Andrew Jackson’s Legacy

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Andrew Jackson was an extremely dynamic man in American history. Jackson was a young boy during the American Revolution igniting patriotic a fervor in him. He would go on to become a successful General in the United States military, the seventh president, and champion of the Democratic party. Jackson’s military prowess and presidential policies greatly impacted the course of American history.

Andrew Jackson was nine years old in 1776 when the Declaration of Independence was signed by the founding fathers. Jackson was captured by a British officer during the Revolutionary War who slashed Jackson across the face for refusing to shine his shoes. Jackson also lost his mother and brothers during the Revolution to disease leaving him with a deep vendetta against the British. Years later Jackson rose through the military ranks and became a General. Following his victory against the Red Stick Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Jackson led his troops to New Orleans to achieve the most momentous American victory in the War of 1812.

Despite the fact that the Battle of New Orleans was fought after the Treaty of Ghent was signed, it rallied the American people together in a united feeling of patriotism. Andrew Jackson’s presidency remains one of the most controversial to date. Beginning with the Nullification Crisis of 1828. Southern states were enraged at Jackson’s support of the Tariff of 1828 which taxed European imports to the benefit of northern manufacturing companies and the expense of Southerners. Citizens in South Carolina, including Jackson’s Vice President John Calhoun, were so enraged by the tariff that they called it the Tariff of Abominations and threatened to nullify it. After Jackson’s reelection in 1832, a new Tariff was put in place that lowered the prices of European goods.

South Carolinians were still so enraged that they declared both the Tariff of 1828 and 1832 unconstitutional and nullified them. In response, Jackson convinced Congress to approve of the Force Bill which would allow him to dispatch military personnel to enforce the tariffs. Jackson then passed the Tariff of 1833 which slowly reduced the tariff rates established in 1828 and 1833. However, Jackson received hefty criticism for the Force Bill, his opponents in the Whig Party nicknaming him “King Andrew” and labeling him a tyrant. Jackson also signed the Indian Removal Act into law in 1830.

The Indian Removal Act which forced the Native people of the ​Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Cherokee Nations to forfeit their land to the United States and relocate west of the Mississippi. The forced migration of the Cherokee people ended in tragedy as six thousand people died on the journey west known as the Trail of Tears. One of Jackson’s most interesting acts as president was his war against the Bank of the United States. Jackson claimed that the bank wielded too much power and was unconstitutional.

Additionally, he stated that it was just a way for rich people to get richer and a danger to the common working people of the United States. In 1832 Jackson vetoed a bill to renew the Bank of the United States and opted to only use specifically selected state-run banks, which his Whig opponents would refer to as pet banks. Jackson’s opponents claimed that the presidents’s rejection of the bank was an unfair use of power, furthering their views of him as a tyrant. After Jackson’s bout with the Bank his supporters formed a new political party framed around Jackson’s concern for the average American, they called it the Democratic Party. Andrew Jackson remains one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in American history.

Hot-headed and stubborn, he fought in duels and held grudges against those who opposed him. He fought with vigor in the War of 1812 and insighted American patriotism after his victory at the Battle of New Orleans. His presidency made people question where the line between democracy and dictatorship really was during the Nullification Crisis and his war on the Bank of the United States. Finally, he is the inspiration of the original Democratic Party. While the party’s views have changed dramatically since Jackson’s time the party itself still carries on to this day.

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Andrew Jackson’s Legacy. (2021, Dec 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/andrew-jacksons-legacy/

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