercised his veto power to eliminate the bank.

The belief in a weak national government was held by the Jeffersonians; they contended...