Lesson Plan

Lesson 3: The 1828 Campaign of Andrew Jackson: Territorial Expansion and the Shift of Power

Map of the states and territories of the United States from 1822 to 1824.
Photo caption

Map of the states and territories of the United States from 1822 to 1824.

Changes in voting qualifications and participation, the election of Andrew Jackson, and the formation of the Democratic Party—due largely to the organizational skills of Martin Van Buren—all contributed to making the election of 1828 and Jackson's presidency a watershed in the evolution of the American political system. The campaign of 1828 was a crucial event in a period that saw the development of a two-party system akin to our modern system, presidential electioneering bearing a closer resemblance to modern political campaigning, and the strengthening of the power of the executive branch.

In this lesson, students analyze changes in voter participation and regional power, and review archival campaign documents reflecting the dawn of politics as we know it during the critical years from 1824 to 1832.

Guiding Questions

How did changes in the electorate affect the election of 1828?

How were party politics reflected in the campaign?

What was the source of Andrew Jackson's popularity?

What was the importance of Andrew Jackson's popularity?

What were the positions of the fledgling Democratic Party and its opposition?

Learning Objectives

Examine connections between changes in voting participation and the election of 1828.

Analyze maps and other sources of data to determine how regional factors are reflected in the voting results of the election of 1828.