Were Andrew Jackson’s Policies “Good for the Economy”?
I would say that Andrew Jackson’s policy was good for the development of the United States because of a variety of reasons. He stood up for the lower class of the United States, which represented the majority of the population, and was very under-represented in government. Although some parts of his policy, like the Indian Removal Act, are rather questionable, strictly speaking of whether or not his policy was good for the development of the country, the pros outweigh the cons.
Jackson was determined to base his government on the interests of the general population, rather than just the upper class, and slave owners. The charter of the United States bank was to come up for renewal in 1836, but Henry Clay, in an effort to make Jackson lose support, pushed a bill through Congress that renewed the bank’s charter four years early. In response, Jackson vetoed the bill, and maintain the support of the general population, which consisted primarily of farmers and people of the lower class. This shows how Jackson did not favor the wealthy and powerful and worked towards a better supported lower class, and a more even playing field, which would give more opportunity to the general population, and no doubt, aided the development of the country.
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Of course, this is not to say that Andrew Jackson was all good, some of his policy was definitely debatable. The passing of the Indian Removal Act was quite questionable from an ethical standpoint. Jackson showed little remorse for the Indians still residing in the Eastern United States. Some may argue that the removal of the Indians was unnecessary and cruel, but I would say that if the United States was to expand Westward, the land would be put to use, and the pros of Jackson’s policy, strictly speaking for the benefit of the United States, far outweigh the cons.
Jackson saw that the United States relied too heavily on foreign imports, and feared the future effects this dependence may have. In 1828, he approved a bill raising tariffs on foreign imports like cloth and glass, which was received well in the North, as it was well equipped to produce it’s own goods, but poorly in the South, which was not. Andrew Jackson sought a happy medium between high the high tariffs favored by the North, and the low tariffs favored by the South. After lowering the tariffs in 1832, South Carolina was still not satisfied and threatened to secede from the nation. In response, Jackson passed a bill allowing him to use the federal army to collect tariffs if need be. Jackson’s raising the tariffs on imported goods helped the United States stride towards greater independence from other countries, and no doubt strengthened the United States as an industrial superpower.
Andrew Jackson’s policy was good for the development of the United States because it promoted the success of the lower class. Jackson’s policy did not favor the rich and powerful, but rather fought for what was just. Knowing that the independence of the United States would be an asset, Jackson pushed to reduce foreign imports by increasing tariffs. Although some of his decisions may have been ethically incorrect, the pros of his policy far outweigh the cons in terms of the benefits they would bring to the United States.