Evolution of American Democracy

Time Periods of Change:

  1. Revolutionary Period (1750-1760s)
  2. Post Independent Period (1770s)
  3. Jeffersonian Republican Era (1790-1800s)
  4. Jacksonian Age (1820-1830s)
  5. Manifest Destiny Period (1840-1850s)

Evolution of Identity

In revolutionary America, the political ideal of Republican liberty was only assumed to apply to white property owning males who were economically independent. This identity of attaining political freedoms, like the right to vote, evolved during the Post-Independent era when it extended to not just free, white landowning men, but to free men of any socioeconomic background in certain states like Vermont.

This identity transformed further during the Jeffersonian era, when the it became not only attainment of voting rights, but the identity of active contribution and involvement in the expanding public sphere. Democracy meant the freedom to express political views in newspapers and pamphlets, for men and women citizens.

The Jacksonian era was when the american identity evolved into the idea that the common man could do more than participate in public affairs; he could become a political leader and make use of the economic opportunities granted by Jacksonian democracy.

The American identity changed yet again, during the Manifest period. The identity of democracy was associated with exploring the western frontiers, expanding democracy across North America, and securing American sovereignty.