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Andrew Jackson - Essay Example

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As a president who committed himself to being a ‘common man’ or man of the people, Andrew Jackson established policies for which his leadership received either revering loyalty of the mass or reviling hostility of those who could not take their intended advantage of his principles and relation. …
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Andrew Jackson was a polarizing leader – revered by some of his fellow Americans, and reviled by others. What accounts for the loyalty he roused among so many? What explains the hostility he stirred among so many others? As a president who committed himself to being a ‘common man’ or man of the people, Andrew Jackson established policies for which his leadership received either revering loyalty of the mass or reviling hostility of those who could not take their intended advantage of his principles and relation. Such treatment of his regime may be attributed to policies where drawn for particular aspects as the spoils system, the nullification, the removal of Indians, and the ‘Bank War’. While Jacksonian democracy emerged to promote the rule of the ‘mass’ and the ‘common’ of America, the policies that substantiated Jackson’s regime and their impact apparently became the chief determinants that aid in the assessment of his presidency and the truth of its underlying ethics. The crisis on nullification which became a sensationalized conflict in South Carolina is one of the areas through which his policy on tariffs may be evaluated. For Jackson, modest decisions in favor of tariffs are necessary to ensure national security and the stable production of commodities. This would also establish better commercial relations with European manufacturers, to be able to adjust revenue to the level that paid the nation’s debt. Jackson himself was against the philosophy of nullification, seeing how this had every tendency of dissolving the Union and violating the rule of majority. The tariffs imposed upon taxes on imported goods in the early 1930s, however, anguished the leaders and people of the state of South Carolina. Imposition of tariffs was treated with abomination by the southerners yet President Jackson occurred to exhibit an enduring symbolism of one who stood by the nation during storm, having vindicated the Union by opposing the struggles of those who desired to nullify the legal connections between the state and the federal authority. Political party work had been richly rewarded with the use of public offices made possible by the “Spoils System”. This system is known in several nations and by 1840, the local as well as the state and federal governments extensively utilized it. It is through this system that Jackson’s so-called “kitchen cabinet”, composed mostly of friends, often conferred with him via informal gatherings despite the presence of the formal cabinet officials. Here, one need not be an elite to become part of the government and to address the concern of common citizens who wanted to hold political office despite lack of proper education and other qualifications, Jackson spoiled a certain number of individuals to assume office. This move rather appealed to the distaste of the president’s opponents who highly discriminated against the non-elite and the uneducated to be designated as officiating bodies. By the time the rapid growth of the United States prompted expansion toward the lower South in the early19th century, the whites were confronted with the conflict of having to deal with the original settlers. The Indian tribes Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chicasaw, and Seminole occupied the area at the time and white Americans thought that co-existence with Indians upon common occupation of the lands would not fulfill their intended progress on economy unless the Indians could be driven away to seek other territories. To respond to this, Jackson commissioned the U.S. military forces in 1814 to combat and defeat the Creek faction which eventually lost 22 million acres of land in Georgia and central Alabama. Jackson negotiated nine out of eleven treaties which pushed southern tribes to evacuate their lands in the east and migrate to settle in those of the west. Such treaties enraged the Indians whom the whites inflicted with social injustice. On May 28 of 1830, President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act which authorized him to trade uninhabited lands lying west of Mississippi for Indian lands within the realm of state borders. Indians in great numbers protested against the relocation policy while some managed to concede then during the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, a forced march was ordered by the U.S. government for the Cherokees to move to the west and this event in history marked the “Trail of Tears” since it claimed roughly 4,000 Cherokee lives in the process. Upon assumption of office as the 7th U.S. President, Jackson rallied against the Second Bank of U.S. in the belief that this financial institution which has heralded the Federal Reserve System would be detrimental to the U.S. economy as a whole since it possessed a great amount of power typically in favor of the privileged elite. The ‘bank war’ led to a justification that the interest of the working class would be at risk when Jacksonian democrats observed how serving the advantage of the elites kept the common people from achieving their economic ends. Many, nevertheless, believed that Jackson contradicted the Bank due to the fact that his political enemies were on its side but he acted to bring to thorough investigation the bank’s policies and political agenda. In drafting his policies concerning this issue, the president expressed his plan to challenge the constitutionality of the bank for which Nicholas Biddle, the bank’s director applied his own political power summoning the aid of Congress officials, which included the powerful Kentucky Senator Henry Clay and some influential businessmen who understood Biddle’s cause to stand against the president. However, the side of Jackson won the mass over in 1833 when Jackson proclaimed that the Second Bank would no longer be the national bank of the U.S. Works Cited Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty!: An American History. 3rd ed. W. W. Norton & Company, 2010. Other References: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h326.html http://www.historynet.com/andrew-jackson-and-the-indian-removal-act.htm http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2959.html http://suite101.com/article/andrew-jacksons-bank-war-a202709 Read More
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