Jackson was the seventh president of the United States, born in South Carolina on March 15, 1767. He was the son of Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchingson Jackson. His dad died in 1767 and Andrew attended frontier schools while acquiring the reputation of being an easily-tempered and willing to fight any challenger. Jackson was 13 years old when the American Revolution first began and decided to become a messenger for the militia of South Carolina. Later he was admitted to practice law in 1787. The next year he settled in Nashville, Jackson quickly made a name for himself prosecuting debaters.
He ended up creating a successful law practice and also engaged in land speculation. Soon enough he was married to Rachel Donelson Robards. He did not have any children, however he did adopt Rachel’s infant nephew. Andrew Jackson was in fact a soldier. He battled at Horseshoe bend and the Battle of New Orleans, and was later appointed major general to defend against the British attacks. The campaign of 1828 began as soon as Adams was elected. His supporters campaigned on his behalf, making cruel personal attacks on each other.
Jackson became a symbol of democratic reform and a large amount of people looked up to him for leadership in the struggle soon to come. Therefore, Jackson finally became president. Jackson did not favor a strong federal government, and thought it should be least involved as possible. He vetoed many acts of congress in his term as president, one of which was a road from Maysville, Kentucky to Lexington, Kentucky. He felt the state should build the road and not the national government. Jackson’s idea of a limited government shared the beliefs of many Americans who feared there was too much power coming from the federal government.
During Jackson’s first term as president two major problems occurred. One being the Tariff of 1828, and another the Indian Crises. The passing of the Tariff of 1828 by congress placed a heavy tax on imports trying to force Americans to manufacture in the United States. The tariff benefited the North however it harmed the South’s economy, which was based on importing and exporting cash crops with foreign nations. South Carolina declared the tariffs to be null and then threatened to break away from the union.
A truce was finally met after Jackson threatened to send troops and after passing the Force Bill, which required South Carolina pay the tariffs. The tariffs were eventually lowered and South Carolina removed its nullification act. Jackson, while president, supported the state’s efforts to remove Native American tribes from their territories and used their land to farm. He also encouraged the Indian Removal Act, which was passed by Congress in 1830. The act granted Jackson the ability to give Native Americans land in parts of the Louisiana Purchase in exchange for lands taken from them in the East.
About 100,000 tribe members were relocated to what is now Oklahoma. In 1839, fifteen thousand Cherokees were put in camps while their homes were burned. Then they began a 116 day march west, this was referred to as the Trail of Tears. During the Jacksonian Era voter turnout increased dramatically, political parties were being developed, and new styles of politics emerged. In 1824, only one fourth of all eligible voters voted, after four years that numbered doubled. Candidates started to parade and have barbecues, free drinks, and baby kissing in order to appeal to the public and gain votes.
More members of the Electoral College were being chosen directly by the people rather than the state legislatures. He went on to easily win the election of 1832 over Henry Clay. The election of 1832 brought back the two-party system, consisting of the National Republicans and Jackson’s Democrats. Jacksonian Democracy said that the governing needed should be done directly to the people. It was called the New Democracy, and it was an idea based on universal manhood suffrage. The federalist senators ridiculed the younger senators. However, these new democrats argued that if they fail, they fail together.
Jackson did not favor banks. He felt the Bank of the United States was unfair and that it was the cause of the panic of 1819. The bank was supposed to operate until 1836. However, Jackson vetoed the bill for the bank, saying he was protecting the rights of ordinary citizens. Slavery was also a popular issue in the states. The problem with Missouri had brought awareness to the South on how the Northern states were going to try crushing slavery for good. Although, with the new democracy it allowed people, even southerners to actually have their voices heard and they took full advantage of this luxury.
In his second administration, Jackson ended a long dispute with Britain and France. When he came into office, direct trade to the west Indies was not allowed. A treaty was made to reopen American ports to British shipping in exchange for similar rights in the British West Indies. Jackson asked congress to confiscate French holdings in the United States until the debt was paid. The French government finally paid all debts in 1836. Meanwhile, during his presidency large numbers of slave holders settled in Texas. Jackson offered to buy Texas from Mexico, but they refused.
Texas fought for independence and won it. Jackson spent the last eight years of his life at Hermitage, which was his plantation home in Nashville, Tennessee. He continued to entertain political supporters and also paid much attention to national affairs. Andrew Jackson fell ill to chronic tuberculosis and eventually died from heart failure on June 8, 1845 at the age of 78. Andrew Jackson was considered to be one of the greatest presidents. He was the first president to represent the common man and believed strongly in preserving the union and keeping too much power out of the hands of the elites.