Writing from the vantage point of the 1980s, white historians have questioned the earlier simplistic interpretations of Jeffersonian and Jacksonian Democracy. Certainly that “democracy” excluded blacks, Indians, women, and the poor, since it was modeled on the ancient Athenian system. It is clear that these and other evils were compromised and were not resolved to the complete satisfaction of the masses. For example, though the Civil War produced the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments white Americans devised other systems to keep blacks in an inferior position.

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