In this paper I’ll go over his presidency, focusing on both the highs and the lows of his two terms in office, from 1829-1837. The issues that I’ll focus on are states rights, the tariff, the spoils system, Indian removal and banking policies; these controversies brought forth strong rivalry over his years of president. He was known for his iron will and severe personality, and strong use of the powers of his office that made his years of presidency to be known as the \”Age of Jackson. ”
Jackson served as delegate to Tennessee in the 1796 Constitutional convention and a congressman for a year (from 1796-97). He was elected senator in 1797, but financial problems forced him to resign and return to Tennessee in less than a year. Later he served as a Tennessee superior court judge for six years starting in 1798. In 1804 he retired from the bench and moved to Nashville and devoted time to business ventures and his plantation.
In 1814 Jackson was a Major General in the Tennessee Militia, here he was ordered to march against the Creek Indians, who were pro-British in the war of 1812. Eventually he forced all Indians out of the area. His victory’s impressed some people in Washington and Jackson was put in command of the defense of New Orleans. This show of American strength made Americans feel proud after a war filled with military defeats. Jackson was given the nickname \”Old Hickory\”, and was treated as a national hero.
In 1822 the Tennessee Legislature nominated him for president and the following year he was elected the U. S. senate. He also nearly won the presidential campaign of 1824. However as a result of the \”corrupt bargain\” with Henry Clay, he ended up losing. In 1828 Andrew Jackson became the seventh President to the United States. Instead of the normal cabinet made up by the president, he relied more on an informal group of newspaper writers and northern politicians who had worked for his election.
I believe that this made him more in contact with the people of the United States, and with the public opinion and feelings toward national issues. President Jackson developed the system of \”rotation in office. \” This was used to protect the American people from a development of a old political group by removing long-term office holders. His enemies accused him of corruption of civil service for political reasons. However, I think that it was used to insure loyalty of the people in his administration. States rights played an important part in Jackson’s policy’s as president.
In the case of the Cherokee Indians vs. The State of Georgia, two Supreme Court decisions in 1831 and 1832 upholding the rights of the Cherokee nation over the State of Georgia who had wanted to destroy Cherokee jurisdiction on it’s land because gold had been found on it, and the state seeing the Indians as enants on state land decided to kick them out. Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that Georgia had no jurisdiction to interfere with the rights of the Cherokee and removal of them would violate treaties between them and the U. S. Government.
However, Jackson, not liking these decisions. Jackson was and always will be an Indian fighter. I think he just liked pushing around the Indians because he knew that whatever resistance they had was no match for the U. S. army. The question of the tariff was a major controversy in the United States around the years of Jackson’s Presidency and his strong upport for a unified nation over states rights would hold the country together in this national crisis. The Second Bank of the United States was not made into an issue of his election in 1828.
However he decided the bank, which is not a government bank, but chartered by it in 1826, had failed to provide a stable currency, and had favored the Northern states, and few loans were granted to the southern and western areas because they were a larger risk and the bank didn’t see it in it’s interest to make such a gamble with it’s money. And in his mind the bank was in violation on the Constitution. Even though the bank’s charter wasn’t due to expire until 1836, Jackson’s political enemies pushed a bill through congress granting the banks re-charter, Jackson vetoed the bill. The \”Bank\” issue was a major item in his re-election in 1832.
In his second term Jackson decided to remove federal deposits from the bank into \”pet banks\” which virtually took away Nicholas Biddle’s power as president of the Second National Bank, which left him and anti-Jackson people very upset with what they called the abuse of his powers. The increase in loans from the state chartered caused a land boom and gave the federal government a surplus, which was split up amongst the states, the increase in loans brought on the use of paper currency that was issued by the state banks, Jackson prohibited the use of paper money to by federal land or pay federal debts.
This demand for coins called specie led to many bank failures in the Panic of 1837. I don’t think he knew what he got himself into when he did this, and could of handled the situation a little better, but not all the blame should fall on his shoulders, ecause it wasn’t his fault the private state-chartered banks issued the paper money when they didn’t have the specie to back it up. Jackson’s foreign policy showed a strong interest in making the French to pay long-overdue spoliation claims and reopening the British West Indian Trade.
Even thought he personally agreed with the rebellion of Texas against Mexico. He didn’t recognize the Lone Star republic until the day before he left office in 1837, and left the problem of Texas takeover to Martin Van Buren. Jackson was a powerful voice in the Democratic party even after retired. He died on June 8, 1845 on his plantation, the Hermitage, in Nashville Tennessee.
Andrew Jackson was the first \”peoples president. ” This comes from his youth in a frontier territory and his \”people qualities\” which helped him to be more touch with the people of the United States, and therefore the people of the United States took a more active role in the Government. He even went so far as to call himself the elected representative of all American people. I think that Jackson’s strengthening of the powers of the presidency are the iggest influence to this day.
He used the power of the veto 12 times (more times than all of his successors combined). I only wish that their was a candidate like that running for election in ’04. When you gave this project, I though Jackson was a mean tempered Indian fighter who trashed the White House and found his way to office because he took over Florida and defended New Orleans Successfully. But I grew to learn that he was really a great president and did a lot for the presidency of the United States of America.