The Presidency of Andrew Jackson
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
tenants 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
support 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
The Presidency of Andrew Jackson