Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). A polarizing figure who dominated the Second Party System in the 1820s and 1830s, as president he destroyed the national bank and relocated most Indian tribes from the Southeast to west of the Mississippi River.
True, there were things about him that remained constant: his pursuit of fame, his conscientious performance of duty, his courage, his deep loyalties, his relentless patriotism, his everlasting harping on grievances and personal slights, and later, as President, his unshakable belief that he represented the people against aristocracy and privilege. But there was the other side. Take his celebrated temper for example; supposedly it was an uncontrolled and elemental force of nature, which when released could not be assuaged until it had run its course.
About the year 1809 it chanced that twins were born to one of Mrs. Jackson's brothers, Savern Donelson. The mother, not in perfect health, was scarcely able to sustain both these new comers. Mrs. Jackson, partly to relieve her sister, and partly with the wish to provide a son and heir for her husband, took on of the infants, when it was but a few days old, home to Hermitage. The General soon became extremely fond of the boy, gave him his own name, adopted him, and treated him thenceforth to the last hour of his life, not as a son merely, but as an only son.
For a backwoods judge, Jackson performed exceedingly well. There was no nonsense with him. There was "shoot" in his eyes, and sane men did not trifle with that.
To Jackson, the current contest in America was simply the latest stage of the historic struggle against privilege that ran back to the Magna Carta and included the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century, the English Revolution of the seventeenth, and the American Revolution of the eighteenth. At each stage the people seized more of what by right belonged to them, from those who intended that power remain the monopoly of the few. Finally, for the first time in American history, and for one of the very few times in human history, the people had chosen one of their own to govern them.
But Jackson and Van Buren believed the less government interference with the market, the better, and they worried that federally funded internal improvements in single states would lead to corruption and an unequal distribution of national resources...Jackson was determined to pay down the debt, which he abhorred, and he watched the growing number of bills proposed in Congress with alarm---noting, in a memorandum on the veto, that they would "far exceed by many millions the amount available in the Treasury for the year 1830" if passed.
Andrew Jackson knew that a Central bank improved the fortunes of an "elite circle" of commercial and industrial bankers at the expense of hard working Americans. He was proven right, when during his administration, the U.S. Government was, for the first, and so far the only time, debt free.
Born in the Carolinas in 1767, he fought in the Revolutionary War as an adolescent and then moved to Tennessee in search of opportunity. Tall, well-proportioned, and always well dressed, he carried himself in polite society with dignity and courtliness. But he could be ferocious in situations of contention.
The youngest of three sons of Scotch-Irish immigrants, he grew up in rural South Carolina and attended local schools before leaving school to join the Army at age 13 during the American Revolution. He was in a battle and was later captured by the British, making him the only president to have been a prisoner of war.
In 1832, South Carolina adopted a resolution declaring federal tariffs passed in 1828 and 1832 null and void and prohibiting their enforcement within state boundaries. While urging Congress to lower the high tariffs, Jackson sought and obtained the authority to order federal armed forces to South Carolina to enforce federal laws. Violence seemed imminent, but South Carolina backed down, and Jackson earned credit for preserving the Union in its greatest moment of crisis to that date.
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), seventh president of the United States (1829-1837), is one of those figures in the pantheon of larger-than-life Americans past whose real personality has all but vanished. Once flesh and blood, he seems two-dimensional now, and perhaps even irrelevant to what America has become. But that should not be, because Jackson embodies American defiance and American bravado.
Cultivating the image of a feisty frontiersman, Jackson felt that it was his responsibility to represent the average American citizen. He fought with Congress over any legislation that appeared to favor the rich, a philosophy known as "Jacksonian Democracy." He also continued to fight the war on the frontier by signing the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which allowed the American government to forcibly relocate Native Americans to territories west of the Mississippi River.