The United States of America is a country known primarily for being founded upon the principles of equality, and liberty. An aspiration the nation has always been centered upon is creating an equal basis for each individual inhabiting the United States. The nation has always taken a great sense of pride in the voting system it possesses, but unfortunately there was a time when this glorified system was not available to the public.
After the war of 1812 came to an end the public began to discuss the topic of voting heavily. The most significant changes in participation in both political campaigns and elections in the United States took place within the years of 1815 to 1840; and this was because of a dramatic change in activism, as well as a dramatic increase in the level of campaigning. Within the years of 1815 and 140, political activism grew immensely within the United States.
Although compared to present day, the amount of voters is comparable to nothing, for the time period having almost 27 percent of the inhabitants of the United States able to vote, was ground breaking. 25 years later the amount of individuals that were entitled to voting rights increased over 50 percent, leaving the grand total at 80 percent of inhabitants were entitled to vote. (Doc. A) An outcome of a grand increase of voters, was a grand increase of political views and sentiments regarding not one, but many different issues within the political realm of the nation.
Although most individuals whom were granted the right to vote saw it is as extremely positive change in all aspects, there were few who viewed the concept of voting as a chaotic concept, they stated “the tendency of universal suffrage is to jeopardize the rights of property and the principals of liberty” (Doc. B) This quote states that everyone having the right to vote, puts the rights people have to their individual property in jeopardy, as well as the basic principals of liberty the nation is founded upon.
Some on the other hand, were opposed to the idea of voting as a nation because they believed it opened a door to catastrophe due to the immense amount of conflicting viewpoints. Although, the people that had the mentality of creating fiasco were few and far between, most thought, “Political combinations between the inhabitants of different states are unavoidable” (Doc. C) This quote reinforces the idea that the “combination “ of political outlooks was unavoidable, especially outside of ones home state.
Opposing viewpoints proved to be rare within individuals from the same regions, whereas contrasting notions proved to be mostly within the North of the nation, and the South. By individuals being granted the privilege to vote, they did not only gain a ballot, but they gained a voice in their countries, which gave them a feeling of belonging and importance. Given this voice was stated “By the authority of that political liberty which has been promised to us equally with our fellow men, solemnly publish and declare… “that we are, & of right ought to be,” entitled to equal means to obtain equal moral happiness,” (Doc.
E) This quote entails that with the right to a political voice comes the basic right to the pursuit of happiness, distributed equally within all people. Regardless of the common celebration that came hand in hand with the right to vote, came also the inevitable impact that a large amount of political disagreements had on voting. Inevitably, approximately have of the United States were in accordance with one candidate, and half with the other. A firm supporter of mister John Quincy Adams stated “When I first arrived in America Mr.
John Quincy Adams was president, and it was impossible to doubt, even from the statement of his enemies, that he was every way calculated to do honor to the office. ” (Doc. F) This quote shows one of the many strong political views that were displayed within the United States in regard the presidential candidates. Although at the time the large quantity of controversy seemed like a negative thing, it played a massive role in the way political candidates campaigned, therefor an entirely new era of campaigning was sprung upon the nation.
Within the years of 1815 and 1840, more specifically halfway between both, revolutionary and drastic forms of campaigning became common within political campaigns. Candidates were familiar with the idea of identifying with the “peoples”, a word frequently used to establish somewhat more of an intimate connection (Doc D. ) This word was used not only to establish an intimate connection, but also to establish a sense of trust and support.
Another way candidates would identify with the voters would be to be depicted doing things that any common man would enjoy doing. An example of this is portrayed when candidate Harrison is shown standing alongside a barrel of hard cider, a common drink amongst the population of the United States. Harrison states that he is bringing a feel of “hospitality” to the country as depicted in the advertisement. (Doc. I) This advertisement portrays Harrison as “one with the middle class” , which was an important tactic brought fourth in the era of 1815-1840.
Another key element in the uproar of campaigning and voting was the increase of media coverage relating to the elections. In the year of 1810 the idea of press covering political America was rare, but by the year 1835 the amount of newspapers that did such had tripled in quantity. The reason media coverage proved itself to be so important was because it was extremely influential in the eyes of the general public, seeing as it gave them inside views to knowledge of the national problems at hand.
The participation that was shown by not only candidates, but the general public in both campaigns and voting within the years 1815 to 1840 proved to be revolutionary and extremely influential in the turn out of the United States. The monumental rise in the participation of the people in political standpoints layed down the base for the idea of liberty within the nation; the idea that every member of the country was entitled to their own beliefs, and entitled to portraying them publically. The ideologies established within the 1815 to 1840 era changed the modern world significantly due to activism in the general public.