What Helped Democratize American Culture Early on?

The US stands out as one of the most democratic nations in the world. However, this has not always been the case. Several factors played an integral role in democratizing the American culture early on. The two most crucial factors that allowed for the rise of American democracy early on include political participation and the political party system.

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At the beginning of the 19th century, the revolutionary ideals of equality and democracy captured the imagination of Americans. Americans started embracing the idea of political participation for the Americans as opposed to just the property owing elites. The first half of the 19th century saw barriers preventing white men from participating in politics decimated. The transformation of the US into a nation where nearly all adult white males could vote was a major step toward democratizing the American culture (Welzel et al., 2018). This allowed for the detachment of voting from wealth so that every white male could vote regardless of their wealth status.

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The second factor that helped democratize the American culture is the rise of political parties. Andrew Jackson’s presidency saw his opponents form another new political party, the Whigs. The Whigs had a different political agenda and philosophy from the Democrats. The two parties (the Democrats and the Whigs) formed the Second Party System in the US. The Second Party System was crucial to the democratization of the American culture as it facilitated multiple-party politics in the nation (Cole, 2004).

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