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Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson       1819
(March 15, 1767 -                        Andrew Jackson
June 8, 1845) was
the seventh
(1829-1837)
President of the     Order:           7th President
United States,       Term of Office:  March 4, 1829 - March 4, 1837
sometimes called     Followed:        John Quincy Adams
"Old Hickory."
                     Succeeded by:    Martin Van Buren
Andrew Jackson's     Date of Birth    March 15, 1767
parents Andrew       Place of Birth:  Waxhaw, South Carolina
Jackson, Sr (c 1730
- February, 1767)    Date of Death:   June 8, 1845
and Elizabeth        Place of Death:  The Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee
"Betty" Hutchinson
(c. 1740 - November, Wife:            Rachel Donelson Robards

1781) emigrated to   First Ladies:    Emily Donelson (niece)
the US from                           Sarah Yorke Jackson (daughter-in-law)
Carrickfergus in     Occupation:      lawyer, soldier
Northern Ireland in
1765. The Andrew     Political Party: Democrat
Jackson Centre at
Carrickfergus has    Vice President:     * John C. Calhoun (1829-1832)
                                         * Martin Van Buren (1833-1837)
information about
the family.

Jackson was wounded in a duel as a young man. Jackson was a frequent dueler.

Jackson became regarded as a national hero after his defeat of the British
in the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

In the Presidential Election of 1824 Jackson won both more popular and
electoral votes than any other candidate, but did not receive an overall
majority so the election went to the House of Representatives, where John
Quincy Adams was chosen as President. Jackson beat Adams with a substantial
majority four years later, and took office as President in 1829.

Jackson's Influence

Jackson was the first U.S. president who came from outside the original
Revolutionary circle. Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison were notable
figures in the War of Independence and in the formation of the U.S.
Constitution. James Monroe fought in the Revolutionary War. John Quincy
Adams was the son of John Adams. Jackson's election represented a
significant break from that past. Because Jackson, was a general in the War
of 1812, he fought alongside traders and other commonfolk. He was regarded
as a "man of the people" and because some states had already changed
legislature to allow those who did not own land the right to vote, this was
the first election in which the "common folk" could vote, and they voted for Jackson.

Jackson is remembered for introducing the spoils system to American
politics. Upon his election as President, a sizable number of people holding
positions in Washington, DC, offices found that they had suddenly been
replaced by supporters of Jackson, who had worked to ensure his election.
Jackson saw this system as promoting the growth of democracy, as more people
were involved in politics. This practice has endured in political circles in
the United States ever since. Additionally, Jackson pressured states to
lower voting requirements to further the expansion of democracy.

Jackson's opposition to the National Bank

As President, Jackson worked to dismantle the Bank of the United States,
which had been originally introduced in 1791 by Alexander Hamilton as a way
of providing a national debt and increasing the power of the federal
government. Jackson's reasons for removing the BUS, as it was called, include:

   * Jackson's belief that the BUS was unconstitutional
   * Jackson's belief that an excessive amount of the nation's financial
     strength was concentrated in the BUS
   * Jackson's belief that the BUS excercised too much control over members
     of Congress
   * The BUS favored Northeastern U.S. over Southern and Western U.S.
   * Jackson's conflict with President of the BUS, Nicholas Biddle due to
     Biddle's belief that the BUS was unaccountable to Congress.

This first Bank lapsed in 1811. It was followed by the second Bank,
authorized by James Madison in 1816 to alleviate the economic problems
caused by the War of 1812. It was instrumental in the growth of the U.S.
economy but was opposed by Jackson on ideological grounds.

Jackson followed Jefferson as a supporter of the ideal of an agricultural
republic, and felt the Bank improved the fortunes of an elite circle of
commercial and industrial entrepreneurs at the expense of farmers and
laborers. After a titanic struggle with the Bank's President, Nicholas
Biddle, Jackson succeeded in destroying the bank by vetoing its 1832
recharter by Congress. It was a Pyrrhic victory, however, as the Bank's
money-lending functions were taken over by the legions of local and state
banks that sprang up, and the commercial progress of the nation's economy
was not noticeably dented. The United States Senate censured Jackson on
March 27, 1834 for his actions in defunding the Bank of the United States.

Another notable crisis of his period of office was the nullification crisis
(or succession crisis), 1828-32, which merged issues of sectional strife and
disagreements over trade tariffs. High tariffs (the "Tariff of
Abominations") on imports of common goods were seen by many in Southern
colonies as unfairly benefiting Northern merchants and industrial
entrepreneurs at the expense of those who had to buy the goods subject to
the tariffs, mostly Southern farmers. The issue came to a head when the Vice
President, John C. Calhoun, in the South Carolina Exposition and Protest of
1832, supported the claim of his home state, South Carolina, that it had the
right to 'nullify' - declare illegal - the tariff legislation of 1828, and
more generally the right of a state to nullify laws which went against its
interests. Although Jackson sympathized with the Southern interpretation of
the tariff debate, he was also a strong supporter of federalism (in the
sense of supporting a strong union with considerable powers for the central
government) and attempted to face Calhoun down over the issue, which
developed into a bitter rivalry between the two men. Particularly famous was
an incident at the April 13, 1829 Jefferson Day dinner, involving
after-dinner toasts. Jackson rose first and toasted "Our federal Union: it
must be preserved!", a clear challenge to Calhoun. Calhoun responded with a
toast to "The Union: next to our liberty, most dear", an astonishingly
quick-witted riposte.

The crisis was resolved in 1833 with a compromise settlement which, by
substantially lowering the tariffs, hinted that the central government
considered itself weak in dealing with determined opposition by an
individual state.

Indian Removal Act of 1830

Jackson was responsible for the notorious Indian Removal Act of 1830, and
thus the Trail of Tears, in unconstitutional defiance of a Supreme Court ruling.

In 1829, American demand for land due to population growth and the discovery
of gold on Cherokee land led to pressure on Native American lands. In 1830,
Congress passed the Indian Removal Act which, Jackson signed into law. The
act was challenged successfully by the Cherokee Nation in 1832 in the US
Supreme Court as Worcester v. Georgia, in 1832. Despite the Supreme Court
decision, Jackson took no action to uphold the Court verdict, and in fact
would openly defy it; he was quoted as saying "John Marshall has made his
decision, now let him enforce it!". As the court has no executive powers to
enforce its decisions, Jackson's executive disregard of the court, marked a
time when the Judicial branch of government was very weak.

The state of Georgia held two land lotteries in 1835 to divide the Cherokee
land, and Jackson sent military support to oust the Native population. This
led to what is now known as the "Trail of Tears", which killed roughly four
thousand Cherokee (25%), en route to Oklahoma.

Assassination Attempt

On January 30, 1835 an unsuccessful assassination attempt against Jackson
occurred in the United States Capitol. This was the first assassination
attempt against an American President.

Jackson's Family

Jackson's wife died just prior to his taking office as President. She,
Rachel Donelson Robards, had divorced her first husband (Col. Lewis Robards,
sometimes mistakenly cited as "Roberts"), but there were some questions
about the legality of the divorce, and she was never accepted in polite
society, which Jackson deeply resented. His only child was an adopted son,
Andrew, Jr. In his will, Andrew, Sr., left his granddaughter "several"
slaves, his two grandsons each one male slave, and his daughter-in-law four
female slaves, one of whom he had bought for her and the other three of whom
were a household servant of his and her two daughters.

Supreme Court cases during his presidency

   * Worcester v. Georgia, 1832
   * Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia, 1831

Important legislature events

   * Maysville Road Veto
   * Force Bill, 1833

Quotes

   * "Corporations have neither bodies to kick nor souls to damn."

Twenty Dollar Bill

Jackson's portrait appears on the U.S. $20 bill.

Places named for Andrew Jackson

   * Hickory County, Missouri (for his nickname, Old Hickory)
   * Jackson, Georgia
   * Jackson, Mississippi
   * Jackson, Ohio
   * Jackson County, Alabama
   * Jackson County, Arkansas
   * Jackson County, Colorado
   * Jackson County, Florida
   * Jackson County, Illinois
   * Jackson County, Indiana
   * Jackson County, Iowa
   * Jackson County, Kansas
   * Jackson County, Kentucky
   * Jackson County, Louisiana
   * Jackson County, Michigan
   * Jackson County, Mississippi
   * Jackson County, Missouri
   * Jackson County, North Carolina
   * Jackson County, Ohio
   * Jackson County, Oklahoma
   * Jackson County, Oregon
   * Jackson County, Tennessee
   * Jackson County, Texas
   * Jackson County, West Virginia
   * Jackson County, Wisconsin
   * Jackson Township, Indiana
   * Jackson Park in Chicago, Illinois
   * Jackson Square in New Orleans, Louisiana
   * Many streets and avenues

Supreme Court appointments

   * John McLean - 1830
   * Henry Baldwin - 1830
   * James Moore Wayne - 1835
   * Roger Brooke Taney - Chief Justice - 1836
   * Philip Pendleton Barbour - 1836
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