JACKSONIAN ERA DEMOCRACY
COMPROMISE ON THE MISSOURI TERRITORY WAS ONLY A TEMPORARY patch for the persistently strained political relations between the North and the South. Geographic, class, economic, and ethnic differences created both tensions and alliances for the control of federal, state, and local resources and public of ces. Although lacking any enforcement provision, the Declaration of Independence’s statement of natural rights continued to be invoked in a slew of policy debates. Even though the Bill of Rights explicitly protected liberties against federal encroachment, social reformers buttressed their claims by invoking the Declaration of Independence’s statement on equality. New strains of the argument became popular in the national dialogue too, with the refrain that people can more effectively exercise the Declaration’s guarantees of representative self-governance through state rather than federal lawmaking. Memory of the Revolution became a thing of an increasingly distant past, but the principles at the core of national independence remained the cornerstone of national identity.
During the Jacksonian period of American history, the Declaration of Independence was incorporated into the mission statements of various antielitist causes. The document’s statements about popular government offered interest groups a framework for demanding greater voice in politics and reduction of social distinctions. In the short run, however, it was