Andrew Jackson: "Zero" or "Hero"?
Hint: He's almost a negative
A "Zero"? Or "Hero"?
Andrew Jackson was one of the more controversial presidents of his time. He was regarded as a man of the people, yet was involved with the removing of Native Americans from their land a move many at the time were against and is still regarded as a bad move by many today. Not only that but he was against the national bank, one of the major factors driving the American economy. He started becoming so unpopular, many Democrats switched to the National Republicans due to being in opposition with him. In fact, the Democratic party elected after his presidency apologized on behalf of Andrew Jackson for his acts. So in the end, despite the good and bad things he did, was he the best there was, or the worst of the worst?
Why Andrew Jackson is a "Zero"
"Trail of Tears"
Andrew Jackson was the man behind the the Indian Removal Act. This forced many Natives out of their native homeland to the west of the Mississippi, into what is now present-day Oklahoma, and was dubbed the "Trail of Tears" by the Cherokee. The conditions the Native Americans had to travel were less than desirable. Of the 18,000 Cherokees that traveled, around 4,000 died. Seriously, if Andrew Jackson wanted to send the Native Americans into the unorganized territory of the Western U.S., at least he should have made sure their needs were properly taken care of.
Spoils System - when a political party gives jobs to supporters and/or family as a reward for winning an election. Andrew Jackson called John Quincy Adams out on the Corrupt Bargain between him and Henry Clay (although, arguably, there is no solid proof of the exchange) yet he does his own share of "corruptness" in choosing his supporters for government jobs over people actually qualified for that same position. If that's not political corruption, even if it's not overly large like a lot of other cases, then I don't know what is.
"Death of the National Bank"
The one and only time the U.S. paid off his debt was due to Andrew Jackson's rigorous anti-debt policies, so props to him for that. But the national bank was far too crucial to the economy for Andrew Jackson to decide that since he had a bad experience with him through his life, they must be evil and deserve to die. But with the debt gone, the U.S. now had a surplus of unused money. But with no national bank to invest it into, Andrew Jackson shared the money amongst the states, and with the states in control of the money, they began printing too much, leading to an economic depression lasting six years. During the depression, the government had to borrow money from other nations, so the debt we lived without for a whole year was back. Nice going, President Jackson.