Jackson’s election ushered America into the age of participatory politics: Before him, only 20 to 30 percent of the eligible population voted; after him — and for the next 70 years — 70 to 80 percent of the electorate often turned out, Nichols explained.
In fact, the Democratic Party was created to help Jackson gain the presidency.
With Jackson in the White House, politics would never be the same in America, much to the chagrin of his well-bred opponents.
Jackson brought to the presidency the fierce, liberty-loving values of those who settled Appalachia. He preferred to allow state governments to handle many public affairs, rather than expanding the size and scope of the federal government.
As a pragmatist, however, he simultaneously felt the federal government could play a constructive — if limited — role in mediating conflict between the people and the moneyed classes, Nichols said.
Jackson concluded that the federal government could be a force for good, serving as a counterweight to men of great wealth, as long as it paid for its expenses as it went, did not play favorites or pick winners, and equally spread its blessings upon all.
A frugal man, he practiced what he preached: He was the last American president to ensure that the country paid off its national debt.