Andrew Jackson

hero or zero?

Who was Andrew Jackson?

Andrew Jackson is held in high regards for his achievements, but should he be? Jackson is a respected war hero, but in all honesty, the war of 1812 had nothing to do with his political career or presidency. To be quite frank, many of the decisions Jackson made seemed driven by selfishness and seemed relatively shady.

The Closing of the National Bank

Jackson had a humble background and claimed to be fighting for the rights of the "common man", but with the closing of the national bank, it seemed as though maybe his claim was not the truth. The National bank helped small town businesses and helped the "common men" stay financially balanced, and then out of the blue, Jackson suddenly takes that away from them. Why? Was his decision justified? It turns out, Jackson had a personal dispute with the bank owner. But, it gets worse. People with good morals and proper etiquette tend to face their problems head on. Jackson, not wanting to close the bank personally, decided to transfer the National government's funds into multiple state banks. This basically doomed the bank. A bank with no money is hardly a bank at all. Jackson irresponsibly closed the bank for his own benefit, which doesn't seem quite right to me.
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Worchester vs. Georgia

The Cherokee territory in what is now Georgia was once a thriving cultural land, but then gold was discovered on it and it was as good as gone. Georgians began trespassing on cherokee land and panning for Gold. The Cherokees were worried about losing their land went to the supreme court, asking to ban trespassers. The Supreme court ruled that the Cherokee were indeed an independent nation and were not to be interfered with. Jackson, fearing that such a decision would injure his next election, overturned this ruling. Was that a constitutional veto? Absolutely not! Jackson once again made a rash decision that did not benefit the people, and was for his own personal gain.

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The Trail of Tears

After Jackson overturned the ruling of the Worchester vs. Georgia case, it was complete chaos in the Cherokee territory. Georgians were determined to get to the land and the gold. After the trial, the cherokees were forced to sign a treaty that relocated their nation west of the Mississippi river. They were promised food, travel assistance, and a sum of five million dollars. But did the government come through with the promises? No. The entirety of the Cherokee nation was forced to travel on foot in the dead of winter with scarce food and thin clothing all the way to modern day Oklahoma. This path was called the trail of tears because these peaceful people were forced out of their land, and many natives died during the journey. None of the U.S. government's promises were fulfilled, and these innocent people suffered because of Jackson's selfishness and desperation for supporters.

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After all of this, why is Jackson still considered a hero? Does he deserve to have his face on printed money? He was cruel and selfish and did many rash things for his own benefit. He destroyed an economic opportunity for our country, unconstitutionally overturned a ruling of the supreme court, and inflicted unimaginable suffering upon innocent and peaceful people, and I feel as though those are not actions to honor.

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Jackson abolishing the national bank.

Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil, and the Presidency