Key Figure in United States History – Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was a key figure in United States history, rising quickly from the Tennessee militia to a major general to becoming the president. He was a champion of the common man and a bold leader, accomplishing much in his lifetime. Before his presidency, Jackson was a hero in the military. He was active during both the Revolutionary war and the War of 1812. He began his military rise when he defeated the Creek Indians in present day Alabama, then going on to negotiate treaties with other tribes to gain the United States land in multiple southern states. Jackson was promoted to major general for his impressive skill for command and leadership. In addition, he is well known for his shocking victory at the Battle of New Orleans, where he defeated the far more numerous British with superior tactics despite having less skilled fighters.
During his presidency, Jackson began paving the way to greater voting rights, pushing hard to ensure all white males had the ability to vote. The way was not easy, but voting rights were expanded considerably under his presidency. Owning property was eliminated in the hopes of giving the poor a chance to vote, and more open voting policies in the new states in the West forced states in the East to revise their voting qualifications or risk the populations flocking to the West. Jackson also was responsible for introducing the spoils system to the federal government. He didn’t dismiss any more federal employees than his predecessors, instead he allowed those that were already in office to appoint their supporters. This way, he was still able to fill the government with people who would support him and his policies. Lastly, he authorized Henry Clay’s solution to the tenuous nullification crisis. South Carolina wanted to nullify the tariff they believed was causing an economic standstill, and instead of using violence the Jackson administration agreeed to lower the tariff gradually.
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