Essay about Analysis Of The Book ' The Age Of Jackson '

724 Words Oct 4th, 2015 3 Pages
For Arthur Schlesinger, the text within The Age of Jackson came from his pursuit of what democracy meant: “The key to that meaning is rather to be sought in the concrete record of what democracy has meant in the past” (ix). His thesis was found in the forward as well:
“This work attempts to examine the politics more or less in terms of the ideas; and, in the course of the study, it has seemed that Jacksonians democracy, which has always appeared an obvious example of Western influence in American government, is not perhaps so pat a case as some have thought; that its development was shaped much more by reasoned and systematic notions about society than has been generally recognized; and that many of its controlling beliefs and motives came rather from the East and the South than from the West” (x).

According to James W. Davidson and Mark Lytle in After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection, Schlesinger’s counter-argument against Frederick Jackson Turner was class conflict and not just sectionalism. This context is important when looking at how Schlesinger spent such a large portion of his book on the role of the worker and the labor movement:
The legend that Jacksonian democracy was the explosion of the frontier, lifting into the government some violent men filled with rustic prejudices against big business, does not explain the facts, which were somewhat more complex. Jacksonian democracy was rather a second American phrase of that enduring struggle between the…

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