Andrew Jackson's Nomination To The President's Hall of Fame
Like any hall of fame, its inductees are the best in
whatever they do, from baseball or football to being
President. If you are a member of any hall of fame
(including the one for the Presidents), it means that you
have done something special or have a certain quality about
yourself that makes you worthy to be in a hall of fame. My
nominee for the Presidents hall of Fame is our seventh
President of the United States, Andrew Jackson. I'll go
over his presidency, focusing on both the highs and the
lows of his two terms in office, from 1829-1837. The issues
that I'll focus on are states' rights, nullification, the
tariff, the spoils system, Indian removal and banking
policies; these controversies brought forth strong rivalry
over his years of president. He was known for his iron will
and fiery personality, and strong use of the powers of his
office. His years of presidency became known as the "Age of
Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767, in a settlement
on the border of North and South Carolina. He was orphaned
 age 14. After studying law and becoming a member of the
Bar in North Carolina, he moved to Nashville Tennessee.
There he became a member of a powerful political faction
led by William Blount. He was married in 1791 to Rachel
Donelson Robards. The ceremony was not considered
legitimate because of a legal mistake in Rachel's prior
divorce. He was remarried in 1794. 

Jackson served as a delegate for Tennessee at the 1796
Constitutional convention and a congressman for a year
(from 1796-97). He was elected senator in 1797, but
financial problems forced him to resign and return to
Tennessee. Later he served as a Tennessee Superior Court
judge for six years starting in 1798. In 1804 he retired
from the bench and moved to Nashville and devoted time to
business ventures and his plantation. At this time his
political career appeared as if it was finished.
In 1814 Jackson became a Major General in the Tennessee
Militia, and was ordered to march against the Creek Indians
(who were pro-British in the war of 1812). His goal was
achieved at Horseshoe Bend in March of 1814. Eventually he
forced all Indians to retreat from the area. His victory's
impressed some people in Washington and Jackson was put in
command of the defense of New Orleans. This show of
American strength made Americans feel proud after a war
filled with military defeats. Jackson was given the
nickname "Old Hickory", and was treated as a national hero.
In 1817 he was ordered to attack the Seminole Indians. He
pushed them back into Spanish Florida and executed two
British subjects. His actions helped the United Sates to
acquire the Florida territory, and he became a provisional
governor of Florida that same year.
In 1823, he was elected to the U.S. senate. His term in
office brought him inot the limelight and in 1828 he was
nominated to run for the presidency. The campaign that
followed was filled with mud slinging on both sides. Andrew
Jackson was victorious and became the seventh President of
the United States. 
Instead of selecting cabinet members that a president was
expected to choose, he relied more on an informal group of
newspaper writers and northern politicians who had worked
for his election. This brought him in closer contact with
the people of the United States, and gave him a better
feeling of public opinions on national issues. President
Jackson developed the system of "rotation in office" in
order to protect the American people by removing long-term
office holders. His enemies accused him of corrupting the
civil service system and using it to insure his personal
popularity and insure loyalty of the people in his
States' rights played an important part in Jackson's
policies as president. In the case of the Cherokee Indians
vs. The State of Georgia, two Supreme Court decisions in
1831 and 1832 upheld the rights of the Cherokee nation in
opposition to the ruling of the State of Georgia. Chief
Justice John Marshall ruled that Georgia had no
jurisdiction to interfere with the rights of the Cherokee
and removal of them would violate treaties between them and
the U.S. Government. President Jackson, not liking these
decisions, was reported to have said, "John Marshall has
made his decision, now let him enforce it." To emphasize
his point, in 1838 (one year after Jackson left office), a
unit of federal troops rounded up the 15,000 Cherokee who
had resisted relocation and remained in Georgia. During the
cold and rain of winter, the native Americans were forced
to leave their homes and march to their lands in the west.
This became known as the "Trail of Tears" since about 25%
of the people died in route of either disease, starvation,
and exposure to the cold. Even though Jackson wasn't in
office at the time and this did not occur during his
presidency, his influence was still felt by his
predecessor, Martin Van Burin.
The question of the tariff was a major controversy in the
United States around the years of his Presidency and his
strong support for a unified nation over states' rights
would hold the country together in this national crisis.
Jackson had promised the south a reduction in duties to
levels established in 1828, which were acceptable to
southerners as opposed to the higher rates since then. In
1832 his administration only sliced away a little bit of
the duties, not close to what the south expected he would
do. In retaliation of this insulting lack of concern of the
South's voice in government, South Carolina acting on the
doctrine of Nullification which stated that the union was
made up of the states and that the states had the right to
null or void a law if they didn't agree with it, declared
the federal tariff laws of 1828 and 1832 invalid and
prohibited collection of tariff's after February first of
1833. Jackson's response to this came with his
Nullification Proclamation on December 10, 1832. He
declared his intent to enforce the law and was willing to
seek an agreement in a lowering of tariff's. In 1833
Congress passed a Compromise Bill which set a new tariff.
When the other southern states accepted the new tariff, the
threat of 
 South Carolina breaking away form the union was brought to
a "happy" end.
The Second Bank of the United States was not made into an
issue at the time of Jackson's election in 1828; however he
decided that the bank, which is not a government bank, but
chartered by it in 1826, had failed to provide a stable
currency. He felt that it had favored the Northern states,
and granted only a few loans to the southern and western
areas because they were a larger risk and the bank didn't
see it in it's interest to make such a gamble with it's
money. He felt that the bank was in violation with the
Constitution. Even though the bank's charter wasn't due to
expire until 1836, Jackson's political enemies pushed a
bill through congress granting the bank's re-charter. The
bill was vetoed by Jackson and the "Bank" issue was a
major item in his re-election in 1832. In his second term
Jackson decided to remove federal deposits from the bank
and deposited the money into "pet banks" around the
country. This virtually took away the power of Nicholas
Biddle as president of the Second National Bank, and
angered Jackson's opponents. They felt that Jackson had
abused the power of the presidency. The increase in loans
from the state chartered banks caused a land boom and gave
the Federal government a surplus of money (which it split
up amongst the states). The increase in loans brought about
the use of paper currency that was issued by the state
banks, Jackson prohibited the use of paper money for
payment of federal land or federal debts. This demand for
coins called "specie", led to many bank failures in the
Panic of 1837. 
Jackson's foreign policy showed strength. He was
responsible in regaining a long overdue French debt and
reopening the British West Indian Trade. Even thought he
personally agreed with the rebellion of Texas against
Mexico, he didn't recognize the Lone Star republic until
the day before he left office in 1837. This left the
problem of Texas' annexation to Martin Van Buren. 
Andrew Jackson was succeeded by Martin Van Buren, even
though he switched his support to James K. Polk His voice
did not carry enough weight, in spite of his popularity
within the Democratic party. He died on 
 June 8, 1845 on his plantation, the Hermitage, in
Nashville Tennessee.
Andrew Jackson was the first "peoples president." This
comes from his youth in a frontier territory and his
"people qualities". He remained in touch with the people of
the United States and even went so far as to call himself
the elected representative of all American people.
Jackson's strengthening of the powers of the presidency is
his biggest accomplishment. He used the power of the veto
12 times (more times than all of his successors combined).
His use of the powers of removal and of executive orders
set the standard for the American Presidency and warrant
his nomination to the presidential Hall of Fame. 


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