Andrew Jackson: America’s First Presidential Demagogue 

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Although he was immensely popular during his presidency, it is now obvious that Andrew Jackson was a demagogue who defied The Constitution and used deception to fulfill his personal aspirations. He illegally expelled Native Americans from their rightful territory and increased the powers of the executive branch.

Andrew Jackson’s most notable act of treason was signing the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Doing this, he forcibly removed Native Americans from their land and made them move more than 2,000 miles by either foot or carriage. Jackson tried to justify his actions by declaring that this act will allow them to “cast of their savage habits and become an interesting, civilized, and Christian community”. Jackson was either falsely under the impression that these Natives were uncivilized or he was simply lying to the American people because, as Chief John Ross stated, “mental culture, industrious habits, and domestic enjoyments, have succeeded the rudeness of the savage state”.

The Native people were not removed for their interest, but solely for the interest of America’s expansion. Not only was this displacement inhumane, but also against the constitution that Andrew Jackson so firmly believed in. Chief Justice John Marshall’s ruling clearly stated that “Georgia had no right to invade Cherokee law” , but Jackson still decided he had the right to dislodge these Natives. This clear act of defiance against the Supreme Court “was the most open contempt for the separation of powers in the nation’s history up to that time, and an action for which Jackson should have been impeached”. While this was indeed the most unconstitutional act committed by Andrew Jackson, there were many other times where Jackson attempted to increase the power of the executive branch.

Jackson’s presidency was a constant pursuit of maximizing his abilities in office. Jackson’s hunger for power eventually made his executive branch stronger than Congress, which made him almost comparable to America’s first king. One way he maximized his power was his extreme exercise of his power to veto. Throughout his presidency, “Jackson vetoed twelve bills, more than his six predecessors combined”. Many of the bills he vetoed included plans for increase of infrastructure and banks within America, which would have helped boost the economy tremendously. His increase of power within the executive was a direct violation of The Constitution’s plan for balance of power between the three branches of government.

Many of Jackson’s supporters believe he fought for the power of the average man and influenced many working-class people to participate in democracy. Although he did popularize democracy among the working-class, he did so using the spoils system. Andrew Jackson used the spoils system to replace nearly 1,000 out of the 10,000 civil servants within his first year and a half in office and he replaced nearly 20 percent of federal officeholders throughout his whole administration .

Jackson told the public that he did this in order to “ensure that the federal government did not develop a class of corrupt civil servants set apart from the people” , but in reality his system was used in order to encourage his supporters to remain active in the hopes that they may be given a political position under him and to create a government full of working-class Democratic-Republicans that would support Jackson no matter what.

Behind his public persona of an average man working to increase democracy across America, Andrew Jackson was a power-hungry demagogue who used his popularity to further empower himself.

Cite this paper

Andrew Jackson: America’s First Presidential Demagogue . (2021, Dec 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/andrew-jackson-americas-first-presidential-demagogue/

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