Hero or Villian
Jackson as President
The Kitchen Cabinet Jackson did not rely only on his cabinet for advice. He made most of his decisions with the help of trusted friends and political supporters. Because these advisers were said to meet with him in the White House kitchen, they were called the “kitchen cabinet.”
The Spoils System Jackson’s critics were even more upset by his decision to replace many Republican officeholders with loyal Democrats. Most of these people viewed their posts as lifetime jobs. Jackson believed that after a few years in office, civil servants should go back to making a living as other people do because it gave more people a chance to serve their government.
Jackson thought that the bank benefited rich at the expense of farmers and workers, as well as smaller state banks. He felt that the bank stood in the way of opportunity for capitalists in the West and other regions. He also distrusted the bank’s president, Nicholas Biddle, who was everything Jackson was not: wealthy, upper class, well educated, and widely traveled.
Andrew Jackson had little sympathy for American Indians. White settlers had come into conflict with Indians ever since colonial days. After independence, the new national government tried to settle these conflicts through treaties. Typically, the treaties drew boundaries between areas claimed for settlers and areas that the government promised to let the Indians have forever. In exchange for giving up their old lands, Indians were promised food, supplies, and money.
Despite the treaties, American Indians continued to be pushed off their land. By the time Jackson became president, only 125,000 Indians still lived east of the Mississippi River. War and disease had greatly reduced the number of Indians in the East. Other Indians had sold their lands for pennies an acre and moved west of the Mississippi. Jackson was determined to remove the remaining Indians to a new Indian Territory in the West