Jackson’s Presidency of American History
Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United States. He served two terms in office from 1829 to 1837. Andrew Jackson was elected by popular vote and as president he sought to serve as the direct representative of the common man. During his time as president the United States evolved from a republic, to a mass democracy. Jackson’s presidency would mark a major historical shift for the United States. Significant events of his presidency include the Tariff of Abominations, The Nullification Crisis, Indian Removal act of 1830, and the War over the Bank of the United States.
The Corrupt Bargain of 1824 happened when Andrew Jackson was running for president for the first time against John Quincy Adams. In the election neither Jackson nor Adams were able to garner enough votes to win, so the final decision went to the House of Representatives. Henry Clay, who had also run for president but failed, convinced the House of Representatives to vote for Adams, making Jackson lose. This event lead to public outrage because Jackson was the people’s choice.
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David E. Shi and George Brown. Tindall, America: A Narrative History (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2016), 413. The Election of 1828 was when Jackson defeated Adams in the victory for presidency. The West and the South strongly supported Jackson and since they had larger populations and greater number of electoral votes, Jackson easily won against his opponent. He had many people who strongly supported his campaign because of what he represented to the people h. Jackson’s election marked the impact of thirty years of democratic innovations in politics. Shi and Tindall, America, 424. During Jackson’s presidency the United States evolved from a republic, in which only landowners could vote, to a mass democracy, in which white men of all socioeconomic classes were enfranchised.
The Tariff of Abominations was an increase on manufactured goods created by the Jackson administration. Tariffs were useful in protecting the American industry from competition by European factories, but raised the prices significantly. However, this proved severely detrimental to the Southern farming industry since they were forced to sell their crops at low prices but also forced to buy American manufactured goods at very high prices, causing them to lose money. This added to the list of why the South seceded from the United States and in turn, jumpstarted the Civil War.
The Nullification Crisis happened when the pamphlet known as the South Caroline Exposition, which denounced the tariffs and called them unjust and unconstitutional. It went beyond the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and proposed that states nullify the tariffs in their respective states. Since South Caroline threatened to secede from the Union if the tariff continues to exist, Jackson began to prepare for an invasion of the state in order to stop this nuisance to the government. However, Henry Clay devised a bill which would gradually decrease the Tariff of 1832 by 10% over a period of eight years. This action saved the country from falling apart in addition to opening the public’s eyes to the diversity of the American economy.
Native Americans, especially in the South, were starting to become a nuisance both to state and the federal government. Because of this, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which relocated Native Americans from their designated lands in the United States to the rural lands west of the Mississippi river. This was because Americans desire the fertile land Natives settled on and since they were considered independent nations, the only option was to relocate them. Also, if possible, this bill asked many of the Natives to conform to American society.
President Jackson believed that bestowing power and responsibility upon a single bank, the Bank of the United States, was the cause of inflation and other perceived evils. Because of that, he pushed for the destruction of the Second Bank of the United States. However, Henry Clay, with other people, pushed in vain for another charter for a bank. It passed smoothly in Congress, only to stop with an abrupt halt as Jackson vetoed it. This showed how Jackson held the people at the utmost priority, disabling and destroying anything, such as this bank, which threatened to block the peoples’ rights.
Since Jackson left office in March 1837, he left an indelible mark on the American Presidency and everlastingly changed the course of American history. Through his actions and time in office, Jackson soundly established an equivalent balance between the Executive Branch and Congress in terms of power and capacity to shape law and government strategies. Jackson protected and guarded the Union against dangers from nullifiers and secessionists. Countries over the globe saw the United States with newly discovered regard because of Jackson’s administration of remote issues. Above all, Jackson’s administration pushed the country further toward democracy, however much work stayed in giving equivalent rights and opportunities to those still persecuted in the United States.