18 November 2009
For the Common Man?
With Jackson's warm welcome to office in 1829, a strong foundation was set for a powerful Democratic rule. With Jackson's Machiavellian theories he believed that the "ends justified the means"(Remini). Jackson integrated those beliefs into his presidency and used big government means to create a more democratic nation. Andrew Jackson and his policies strengthened the new American nationalism. Through his actions during his presidency, he changed the nation into a more nationalistic country. Jackson was a man of the people, and he strongly felt that the common man was the power behind government and because of this he can be considered to work for the common man. To benefit the common man Jackson is credited with using big power tactics to remove Indians, shut down the national bank, and stop the nullification crises.
Jackson was a man of humble background who developed into a very impatient, strong-willed man. He first got his fame in 1815 when he defeated the British Army at New Orleans with his untrained militia. After this he kept on growing in popularity and was moving up in political status eventually running for office. He lost the election for presidency in 1824, and claimed it was done so by a "corrupt bargain" between Adams and Clay. He finally got his presidency in 1828 and most of his votes came from the West and South. When he was in office, he made it clear that he would get his way and “he was labeled King Jackson the First"(Watson). He expanded the power of the President, supported a strong national government and used his power to get what he wanted. He vetoed 12 times in his 2 terms in office and “his presidency was one of violence, and a sort of monarchy rule” (Remini). Jackson's Democratic thought was in obvious opposition to the Federal Bank of the United States. The monopolistic character of the bank started to take over the banking system and there wasn't any room for smaller private banks. Andrew Jackson viewed this as an unconstitutional act and would therefore fight the bank charter that would obviously renew their system of organization. Nicholas Biddle, the president of the National Bank, had problems with this and helped bolster the coalition against Jackson. Daniel Webster, a member of the great Triumvirate, and a Whig, took the case on the side of the bank. Webster's case was that the president shouldn't have such a power, a power considered to be given to a king. Andrew Jackson was portrayed as intimidating man with the Bank decision veto in one hand and a club in the other. This shows Jackson's use of big power in the Executive branch to achieve a more democratic rule for the common man.
While in office, Jackson strengthened the idea of " nationalism". Jackson firmly believed that the government should be restricted and be the "simple machine which the Constitution created"(Berlin). He ignored many of the decisions made by the Supreme Court when he felt that the common man would not benefit. Jackson had a strong personality and was well liked because he was a man of the people. He didn't make his view clear many times, but still received support from the people. He also used violence to get his way. “A person was either for him or against him” (Berlin). The Era of the Common Man started four years before Jackson's inauguration. This was due to the "corrupt bargain" of 1824, when Henry Clay shifted his votes to John Q. Adams in return for the appointment to Secretary Of State. People felt this was wrong considering Jackson's plurality of votes. Along with this the Western states allowed total white male suffrage forcing Eastern States to allow it thereby doubling the eligible voters. To gain the support of democracy which at that time was considered to be only white males who were occupying the land. A large influx of voters to the west led to a...
Bibliography: Justin Berlin, Andrew Jackson, Proclamation Regarding Nullification, 10 December 1992.Web. November 17, 2009. <http://www.teachingamericanhistory.org/>.
Robert Remini, The Legacy of Andrew Jackson: Democracy, Indian Removal, and Slavery Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1988 October, 25. Web. November 17, 2009. <http://www.the hermitage.com >.
Harry Watson, Liberty and Power: The Politics of Jacksonian America. New York: Hill and Wang, 1990. 121. Web. November 17, 2009. <http://www.americanpresidents.org>.
Rob Martin, Obama: Election, politics, and power. Washington D.C. 2009. Web. November 17, 2009. <http://www.biocongress.gov>.
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