The New Nation Jackson and Beyond Essay

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What were the challenges of starting a new government?

Although in the United States today the American Revolution is considered a noble effort, in the view of Great Britain at the time of the revolt it was seen as treason or the greatest crime possible against a legitimate government. Beginning a new government in an era where the divine right of kings and heredity was the primary source of legitimacy for most monarchs was an undeniable challenge for the colonists. This was particularly the case in the colonies given the fact that the American Revolution had focused upon separating the new nation from what they called a tyrannical sovereign in the Declaration of Independence.

On one hand, the new nation was supposed to be founded upon independence and freedom, as proudly proclaimed in the Declaration. But creating a functioning government under these terms proved challenging. The Articles of Confederation, the first governing structure over the colonies, had no executive authority. Eventually, the current US Constitution established a new and more successful order over the colonies but there was still resistance to the notion that federal authority outweighed state authority. Meanwhile, class tensions proved to be a challenge for the emerging police system. Without clear and established previous authority, exercising governance over a people who were accustomed to a relatively loose and informal criminal justice system was difficult.

The new nation was much larger and more spread out than had been the case in European nations upon which America modeled its new system of laws. Alcoholism was a problem and resistance to taxation and attempts to exercise moral control over the colonists came to a head in the Whiskey Rebellion, when Alexander Hamilton attempted to tax distilled liquor. This reminded many colonists of the previous tea tax imposed by the Crown and federal troops were required to quell it.

Q1. What social and political changes occurred to the United States in the Jacksonian Era?

The Jacksonian Era was a time of tremendous social upheaval during United States history. Jackson himself embodied many of these changes. He was not from the aristocratic class of landed gentry like Jefferson or Washington and illustrated that a different spirit was entering the American governing class. On one hand, Jackson did extend voting enfranchisement to a wider class of people than had previously participated in American democracy, as he waived the requirement for property ownership to vote. This, of course, also considerably expanded his own base of support. He also introduced what would later become standard….....

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