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Andrew Jackson

By thatginger90 Dec 02, 2013 857 Words

Andrew Jackson
Jackson was born on March 15, 1767. His parents were Scots-Irish colonists Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, Presbyterians who had emigrated from Ireland two years earlier. Jackson's father was born in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, in current-day Northern Ireland, around 1738. Jackson's parents lived in the village of Boneybefore, also in County Antrim. When they immigrated to America in 1765, Jackson's parents probably landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They would have traveled overland down through the Appalachian Mountains to the Scots-Irish community in the Waxhaws region, straddling the border between North and South Carolina. They brought two children from Ireland, Hugh and Robert. Jackson's father died in an accident in February 1767, at the age of 29, three weeks before his son Andrew was born in the Waxhaws area. His exact birth site is unclear because he was born about the time his mother was making a difficult trip home from burying Jackson's father. The area was so remote that the border between North and South Carolina had not officially been surveyed. Jackson received a sporadic education in the local "old-field" school. In 1781, he worked for a time in a saddle-maker's shop. Later, he taught school and studied law in Salisbury, North Carolina. In 1787, he was admitted to the bar, and moved to Jonesborough, in the Western District of North Carolina. This area became the Southwest Territory, the precursor to the state of Tennessee. During the American Revolutionary War, Jackson, at age thirteen, joined a local militia as a courier. His eldest brother, Hugh, died from heat exhaustion during the Battle of Stono Ferry, on June 20, 1779. Jackson and his brother Robert were captured by the British and held as prisoners; they nearly starved to death in captivity. When Jackson refused to clean the boots of a British officer, the officer slashed at the youth with a sword, leaving Jackson with scars on his left hand and head. While imprisoned, the brothers contracted smallpox. Jackson became an orphan at age 14.  Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States. Based in frontier Tennessee, he was a politician, an army general who defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, and the British at the Battle of New Orleans. An opposing figure who dominated the Second Party System in the 1820s and 1830s, as president he dismantled the Second Bank of the United States and initiated forced relocation and resettlement of Native American tribes from the Southeast to west of the Mississippi River. His enthusiastic followers created the modern Democratic Party. The 1830–1850 period later became known as the era of Jacksonian democracy. Jackson was nicknamed "Old Hickory" because of his toughness and aggressive personality. He was a wealthy slaveholder. He fought politically against what he denounced as a closed, undemocratic aristocracy, adding to his appeal to common citizens. He expanded the spoils system during his presidency to strengthen his political base. Elected president in 1828, Jackson supported a small and limited federal government. He was supportive of states' rights, but during the Nullification Crisis, declared that states do not have the right to nullify federal laws. Strongly against the national bank, he vetoed the renewal of its charter and ensured its collapse. Whigs and moralists denounced his aggressive enforcement of the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in the forced relocation of thousands of Native Americans to Indian Territory. Historians acknowledge his protection of popular democracy and individual liberty for United States citizens, but criticize his support for slavery and his role in Indian removal. In addition to his legal and political career, Jackson prospered as planter, slave owner, and merchant. He built a home and the first general store in Gallatin, Tennessee in 1803. The next year he acquired the Hermitage, a plantation in Davidson County, near Nashville. The primary crop was cotton, grown by enslaved workers. Starting with nine slaves, Jackson held as many as 44 by 1820, and later held up to 150 slaves, making him among the planter elite. Throughout his lifetime Jackson may have owned as many as 300 slaves. Jackson was appointed commander of the Tennessee militia in 1801, with the rank of colonel. He was later elected major general of the Tennessee militia in 1802. Jackson defeated the Red Sticks at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. Jackson's service in the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom was conspicuous for bravery and success. He was a strict officer but was popular with his troops. Because I am part Native American, I believe the most controversial aspect of Jackson's presidency was his policy regarding Native Americans. Jackson was a leading advocate of a policy known as Indian removal. Jackson had been negotiating treaties and removal policies with Indian leaders for years before his election as president. The Treaty of New Echota was enforced by Jackson's successor, Van Buren, who ordered 7,000 armed troops to remove the Cherokees. Many Cherokees thought their appeals were still being considered until troops arrived. This abrupt and forced removal resulted in the deaths of over 4,000 Cherokees on the "Trail of Tears". Nevertheless, Jackson is often held responsible for all that took place in the 1830s, Americans should have apologized for his presidency, and had been ashamed to call him their president.

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