History : Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was born in the Waxhaws region on the border of North and South Carolina in 1767. The precise location of his birth is uncertain. He was a lawyer and a landowner. After defeating the British during the War of 1812, he became a national war hero and was elected as the seventh president of the United States. Andrew Jackson was by far one of the most controversial presidents due to his self-interested actions. Jackson primarily centered his decisions on what he assumed would most benefit him, rather than the nation.
As a result of Jackson’s presidency, one of the major changes that occurred in America was the downfall of the Bank of the U.S. He believed the panic of 1819 was brought about by the Bank of the United States, and he was highly suspicious of its conservative credit policies. Andrew Jackson had deep animosity toward the Bank and even despised its president, Nicholas Biddle. Conversely, he encouraged everyone to open new bank accounts and make deposits in smaller banks. This strategy, he hoped would eventually lead to the Bank of the U.S running out of funds. This act resulted in a significant change in how money was stored and how the economy was operated. As historian Daniel Feller points out, the U.S. Bank helped the government conduct its business effectively and efficiently. But it also benefitted the people who owned stock in the bank.
On December 10, 1832, President Andrew Jackson issued a proclamation to the people of South Carolina, disputing the right of a state to nullify a federal law. Jackson’s proclamation was written in response to an ordinance issued by a convention in South Carolina. The ordinance claimed that the tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and infringed upon the true meaning of the constitution. Jackson first argued that South Carolina’s objections based on states’ rights and fairness were misguided and incorrect, as the Constitution gave Congress the “discretionary power” to raise revenue through taxation. Jackson further argued that the Constitution unified the states into a single nation, with them surrendering many of their essential aspects of sovereignty in becoming part of the nation. Secession was therefore entirely illegal as it undermined national authority. He appealed to the people to recognize the error of their ways. His speech ended with the hope for the reunion of the country through rationality and peace, but also with the grim certainty that if needed it would be reconciled by force.
Andrew Jackson wasn’t a good president because he advocated for the removal of Native Americans. These individuals had always populated the settlements from Georgia to Mississippi. However, Jackson wished to open up this land for American farmers. The Congress that developed the U.S. Indian region in what is now Oklahoma had plans to relocate U.S. natives there. However, late in Jackson’s presidency, an unpleasant dispute with France almost led the two nations to the brink of war. In a 1831 treaty, France agreed to pay American shipping claims for Napoleonic damages. However, the French Chamber of Deputies willfully refused to allocate the necessary funds. Eventually, Jackson lost patience and requested Congress to authorize reprisals if the money remained unpaid. This led the French government to demand that this insult be retracted as a condition for payment. Jackson assertively responded by declaring that what he told Congress was not the business of a foreign government. The impasse intensified until in 1835 ministers were recalled and military preparations began. Finally, under pressure from Britain, the French agreed to interpret a conciliatory passage as a sufficient apology in a subsequent message from Jackson. France paid the debt and the crisis had no further repercussions.
In conclusion, Andrew Jackson may not have been a good president for reasons such as his support of the displacement of thousands of natives from their lands, his violation of his presidential oath, and his role in causing economic troubles for the bank. However, Jackson’s heroics during war times and his record in the military earned him a reputation as a symbol of the United States’ strength and tenacity. In many campaigns, Jackson served in the militia of his home state of Tennessee, as well as in the U.S. military. His most famous victory came in the War of 1812’s Battle of New Orleans. Most of President Andrew Jackson’s political innovations and measures were backed by American society. Despite errors and miscalculations in his policies, he left a mark on American history as a president who strengthened the nation and preserved its unity.