How a President Became a King
Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, erupts many arguments concerning the actions he took during his presidency. Where some see him as an icon and a hero, the truth is that Jackson was not only a murderer but, he was a corrupt, inexcusable man that should not have ruled the nation. He took kingly acts in order to drive the USA down hill and hurt the common man in more ways than one. Andrew Jackson was a negative influence to be rejected and his horrible mistakes have changed history forever.
Andrew Jackson was born to a common family in South Carolina. He later became a representative for Tennessee in congress. Before his presidency Jackson was seen as a war hero after he won Spanish Florida and the Battle of New Orleans. Due to the corrupt bargain, a supposabale deal between Henry Clay and John Quincy Adams, Jackson was deprived of the 1824 presidency. He later beat Adams in the Election of 1828, and started his eight year term which would come to a end on March 4th, 1837. Jackson began as the champion of the common man but in a short period of time, Jackson abused his power and became a King of the United States, making hima negative president.
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In 1827, white settlers began to invade Georgia but its land which was occupied by the Cherokee Nation. In response to this, the Cherokee National Council, led by John Ross and Major John Ridge, created a Cherokee constitution. This constitution was established in order to establish a sovereign Cherokee nation with equal rights to the US citizens. Georgia ignored the constitution and passed its own legislature. Jackson did nothing in regard to this, having no sympathy for the neighboring Cherokee nation. In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act which, authorized Andrew Jackson to execute treaties with Native American nations for the exchange of Native American land in the east for territories west of the Mississippi River. He told the Cherokees they must move after one Cherokee officials signed a treaty. In 1837 to 1838, the Cherokee that had not moved west were forcibly moved, and nearly 4,000 Cherokees died. Jackson became a murderer, killing many innocent natives who had tried to accustom to his culture. This act was known as the Trail of Tears. In moving the natives, Jackson used many illegal actions, and to fund these actions, he used taxes from the common man. This sounds very similar to a monarch, in the way he uses others money for his illegal acts, relating back to King George III and the colonization of English-America. Earlier on in this time period, John Marshall from the Supreme Court stated that non-Native Americans could not go on Native American land without a license from the state. Jackson did not agree this and stated that “ John Marshall has made his decision: now let him enforce it!” even though it was his job as part of the executive branch to enforce the laws. This was unconstitutional, and very kingly. The cause for thousands of Native American deaths, and the countless illegal acts that led to it, was undoubtedly the fault of Andrew Jackson. One could argue that there had been many murderous acts against Native Americans under different presidents, but the distinguishing factor seen is the illegal behavior of the Natives and the acts that led to the murder. The Cherokee were known as being the most civilized group of the Western US. They tried their absolute hardest to accustom to US culture, having government buildings, supporting christianity and dressing identical to Americans, but Jackson ignored these attempts and pushed the natives out anyway. Also, Jackson had to fund the whole Trail of Tears, and he used the common people’s money. An illegal act funded by the people, sounds immensely more kingly than presidential.
In 1832 the national bank charter tried to be renewed. But, President Jackson rejected the renewal of the bank and vetoed the recharter bill. He also had vetoed many other bills, more than all of the previous presidents combined, which many saw as him taking advantage of his presidential power. This also caught the attention of many of his supporters and enemies.ome believed he was abusing his executive power. This is one situation where Jackson could be seen as a king, rather than a president. One of Jackson’s major goals for his second term was to destroy the national bank. Jackson began his process by removing federal deposits and putting them in pet banks. This made the national bank collapse at a quick rate. This did hurt the bank, but Jackson also hurt the common man through this, as it eventually led to a huge economic crisis. Jackson knew this was hurting the economy and destroying the national bank, but he continued. All of Jackson’s acts to destroy the national bank had one huge result, the Specie Circular in 1836. This stated that land must be purchased in gold and silver and not with bank notes. This led to a decline in paper money and inflation which hurt the economy.
Inflation, the fall of the bank and overspending led to the crash of 1837, where good prices fell, businesses went bankrupt, and state banks began to collapse. Although Jackson did succeed in destroying the national bank, the results destroyed US economy and might not have been worth it. Jacksons process in destroying the bank was a huge cause for many future effects. First, the crash of the bank caused economical crisis in common people. Second, it decreased the value of paper money, which hurt every person in possession of it. Third, it caused the specie circular which demanded gold or silver in return for land, which caused high demand of gold, and economical crisis erupted. Jackson could have helped the US in destroying the bank, but the way he did it also succeeded in crashing US economy, which would become a hassle for the following years. If Jackson was really one for the common man, why did he devour their economy for his own hate of the national bank? The answer is inevitable, and it is that he was similar to a monarch, and his needs were above those of the people.
The Tariff of 1828 was passed as a protective tariff in order to protect the American industry since European goods were sold at a much cheaper price. This was beneficial for the north but, angered the south because they were dependent on European trade and suffered greatly due to the tariff. Jackson is clearly not benefiting the common man in this situation because he takes specific actions that hurt the Southern common man. John C. Calhoun, Jackson’s vice president, was discontent with this tariff because he believed it was unconstitutional and argued that the states should nullify the tariff. South Carolina did threaten to secede from the union and refused to pay the tariff. In response, Jackson prepared troops and enacted the Force Bill, which would allow him to use military force to enforce the tariffs. This can also be seen as kingly because he uses violence against his own people to get money, that he would use to fund some illegal acts in the future. Henry Clay took actions to reduce the tariffs and eventually South Carolina was satisfied and accepted the tariff. Overall, no president can be seen taking action like the action taken by Jackson, as he enacts a bill that hurt the majority of people, and really did not do much to resolve it. Instead, he threatened to use military force against them, which sounds more kingly than presidential.
Whether it be vetoing excessive amounts of bills, threatening his own people, funding illegal acts with the people’s money, or hurting the common man and its economy, Andrew Jackson was certainly far from a president, and was ultimately a monarch of the United States. He abused the power he had, and took even more power from the common people, making him King Andrew I.
- Ayres, Crystal. “13 Pros and Cons of Andrew Jackson as President.” ConnectUS, 20 Nov. 2018, connectusfund.org/13-pros-and-cons-of-andrew-jackson-as-president.
- “Andrew Jackson Pros and Cons List.” OccupyTheory, 3 Feb. 2015, occupytheory.org/andrew-jackson-pros-and-cons-list/.
- “The South Carolina Nullification Controversy.” Ushistory.org, Independence Hall Association, www.ushistory.org/us/24c.asp.