being published. Variety often results in fragmentation, and the American press experienced fragmentation in the wake of Andrew Jackson's presidency. Politics remained an important part of the press's role in the nineteenth century, but it played other roles as well. The mass publications that appeared in the 1830s sought to do more than discuss political issues, and that desire eventually helped lead to a distancing of newspapers from the political arena, a distancing that encouraged the more recent idea of the press as "the fourth estate" or watchdog of the government. President Jackson, and most of his political contemporaries, would have found this concept bewildering because they perceived the press as the ally of politicians rather than the opposition.