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The aristocracy of our country...continually
contrive to change their party name. It was first Tory, then
Federalist, then no party...then National Republican, now Whig....But
by whatever name they reorganize themselves, the true democracy
of the country, the producing classes, ought to be able to distinguish
the enemy. Ye may know them by their fruit. Ye may know them
by their deportment toward the people. Ye may know them by their
disposition to club together, and constitute societies and incorporations
for the enjoyment of exclusive privileges and for countenancing
and protecting each other in their monopolies....They are those,
with some honorable exceptions, who have contrived to live without
labor...and must consequently live on the labor of others.
Frederick Robinson, a Democrat,
We believe, then in the principle
of democratic republicanism, in its strongest and purest sense.
We have an abiding confidence in the virtue, intelligence, and
full capacity for self-government, of the great mass of our
people--our industrious, honest manly, intelligent millions
of freemen. We are opposed to all self-styled "wholesome
restraints" on the free action of the popular opinion and
will, other than those which have for their sole object the
prevention of precipitate legislation.
Statement of Democratic principles
Ours is a country, where men
start from an humble origin, and from small beginnings rise
gradually in the world, as the reward of merit and industry,
and where they attain to the most elevated positions, or acquire
a large amount of wealth, according to the pursuits they elect
for themselves. No exclusive privileges of birth, no entailment
of estates, no civil or political disqualifications, stand in
their path; but one has as good a chance as another, according
to his talents, prudence, and personal exertions. This is a
country of self-made men, than which nothing better could be
said of any state of society.
Calvin Colton, a Whig
1. What are
the basic values and assumptions of Jacksonian democracy?
2. What should
be the social goals of a democratic America?