Despite that Andrew Jackson related to many average Americans and helped build the ideal of a strong working class, his actions did not have long term benefits to the U.S. and they only helped white men while ignoring the rights of minorities. Because of this his presidency can not be seen as successful.
Election of 1828- Jackson ran for president a second time and his opponent, John Q. Adams, used Rachel’s, his wife, past marriage against him. Jackson fought back with lies. When Rachel died right after the election, he blamed Adams and Henry Clay for her death. Despite this child-like behavior he won the election. He had the first ever political campaign which related to average Americans and encouraged them to vote.
Nullification Crisis- Jackson opposed the nullification. His response was to implement federal troops in South Carolina. This was not necessary when Congress revised the bill that caused the crisis. Although the Union was preserved, it was not by his actions but by the diplomatic actions of Congress.
Indian Removal Act- His reason for this act was to gain land for farmers, who he believed built America, but the way he proceeded with it was unmoral and ended up killing thousands of Native Americans. When the Cherokee Indians won their case to keep their land in Georgia, Jackson encouraged Georgia to ignore the ruling. This was an unconstitutional action and unfair way of getting what he believed was right.
Bank War- Like the Indian Removal Act, Jackson’s intentions were to help average Americans when he went against the second Bank of the U.S. He believed that the Bank gave wealthy and unfair advantage in the government. When Henry Clay and his allies passed a bill to extend the Banks charter, Jackson vetoed it. He did this despite that he was running for re-election and he could have lost support. Jackson won the Bank War but in the end his actions did not benefit the economy as this led to the Panic of 1837.
Andrew Jackson’s actions to these four events show his rash thinking and proves he was not a great leader. I think what most shows that he was not a successful president is his lack of leadership. Even before his presidency, he had the reputation of being a troubled, angry man. During the War of 1812, he was a ruthless leader who threatened to kill his soldiers if they left the war. As a slave master, he was also ruthless, owning over 100 slaves and punishing them with a severe number of lashes. As a war leader, he launched an invasion into Florida without authorization and captured and executed two British men. Although this action was popular among most Americans, it proves how he made decisions based on what only he thought was right and did not think of the consequences. During his presidency this child-like behavior continued. Jackson got into many disputes with other government officials and his cabinet broke up, which was the only time this has ever happened. When the abolitionist movement started to spread, Jackson encouraged postmen to destroy the pamphlets.
Andrew Jackson was undeniably a successful president during his time in office. By definition, being successful is accomplishing an aim or purpose or having achieved popularity, profit, or distinction. In this manner, Andrew Jackson can most definitely be considered a successful president.
His initial aim was to become President to reform the government. Despite the negative attitudes of the Washington elites towards him, Jackson strived for Presidency in order to establish what he believed to be a true democracy because, during that time, the President was not chosen by residents but rather state legislatures chose the state’s members of the electoral college and chose the President through electoral votes. Jackson believed this was an elitist operation and wanted to dismantle this corrupt “oligarchy.” His first attempt at running for Presidency was curved by JQ Adams and Henry Clay but he won the election of 1828 by a landslide. People believed his inauguration was a true step towards democracy, which is what he aimed for. This is significant because citizens were allowed to vote in the election of 1812, proving the support for Jackson they had. They considered him to be a role model seeing as he was a frontiersman and working class man who worked hard, fought for his country, and rose to status through determination. Being a role model is a significant key to being a successful President and Jackson most definitely epitomized that during his era.
As President, Jackson fired many high level bureaucratic people through claims that they were incompetent, corrupt, or both. Through this, he accomplished his goal to reform the government into a democracy. He also aimed to preserve the Union as President, which he accomplished as well. He saw that Congress’ law of high tax on cheap imported cloth for slaves and Calhoun’s resulting proposal of states’ rights and nullification would lead to a civil war and a split in the Union. He then repressed Abolitionist attempts of changing Southerners minds’ on the morality of slavery, appealed to the people of South Carolina by claiming that disunion by armed force is treason, and implemented federal troops in South Carolina all in order to preserve the Union. His radical actions may be frowned upon but were effective in achieving his goals. Jackson believed self-employed farmers were the reason why America prospered and believed he could make America more prosperous by removing Indians and pushing farther West for more availability of land. He then implemented the most controversial Act in U.S history, the Indian Removal Act, which effectively allowed for the expansion of the United States; this led to more land for farmers to cultivate, make profit, and increased the GDP of the country. This satisfied his aim, making him successful.
It is argued that Jackson could not work with Congress, demonstrating his lack of emotional intelligence and subsequently, his lack in success as President. He continuously vetoed bills passed by Congress such as the bill to extend the Second Bank’s charter. This proves his inability to work with Congress; however, how can he be expected to work with people whom he believed were corrupt and only had elitist intentions that benefitted themselves? He believed these people were the exact opposite of his idea of a democracy and most of their proposals benefitted the government itself rather than the people. His belief was in the people and he was able to make personal connections with the citizens.
He was also a risk taker in that his veto of Congress’ bill while possibly running for re-election could make him lose a significant amount of supporters even though it wasn’t striving to change the status quo. Most arguments against the success of Andrew Jackson are on the basis of the morality of his actions. This is not an appropriate approach to judging the success and triumph of Andrew Jackson. He was able to accomplish many of his goals and achieved popularity and distinction during his Presidency. As President, Andrew Jackson was most definitely successful.
Although Andrew Jackson expanded the United States territory and strengthened the young nation, his actions did not benefit the nation years after his presidency, which is why he can not be seen as successful. As a president, you must take into consideration the long term affects of your actions of the nation. He did as he pleased and was extremely apathetic towards the rights of minorities such as the Native Americans and slaves. He believed that small self-employed farmers made the nation prosperous. With that in mind, he kicked the Native Americans out of their ancestral land for the benefit of the farmers. The migration of the Native Americans is known as the Trail of Tears. It is referred to that because of its devastating effects. Thousands of Natives were killed and Jackson showed no mercy. Jackson owned many slaves and was a firm believer in that slaves were only useful for labor purposes while whites are to rule. Also, using the spoils system, he was able to appoint only those who he knew that he could control in office. Jackson invaded Florida without orders from President Washington, and was referred to as "an American Napoleon" by speaker of the house, Henry Clay. In 1824, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson ran against each other for presidency. Adams believed in an economically developed nation with educational opportunities and he respected the rights of the minorities, unlike Jackson. Jackson was less liked because of his Florida invasion, however he won the most popular vote and electoral vote, surprisingly. Although he lost, he ran again in 1828 against Adams again and won. Jackson's rule was referred to as "his own personal political machine". The Bank Wars were caused because of the fact that Jackson believed that banks had too much power and the government was being run by unelected people. He attempted to help the nation prosper and it worked for a while, until the Panic of 1837. In conclusion, Jackson was ruthless and violent and can not be considered successful.
Despite the atrocities committed during Andrew Jackson’s presidency, he was very successful during his time in office. Jackson was able to keep the union together, expanded America’s territory, and serve as a role model for all American citizens.
To begin, one of the most noteworthy events that occurred during Jackson’s presidency was the removal of Native Americans from their lands, called the Indian Removal Act. The act was responsible for many Native American deaths, and Jackson is directly responsible for it. The Indian Removal Act was a terrible event in American history, however during Jackson’s presidency it was understandable why he would want to take the native’s lands. During his presidency, America was still trying to develop, the best way for a country to develop is by improving the economy. America’s economy had two different parts, the south which focused on agriculture, and the north which focused more on manufacturing. In order for the manufacturing business of the north to be successful, they required raw materials such as cotton that was grown in the south. Crops such as cotton were grown on plantations, which required a large amount of land, therefore the easiest way to increase crop production was to obtain more land. When the war of 1812 concluded, the European powers and America made a treaty to remain neutral to one another, this meant that obtaining land from Europeans was out of the question. The only other option was to take it from the natives, who were technologically inferior as well. This is why Jackson decided to enforce the act, as it would result in a better future for the country. This behaviour is shared by other presidents, such as John Adams who was willing to put his country ahead of everything, even his family.
Moreover, Jackson was also responsible for delaying the civil war. When congress passed an act that taxed the cloth that the southern states used to clothe their slaves, the southern states created the idea of nullification. This meant that any state could ignore a law that it deemed unconstitutional, this created serious tension within the country and soon officials called for a dinner in D.C to discuss the issue. At the dinner Jackson stated that “Our federal union it must preserved”, to indicate his stance against nullification. This created even more dispute, but it was soon solved when speaker of the House, Henry Clay made a compromise bill. After this incident Jackson appealed to northerners, in hopes of avoiding the same situation in the future, however the abolitionist in the north took this opportunity to send anti-slavery pamphlets to the south. Jackson encouraged the southerners to burn the mail, to prevent further dispute as well. The incident shows that Jackson had the best interest of the country in mind while making decisions. When the southern states threatened the union he supported the northerners, despite owning several plantations and slaves himself. Additionally, while he supported the southerners burning the pamphlets, which is a federal crime, he also protected the union, as the civil war would be caused by similar propaganda later in America’s history.
Furthermore, Jackson’s presidency reinforced the idea that America was a land of hope and new beginning. Jackson started off as a poor farmer, yet he was able to achieve the most prestigious title within the country. This was a major success for not only Jackson, but for the country as well, as the citizens saw that anyone could achieve greatness, no matter their economic background. This would help white males gain the right to vote despite their social status, and this would eventually lead to equal suffrage for all races and genders within the United States.
Although Andrew Jackson worked in providing rights for the average working white man and attempted to better the economy , he ignored those of Native Americans, African Americans and women conveying his lack of consideration for anyone aside from those he can identify with.
In Jackson’s election in 1829, he was not admirable in that he was able to beat out his opponent, John Quincy Adams, due to the votes of the working class Americans, which were white men of course. He fought dirty in his campaign manifesting lies about Adams when the subject of his wife, Rachel, being with him while she was still married arose. Jackson was against the Nullification Act in that he did not want the Union to break apart. His actions of ordering troops down to the South showed how impulsive of a person he was. Jackson temporarily succeeded in securing the Union, but his methods were seen as immoral or radical.
Later in his term, Andrew Jackson implemented the Indian Removal Act forcing Native Americans from their homes. Even though they lived in Georgia and had proper documentation saying that they could stay, he encouraged Georgians to force them out. Along the Trail of Tears over 4,000 Native Americans died due to disease or mistreatment. Jackson wanted more lands for the frontiersmen of America. He believed that they were essential to building America through the taxes they paid to the federal government and the products their slaves produced. His actions only benefit him and those like him, which were the frontiersmen. This act showed how violent Andrew Jackson was and his lack of consideration for those he considered lesser, which were Native Americans, African Americans, and women.
Finally, during the Bank War Andrew Jackson and Bittle, who was the head of the Second National Bank of the United States, fought against each other because Jackson believed that the bank was too powerful and wanted to kill it per say. He believed that the bank was too powerful and that since those in charge of it were not elected, that they could take power and monopolize the country. Jackson vetoed Henry Clay’s bill to extend the bank’s charter. This then led to a recession and depression followed by the Panic of 1837. In this, Jackson displayed how he makes rash decisions that only provide temporary relief to the nation, but eventually lead to its downfall.
Overall, Andrew Jackson was not a very successful leader in that he ignored the rights of anyone other than the working white men of America. His plans were rash and he did not take into consideration the long-term effects on the economy or the future of the nation. Jackson was a cruel man, seen in the vicious removal of the Indians from their native lands as well as the many slaves he owned on his own plantation. Jackson caused problems within Congress, and at one time removed 13 district attorneys, filling the positions with those willing to say or do anything to get him elected. Andrew Jackson was a selfish President who only worked towards the betterment of the United States for one kind of person, a white working class man.