National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
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1825-1849: We become a land of the common man, though not yet a democracy for all

March 4, 1829
Jackson rides into office on the shoulders of the common man

White House during Jackson's inauguration

The whole house had been invaded by the rabble mob… Those who got in could not get out by the door again, but had to scramble out of windows.
—Margaret Bayard Smith

What a spectacle! Andrew Jackson has opened his inauguration to regular folks, just as he did his campaign. Washington’s full of hopeful office-seekers and locals—farmers and gentlemen, women and children, blacks and whites.

The rowdy crowd packs the streets of this quiet capital town, cheering on “Old Hickory” as he takes his oath of office. Later, at the Executive Mansion, even his supporters looked a bit horrified by the ruckus.

The states have been opening the doors of politics, giving the vote to most every white male. They’re letting voters rather than legislatures choose presidential electors.

Andrew Jackson, a Westerner from Tennessee, is leading the common man into the political fray. More than twice as many Americans voted in this presidential election than the last.

We’re becoming more of a democracy.

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