Andrew Jackson: Hero or Villain?

Did he promote or destroy democracy?

What Jackson did when he was just starting out.

Born in a backwoods settlement in the Carolinas in 1767, he received sporadic education. But in his late teens, he read law for about two years, and he became and outstanding young lawyer in Tennessee. Fiercely jealous of his honor, he was engaged in brawls, and in a duel killed a man who cast an unjustified slur on his wife Rachel.

Andrew Jackson: Hero or villain? Part 2

What Jackson did before he was president/when he was president

Jackson prospered sufficiently to buy slaves and build a mansion, the Hermitage, near Nashville. He was the first man elected by Tennessee to the House of Representatives, and he served briefly in the Senate. A major general in the War of 1812, he became a national hero when he defeated the British in New Orleans. In 1824, some state political factions rallied around Jackson; by 1828 enough had joined "Old Hickory" to win numerous state elections and control of the Federal administration in Washington. In his first Annual Message to Congress, Jackson recommended eliminating the Electoral College. He also tried to democratize Federal officeholding. Already state machines were being built on patronage, and a New York Senator openly proclaimed "that to the victors belong the spoils...." Jackson took a milder view. Decrying officeholders who seem to enjoy life tenure, he believed Government duties could be "so plain and simple" that offices should rotate among deserving applicants.