From the nullification controversy to the outbreak of the Mexican War the initiative and shape to the national debate came from the ideology of Jacksonian Democracy. By the end of the 1830s the newly established Democratic Review gave systematic expression to this position. Taking as its motto, "The world is governed too much," the review pleaded for a larger freedom from the force of past prescriptions and from the coercion of present institutions. Through the workings of the "voluntary principle," it rather supposed, individual "floating atoms" would naturally create and sustain an order "far more perfect and harmonious" than any the "fostering hand" of a paternalistic government might ever devise. In his war on the Second Bank of the United States, President Jackson manifested this idea of larger liberty and generated, as well, a more pervasive spirit of hostility to all forms of government monopoly and privilege. Equality of opportunity for freemen to pursue their several interests in the present, it was claimed, would automatically promote the good of the whole nation and make more manifest its glorious destiny. Of special interest here was the impulse in the Jacksonian outlook to rapid expansion and, with it, the tendency in its spokesmen to make more explicit the idea of freedom as a function of open and unsettled spaces. The floor of the growing empire of freemen, the Democratic Review thus
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Publication information: Book title: Space, Time, and Freedom:The Quest for Nationality and the Irrepressible Conflict, 1815-1861. Contributors: Major L. Wilson - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1974. Page number: 94.
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