The 1800s period, particularly the period between 1820 and 1850 was a period that marked many changes in the United States of America. It was the very period when Andrew Jackson became popular and was elected as the President of the United States of America. Andrew Jackson came into power with a different strategy of leading the U.S that signaled the rise of the common man. The eastern workers and western farmers elected Jackson. This period between 1828 and 1850 has been labeled as the Jacksonian Era and the Rise of Mass Politics. This title is the best label for this period in the history of the United States.


The year 1828 marked the beginning of the Jacksonian Era and the Rise of Mass Politics in the sense that it was this year when Andrew Jackson was elected as the President of the U.S. This election brought changes both in the politics of the United States, the ideology that people had on the government and the then economic status of the U.S. The use of the phrase Jacksonian Era and the Rise of Mass Politics fits this period because it represents a period when for the first time in America and under the leadership of Andrew Jackson, Mass Politics started working. Mass politics means that the ideas of the people were taken to be the most important in politics and were the issues that Jackson put into consideration. The election of Andrew Jackson served as the introduction of mass politics in the sense that Jackson believed in the majority rule. In the election that was held in 1824, Jackson received the highest electoral and popular votes than Adams, Crawford and Clay. However, the House chose Adams over Jackson because Clay supported Adams. This was evident that people favored Jackson to any other presidential candidate, a kind of evidence that showed that Jackson was identified with mass politics. Using Jacksonian Era and the Rise of Mass politics is a term best suited for the period between 1828 and 1850 because it was the actions of Jackson as the President of the U.S that changed the period and made it different from the preceding periods.

The election of Jackson signified a different type of democracy for the people. First, the western farmers and the eastern workers meaning that the majority of people favored him elected him. By 1830, during Jacksons time, the qualifications of people to vote began changing in the states and the property requirements for white men to vote were abolished. Harry L. Watson in Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America provides evidences that include his own opinions, quotes from politicians and actual events of the time to bring the actual picture of the times leading up to the Jacksons Presidency, the actual presidency time and the later years. Through Watsons analysis, it is evident that the phrase Jacksonian Era and the Rise of Mass Politics is the best for describing that period. Before Jackson became President, the idea of Liberty was taken to be a policy that Americans had and differentiated them from other power-hungry nations. In fact, when Adams was elected President he said, Liberty is Power (Watson 83). However, Watson observes that politicians become a platform that they launched their ideas from were manipulating the concept of liberty. Therefore, 1828 to 1850 marked an era that Jackson changed political ideology of America underscoring the use of the term Jacksonian Era and the Rise of Mass Politics to refer to the period.


The phrase Jacksonian Era and The Rise of Mass Politics also best represents the era because using a phrase, such as The Market Revolution or The Age of Reform does not best fit the period. This is because issues of market revolution did not start nor did they stop during the 1828 to 1850 period. Thomas Bender in Towards an Urban Vision: Ideas and Institutions in Nineteenth Century America asserts that the market revolution started earlier than the Jacksonian Era. For instance, he notes that, during the 1796 elections, the republicans fielded Jefferson as a republican who would unite the agricultural and commercial interests of the U.S. (Bender 22). Manufacturing industries had already begun to be established. However, during the 1800s up to the 1820, there were no manufacturing cities in the U.S.

On the other hand, the manufacturing industries were located in the country and households. The transformation started with Francis Cabot Lowell. Bender also states that manufacturing had become normal for the economic and social life of the Americans and they had increasingly recognized the factory system as a fact that influenced their civilization. During Jacksons Presidency, the manufacturing sector grew tremendously and he made extended the development of the economy to the people, for instance, through his wars with U.S banks. Therefore, the label Market Revolution or the Age of reform cannot be used for the 1828 to 1850 period because revolution and reform goes beyond that period and would not, therefore, best suit as labels to represent this period (Bender 32).

In the period between 1828 and 1850, many issues and changes happened to the United States of America. These issues were political, social, cultural and economic issues that influenced the United States in different ways. Using labels, such as The Market Revolution or The age of Reform might not represent the period in the best way possible. Reform and revolution are all aspects that mark the events and changes that occurred during this period. However, they do not adequately represent the period because the labels represent events and changes that occurred in and out of the period. Using the terms reform or revolution do not represent the period best because there are certain events that occurred during this period that cannot be counted as a part of the reform or a part of the revolution, such as Trail of Tears and Nullification Crisis. It is only one thing that brings all different and diverse issues and things that occurred and changed in this period, which is the ascend of Jackson into presidency of the United States of America.

For instance, in Cosmos Crumbling: American Reform and the Religious Imagination, Robert Abzug looks at the forty years before the civil war happened in the U.S. He states that, within the forty years, Americans established strange political and social actions that is collectively referred to as reform. He states that some of the political and social issues include the actions of abolitionists against slavery, Sabbatarians in support of Sunday as a sacred day and women rights movements activism for sexual equality. Despite the fact that Abzug explores the religious founding of reform, he relates it as an aspect of the reform movement that occurred as part of the many changes that happened in the forty years period before the civil war. He also indicates that in the era that Jackson was the President of the U.S, religion also faced changes.

Therefore, the label Jacksonian Era and the Rise of Mass Politics best suits the period because it distinguishes the period from the other periods especially those that come immediately before and after 1828-1850. Abzug shows how religion also faced reform before and after the 1828 to 1850 period. He states that the expansion of the economy of the nation and territory provided other additional disorders and new issues in the Jacksonian Era. He brings the story of Mrs. Sturges when she heard Theodore Dwight preaching against slavery in 1835. The story shows the manner in which economic social and personal issues intermingled within the reform cosmology in and out of the 1828 and 1850 period (Abzug 7). The 1828 to 1850 period cannot be labeled as the Age of Reform or the Market Revolution because these labels do not represent everything that happened during that time.

In conclusion, the label Jacksonian Era and the Rise of Mass Politics best represents the 1828 to 1850 period in the sense that the label encompasses all aspects of reform and revolution, including politics, religion, economic, social and cultural realms. Other labels such the Age of Reform or Market Revolution only represent certain aspects that occurred during the period between 1828 and 1850. Therefore, these labels cannot be used to represent that period. Jacksonian Era and the Rise of Mass Politics also underscore the role that Andrew Jackson played as the President of the U.S in changing the economic, social and political aspects and in implementing the notion of mass politics.

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