the citizens of the Unites States, having won 43 percent of the popular vote. He went on to win
the 1828 election. This might have not happened if male suffrage hadn’t been extended.
Before 1800, the right to vote was limited to white male property owners or taxpayers,
resulting in political control resting in the hands of the elite. Western expansion, however, was
undermining this practice. Most of the new western states allowed all white males over the age
of 21 the right to vote. By 1820, most of the older states followed. Competition for votes
between political parties was the driving force behind this reform. A few states, such as Rhode
Island, Virginia, and Louisiana, didn’t liberalize until later on, but by the 1840’s, more than 90
percent of adult white males in America could vote. Most African men and women of any race
were denied the right to vote, though.
The election of 1824 ended up being between Andrew Jackson of Tennessee and John
Quincy Adams of Massachusetts. Jackson had a wide appeal, especially in southern and western
regions, and won 43 percent of the popular vote and 99 electoral votes. Adams had 31 percent of
the popular vote and 84 electoral votes, but became president because of the “corrupt bargain.”
Jackson was clearly the favorite among voters. He grew up in North Carolina, and made
a career in Nashville, Tennessee. He had owned slaves and was ruthless toward the Native
Americans. Jackson was a symbol of the “common man”, and since male suffrage was extended,
poorer citizens felt better represented.
Andrew Jackson ran for the presidency again in 1828, and voter turnout was more than
double that of 1824. Jackson’s political party was called the Democrats, which opposed special
privileges and favored states’ rights. His running mate was John C. Calhoun of South Carolina,
who was the then-current vice president under John Quincy Adams. Adams was running for
reelection with his National Republican Party.
Rigorous campaigning was done from both sides to support their candidates. There were
and 178 electoral votes. His victory was also a “victory for the common man.” His party had
support in the North, South, and West.
Jackson’s time as president began a new age in politics, which historians call the “Age of
the Common Man.” Jackson had a mass appeal to ordinary people all over the nation. Because
of the expansion of male suffrage in the early 1800’s, ordinary people had the chance to directly
vote for whom they thought best represented their needs and interests. Andrew Jackson was