A Democratic Revolution (1800-1848)

(From your professor and textbook authors)

Van Buren

  1. What does Van Buren mean when he says "political parties are inseparable from free governments"?
  2. Why might Van Buren have felt the need to defend parties? What arguments does he use to do so?
  3. How does Van Buren's discussion of political parties compare to Madison's discussions of factions in the Federalist Papers? Of Washington's discussion of parties in his Farewell Address?


  1. What arguments against the bank does Jackson think the American people will find persuasive?
  2. Why does Jackson see the bank as a threat to "our liberty and independence"? Do you think he believed a threat existed, or do you think he was playing politics to get his way?
  3. What does Jackson see as the role of the Supreme Court in relationship to the other branches of government? How does Jackson's view compare to that of the Supreme Court's majority view back in McCulloch?

Cherokee Women

  1. How do these Cherokee women craft their petition against the federal government's policy of removal?
  2. What conclusions about the extent and limits of women's political power in this period can you draw from this source? How significant do you think it is that the Cherokee women issued a petition?
  3. Given this source, and the other readings from this unit, why do you think this era is referred to as a "democratic revolution"? Which groups benefitted? Which didn't?