by Ted Widmer

The Age of Jackson has never been easy to define. Broader than his presidency (1829–1837), and narrower than his life (1767–1845), it roughly describes the third, fourth, and fifth decades of the nineteenth century. While some historians have attempted to define this era as the Age of Reform, or Democracy, or the Market Revolution, no name has ever conveyed more of the era’s energy, upward aspiration, and general restlessness than that of Jackson himself. If his election in 1828 launched the Age of Jackson, and terminated the so-called Era of Good Feelings, then his death in 1845 and the Mexican War that immediately followed it (1846–1848) might be considered the era’s close. By 1850, the crisis over slavery began to dominate almost every aspect of political discourse, leading to the unraveling of the great Democratic coalition forged by Jackson.More »

Featured Primary Sources

Andrew Jackson, “To the Cherokee Tribe of Indians East of the Mississippi [circu

Andrew Jackson to the Cherokee Tribe, 1835

Creator: Andrew Jackson Curriculum Subjects: Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
David Crockett to Charles Schultz, December 25, 1834 (Gilder Lehrman Collect

Davy Crockett on the removal of the Cherokees, 1834

Creator: David Crockett Curriculum Subjects: Government and Civics Grade Levels: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
Stephen Austin’s contract to bring settlers to Texas, June 4, 1825 (Gilder L

Stephen Austin’s contract to bring settlers to Texas, 1825

Creator: Stephen Austin Curriculum Subjects: Geography Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
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Multimedia

Redeeming Martin Van Buren

Speaker(s): Ted Widmer Duration: 39 minutes 56 seconds

The Rise and Fall of the American Whig Party

Speaker(s): Michael F. Holt Duration: 42 minutes 57 seconds
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