Andrew Jackson : True American Essay

This essay has a total of 1624 words and 7 pages.

Andrew Jackson : True American

Andrew Jackson was the first "peoples president". His humble frontier heritage and heroic
title won support throughout the nation. Jackson was in touch with the common man and had
respect for him. This for once, allowed the "people" to have a more dominant role in
government, which is something that America prides itself upon today. His Presidency was
plagued with controversy, but President Jackson used his power as President to unite a
sometimes-divided nation and establish a precedent of power for future American leaders.
States' rights, the nullification crisis, the spoils system, Indian removal and banking
policies were all controversies which brought forth strong rivalry and resentment
throughout his years as president, but Jackson's strong will and assertiveness got our
country through these times. President Andrew Jackson did not overstep the boundaries of
the executive branch of government; he only strengthened these boundaries which were
already in place.

Andrew Jackson had a heroic military past. In 1810 Jackson was named Major General in the
Tennessee Militia. Here Jackson became famous for his victories over the rebel Creek
Indians. These victories impressed leaders in Washington and Jackson was put in charge of
the defense of New Orleans in the war of 1812. Jackson was able to lead his troops to
victory and solidify himself as a dominant figure in the US armed forces. This show of
American strength made Americans feel proud after a war filled with many military defeats.
This sense of nationalism lead to a time known as "the era of good feelings. Jackson was
given the nickname "Old Hickory", and was treated as a national hero.

In 1817 he was ordered against the Seminole Indians. He pushed them back into Spanish
Florida and continued to take the rest of the land from the Spanish. Many to this day
claim Andrew Jackson was not authorized to do so, but in reality he was. He and President
Monroe both realized the acquisition of Spanish lands would strengthen the nation. On
December 28, 1817, Monroe wrote Jackson a provocative note explaining his true intention
for Florida. "This days mail will convey to you an order to repair to the command of the
troops now acting against the Seminoles, a tribe which has long wilted our right and
insulted our national character. The movement that you will bring may possibly have other
services to perform, depending on the conduct of the banditti at Amelia Island and
Galvestown. This is not a time for you to think of repose. Great issues for the future of
our country are at issue, and until our course is carried through triumphantly and every
species of danger is settled on the most solid foundation, you ought not to withdraw your
active force from it". (Remini pg.119)

"Jackson naturally believed he had been instructed to seize Florida. What "other services"
did Monroe have in mind if not the seizure of this territory?"(Remini pg.119) Jackson did
not hesitate, and his actions helped to acquire the Florida territory, and he became a
provisional governor of Florida that same year. This situation demonstrates the character
of this man. Andrew Jackson was a man dedicated to strengthening our country at any cost.
He was not one let what others may think of him get in the way of what he knew was best
for his country.

Later, Jackson nearly won the presidential campaign of 1824, however due to a "corrupt
bargain" between John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay he lost. Over the next four years the
current administration built a strong political machine with nationalistic policies and a
lack of concern of states rights. Adams also implements the tariff of Abominations, which
outraged common merchants and southerners. The 1828 campaign was filled with mud slinging
on both sides. John Quincy Adams and his northern supporters went as far as saying that
Jackson's wife had committed adultery by being with Jackson while she was still married to
Lewis Roberts. However the people still rallied behind Jackson, and he became the seventh
President to the United States.

Originally the President relied more on an informal group of newspaper writers and
northern politicians for political advice, rather than his presidential cabinet. This made
him more in contact with the people of the United States, and more in contact with the
public opinion and feelings toward national issues. However this could not last for long.
Immediately after taking office Jackson conducted a strict examination into the operations
of specific departments within the government, and from now on all these departments would
have to report to him. Jackson wanted to find out, "what retrenchments could be made
without injury to the public service. What offices could be dispensed, and what economical
improvements could be made to further his administration". (Remini pg.184) Because of the
widespread corruption throughout the last administration Jackson expected removals in
order to strengthen the national government. However Jackson felt that, "these removals
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