America was becoming fairer and equal to people. Many Europeans were surprised by America’s democracy. Alexis de Tocqueville, a visitor from France, was sent to see America’s jail system. He saw America becoming more democratic. He recorded his observations in a book called Democracy in America.
During the 1820s, more people gained suffrage (the right to vote). A lot of states drop the requirement about men having to own land. More and more people started to vote. Before 1828, less than 27% of the country voted. By 1828, 58% of the country voted. By 1840, 80% of the country voted. Women, Native Americans, and most African Americans lost the right to vote.
Jackson won the popular vote of 1824 but did not by a majority (more than half). Therefore, the House of Representatives decided the President. Henry Clay helped persuade the House to vote for Adams. Jackson and his followers felt cheated.
President John Quincy Adams
Adams wanted to improve internal improvements, arts, and science. Americans felt that those programs were a waste of money. Many of his programs did not pass.
Election of 1828
The Election of 1824 was between John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson. Jackson won the election easily. The common people felt very happy about Jackson being president.
There were two political parties: Whigs (people who wanted the government to spur the economy) who called themselves National Republicans and were former Federalist supported John Quincy Adams, and the Democrats (people who were common people) supported Andrew Jackson.
At first, powerful members of each parties use to hold a caucus (private meeting) in choosing their President candidate. Many people disliked the caucus. In the 1830s, the parties started to hold a nominating convention (where delegates from all the states chose the party’s candidate for President).