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Age of the Common Man

Age of Common Man.WEBP

The US Age of the Common Man, spanning roughly from the 1820s to the 1840s, was a transformative era in American history characterized by a growing emphasis on democracy, political participation, and the expansion of suffrage to a broader segment of the population. This period saw the rise of Andrew Jackson, a significant figure whose presidency (1829-1837) marked a departure from the elitist political culture of previous decades. Jackson's policies, known as Jacksonian Democracy, aimed to empower the common citizens by advocating for universal white male suffrage, reducing the influence of wealthy elites, and championing the idea of the "self-made man." His populist approach resonated with many Americans and led to the rise of a more participatory democracy.

During this era, several key events left a lasting impact on the nation. The 1828 presidential election was a watershed moment, with Andrew Jackson's victory symbolizing a shift towards a more inclusive political landscape. The Nullification Crisis of the 1830s tested the federal government's authority and highlighted the tension between states' rights and national unity. Jackson's controversial policies, such as the Indian Removal Act of 1830, led to the forced displacement of Native American tribes, most notably the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. The emergence of grassroots movements, such as the Temperance Movement advocating for alcohol abstinence and the Women's Rights Movement, began challenging societal norms and advocating for a more equitable society.

The Age of the Common Man was not without its complexities and contradictions. While it expanded political participation for white males, it often marginalized other groups, including Native Americans, women, and enslaved individuals. Nevertheless, the era laid the foundation for a more democratic and participatory American society, shaping the trajectory of the nation's political, social, and cultural evolution in the decades to come.

Additional Resources:


Age of the Common Man

Janksonian Democracy


The Age of the Common Man

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