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Okay, I give up. - love like me ・ 日記
non solum memento mori, memento vivere sed etiam
Okay, I give up.
気持: crappy
I haven't written a conclusion yet, but frankly I'm tired of looking at this. I haven't written an essay this disorganized and, well, utter crap, since that stupid freshman composition class ASU wouldn't let me out of even though I 5'ed both AP English exams.

Watson, Harry L. Andrew Jackson vs. Henry Clay: Democracy and Development in Antebellum America. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 1998.

Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay had much in common, both in their personal lives and in their positions on issues such as universal manhood suffrage, but it is their many differences that are symbolic of the rivalry between economic development and protection of individual rights that began with Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. Not only did their rivalry provide the origins of the current two-party system, but their respective fears (both Jackson’s fear that “the growing wealth and power of the business community might erode the equality and independence of ordinary citizens” and Clay’s fear that “strict deference to the uninformed opinions of ordinary voters might undermine the businesses that generated U.S. prosperity” ) are still the basis of the parties’ ideological divide today.

Andrew Jackson and Henry Clay came to represent the two primary views about the new economic developments brought about by the Market Revolution: Clay’s views meshed with those people who profited by this expansion of entrepreneurship and manufacturing and wanted to see it succeed, and Jackson sided with the people who felt that the new role of businesses in society was robbing them of their livelihoods and self-respect. Clay’s followers saw the market expansion as an opportunity for not only economic growth, but moral growth as well. “Clay also anticipated that internal improvements would bind the Union together, not just by uniting its regions physically but also by demonstrating that every section had something beneficial to offer the others and that the interests of all Americans were truly mutual and complementary.” Basically, whether a person supported Jackson or Clay depended on how the new market economy had affected their life. Those whose experiences were favorable tended to support Clay, and those whose lives had taken a turn for the worse due to advances in manufacturing and transportation (these included skilled artisans as well as farmers who failed due to the whims of the new and more powerful business cycle) tended to support Jackson.

Fundamentally, the debate centered on two opposing visions of America’s future. “Clay thought that a bigger, more powerful government could improve America, and he was eager to let it do so. … Compared to Jackson, Clay would not leave as much power in the hands of voters, but he … argued that a growing and developing American economy created plentiful opportunities for personal advancement, eventually creating a more democratic society.” On the other hand, Jackson saw America as “already an ideal society whose political system reflected a nearly perfect balance between individual liberty, equality, and social stability,” and it was the duty of the virtuous leaders to protect this stability from corrupting special interests such as banks and corporations. As it turns out, both men were right, and “the future brought more democracy and more development as well.”

However, this debate between personal liberty and economic expansion continues today. The parties themselves may have suffered various ideological realignments since, but the Jackson-Clay legacy, the two-party system, has become an enduring feature of American politics. This is not only an indication that these issues continue to concern Americans to the present day, but also a testament to the power held by these competing visions. It is interesting to note that although partisanship was seen in the beginning as anti-republican, today it is seen as an important political tool and vital to maintaining democracy. In short, the bitter rivalry between Jackson and Clay helped Americans to realize that “a truly virtuous republic, [where] disinterested leaders would confer about the public welfare and reach consensus without scheming or trading favors to build a majority behind one set of policies or leaders” was merely a utopian fantasy. In the real world, there would always be dissent. Political parties came to be considered not “a band of conspirators plotting selfishly to destroy the republic,” but understood for what they were: concerned people with competing visions.

Yeah, the actual document has the quotes cited, but they're footnote citations, and those don't exactly copy and paste very well. As if you're ever going to read this lame-ass book, or care what page anything in it is on. You probably didn't even read the damn essay.

Now to email it to myself so I can print it out from the library tomorrow before class, and then to get a bit of sleep before I head off early in the morning to begin working on the stuff that's due Tuesday.
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valamelmeo From: valamelmeo Date: Tuesday 9th December 2003 10.03 (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, but I got a 34 (I forget whether that's out of a possible 40 or 50) because it wasn't long enough. This is probably due to the fact that it was only 2 pages (after I shrunk the margins because there were only like 3 lines on the 3rd page and I hate wasting paper). Oh well.