Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson was born in 1767 and died in 1845. He was also the seventh president of the United States. As Encarta Encyclopedia states, Jackson fought his way to leadership and wealth in a frontier society, and his success established a bond between him and the common people that was never broken. Small farmers, laborers, mechanics, and many other Americans struggling to better themselves looked to Jackson for leadership (1). Jackson moved his way up the chain of the military before becoming president. From an idea in Encarta Encyclopedia, Jackson was a Democrat that was also a hermit. The Democrats considered the opposing party, the National Republicans, later known as the Whigs, aristocrats (1).

As McDuffie, Piggrem, and Woodworth stated, Andrew Jackson set many principles such as the spoils system, and the expansion of the electorate. He helped spread the electorate system to the west, and expanded it so not only white property owners could vote, but so whites that didn?t own property. All blacks could not vote and were excluded at all costs. (53). Although blacks and women were still left out of the picture, it helped set the basic properties for later on. The way he did it was not the best for common people, but he was still considered a great president by most people.

As in Encarta Encyclopedia, three years before Andrew Jackson was born, his Scotch-Irish parents, emigrated to America from Northern Ireland. They had two sons at the time. Andrew?s Father took up farming, and died three days before Andrew was born. The widow Jackson moved her family into the home of a nearby relative, where Andrew spent his days growing up. He learned how to read, and was often called upon by the community to read the Philadelphia Newspaper. (3)

Andrew Jackson held many military and other job positions while working his way up through the government chain. As in Encarta Encyclopedia, he started off by studying under Spruce Macay who was a lawyer in Salisbury, North Carolina. He started his own practice in 1787. He then was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. After one year in the House, Jackson was elected to fill out an unexpected term in the U.S. Senate. He served for over a year and then retired to his private life (3). As Robert S. Summers posted, in Tennessee, Jackson was appointed to judge of the state superior court. He was at that position for about six years (www.ipl.org/ref/POTUS/ajackson.html). Later right before his presidency he was elected to the senate for approximately one more year (Encarta, 4). He was promoted to governor of the territory of Florida after taking it over and leading troops into the dangerous territory when he was greatly outnumbered (Encarta, 2).

Before Jackson became president, he was known as a great fighter and didn?t let anyone mess with him. As in Britannica Encyclopedia, Charles Dickinson once insulted Jackson?s wife, and Jackson challenged him to a duel with pistols. Andrew Jackson stood there and intentionally let Dickinson fire first, for he was a much better shot. Jackson was shot in the chest and stood there like a tree. His first shot misfired, but his second did not, and he killed Dickinson. The bullet in his chest nearly missed his heart, and could not be removed. He lived with that bullet in his chest for the rest of his life (254).

The campaign of 1828 was filled with mud slinging. Adams, his opponent, brought up his past as a murderer, a drunk, a gambler, and an adulterer (Britannica, 258). Adams also said that he was an illiterate backwoodsman, which actually helped Jackson because it added to his appeal as a common American. (Encarta, 6). Jackson added to the mud slinging by calling Adams rich, in College, but it was a close race by the popular vote (Britannica, 258). The voters weren?t really responding to either of their campaigns closely.

Jackson was suspicious of banks, paper money, and exclusive monopolies (Britannica, 259). As stated in Encarta, they could and did call in all the states? bank notes at any time, and require them to be paid in specie (gold or silver coins). This greatly restricted extensive lending by the state banks. The way it got this power was because it was the official depository for federal revenues, yet it was only remotely under the federal governments control (8).