"I cannot be intimidated from doing that which my judgment and conscience tell me is right by any earthly power."
This quote by Jackson underlies the fact the he was a selfish, tyrannical ruler. He did not make decisions based on the interests of the whole nation but on his own personal benefit, in search of self- achievement. Although he was portrayed or possibly manipulated the citizens to believe that he was a president for the common man, that was simply not the way he acted. As president, he purposely ignored the power of the Judicial branch to judge laws, and strengthened the power of the Executive branch above the limits in the Constitution. He was also said to be rude and uneducated, which might have led to the reasons why he was such a power hungry tyrant; but before one makes this harsh judgment they must first realize the type of life that Andrew Jackson lived. It almost certainly was the main reason why his thought process was so different from the regular wealthy, educated earlier presidents. The third child of Irish immigrants, he joined the Army when he was only thirteen years old. Although he was young he had already developed hatred towards the British, because his oldest brother was killed fighting in the Revolution. Even though Jackson was an exceptional soldier, both him and his middle brother were captured by British troops. After their mother pleaded for their release, the boys were set free, but due to the poor living conditions of the army camp, Jackson's family was overcome by the smallpox disease. Leaving him all alone in life. This traumatic time in his life could have been the start of all his psychological problems.
It seems that trouble almost always found Jackson. After being a lawyer for only a few years, an argument with another lawyer in the town led to an insult. Eventually Jackson challenged the man to a duel. Things did not look good for Jackson's opponent because Jackson was a notoriously good shot, but at the last minute Jackson offered his enemy some bacon and a joke, and they laughed together. This shows Jackson had the power to manipulate people. In just a few years of law Jackson, now eighteen met his soon to be wife, Rachel Robards. There was a small problem though
Rachel was married. But Jackson being the terrifying man that he was, played with a huge knife during the divorce trial; this petrified her first husband, and after a short trail the case was thrown out and Rachel was divorced. Jackson and Rachel were married in August of 1791; this brought his spirits up very much. Proof of this is in how he says, "Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there."
Even though Andrew Jackson had matured a lot by the early eighteen hundreds, his temper was still blazing. In October 1803, He came across a Tennessee's governor, whom happened to be an old rival; reportedly the governor said something about Rachel Jackson. Without delay Jackson challenged the governor to a duel, he refused and Jackson put an announcement in a local paper, calling the man a coward. The humiliated governor then persuaded a young marksman named Charles Dickinson to offend Rachel and challenge her husband to a duel. Jackson then met Dickinson in a Kentucky meadow at dawn. Dickinson being a faster draw, fired first. He hit Jackson in the chest, a bad wound; but Jackson's soon retaliated with a shot to the stomach that instantly killed his opponent. Dickinson's bullet was too close to Jackson's heart to be removed by the surgeons back then, and it stayed there for the rest of his life. Jackson, getting bored with the farm life and politics decided he wanted to command an army once again; he led a small volunteer group south down the Mississippi River. But when the government got wind of this they sent him back to Nashville, where Jackson promptly got in another brawl with a rival. This one exploded into a shoot-out among...
Bibliography: 1. Cayton, Andrew, Perry, Elisabeth I. and Allan M. Winkler. American Pathways to the Present. Needham: Prentice Hall, 1995
2. Kunhardt, Phillip B, Phillip III and Paul. "Andrew Jackson the 7th president." The American President. (April 9, 2000): Online. Internet. May 2, 2001
3. Jackson, Andrew. "First Inaugural Address." Inaugural addresses of the Presidents of the United States. (1989): p.3
4. Jackson, Andrew. "Second Inaugural Address." Inaugural addresses of the Presidents of the United States. (1989): p.2
5. Zinn, Howard. "As Long as the Grass Grows or Water Runs " A Peoples History of the United States: 1492 to Present. New York City: Harper Collins, 1999
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