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Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States. He is most known as the USA's first populist president (he was a champion of the rights of white male commoners at a time when Aristocratic elites were running the government for their own benefit), and the first President elected by the Democratic Party. Jackson helped take down a corrupt national bank that served moneyed elites rather than ordinary people. [1] He was also very brutal to native Americans, or at the very least, refused to keep States from being brutal to Indigenous peoples..

War and duels

Andrew Jackson may have been America's most bad-ass President. He was born the son of common Scottish immigrants. Jackson had been in the Revolutionary War at age 13. After the war, he continued his education and became a lawyer, planter, and politician on the western frontier. He supposedly was present at the treason trial of his friend and colleague Aaron Burr, and let it be known that he would challenge any man who had a bad word to say about Burr (and got no takers). He fought numerous duels, and in one case allowed himself to be shot in the chest in order to take careful aim and dispatch his opponent, Charles Dickinson, who had a reputation as one of the finest shots and most dangerous duelists in America. Jackson later became the General of the Southern Army which defeated combined British and Native forces during the War of 1812 (or not, since the battle took place after the War was ended and before Folks in Louisiana knew). His most famous victory was the battle of New Orleans.

Genocide

Andrew Jackson is also known for forcing thousands upon thousands of Native Americans down the Trail of Tears, thus killing the majority of the Cherokee Tribe, one of the USA's closest friends for much of its history. Hypocritically Jackson had a slogan, "Power to the people." He meant "Power to ordinary white men." He didn't care about Native Americans (publicly, anyway. He did adopt a native son, Lyncoya) and kept slaves.

Corruption

Jackson is also credited with having created the spoils system in American politics, which essentially began the practice of granting "political favors." In Fact, the political appointments had been happening since the beginning of the Federal Government, but no populist had been able to use it prior to Jackson (even Aaron Burr hadn't been allowed to make any appointments in the first Jefferson term). The populism of Jacksonian Democracy upset the aristocratic elites who had been empowered, in previous administrations. Many who had supported the Democratic-Republicans left the party and joined their conservative brethren in forming the Whig Party.

His face

Andrew Jackson's face appears on the twenty-dollar bill. Some people think his face should be removed from it, and some people intend that it soon will be.

The problem is that Republicans are very conflicted about the whole issue now that they're allied with nativist and racist and reactionary factions. Jackson was a slave owner and racist, so they could potentially get some cover by replacing him. They might get folks to forget the First Democratic Party President was the most badass President ever, and the only Republican President even close to as bad-ass as Jackson quit their Party to become a Progressive. On the other hand, the person replacing Jackson on the double sawbuck is pretty badass too, but really hard for their nativist, racist, and reactionary factions to accept.

Was Andrew Jackson Liberal or conservative?

Viewed from our time, and with our understanding of Politics and Economics, Andrew Jackson's policies seem pretty elitist. However, Andrew Jackson was a liberal. Jackson's policies advanced the cause of Representative Government, Universal Rights, Federalism v. Nationalism, elimination of Aristocratic and Elite privilege, and elimination of Regressive Taxation.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • ”Hero” at the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812
  • Reduced the National Debt to $33,733.05
  • Paid off the national debt for one whole year
  • Was reportedly the first American President to be victim of an Assassination attempt. When the would-be assassin's pistols miss-fired, the 67 year-old President caned the man into submission.
  • Notoriously protective of his honor, Jackson is alleged to have been involved in over a hundred Affairs of Honor, and to have killed one of America's most deadly duelists.
  • Tall, thin, and notoriously hardy in his youth, Jackson was alleged to have received so many wounds and carried so much shot and shrapnel in his body that he "rattled like a bag of marbles" when he walked

Cons

  • Aggressively ambitious, personally, militarily and politically
  • Signed the Indian Removal Act into law.
  • Trail of Tears
  • By dissolving the National Bank he may have allowed a country-wide depression in his successor's term.
  • The Nullification Crisis
  • Created the Spoils system.
  • Fervently pro-slavery.
  • Flat-Earther
  • Had a terrible temper.
  • Had a gambling problem.
  • Fought in a multitude of duels and killed several people.
  • Broke numerous campaign promises.

References

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