The Reign of Andrew Jackson: A Chronicle of the Frontier in Politics

By Frederic Austin Ogg | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VI
THE "REIGN" BEGINS

JACKSON's election to the presidency in 1828 was correctly described by Senator Benton as "a triumph of democratic principle, and an assertion of the people's right to govern themselves." Jefferson in his day was a candidate of the masses, and his triumph over John Adams in 1800 was received with great public acclaim. Yet the Virginian was at best an aristocratic sort of democrat; he was never in the fullest sense a man of the people. Neither Madison nor Monroe inspired enthusiasm, and for John Quincy Adams even New Englanders voted, as Ezekiel Webster confessed, from a cold sense of duty. Jackson was, as no President before him, the choice of the masses. His popular vote in 1824 revealed not only his personal popularity but the growing power of the democratic elements in the nation, and his defeat in the House of Representatives only strengthened

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