As a software developer, I have a deep interest in exploring the political events of the past and their current implications. It is for this reason that I decided to focus my most recent project on understanding the ideas of Jacksonian Democracy through the power of technology!
Jacksonian Democracy was introduced in the early 19th century by President Andrew Jackson, and served as the defining framework for American democracy during the period of 1820-1850. Jacksonian Democracy advocated for a strong national government that prioritized the concerns of the people over the elites, stressing the importance of social equality and individual rights to advance the common good.
It was this thought that inspired me to create my own interactive Java program that seeks to bring to life the core principles of Jacksonian Democracy. Specifically, it replicates the three core components of Jacksonian Democracy: checks and balances, a powerful central government, and a trust in the people. The program begins by prompting the user to create a central government by defining the parameters of its power and structure. This serves to demonstrate the importance of checks and balances that were emphasized by Jacksonian Democracy, as it requires the user to construct a balanced government in order to progress further.
Next, the program explores the idea of a powerful central government by allowing the user to construct the skeleton of a potentially powerful government and assign different branches roles and responsibilities. This section was most important to me, as I believe that examining the strength of central government in this manner provides a unique perspective on Jacksonian Democracy.
Lastly, the program concludes with a user-generated survey that asks their opinion on who they believe should have a say in voting- whether or not it should be solely those who are educated on the matter in hand. This serves to represent the Jacksonian perspective of giving more power to the people- even if their opinion may not be informed.
Overall, my project was an incredible journey that allowed me to experience Jacksonian Democracy from a truly unique perspective. I used the power of technology to bring the principles of Jacksonian Democracy to life, and analyzed the complexities of Locke’s phrase "all men are created equal" from an entirely new angle. Learning the methodology behind Jacksonian Democracy was a remarkable experience, and I am beyond pleased with the outcome of my project.