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Jacksonian Democracy - mudslinging and the election of 1828

The 1828 election saw Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams in a rematch, introducing dirty politics and party machines. Jackson, the first Democratic Party candidate, appealed to the common man and frontier settlers, promising to remove Native Americans from their lands. His victory marked a shift in American politics.

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  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user KatieG1213
    Why would Andrew Jackson have the " Inaugural Brawl "? I'm REALLY confused about that because... I mean really, who would want someone to wreck the White House?
    (7 votes)
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    • starky sapling style avatar for user BeanTheGiant
      It was the custom of the time that inauguration day was an open house for the whitehouse. Any commoner could go and shake the president's hand and have some refreshments. They had a chance to mingle with the aristocracy. There where not even any police officers present at the time. But Andrew Jackson's inauguration had such huge crowds, it just became a raging mob, that stormed the whitehouse. According to popular culture, Andrew Jackson had to escape out the back.
      (19 votes)
  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Trivia Master
    Jackson is a historical shame on the Democratic party. He forcibly removed the natives and owned and supported slaves and slavery while claiming to be supporting democracy and equality. He is one of the biggest hypocrites in American history, right along with several of the founding fathers who owned slaves.
    (8 votes)
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    • leafers ultimate style avatar for user Jayden Wu
      Hello Trivia Master!
      I partially agree with you while disagreeing with you.

      This is why I agree with you. Jackson is a hypocrite.
      Although Jackson claimed to support the common man, he is a hypocrite because he vetoed the bill to re-charter the Second Bank which caused inflation to surge, implemented the Tariff of 1832, and put into place the Specie Circular which eventually led to the Panic of 1837. As an elite Southern planter, Jackson recognized the importance of slave property to his financial security and, when he could, sought to increase the number of slaves he owned. Between 1812 and 1820, Jackson's enslaved population increased from twenty to forty-four. He even brought the slaves he owned to the white house! Jackson even signed the Indian Removal Act! Intrusions of land-hungry settlers, treaties with the U.S., and the Indian Removal Act (1830) resulted in the forced removal and migration of many eastern Indian nations to lands west of the Mississippi.

      But America under Andrew Jackson's rule has changed. Andrew Jackson strengthened the power of the presidency, defended the Union, gained new respect for the United States in foreign affairs and pushed the country toward democracy. Andrew Jackson even has his face on the 20 dollar bill because of all this. People can argue that humans aren't perfect and Andrew Jackson is a human. Jackson wasn't the best president, either though. He did make important changes, though he made some bad choices throughout his lifetime.

      I hope this levels your opinion on Andrew Jackson a bit. I understand how some people have been indirectly effected and still is by Andrew Jackson through acts he signed. Other founding fathers also owned slaves, that is also true. They all have made mistakes. But some have actively advocated against slavery like Hamilton, Jefferson and Adams.
      (1 vote)
  • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user Aliebear04
    Why did John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson hate each other ? Is it because Jackson thought that Adams persuaded Henry Clay to vote in his favor or it is there another reason other than that?
    (5 votes)
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    • piceratops ultimate style avatar for user Hecretary Bird
      Considering that John Q. Adams belonged to the Anti-Jacksonian party, I think it's pretty justified that they disliked each other. As political rivals, they didn't agree with each other's ideas. Additionally, Jackson felt cheated by the Corrupt Bargain in addition to many other mutual shenanigans during the election of 1828. The rampant accusations against each other probably didn't help their case either. Finally, they had different backgrounds: Where John Quincy Adams was aristocratic and thoughtful, Jackson was a rags-to-riches story and was passionate.
      (7 votes)
  • leaf orange style avatar for user Jeff Kelman
    What is a political "machine"?
    (3 votes)
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    • primosaur ultimate style avatar for user Benzion Chinn
      This is an organization that lines up votes for candidates in exchange for favors, often in public works projects. So for example, someone like Boss Tweed could get immigrants to the polls. In exchange, elected politician would create jobs for these immigrants (and major kick backs to Tweed and his cronies).
      (10 votes)
  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user Jude
    I'm confused... Did the democrat-republican party split after the federalists died out?
    (3 votes)
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    • purple pi purple style avatar for user OllieJN
      No, it didn't split. During the Era of Good Feelings (up until Andrew Jackson became president), there was only one political party, the Democratic-Republicans. They just went by the shorter name "Republicans" as a sort of nickname.

      Then Jackson in 1829 split off from the Dem-Rep party into the Democratic Party and the other party was the Whigs. Jackson was the first Democrat president. Because there were the two new parties, Whig and Democrat, the Republicans (Dem-Reps) started to die off.
      (9 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user mlimbo2
    How did the Democratic Party became to be? Since the party has always been Republicans, what convinced candidates to move to a different party?
    (5 votes)
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    • female robot grace style avatar for user Jme
      Originally, there was the Democratic-Republican party (they called themselves republicans for short, though they were not our modern-day republicans). That was the only party at the time. Later, during the time period this video takes place in, two other parties emerged: The Wigs, and the Democrats. Eventually, the Democratic-Republicans died out, along with the Wigs later, and a new party, just called the Republicans, emerged.
      (5 votes)
  • piceratops seed style avatar for user 622615
    Why were they so mad and didn't even consider each other as good people even though Andrew jackson killed some people were they bad people?
    (4 votes)
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  • aqualine ultimate style avatar for user ZW123
    What is a "corrupt bargain"?
    (3 votes)
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    • duskpin ultimate style avatar for user payal
      So, the corrupt bargain was when, during the election of 1824, the House of Representatives had to decide who won the election, between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Henry Clay, who also ran in the election, was the Speaker of the House at the time and he helped make (he made most of the decision, as the Speaker of the House) John Quincy Adams President. When he became president, John Quincy Adams made Henry Clay his Secretary of State (a very important position), and Andrew Jackson's supporters said that this was anti-democratic, and pretty much called this whole thing, 'The Corrupt Bargain'.
      (7 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user tsaylor
    When watching a video if I want to share it with google classroom for my kids do I just click on the google classroom and pick a class for them to watch?
    (4 votes)
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  • starky sapling style avatar for user Graphics Girl
    So... who really won the first vote before the "REMATCH?"
    (3 votes)
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Video transcript

- [Instructor] All right, in the last video, we talked about the election of 1824, which turned into a grudge match between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson in which Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but John Quincy Adams won the electoral vote and the tiebreaker turned out to be Speaker of the House Henry Clay, who helped give the election to Adams but then was shortly named Secretary of State by Adams, leading Andrew Jackson and his partisans to claim that a corrupt bargain had taken place. And this really shows how the nature of American politics had changed because this sort of you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours was common practice in American politics between a few elite men who were generally in charge of the political process. But Andrew Jackson and his supporters say that this is undemocratic. This is the kind of elitist hokum that we do not need in our nation of free white men. So, four years later in the election of 1828, it is a Jackson/John Quincy Adams rematch and the gloves are off. So, in the first video in this series, I mentioned that during this time period, a lot of the aspects that we consider part of American politics first came to the fore. And one of the things that you'll see in the election of 1828, really for the first time, is down and dirty mudslinging, or making angry attacks ad hominem, or at the man, rather than at his principles, attacks on your opponent. So, Andrew Jackson probably already had all the ammunition he needed with the corrupt bargain of 1824. John Quincy Adams kinda considered himself above this kind of mudslinging. But his supporters did not, and they came out with some real gems. Not only did they put out handbills with coffins, this is known as the Coffin Handbill to this day, detailing how many men had been killed by Andrew Jackson, either through execution or duels, they also accused his mother of being a prostitute and his wife of being a bigamist. In fact, Andrew Jackson's wife died shortly before his inauguration and he believed to his dying day that it was the terrible slanders about her that had led to her untimely death. Another first for the election of 1828 is Andrew Jackson as the first candidate for the Democratic Party. This is a new party united around Jackson. In the previous election, all of the candidates had been Republicans in one form or another, but now the Republican Party is going to start to fade away and the Democratic Party will come to the fore. And this is the same Democratic Party that is still in existence in the United States today. Of course, its goals and ideas have changed a great deal since the 1820s. And with his Democratic Party and even with the supporters of John Quincy Adams, what Jackson taps into is this kind of mass party democracy. He has great party machines working for him in Eastern cities. He also really takes advantage particularly of people on the frontier, so white people who are looking to expand westward to kind of make it, as we would say, rugged individuals, people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps and they saw that in Andrew Jackson because he had been born fairly penniless. And then, by the time he was elected president in 1828, he had become part of the frontier elite. He was now a slave holder; he was one of the guys who had made it. But those on the frontier looked to him and saw the example of what they wanted to be. Jackson also had the advantage of being a war hero from the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812. And throughout the 19th century, those with valorous military service will do well in national elections. And another thing that Andrew Jackson does quite well is harnesses anti-Indian, anti-Native American sentiment. John Quincy Adams had attempted to bargain in good faith, to try to hold up the side of the United States with Native American nations living in what was then the territorial borders of the United States. He'd bargained with them as if they were sovereign nations unto themselves. Andrew Jackson understood that white settlers desperately wanted Indian lands and he played to those white settlers, assuring him that he would do his utmost to remove Native Americans from those lands, a promise that he will make good on during his presidency. So, Jackson wins the election of 1828 and immediately it's obvious that the democracy under Jackson is quite different from the American system under previous presidents. At his inauguration, he turns to the crowd and bows, signaling that he thinks of himself as being beneath the people that he's serving. He also opens up the White House during what's called the Inaugural Brawl, and it's believed that many people went into the White House and they wrecked the china and they destroyed the furniture and they wouldn't leave until people told them there was alcohol outside on the lawn. And to an earlier generation who had been raised with this early American aristocracy of the Adamses and the Washingtons, this looks like anarchy. They thought this was the beginning of the French Revolution in the United States. It was not, but it was the beginning of massive party politics, political campaigns, and the beginning of a new politics in the United States that appealed to the common man. And we'll talk more about that in the next video.