Comparing and Contrasting Nation’s Government from Jefferson’s era Jackson’s era
Jefferson’s era stretched from 1801 to 1809, while the Jackson era stretched from 1829 to 1837. Jefferson believed that the national government is a necessary evil to be instituted for the security, protection, and benefit of the community, nation, and people. He, therefore, paid a lot of attention to the executive government power. Consequently, Jefferson focused on reducing the executive power to create a more powerful Congress. He strengthened the congress for the people’s sake. People in the Jefferson era included the voters who were landowners, who were mostly rich white males. Jefferson’s era was characterized by elites (Pasley, 2006). Jackson also shared the democratic view. They both believed in protecting the interest of the common man.
However, Jackson believed in a powerful presidency than Congressional power. He worked to strengthen the executive branch for the sake of the common people. Common people, in this case, include voters, who were all white males. Generally, each made a unique contribution to democracy. Jefferson ensured the enactment of bills of rights, while Jackson increased the number of voters and opened the economy to all (Lynn & Watson, 2019). Jefferson however seemed to be more democratic as he believed in congress participation in making laws meaning more voters representation. The elimination of land ownership increased the number of common people or voters in the country during the Jackson era, however, “the common people” only comprised of white males. There were no voting rights for white women or all women and other minority groups despite the gender. This highly impacted representation in the federal government. The congress and other executives only comprised rich white males who focused on protecting the interest of their kind. The majority were slave owners and hence very little attention was given to the right of slaves, women, and other minority groups. Congress and the executive government were more concerned about male interest in the country.
Unlike Jefferson, Jackson made a few adjustments to the law to create a laissez-faire economy, especially in fighting bank monopoly that resulted in inflated land prices, favoring landowners while making it hard for the rest of the population to own properties in the country. This makes the Jackson era considerably different from that of Jefferson where other people were oppressed and experienced serious economic hardship in favor of landowners who continued growing in riches.
Three ways the federal government changed or expanded from the time of Jefferson to Jackson
The federal government changed from having a strong legislature than executive power during Jefferson’s era to have a strong president who was perceived as the head of the party in Jackson’s era. The president during Jackson’s time was given a mandate by the voters to govern on specific issues and in specific ways. The president was relying on a circle of advisors to assist guide the country’s affairs. Jackson used veto not just as a constitutional weapon as the Jefferson government did, but also for political reasons. This means there was a change in power-sharing among the three branches of government, with the executive body trying to overshadow the legislative body in Jackson’s era.
Jackson’s federal government also focused on people more than any other government. People were the center of politics during and after the Jackson era which was different in the Jefferson era. Although Jefferson also focused on the common man, the magnitude was different from that of the Jackson administration. Jefferson did not only protect the rich but tried to build a common economy that was fair to all. Jackson’s government tried to break the monopoly in the economy which favored the rich, to create fair economic terms that give all people a chance to grow (Wulf, 2006). This was different from the Jefferson government that mostly protects the landowners. Jackson also extended the voting rights to all white men, regardless of their social or economic status. This meant that more people engaged in making a political decision through voting. This created a possibility of voting people who would change the law to protect other people that were never represented in congress before. Jefferson’s administration focused more on people’s rights including freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and other bills of rights as a way of caring for the common citizen (Schultz, 2018).
On the contrary, Jackson focused more on developing equality by improving the country’s economy. He also tried to promote people’s participation in politics by offering patronage to his supporters. Having been elected by people and been assisted by supporters to manage his campaign, Jackson felt obligated to reward his supporters to encourage active participation of common people to the political campaigns. The majority of his supporters were appointed in different positions in the government administration
One way Democracy can be improved or continue to grow today. How can it be done?
American has gone a long way in promoting democracy. The country has managed to shift from white male landowner voters during the Jefferson period to all white male voters in the Jackson period, the country managed to change the law to permit women and members of minority groups to vote. Today, every American citizen has the right to cast their vote. The country also permits mailbox votes to ensure that every citizen gets a chance to exercise their constitutional rights of voting. The country has grown democratically to permit women and people from minority groups to be members of congress. The country has also managed to pass several laws that focus on protecting the rights of the minorities in the community.
This demonstrates growth in American democracy (Schultz, 2018). However, despite the growth, the country is experiencing a high level of inequality between the minority groups and white. There is also some degree of racism in the country, mostly demonstrated by police officers while exercising their policing duties in different places. There is also a lack of social justice in the country, especially about the minority group. Although the country has made a huge step in promoting democracy, there are some gaps in the system. Laws are passed to protect the minorities, though their implementation is still wanting. The minorities are still experiencing problems they used to experience long before the enactment of some of these laws.
For instance, minorities are still discriminated against in traffic checkpoints, along the streets, and in the estates by the police. There have been several cases of police brutality directed at black Americans, resulting in a fatality. This means, although there are anti-discriminatory rules in the country, they do not apply everywhere. Black people and other minority groups have to take to the street to force the system to treat them right. This means the effect of the advancement of democracy is yet to be felt by all in the country. Laws are made but their implementation is poor (Parvin, 2017).
Also, laws are made but they mostly leave loopholes that subject the minorities to similar challenges they experienced before the enactment of the bill of rights. This needs to be changed. The country needs laws that protect blacks and other minority groups against police brutality. The country also needs better strategies to address the growing level of inequality between the whites and the minority groups. Social injustices need to be addressed to bridge the poverty gap in the country.
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