JacksonianDemocracy in Comparison to Idealism
Aworld view is a set of principles and beliefs used to fathom theworld. Every person has a set of beliefs by which they fathom what iswrong and right and a set of principles that guides then in whateverthey do (Solomon 1). The worldview held by a given person forms thebasis through which reality is interpreted. It influences and shapesour moral opinions, economics, social structures and politics(Solomon 1). Evidently different people have different opinions aboutlife, man, God, purpose and right and wrong. This paper will presentthe Jacksonian democracy world view in comparison to philosophicalidealism.
Thetriumph of Jacksonian democracy in the third decade of the 19thcentury ushered the rise of the “common man” (Ellis178). Jacksonian democracy was pegged on the precept that every adultwhite American regardless of race or gender was politically importantand equally competent to cast a vote to determine their leaders(Latner 1). The Jacksonians democracy elevated ordinaries, glorifiedinstinct and meritocracy, and detested servility and distinctiveness(Hugins42).
Jackson`sphilosophy was influenced by the teaching of Thomas Jefferson and thetraditions of Republican of independence of the revolutionarygeneration (Latner 1). One of the most distinctive products of theAmerican Revolution was the new and idiosyncratic definition itaccorded to orthodox and Renaissance traditions of republicanism.Majority of the revolutionary scholars taught that freedom was alwaysput at risk by excessive power and that a right balance and reductionof government powers was paramount to assure liberty. Also, thisideology of republicanism stressed that the spirit and character ofthe people-what was commonly referred to as the public virtue- wereessential to maintaining a free society.
Inthis light, a virtuous citizenry was required, because it wasbelieved that that which corrupted the people would also corruptleaders and institutions.
Jacksonpursued some of the teachings of traditional Republican to thefullest. It was evident in his agrarian sympathies, his principles oflimited government, moralistic tone, his devotion to the rights andfreedom of Americans, and most prominently his fear of the humangreed, speculation and moneyed interest. Jacksonian democracybelieved that such features would corrupt the American people, theparty character, and the institutions mean to deliver essentialservices to the people. It is important to note that Jacksoniandemocracy was not rigid and stuck to traditionist views. Jackson hadrecognized the fact that capitalism was necessary to support theeconomic progress of the American Society, and an expanding andpermanent Union with sovereign authority and democratic politics.Jackson Philosophy was hinged on political democracy.
Jacksoniandemocracy led to the elimination of property qualifications forvoting and many more posts in the public sector were made electiveinstead of appointive (Blau12).Evidently, appointive politics meant that corruption could not beabated since some members of the American society would never get achance to serve in some of the political institutions. In response toJacksonian democracy, presidential electors now were chosen by thepopular vote, and the candidates in such posts were selected by anational nominating convention (Hugins11). The creation of free school movement and rapid increase in thenumber of newspapers signaled an effort to improve the knowledge andjudgment of the ordinary citizens. In this more democratic situationgenerated, individuals who held public office had a duty to serve asthe representative of all people (Blau15).Jacksonian democracy increased the importance of campaigning for votesince the common men became politically active. This inadvertentlymade political parties more important, and powerful.
Jacksoniandemocracy holds certain principles that concur with the basicelements of my worldview. First, Jacksonian democracy is pegged onfundamental principles such as respect of human rights, dignity forall, freedom to choose leaders and other office holders and equality(Hugins11). This are some of the basic elements that Holy Bible exemplifies invarious teachings and narrations. The whole process begins byrecognizing that all human beings were created equal by God, who isthe giver of life. This means Jacksonian democracy recognized theinfinite-personal God who created the world, human beings, and theentire universe (Hugins16). The philosophy relating to democracy held by Jackson is mean toeliminate evils and malpractice in the political system, andinstitutions, by ensuring that any competent American could holdoffice regardless of the color of skin and wealth. It is important tonote that property ownership was used as an element that determinedwho could become president and hold certain public office (Blau32).
Manis created in the Image of God, and hence they have the ability tounlock the secrets of the world. Since God created man in His Image,then all people are worthy honour and respect. Since we are createdin God’s Image, then it is appropriate to state that human beingsdid not evolve from primates (Solomon 1). This means that every humanbeing in the face of the planet has a purpose and are not merely theresult of random development, through evolution that is believed tobe guided by the survival for the fittest. Jacksonian democracyeliminated the property qualification for voting which removed thebarriers that would have otherwise prevented poor Americans fromserving as leaders. The natural selection runs on the platform of theconcept of survival for the fittest (Solomon 1). Jacksoniandemocracy had discovered the harmful affects that natural selectionwould have on society is it was held as the moral principle. It wouldbe justifiable to oppress the poor, weak and helpless in the society(Blau12).
Philosophicalidealism allows the existence of God, and it is eminent thatJacksonian democracy is based on fundamental Christian teachings ofdignity and equality. Philosophical idealism is not a religion but apath to religion through one of the forms of the multifaceted processof human knowledge (Solomon 1). There are diverse ways through whichhumans are aware of the world and through which attitude towards itis formed. The application of the basic principle of rationality toall aspects of life is what constitutes idealism. Reason isperceived as the spiritual center of the universe (Hugins27).
WhenJackson was elected as the President of America, he was a wealthyland speculator, who owned a multitude of slaves. Nonetheless, he hadmisgivings about ingrained status, and all special privilege (Cole21).He would become the perfect symbol of the new democratization in theUnited States. Jackson typified many American principles and valuessuch as patriotism, tenacity, the self-man made equal opportunity,morality, and generosity (Latner 1). Even though Jackson would havefound it more easier to endorse state’s social equality and publiceducation among the white, he pursued the right and rational path,and displayed no tendency to penalize the wealthy (white) andintervene in the economic affairs to aid the poor. Such a balancemeets all the definition of idealism, where an individual pursueswhat is rational and reasonable, guided by the moral principles.
Blau,Joseph L. SocialTheories of Jacksonian Democracy: Representative Writings of thePeriod 1825-1850.Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub. Co, 2003. Print.
Cole,D.B. JacksonianDemocracy in New Hampshire. iUniverse,1999. print
Ellis,Richard E. TheUnion at Risk: Jacksonian Democracy, States` Rights, and theNullification Crisis.New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. Internet resource.
Hugins,Walter E. JacksonianDemocracy and the Working Class: a Study of the New York Workingmen`sMovement 1829-1837.S.l: s.n, n.d.. Print.
Latner,R. B. (2015). AndrewJackson.Advameg, Inc. Retrieved from:http://www.presidentprofiles.com/Washington-Johnson/Jackson-Andrew.html
Solomon,J. (2010). WorldViews.Retrieved from: http://wri.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/w-views.html