The presidents have always played a crucial role in American politics and are known for their roles in unifying the nation. They are glorified for their charisma and ability to lead, but even these brilliant men make economic, political, and social blunders. Andrew Jackson, who was in office from 1829-1837, was a president of many firsts as he was the first frontier president, first to have a “kitchen cabinet”, and first to use a pocket veto. Jackson was later succeeded by his vice president, Martin Van Buren. Van Buren, who was in office from 1837-1841, was known for his shrewd political skills. Both these men laid down the foundations for a stronger, more centralized national government with methods that garnered mixed responses. Andrew Jackson was a war hero turned president, but his battles did not end with his election. One type of problem Jackson faced was economic. South Carolinian planters saw that the protective tariff, passed by Congress in 1824, as oppressive since most of the revenue made from it was invested in the northeast’s manufacturing industry. They were more infuriated when the tariff was raised in the summer of 1828 (Brinkley 207). The South Carolinians and Vice President John C. Calhoun saw the taxes as “blatantly unconstitutional, exceeding Congress’s powers to raise necessary revenues and oppressing one section of the country while enriching others” (Wilentz 63). A nullification document written by Calhoun known as the South Carolina Exposition and Protest was passed by the state legislature in 1832 as a response. This text announced that any state could declare its original sovereignty and disregard federal laws that are found offensive in their borders. In retaliation, Jackson sent federal troops to South Carolina to enforce the law, but before any violence could ensure the state backed down (Brinkley 207). This created a strong rift between the Jackson and his vice president that turned in to a bitter rivalry between the two. Jackson’s...
Cited: Brinkley, Alan. The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People. 7th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.
Remini, Robert V. The Legacy of Andrew Jackson: Essays on Democracy, Indian Removal, and Slavery. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1988. Print.
Widmer, Edward L. Martin Van Buren. New York: Times, 2005. Print.
Wilentz, Sean. Andrew Jackson. New York: Times ., 2005. Print.
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