Andrew Jackson: A Biography

‘The Rise of Andrew Jackson’ Review: A President in His Time
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Andrew Jackson’s Early Life

Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, in the Waxhaws region of the Carolinas. His parents were Scots-Irish. A lawyer and a landowner, he became a national war hero after defeating the British in the Battle of New Orleans during the War of Jackson was elected the seventh president of the United States in After a bruising campaign, Andrew Jackson — with South Carolina’s.

Ridge was not a widely recognized leader of the Cherokee, and this document was rejected by some as illegitimate. Subsequently, as many as 4, out of 18, Cherokee died on the " Trail of Tears " in In an effort to purge the government of corruption, Jackson launched presidential investigations into all executive Cabinet offices and departments. He believed appointees should be hired on merit and withdrew many candidates he believed were lax in their handling of monies.

Jackson's Postmaster General Barry resigned after a Congressional investigation into the postal service revealed mismanagement of mail services, collusion and favoritism in awarding lucrative contracts, as well as failure to audit accounts and supervise contract performances. Jackson repeatedly called for the abolition of the Electoral College by constitutional amendment in his annual messages to Congress as president. So important do I consider these changes in our fundamental law that I can not, in accordance with my sense of duty, omit to press them upon the consideration of a new Congress.

Although he was unable to implement these goals, Jackson's time in office did see a variety of other reforms. He supported an act in July that enabled widows of Revolutionary War soldiers who met certain criteria to receive their husband's pensions. Jackson enforced the Tenure of Office Act , signed by President Monroe in , that limited appointed office tenure and authorized the president to remove and appoint political party associates.

Jackson believed that a rotation in office was a democratic reform preventing hereditary officeholding and made civil service responsible to the popular will. Jackson's approach incorporated patriotism for country as qualification for holding office.

Andrew Jackson 1767-1845 A brief biography

Having appointed a soldier who had lost his leg fighting on the battlefield to postmaster, Jackson stated, "[i]f he lost his leg fighting for his country, that is Jackson's theory regarding rotation of office generated what would later be called the spoils system. In , Congress had approved the " Tariff of Abominations ", which set the tariff at an historically high rate. Southern planters, who sold their cotton on the world market, strongly opposed this tariff, which they saw as favoring northern interests.

The South now had to pay more for goods it did not produce locally; and other countries would have more difficulty affording southern cotton. The issue came to a head during Jackson's presidency, resulting in the Nullification Crisis , in which South Carolina threatened disunion. The South Carolina Exposition and Protest of , secretly written by Calhoun, asserted that their state had the right to "nullify"—declare void—the tariff legislation of Although Jackson sympathized with the South in the tariff debate, he also vigorously supported a strong union, with effective powers for the central government.

Jackson attempted to face down Calhoun over the issue, which developed into a bitter rivalry between the two men. One incident came at the April 13, , Jefferson Day dinner, involving after-dinner toasts. Calhoun clarified his position by responding "The Union: Next to our Liberty, the most dear! Calhoun's and Jackson's relationship deteriorated further.

By February , the break between Calhoun and Jackson was final. Responding to inaccurate press reports about the feud, Calhoun had published letters between him and Jackson detailing the conflict in the United States Telegraph. Jackson and Calhoun began an angry correspondence which lasted until Jackson stopped it in July. After it sided with Calhoun on nullification, Jackson needed a new organ for the administration.

He enlisted the help of longtime supporter Francis Preston Blair , who in November established a newspaper known as the Washington Globe , which from then on served as the primary mouthpiece of the Democratic Party. Jackson supported a revision to tariff rates known as the Tariff of It was designed to placate the nullifiers by lowering tariff rates. The bill failed to satisfy extremists on either side. Navy warships to Charleston harbor, and threatened to hang any man who worked to support nullification or secession.

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Hayne in the Senate, and he would then become governor of South Carolina. Hayne had often struggled to defend nullification on the floor of the Senate, especially against fierce criticism from Senator Daniel Webster of Massachusetts. Also that December, Jackson issued a resounding proclamation against the "nullifiers," stating that he considered "the power to annul a law of the United States, assumed by one State, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which it was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed.

Jackson also denied the right of secession: "The Constitution To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union is to say that the United States are not a nation. Jackson asked Congress to pass a " Force Bill " explicitly authorizing the use of military force to enforce the tariff. It was introduced by Senator Felix Grundy of Tennessee, and was quickly attacked by Calhoun as "military despotism.

A bill sponsored by the administration had been introduced by Representative Gulian C. Verplanck of New York, but it lowered rates more sharply than Clay and other protectionists desired.

source url Clay managed to get Calhoun to agree to a bill with higher rates in exchange for Clay's opposition to Jackson's military threats and, perhaps, with the hope that he could win some Southern votes in his next bid for the presidency. Calhoun, Clay, and several others marched out of the chamber in opposition, the only dissenting vote coming from John Tyler of Virginia. He signed both bills on March 2, starting with the Force Bill. The next pretext will be the negro, or slavery question. Addressing the subject of foreign affairs in his First Annual Address to Congress, Jackson declared it to be his "settled purpose to ask nothing that is not clearly right and to submit to nothing that is wrong.

When Jackson took office, spoliation claims, or compensation demands for the capture of American ships and sailors, dating from the Napoleonic era , caused strained relations between the U. The French Navy had captured and sent American ships to Spanish ports while holding their crews captive forcing them to labor without any charges or judicial rules. Rives , through diplomacy was able to convince the French government to sign a reparations treaty on July 4, , that would award the U.

By , the non-payment of reparations by the French government drew Jackson's ire and he became impatient. In his December State of the Union address , Jackson sternly reprimanded the French government for non-payment, stating the federal government was "wholly disappointed" by the French, and demanded Congress authorize trade reprisals against France. Jackson described in lengthy and minute detail the history of events surrounding the treaty and his belief that the French government was purposely stalling payment.

The French accepted Jackson's statements as sincere and in February , reparations were paid. In addition to France, the Jackson administration successfully settled spoliation claims with Denmark , Portugal , and Spain. Jackson's state department was active and successful at making trade agreements with Russia , Spain , Turkey , Great Britain , and Siam. The trade agreement with Siam was America's first treaty between the United States and an Asiatic country.

Butler was later replaced toward the end of Jackson's presidency. In , the Texas Revolution began when pro-slavery American settlers in Texas fought the Mexican government for Texan independence. By May , they had routed the Mexican military, establishing an independent Republic of Texas. The new Texas government legalized slavery and demanded recognition from President Jackson and annexation into the United States.

Jackson was hesitant in recognizing Texas, unconvinced that the new republic could maintain independence from Mexico, and not wanting to make Texas an anti-slavery issue during the election. The strategy worked; the Democratic Party and national loyalties were held intact, and Van Buren was elected president.

Jackson failed in his efforts to open trade with China and Japan and was unsuccessful at thwarting Great Britain's presence and power in South America. The presidential election demonstrated the rapid development and organization of political parties during this time period. The Democratic Party's first national convention, held in Baltimore, nominated Jackson's choice for vice president, Van Buren.

Clay was, like Jackson, a Mason, and so some anti-Jacksonians who would have supported the National Republican Party supported Wirt instead. Its stock was mostly held by foreigners, he insisted, and it exerted an unfair amount of control over the political system. Jackson used the issue to promote his democratic values, believing the Bank was being run exclusively for the wealthy.


Jackson stated the Bank made "the rich richer and the potent more powerful. Its only power would be to issue bills of exchange. Thomas Hart Benton, now a strong supporter of the president despite the brawl years earlier, gave a speech excoriating the Bank and calling for debate on its recharter.

Webster led a motion to narrowly defeat the resolution. Shortly afterward, the Globe announced that Jackson would stand for reelection. Despite his misgivings about the Bank, Jackson supported a plan proposed in late by his moderately pro-Bank Treasury Secretary Louis McLane , who was secretly working with Biddle, to recharter a reformed version of the Bank in a way that would free up funds which would in turn be used to strengthen the military or pay off the nation's debt.

This would be done, in part, through the sale of government stock in the Bank. Over the objections of Attorney General Roger B. Taney , an irreconcilable opponent of the Bank, he allowed McLane to publish a Treasury Report which essentially recommended rechartering the Bank. Clay hoped to make the Bank an issue in the election, so as to accuse Jackson of going beyond his powers if he vetoed a recharter bill.

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He and Webster urged Biddle to immediately apply for recharter rather than wait to reach a compromise with the administration. On January 6, , Biddle submitted to Congress a renewal of the Bank's charter without any of the proposed reforms. Biddle's recharter bill passed the Senate on June 11 and the House on July 3, Many moderate Democrats, including McLane, were appalled by the perceived arrogance of the bill and supported his decision.

Van Buren, is trying to kill me. But I will kill it. It attacked the Bank as an agent of inequality that supported only the wealthy. At Biddle's direction, the Bank poured thousands of dollars into a campaign to defeat Jackson, seemingly confirming Jackson's view that it interfered in the political process. Clay proved to be no match for Jackson's ability to resonate with the people and the Democratic Party's strong political networks.

Democratic newspapers, parades, barbecues, and rallies increased Jackson's popularity.

He won the election by a landslide, receiving 54 percent of the popular vote and electoral votes. Clay received 37 percent of the popular vote and 49 electoral votes. Wirt received only eight percent of the popular vote and seven electoral votes while the Anti-Masonic Party eventually declined.

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In , Jackson attempted to begin removing federal deposits from the bank, whose money-lending functions were taken over by the legions of local and state banks that materialized across America, thus drastically increasing credit and speculation. He replaced McLane with William J. Signalling his intent to continue battling the Bank, he replaced Duane with Taney. The moves were intended to force Jackson into a compromise.

Andrew Jackson Biography: Seventh President of the United States | Owlcation

At first, Biddle's strategy was successful, putting enormous pressure on Jackson. When people came to him complaining, he referred them to Biddle, saying that he was the man who had "all the money. Biddle's strategy backfired, increasing anti-Bank sentiment.

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In , those who disagreed with Jackson's expansion of executive power united and formed the Whig Party , calling Jackson "King Andrew I," and named their party after the English Whigs who opposed seventeenth century British monarchy. The censure was a political maneuver spearheaded by Clay, which served only to perpetuate the animosity between him and Jackson. Jackson called the passage of these resolutions a "glorious triumph. Polk ran for Speaker of the House to replace Andrew Stevenson.

The national economy following the withdrawal of the remaining funds from the Bank was booming and the federal government through duty revenues and sale of public lands was able to pay all bills.