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Andrew Jackson became the nation’s seventh president in 1829. He made significant changes in American politics at that time. He was very popular with the people because of the fact that he was a hero of the War of 1812. He had also served in the senate and was a tough man who had manifested the spirit of the frontier. One change Jackson brought about was the steadily increasing power of the west. He happened to be the first president to come from the west of the Appalachians. Jackson was also the start of a new era of democracy in American politics. He didn’t belong to a party but rather had much popular support.
Jackson supporters were poor and relatively new voters. Unlike other races (besides that of 1824) all white men were allowed to vote rather than just white male property owners. The election of Jackson in 1828 tripled the votes cast from 356,000 in 1824 to 1.1 million in 1828. Most of those new voters gave their votes to the man of the people, Jackson. The power of the voters was evident. Jackson had won 178 electoral votes to Adam’s 83. The election also stirred another change; the revival of the two-party system. This race gave voters a choice between two candidates with sharply differing views. An opposition party had arisen and with it came many conflicts but the new party would also strengthen the democratic process by stirring debates on key issues and giving two different views on matters.
Many newly elected officials elected to office used a practice called patronage. Jackson made the practice official by dismissing more than 200 presidential employees and about 2,000 other officeholders. They were replaced with 2,000 Jacksonian Democrats. The term spoils system was soon derived for the patronage system under Jackson. The spoils or pillage (jobs of previous appointees and officeholders) were taken from a defeated enemy. Jackson stated, in defense of the spoils system that any intellige...
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