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Lasting Legacy of Andrew Jackson

By wolfgenz Nov 19, 2013 1132 Words

Andrew Jackson was a victorious and triumphant man for he rose from the depths of poverty. Andrew Jackson was born to irish immigrants and then descended to authority over the nation as the 7th president and was defined as a national military icon. He addressed issues beyond politics and ideologies previously set in place by the founding fathers of the nation. These issues were climacteric for a budding nation in search for it’s individuality. Andrew Jackson’s lasting legacy include the two political party system, relationship with voters, and resistance to congress.

Andrew Jackson’s overall attitude to opposition lead to the creation of the Whig Party. Politics at the time revolved around issues spawned by the market revolution and tension between the national and sectional loyalties. Political debate centered upon the government’s policy towards banks, tariffs, currency, internal improvements, and balance between national and local power. However, a two party political system was result. The Democrat’s were enforcing the idea of “Laissez-Faire” towards the economy. They stated that business-men, bankers and men alike used connections to enhance their wealth and create a more widening gap between the social classes. A “Hands-off” approach would give ordinary americans the chance to test their abilities in fair competition of the self-regulating market. Jackson embraced Laissez-Faire for it was the most beneficial to economic equality and political liberty. Jackson believed the Republican government should be meager, abstemious, and accessible. Democratic Supporters included entrepreneurs, a large numbers of farmers, and city workingmen. Poor farming regions secluded from markets often voted democrat. The Whig Party united behind the american system, they believe that tariffs, a national bank, and aid in internal improvements would lead the nation’s economic development. Whig Party supporters were strongest in the Northeast such as along the Erie Canal. Slave-owners supported the Whig Party for they supported state’s rights. Throughout Jackson’s presidency, Democrats reduced expenses, lowered the tariff, voided the national bank, and refused the requests for federal aid in internal improvements. In 1835, Jackson was even able to pay off the national debt. This resulted in the federal government becoming the country’s main economic actors. The Democratic Party still exist till this very day, while the Whig Party broke off into several other factions such as The Know-Nothing Party, Free-Soil Party, and The Modern Republican Party.

Jackson’s military participation and success in The War of 1812 captured the preconception of the nation and put him on the path to presidency. Due to the victory at The Battle of New Orleans, he was seen a national hero who was loved and respected by many average american’s. Andrew Jackson was a man of limited education, spoke no foreign languages, and had little legislative and executive experience. Although he had few qualifications, he was nominated for president anyway by The Tennessee Legislatures. There was no organized presidential campaign in 1824 nonetheless, powerful political friends of Jackson’s organized meetings of his supporters. They as well published “Letters to Wyoming” advocating Jackson’s ability to restore virtue into the government. Jackson was proved to be the only candidate with a national popular following. Although he fell short of a majority, he had a 43% of popular vote but only 99 electoral college votes. The 12th amendment was then the deciding factor for no candidate had majority in electoral college votes. Jackson swears a “corrupt bargain” between John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay swindled him out of office. He then hereafter began preparing for the 1828 election. This marked the 1st presidential campaign plea to voters through a competent political organization. The election was the focus of attention throughout the nation which caused voter participation to increase significantly. Andrew Jackson’s relatability and background lead him to be favored by the people.

Andrew Jackson’s resistance to congress is quite evident in more occasions than one. Jackson forged links with voters because he spoke in plain and powerful language to the people. He transformed the role of the president as the chief administrator to the people’s tribune and sole defender. Jackson was often referred to as “King Andrew” stemming from his bold initiatives and domineering style. Jackson forced members out if they did not execute his commands. He took it upon himself to form his “Kitchen’s Cabinet” which allowed him to have private meetings with his advisers and publicists. Jackson abused this power by creating the spoils system, he granted jobs to his supporters. The Bank War is one example of hostility between Jackson and Congress. In 1832, congress attempted at prolonging the bill for the National Bank but Jackson vetoed it. Jackson won the Bank War in 1834 when the House of Representatives voted against the bank, ultimately shutting it down. State banks rose in power at the National Bank’s death. The inflation of prices was caused by state banks issuing too much currency. The Panic of 1837 lead to a depression. The Nullification Crisis almost led the nation to disarray. The Tariff of 1828 was widely despised by the southerners for they saw it as transferring of wealth from the cotton planters to northern manufacturers. John C. Calhoun and supporters viewed it as unconstitutional. They argued that an individual state had the right to declare null and void to any federal law not agreed upon. South Carolina passed its Nullification Ordinance in November of 1832. Despite Jackson being a states rights advocate, he thought it would lead the nation to a disunion. Jackson persuaded Congress to legislate a Force Bill, granting him to the use of the army and navy. Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun created the new passage of a new tariff in 1833 in hope to avoid confrontation. South Carolina repealed the ordinance and proceeded to nullify the Force Act. The country’s growth and future success depended on its ability to expand westward, and new generations of whites to live and farm on their own land. The Indians prevented this from happening due to the fact they’ve been living on the land for generations. Jackson pushed for The Indian Removal Act, which would give the president power to negotiate removal treaties of the Indian tribes east of the Mississippi that would give up their lands in exchange for lands in the west. In Worcester v. Georgia, the supreme court ruled in the favor of the Indians. Georgia’s actions violated the Cherokee’s treaties with Washington. Ironically, Jackson refused to acknowledge the ruling. The Cherokee’s acted in passive resistance and as well surcuming to secceding of their land. The Trail of Tears is of result. Andrew Jackson’s overall resistance legacy expanded the presidential authority.

Andrew Jackson’s overall lasting legacy includes expanding the presidential authority, establishing a relationship with voters, and influencing the creation of a two-political party system.

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