The Presidency of Andrew Jackson Essay
How it works
Andrew Jackson was the first president that came from a Western state. He was born in 1828 along the border of the Carolinas. Jackson’s father was killed in a farm accident before Jackson was born, so his mother had to raise him by herself and earn money as a housekeeper. Jackson and his brothers joined the side of the Americans in the Revolutionary War. After his mother died of cholera, Jackson started to despise the British. With all of these hardships that he had to endure, the real question arises.
Was Andrew Jackson a good president? I do not think that Andrew Jackson was a good president because of The Indian Removal Act, The Distribution Act, and Tariff of Abominations.
“The Indian Removal Act was a law permitting the forced relocation of Indians to federal lands west of the Mississippi River in exchange for the land they occupied in the East and South” (Tindall, 330). The enforcement of this act allowed for earlier treaties with the Native Americans to become invalid. The 7,000 Native Americans that had remained in the East and the South had to move from their lands to the federal lands on the Mississippi River. Not only the Native Americans but other Americans created petitions in favor of the Native Americans keeping their lands. They said that if they relocated, this would cause the whole nation shame. Andrew Jackson was determined to relocate the Native Americans, so he did not listen to the petitioners. “By 1835, some 46,000 Indians had been relocated across the Mississippi River at government expense” (Tindall, 331.) As seen by this quote, many of the Native Americans had left already but there were still around 17,000 that did not relocate immediately. The people that were left over were forced out of their lands. This caused the Trail of Tears. “The Trail of Tears was the Cherokees’ eight-hundred mile journey from the southern Appalachians to the Indian Territory” (Tindall, 333.) Four thousand Native Americans died while they were walking the trail. Jackson was not concerned with any of the Native Americans’ lives or how they also contributed to their society. He simply wanted to get them out of his way, so he could continue his plan. He also chose to break a long standing contract and promise to the Native Americans in the areas in the process of doing so.
“The Distribution Act was a law requiring distribution of the federal budget surplus to the states, creating chaos among unregulated state banks dependent on such federal funds” (Tindall, 336.) This was a key development along with the Specie Circular. The development of The Distribution Act ruined the nation’s financial system. This happened by sudden withdrawal of the federal funding from the state banks. When the banks found out that their funding was gone, they demanded the borrowers to repay their debts to them. “This situation caused even greater disarray in the already unstable banking sector” (Tindall, 336.) The Specie Circular made this instability even worse. It was made a month after The Distribution Act was made. The Species Circular said that “specie” coins would be the only currency while paying for land. The reserves for gold and silver was very low in the first place. This got even worse when the eastern banks had to give gold to the western banks where more federal lands were sold. “As banks reduced their reserves of gold and silver, they had to reduce their lending. Soon, the once-bustling economy began to slow into a recession” (Tindall, 336.) It seems as if Jackson did not think about how withdrawing federal funding would affect the states and their banks. A hasty decision was made creating The Distribution Act and The Specie Circular.
“‘Tariff of Abominations’ was a tax on imported goods, including British cloth and clothing, that strengthened New England textile companies but hurt southern consumers, who experienced a decrease for a raw cotton grown in the South” (Tindall, 326.) The name of this tax was originally the Tariff of 1828, but it gained so much hatred that it was called the Tariff of Abominations by the Southerners. By putting tariffs on British textiles, the demand for cotton from the South was low. This damaged the Southern economy. The Southerners also needed to pay a tax for imports. Because of his hatred for the British, Andrew Jackson messed up the Southern economy with the Tax of Abominations.
I do not think that Andrew Jackson was a good president because of The Indian Removal Act, The Distribution Act, and Tariff of Abominations. He kept making decisions that benefited himself and his plans. He did not care to see the bigger picture and his effect on other people’s lives and businesses. America and its people have been seen in a bad light because of leaders like him. More care should be put into selecting leaders that intend to make America great that do not work for their own gain.