Chapter 13 13 Themes

Chapter 13

The Rise of a Mass Democracy

Big ideas matter. Here are the most important themes for this chapter.

The over-arching theme of chapter 13 is that through Andrew Jackson, political power fell to the people more than any other time in history.

  1. Andrew Jackson felt he’d been robbed the presidency in 1824. This motivated the regular folks to political action. He vowed to win for the people’s sake, and did so.
  2. A conflict started to brew between the north and the south. The issue was the tariff (import tax) and whether the south had the right to “nullify” or wipe it out. The trouble was worked out, but it foreshadowed bigger trouble to come, over slavery.
  3. Jackson distrusted banks—he thought they were tools for the rich to milk money off the poor. He killed the National Bank and threw the whole banking system into chaos.
  4. By the time William Henry Harrison ran for president in 1840, popular, mass politics had grown into the circus-like monster that it’s known as today.

Back to the themes index.

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