United States History
De Rosa 2012
the impeachment trial of President Andrew Jackson
essay & trial instructions
Andrew Jackson is often characterized as a man of the people, and his era is described as that of the common man. During the course of this hearing, we will focus on the question, “How democratic was Andrew Jackson?” The House of Representatives must decide whether Jackson’s actions call for an impeachment vote. The hearing will consider six major issues that were central to Jackson’s administration.
1. EXTENDING POWER to the COMMON MAN - Was Jackson's influence in changing the voting
requirements and holding public office democratic?
2. U. S. BANK - Was Jackson’s destruction of the national bank democratic?
3. SPOILS SYSTEM - Was the use of the Spoils System democratic?
4. INDIAN REMOVAL - Was Jackson’s policy of Indian Removal democratic?
5. SLAVERY - Were Jackson’s actions regarding slavery democratic?
6. PEGGY EATON AFFAIR - Was Jackson’s support of Peggy Eaton in the best interest of
1. Quality of the oral presentation
(ie: introductory statement, central idea development, use of specific evidence in the argument to support your point of view, conclusion, clarity of ideas, mechanics, and ability to persuade the audience.)
2. Creative participation in your assigned role.
(ie: execution of your opening statement, ability to answer questions in your testimony, asking good questions in the cross examination, remaining true to your character’s point of view.)
3. Historical accuracy of both your oral and written presentations.
ROLE IN THE TRIAL
Your assignment will consist of two parts: one oral (based on your presentation during the trial) and one written (in the form of an analytic essay due _____________ ) You will be acting as either a WITNESS called to the stand to testify in behalf of or against President Jackson or a member of the PUBLIC GALLERY who has specific questions for a witness. Each student must take on the point of view of his/her character in the hearing.
You must prepare a well organized, persuasive, analytical statement in the voice of your assigned character which either passionately supports or is against President Jackson’s impeachment.
Your presentation should address each of the following:
Introduction = introduce your character and take a clear position on your issue (central idea statement/thesis). Also, provide enough background information to make the issue/impeachment count understandable to the court’s gallery and characterize President Jackson’s actions as either democratic or undemocratic.
Body = use specific evidence from your research to support your character's point of view on your assigned issue facing President Andrew Jackson. You should have at least two major arguments perhaps three to support your point of view. Be sure to carefully explain each with examples.
Conclusion = Restate your central idea and then specifically describe your character’s assessment of Jackson’s behavior. Was he democratic? Should he be impeached?
1. You must prepare an opening statement to include a:
a. brief introduction of your character
b. clear statement of your position including the reasons for your views
Be prepared to answer questions by the public gallery as accurately and completely as possible.
Presentations should be three-five minutes in length
PUBLIC GALLERY MEMBERS:
1. Introduce yourself to the hearing by giving a:...
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