Andrew Jackson: Hero or Zero?

He's a war hero, but a zero when it comes to his presidency.

Introduction

Andrew Jackson and some of his policies were controversial. Historians today argue whether or not his policies were beneficial to the United States. Andrew Jackson was for the "common-man", which seemed to mean a white man with a similar background to Jackson's. Although he won the The Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson was more of a "zero" than a "hero" during his time at the White House.

Indian Removal Act & The Trail of Tears

The Native Americans were living on land that was needed for transportation routes and trade. When gold was discovered in Georgia, the need for Natives to be moved became stronger. Jackson and Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which allowed the federal government to remove Native Americans. This act lead to the Trail of Tears.The Trail of Tears was the route to Indian reservations. The route had conditions that were unfavorable and many Natives suffered, became ill, and died. Jackson had a very negative attitude towards the Native Americans and was very harsh in the way he treated them. When John Marshall,the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, made his ruling in the Worcester vs. Georgia case, Jackson ignored it and continued to treat the Natives poorly. Jackson is not a hero for going against a judge's ruling and mistreating people.

Jackson Got Rid of the National Bank

Jackson believed that the National Bank only benefited wealthy, upper class citizens and not common, every-day Americans. Soon after Jackson was in the White House, he asked that the political agenda and the policies of the bank be investigated. Andrew Jackson wanted to challenge constitutionality of the national bank. In September of 1833, Jackson removed all federal funds from the United States Bank and distributed the funds to various state banks. Andrew Jackson abused his power when he destroyed the national bank. Jackson's act of removing the National Bank of the United States was the act of a king with "absolute rule".

The Spoils System

The Spoils System rewarded supporters and campaign workers of winning candidates with positions in the government. After Jackson became president, he appointed "friends" to different positions and offices. The Spoils System is wrong because it gives people jobs that they're not necessarily qualified or have the experience to do. This system also focused mainly on just the needs of the party, not everyone. Jackson was abusing his power to put who he wanted in office, not who was most suited for the position.

Jackson's Inauguration

Most Presidential Inaugurations are very formal events. People are respectful and reserved. At Jackson's inauguration, the celebration got a little out of hand. People became drunk and furniture in the White House caught on fire. While inaugurations should represent who the president is, it's unacceptable for the inauguration party to become disrespectful and chaotic. Inaugurations should be for everyone, not just higher-society; however, inaugurations should not be riots on the White House lawn.
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This political cartoon depicts Andrew Jackson as a king with "absolute rule". The cartoon shows the Constitution ripped up with Jackson standing on it, signifying that Jackson ignored the Constitution and overextended his presidential power.
Andrew Jackson Disney Education

Bibliography

Research:

"Andrew Jackson Shuts down Second Bank of the U.S." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2015.

"Spoils System | Politics." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, 9 Mar. 2014. Web. 16 Jan. 2015.

"Miller Center." American President: Andrew Jackson: Domestic Affairs. University of Virginia Miller Center, n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2015.


Images:

-Standley, Max D. The Trail of Tears. 1995. Oil painting. N.p

-The Bank and Andrew Jackson. Digital image. Political Vel Craft. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2015.

-The Spoils System. Digital image. Andrew Jackson Political Cartoons. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2015

-Andrew Jackson's First Inauguration. Digital image. National Constitution Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2015.

-King Andrew the First. Digital image. National Archives. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2015.