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Jacksonian Democracy Activities & Games

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

President Andrew Jackson made many contributions to society and government during his lifetime. This lesson describes activities and games teachers can use to teach Jacksonian Democracy to students.

Jackson's Legacy

Jacksonian Democracy grew out of President Andrew Jackson's belief that democracy and voting should be the key ideals that guided the direction of the country. There are many components that make up Jacksonian Democracy, so the activities in this lesson are most appropriate after your students have already developed a familiarity with the history and ideas of Jacksonian Democracy.

Preparation

To test that knowledge, it may be helpful to preface the other activities in this lesson with a few review questions.

To begin, divide the class into small groups and write the following questions on the blackboard.

  • What is Jacksonian Democracy?
  • Besides Andrew Jackson, who else was involved in developing and promoting Jacksonian Democracy?
  • What are some of the key principles of Jacksonian Democracy?
  • Which groups or individuals opposed the ideas of Jacksonian Democracy?
  • What led to the demise of Jacksonian Democracy?

Give the groups a few minutes to brainstorm answers and then go around the room soliciting responses from the groups as part of a wider class discussion. When you are sure that your students have a solid understanding, move on to the activities.

A New Philosophy

Jacksonian Democracy was comprised of several different philosophies including:

  • Expanded suffrage
  • Manifest Destiny
  • Patronage
  • Laissez-faire (hands off the economy)

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