It cannot be questioned that Andrew Jackson had extreme impact serving as the United States seventh president. He, along with many others of the time, believed that with the impact he had he was even a hero. The fact of the matter, however, is that many results of his impactful decisions were often not always for the benefit of the country. His personal values alone did not seek the country’s best interest. With the overall result of the choices that Jackson made, he was indeed not hero and only limited democracy resulting in negative affects to the United States.
Jackson was “born to command”, but form the very beginning of his presidency he showed that these commands didn’t always extend democracy as a whole. (Document N) Once elected, he followed the Spoil System where he appointed key supporters with government jobs. Many of these supporters lacked the qualification necessary to fulfill these positions and could not live up to the expectations of their requirements. This was extremely undemocratic as the people did not choose these representatives but rather he did, risking the country’s wellbeing. Jackson was also criticized of using a Kitchen Cabinet where he let close friends of his have considerable influence on his decisions instead of following the general opinion of United States as a whole. Of course there are times where he may think differently on a matter than the people of the U.S., but to let close friends make these decisions for him goes against democracy. With the Force Act that Jackson implements in 1831, he threatens Martial Law on South Carolina if they refused to rescind their nullification of the Tariff of 1828. By doing so he acts much more as a monarch than a democratic president as taking military action on one of your own states can only cause disunity about the country. He justifies this by saying that there is no other way and abandons any possibility of a more democratic solution, only setting a tyrannical precedent for the future which in no way is not what the people of the United States wished for. (Document F) The crisis is resolved when Henry Clay proposes a compromise tariff and so the necessity of this extreme proposal by Jackson is faulted.
With the Trail of Tears that resulted in the relocation of Native Americans to Oklahoma, Jackson lets his own personal feelings towards Native Americans affect his decision making. Jackson broke, with the Indian Removal Act, the federal treaty that was made with the Cherokee that granted them land in Georgia forever. (Document H) A democratic leader would not have gone ahead with breaking this treaty made with the Cherokee for their own personal values. Even though leading nearly 1/3 of the Native American population to their deaths was not necessarily considered an immoral thing to do at this time, Jackson did not follow the democratic principles of dealing with this issue. When election time comes around and Jackson prepares to run for a second term he is forced into a bind. Henry Clay, who will run for president in 1832, supports the National Bank which Jackson had criticized in the past. Although Jackson did criticize the bank, he knew that, with all its flaws, its policies did work. He then made a political decision to veto the re-chartering of the National Bank putting the U.S. economy at risk. (Document G) Although he backs up his decision with valid issues that the bank possessed, he put his own career ahead of the national interest and as a result the economy would suffer.
After destroying the National bank, many other issues arise as a product of Jackson’s decision. With the end of the National Bank all assets are transferred to state banks. Since western expansion is on the rise at this time, these state banks give out loans to people moving west and are forced to print more money to meet these loan demands leading to inflation. Jackson goes about dealing with this inflation by issuing the Specie Circular which requires only gold and silver for future land sales. By requiring such a thing it leads to a financial panic and the first U.S. depression. If Jackson simply would have saved the National Bank instead of saving his political career, it is quite possible that the depression and problem to follow could have been avoided. In 1833 Jackson again followed his own personal agenda ahead of the nation interest with the veto of The Maysville Road. (Document E) In rebuke of Henry Clay he denied funding for a beneficial road between Lexington and Maysville Kentucky. Jackson sought only to go against Clay’s proposal rather than seeing the bigger picture in what the road would bring leaving the U.S. citizens to pay the price which again shows Jackson’s failure to serve democracy.
Jackson showed time and time again that he failed to represent the people of the United States. With his own personal interests at hand he compromised the foundation of what the U.S. built on being democracy. Many times he knew the consequences that would come from his decisions but yet he still carried them out until he ran the U.S. into a depression and his presidency had expired leaving the country in a world of hurt. If Jackson was really a hero, the negative influence that he had on the United States would never had come about.