The Triumph of White Men’s Democracy

Then check out the hotels of the 1820s and 30s. The poor and the rich stayed in rooms next to each other, ate at the same tables, and walked in the same halls. However, there were limits to this type of equality…especially if you were not white. In theory, you got in if you could pay. But this was true only for white men. Democracy came to reflect the idea of popular sovereignty Also social leveling and the decline of deference

Opportunity and self-made men were the order of the day The founding fathers considered democracy to be direct rule of the people A concept they feared and rejected Jacksonians considered “the voice of the people” to be “the voice of God” Democracy and Society No one could expect social privilege because of family ties European visitors noted the lack of first class accommodations The word “servant” was disappearing; in its place was “help” Domestic workers were not considered a social subclass Members of different earning groups dressed similarly Democracy expressed itself in medicine, law and religion

Unorthodox “healers” were given place alongside doctors Local bars allowed lower standards in some areas The clergy came under more control of the laity The popular press became increasingly important Written and read by common people Many small venues and a few influential papers with large readership Democratic Culture Democratic expression in literature and art Popular taste v. elite or traditional culture Romanticism was “adapted” to sentimentalism in popular literature Formulaic gothic novels sold well Possible because of increased literacy Also cheaper printing More novels written by women

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