Bringing History Alive

“The Interests of the Many”:
The Expansion of Democracy in the Jacksonian Era

Tuesday, November 15, 2011 | 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m. (EST)

The Apotheosis of Washington


Reeve Huston

Associate Professor of History
Duke University

Framing Questions

How did the electorate change between 1800 and the 1830s?

How did ideas about who was entitled to membership in the political community change?

How did the practice of politics—the rules of the political game—change?

Who gained power as the result of these changes? Who lost power? How democratic was the Jacksonian political order?

What role did ordinary people play in bringing about those changes? What role did political operatives play? What role did Andrew Jackson play?


Online Evaluation

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Assigned Readings

To incorporate seminar texts into your teaching, we offer the National Humanities Center's Primary Document Application Form.
  1. Assigned texts with notes, Reeve Huston, Associate Professor of History, Duke University (PDF)
  2. The County Election, 1851-52 by George Caleb Bingham (American, 1811-1879), oil on canvas (PDF)

The texts are from the National Humanities Center's toolbox "The Triumph of Nationalism/The House Dividing". Please study the note, the discussion questions, and the text itself.

  1. Thomas W. Dorr, "An Address to the People of Rhode Island," 1834. Note and text.
  2. James Fennimore Cooper, selections from The American Democrat: A Treatise on Jacksonian Democracy, 1838. Note and text (PDF).

Seminar Recording

Streaming Recording

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