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Essay/Term paper: The nomination ofandrew jackson to the "presidents hall of fame"

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Biography Term Papers

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The Nomination ofAndrew Jackson to the "Presidents Hall of Fame"


Like any hall of fame, its inductees are the best in whatever they do,
from baseball or football to something like being President. If you are a
member of any hall of fame (including the one for the Presidents), it means that
you have done something special or have a certain quality about yourself that
makes you worthy to be in a hall of fame. My nominee for the Presidents hall of
Fame is our seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson. 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,
nullification, 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 fiery personality, and strong use
of the powers of his office that made his years of presidency to be known as the
"Age of Jackson."
Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767, in a settlement on the border
of North and South Carolina. He was orphaned at age 14. After studying law and
becoming a member of the Bar in North Carolina later he moved to Nashville
Tennessee. Their he became a member of a powerful political faction led by
William Blount. He was married in 1791 to Rachel Donelson Robards, and later
remarried to him due to a legal mistake in her prior divorce in 1794.
Jackson served as delegate to Tenn. 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. At this
time his political career looked over.
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). His goal was achieved at Horseshoe Bend in March of 1814. Eventually
he forced All Indians from 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 1817 he was ordered against the Seminole Indians. He pushed them
back into Spanish Florida and executed two British subjects. Jackson instead
that his actions were with approval of the Monroe administration. His actions
helped to acquire the Florida territory, and he became a provisional governor of
Florida that same year.
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. Over the next four years the current administration built a strong
political machine with nationalistic policies and a lack of concern of states
rights. In 1828 through a campaign filled with mud slinging on both sides,
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, more in contact 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 long-standing
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 was reported of saying
"John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." It seems to me
like a slap in Justice Marshall's face, that Jackson was and always will be an
Indian fighter. I think he just liked pushing around the Indians because he new
that whatever resistance they had was no match for the U.S. army. To emphasize
his po int, in 1838 (one year after Jackson left office), a unite of federal
troops rounded up the 15,000 Cherokee who resisted relocation and remained in
Georgia and during the cold and rain of winter forced them to march to their
lands in the west, this was known as the "Trail of Tears" since about 25% of the
people died in route of either disease, starvation, and exposure to the cold.
Even though Jackson wasn't in office at the time and is not a part of his
presidency, his effluence still existed through his predecessor, Martin Van
Burin.
The question of the tariff was a major controversy in the United States
around the years of his Presidency and his strong support for a unified nation
oven states rights would hold the country together in this national crisis.
Jackson had promised the south a reduction in duties to levels established in
1828, which were acceptable to southerners as opposed to the higher rates since
then. In 1832 his administration only sliced away a little bit of the duties,
not close to what the south expected he would do. In retaliation of this
insulting lack of concern of the South's voice in government, South Carolina
acting on the doctrine of Nullification which stated that the union was made up
of the states and that the states had the right to null or void a law if they
didn't agree with it, declared the federal tariff laws of 1828 and 1832 invalid
and prohibited collection of tariff's after February first of 1833. Jackson's
response to this came on his Nullification Proclamation on December 10, 1832.
He declared his intent to enforce the law and was willing to seek and agreement
in a lowering of tariff's. In 1833 congress passed a compromise bill which set
a new tariff, when the other southern states accepted the new tariff the threat
of S. Carolina breaking away form the union was brought to a "happy" end.
The Second Bank of the United States was not made into an issue of his
election in 1828 by Jackson. 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 the power 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 it 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, because 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 annexation to Martin Van Buren.
Even though Jackson switched support form his successor Martin Van Buren
to James K. Polk (probably due to Van Burins failed economic policy). 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 biggest
influence to this day. He used the power of the veto 12 times (more times than
all of his successors combined). And his use of the powers of removal and of
executive orders made a standard for a modern American Presidency. I only wish
that their was a candidate like that running for election in '96. The closest
to someone like Jackson would of probably been Colin Powel, unfortunately he
decided not to run. When you gave this project, I though Jackson was a mean
tempered Indian fighter who found his way to office because he took over Florida
and de fended 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.


By: Brian Weber
Dedember 8, 1995


 

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