Andrew Jackson

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Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson Daguerrotype-crop.jpg
7th President of the United States
In office
March 4, 1829 – March 4, 1837
Vice President John C. Calhoun (1829–1832)
None (1832–1833)
Martin Van Buren (1833–1837)
Preceded by John Quincy Adams
Succeeded by Martin Van Buren
United States Senator
from Tennessee
In office
March 4, 1823 – October 14, 1825
Preceded by John Williams
Succeeded by Hugh Lawson White
In office
September 26, 1797 – April 1, 1798
Preceded by William Cocke
Succeeded by Daniel Smith
Military Governor of Florida
In office
March 10, 1821 – December 31, 1821
Appointed by James Monroe
Preceded by José María Coppinger (Spanish East Florida)
Succeeded by William Pope Duval
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's at-large district
In office
December 4, 1796 – September 26, 1797
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by William C. C. Claiborne
Personal details
Born (1767-03-15)March 15, 1767
Waxhaw Settlement between the Provinces of North Carolina and South Carolina, British America
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Nashville, Tennessee, U.S
Resting place The Hermitage
Nationality American
Political party Democratic (after 1828)
Democratic-Republican (Before 1828)
Spouse(s) Rachel Donelson
(m. 1794; d. 1828)
Children 3 adopted sons
Signature Cursive signature in ink
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Rank US-O8 insignia.svg Major General (Army)
US-O8 insignia.svg Major general (Militia)
Unit Flag of Tennessee.svg Tennessee Militia
Battles/wars American Revolutionary War
 • Battle of Hobkirk's Hill
Creek War
 • Battle of Talladega
 • Battles of Emuckfaw and Enotachopo Creek
 • Battle of Horseshoe Bend
War of 1812
 • Battle of Pensacola
 • Battle of New Orleans
First Seminole War
Conquest of Florida
 • Battle of Negro Fort
 • Siege of Fort Barrancas
Awards Congressional Gold Medal
Thanks of Congress

Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States, serving from 1829 to 1837, and was the founder of the Democratic Party. Before being elected to the presidency, Jackson served in Congress and gained fame as a general in the United States Army. As president, Jackson sought to advance the rights of the "common man" against a "corrupt aristocracy" and to preserve the Union.

He became a practicing lawyer in Tennessee and in 1791 he married Rachel Donelson Robards. Jackson served briefly in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Upon returning to Tennessee, he was appointed a justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court, serving from 1798 until 1804. In 1801, Jackson was appointed colonel in the Tennessee militia, and was elected its commander the following year. He led Tennessee militia and U.S. Army regulars during the Creek War of 1813–1814, winning a major victory at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The subsequent Treaty of Fort Jackson required the Creek surrender of vast lands in present-day Alabama and Georgia. Jackson won a decisive victory in the War of 1812 over the British army at the Battle of New Orleans, making him a national hero. Following the conclusion of the War of 1812, Jackson led U.S. forces in the First Seminole War, which helped produce the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819 and the transfer of Florida from Spain to the United States. Following the ratification of the treaty, Jackson briefly served as Florida's first territorial governor before winning election as a U.S. Senator from Tennessee.

Jackson was a candidate for president in 1824 but, lacking a majority of electoral votes, lost the election in the House of Representatives to John Quincy Adams. In reaction to a "corrupt bargain" between opponents Adams and Henry Clay, Jackson's supporters founded the Democratic Party. He ran again for president in 1828 against Adams and won in a landslide. As president, Jackson faced a threat of secession by South Carolina over the "Tariff of Abominations" enacted under Adams. The Nullification Crisis was defused when the tariff was amended and Jackson threatened the use of military force if South Carolina attempted to secede. Congress, led by Clay, attempted to reauthorize the Second Bank of the United States; Jackson regarded the Bank as a corrupt institution and vetoed the renewal of its charter. After a lengthy struggle, Jackson and the congressional Democrats thoroughly dismantled the Bank. In 1835, Jackson became the only president to completely pay off the national debt, fulfilling a longtime goal.

In foreign affairs, Jackson's administration concluded a "most favored nation" treaty with Great Britain, settled U.S. claims of damages by France from the Napoleonic Wars, and recognized the Republic of Texas. His presidency marked the beginning of the ascendancy of the "spoils system" in American politics. In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which relocated most members of the Indian tribes in the South to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). The relocation process resulted in widespread death and sickness amongst the Indians. This, along with his relative support for slavery, significantly damaged Jackson's reputation. In his retirement, Jackson remained active in Democratic Party politics, supporting the presidencies of Martin Van Buren and James K. Polk. In the aggregate Jackson is ranked by historians and scholars as the ninth most successful president.

Early life and education

Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767, in the Waxhaws region of the Carolinas. His parents were Scots-Irish colonists Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, Presbyterians who had emigrated from northern Ireland two years earlier.[1][2] Jackson's father was born in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, in current-day Northern Ireland, around 1738.[3] Jackson's parents lived in the village of Boneybefore, also in County Antrim. His paternal family line originated in Killingswold Grove, Yorkshire, England.[4]

When they immigrated to North America in 1765, Jackson's parents probably landed in Philadelphia. Most likely they traveled overland through the Appalachian Mountains to the Scots-Irish community in the Waxhaws region, straddling the border between North and South Carolina.[5] They brought two children from Ireland, Hugh (born 1763) and Robert (born 1764). Jackson's father died in an accident in February 1767 at the age of 29, three weeks before his son Andrew was born in the Waxhaws area. Jackson, his mother, and his brothers lived with Jackson's aunt and uncle in the Waxhaws region, and Jackson received schooling from two nearby priests.[6]

Jackson's exact birth site is unclear because he was born about the time his mother was making a difficult trip home from burying Jackson's father. The area was so remote that the border between North and South Carolina had not been officially surveyed.[7] In 1824 Jackson wrote a letter saying that he was born at an uncle's plantation in Lancaster County, South Carolina. Jackson may have claimed to be a South Carolinian because the state was considering nullification of the Tariff of 1824, which he opposed. In the mid-1850s, second-hand evidence indicated that he may have been born at a different uncle's home in North Carolina.[7]

Revolutionary War service

Young Jackson Refusing to Clean Major Coffin's Boots (1876 lithograph)

During the Revolutionary War, Jackson's eldest brother, Hugh, died from heat exhaustion after the Battle of Stono Ferry on June 20, 1779.[8] Anti-British sentiment intensified following the brutal Waxhaws Massacre on May 29, 1780. Jackson's mother encouraged him and his elder brother Robert to attend the local militia drills.[9] Soon, they began to help the militia as couriers.[10] They served under Colonel William Richardson Davie at the Battle of Hanging Rock on August 6.[9] Andrew and Robert were eventually captured by the British in 1781[10] while staying at the home of the Crawford family. When Andrew refused to clean the boots of a British officer, the officer slashed at the youth with a sword, leaving him with scars on his left hand and head, as well as an intense hatred for the British. Robert also refused to do as commanded and was struck with the sword.[11] The two brothers were held as prisoners, contracted smallpox, and nearly starved to death in captivity.[12]

Robert Jackson died on April 27, 1781,[13] a few days after their mother Elizabeth secured the brothers' release.[14] After being assured Andrew would recover, she volunteered to nurse prisoners of war on board two ships in the Charleston harbor, where there had been an outbreak of cholera. In November she died from the disease and was buried in an unmarked grave. Andrew became an orphan at age 14. He blamed the British personally for the loss of his brothers and mother during the war.[15]

Legal career

Jackson received a sporadic education in the local "old-field" school[lower-alpha 1]—in 1781 he worked for a time in a saddle-maker's shop.[16] On bad terms with much of his extended family, he boarded with several different people while teaching school or working for the saddle-maker. In 1784, he left the Waxhaws region for Salisbury, North Carolina, where he studied law. With the help of various lawyers, he was able to learn enough to qualify for the bar in 1787. Shortly thereafter, a friend helped Jackson get appointed to a vacant prosecutor position in the Western District of North Carolina, which would later break off to form the state of Tennessee. During his travel west, Jackson bought his first slave and, having been offended by a fellow lawyer, fought his first duel.[17]

Shortly after Jackson first arrived in Nashville in 1788, he lived as a boarder with Rachel Stockly Donelson, the widow of John Donelson. Here Jackson became acquainted with their daughter, Rachel Donelson Robards. At the time, the younger Rachel was in an unhappy marriage with Captain Lewis Robards; he was subject to fits of jealous rage.[18] The two were separated in 1790. According to Jackson, he married Rachel after hearing that Robards had obtained a divorce. However, the divorce had never been completed, making Rachel's marriage to Jackson bigamous and therefore invalid. After the divorce was officially completed, Rachel and Jackson remarried in 1794.[19] To complicate matters further, evidence shows that Rachel had been living with Jackson and referred to herself as Mrs. Jackson before the petition for divorce was ever made.[20] It was not uncommon on the frontier for relationships to be formed and dissolved unofficially, as long as they were recognized by the community.[21]

Land speculation and founding of Memphis

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In 1794, Jackson formed a business with fellow lawyer and planter John Overton, overtly buying and selling land which had been reserved by treaty for the Cherokee and Chickasaw.[lower-alpha 2] Theirs was a frank avowal; they, like many of their contemporaries, would deal with lands within Indian territory. Most of the transactions involved grants made under the 'land grab' act of 1783 that briefly opened to claim by North Carolinians all of the Indian lands in that state's transmontane west. While the act was in force, citizens had staked claims to two or three million acres of Chickasaw and Cherokee land. Upon his return from Florida, Jackson negotiated the sale of the land from the Chickasaw Nation in 1818 (termed the Jackson Purchase). He was one of the three original investors who founded Memphis, Tennessee, in 1819.[23]

Early political career and Tennessee militia

After moving to Nashville, Jackson became a protege of William Blount, a friend of the Donelsons and one of the most powerful men in the state. Jackson became attorney general in 1791, and he won election as a delegate to the Tennessee constitutional convention in 1796.[17] When Tennessee achieved statehood that year, he was elected its U.S. Representative. The following year, the state legislature elected him as U.S. Senator; though he resigned within a year, he returned to the Senate in 1823.[lower-alpha 3] While in Washington, Jackson aligned himself with the Democratic-Republican Party, and he strongly opposed the Jay Treaty.[25] In 1798, with strong support from western Tennessee, he was elected to serve as a judge of the Tennessee Supreme Court,[26] at an annual salary of $600.[27] Jackson's service as a judge is generally viewed as a success and earned him a reputation for honesty and good decision making.[28] Due to financial troubles, Jackson resigned the judgeship in 1804 and returned full-time to his business interests.[29]

After arriving in Tennessee, Jackson won the appointment of judge advocate of the Tennessee militia, marking the beginning of a long military career.[30] While serving on the Tennessee Supreme Court, he was appointed in 1801 as a colonel in the Tennessee militia. In 1802 he declared his candidacy for major general, or commander, of the Tennessee militia, a position voted on by the officers.[31][28] Jackson, with strong support from western Tennessee, tied with John Sevier with seventeen votes. Sevier was a popular Revolutionary War veteran and former governor, the recognized leader of politics in eastern Tennessee. On February 5, Governor Archibald Roane broke the tie in Jackson's favor.[32] Jackson had also presented Roane with evidence against Sevier of land fraud. Subsequently, in 1803, when Sevier announced his intention to regain the governorship, Roane released the evidence. Sevier responded with hostility to Jackson, and the two nearly fought a duel over the matter. Despite the charges levelled against Sevier, he defeated Roane, and continued to serve as governor until 1809.[33] Jackson longed for war against Spain or Great Britain, and he briefly became part of Aaron Burr's plot to attack Spain before the latter was arrested in 1805.[30]

Planting career and controversy

Notice of $50 reward offered by Jackson, plus expenses, for return of escapee enslaved mulatto man. The unsual notice offers "ten dollars extra, for every hundred lashes any person will give him, to the amount of three hundred".[34]

In addition to his legal and political career, Jackson prospered as planter, slave owner, and merchant. He built a home and the first general store in Gallatin, Tennessee, in 1803. The next year he acquired The Hermitage, a 640-acre (259 ha) plantation in Davidson County, near Nashville. He later added 360 acres (146 ha) to the plantation, which eventually totaled 1,050 acres (425 ha). The primary crop was cotton, grown by slaves—Jackson began with nine, owned as many as 44 by 1820, and later up to 150, making him among the planter elite. Jackson also co-owned with his son Andrew Jackson, Jr., the Halcyon plantation in Coahoma County, Mississippi, which housed 51 slaves at the time of his death.[35] Throughout his lifetime Jackson may have owned as many as 300 slaves.[36][37]

Men, women, and child slaves were owned by Jackson on three sections of the Hermitage plantation.[37] Slaves lived in extended family units of between five and ten persons, and were quartered in 20-foot-square cabins made either of brick or logs. The size and quality of the Hermitage slave quarters exceeded the standards of his times. To help slaves acquire food staples, in addition to rations, Jackson supplied slaves with guns, knives, and fishing equipment for hunting and fishing.[37] At times he paid his slaves with monies and coins to trade in local markets. The Hermitage plantation was a profit-making enterprise. Jackson, demanding slave loyalty, permitted slaves to be whipped to increase productivity or if he believed his slaves' offenses were severe enough. At various times he posted advertisements for fugitive slaves who had escaped from his plantation. For the standards of his times, he was considered a humane slave owner who furnished his slaves food and housing, and did not prohibit his female slaves from having children.[37]

The controversy surrounding his marriage to Rachel remained a sore point for Jackson, who deeply resented attacks on his wife's honor. By May 1806, Charles Dickinson had published an attack on Jackson in the local newspaper, and it resulted in a written challenge from Jackson to a duel. Since Dickinson was considered an expert shot, Jackson determined it would be best to let Dickinson turn and fire first, hoping that his aim might be spoiled in his quickness; Jackson would wait and take careful aim at Dickinson. Dickinson did fire first, hitting Jackson in the chest. The bullet that struck Jackson was so close to his heart that it was never safely removed. Under the rules of dueling, Dickinson had to remain still as Jackson took aim and shot and killed him. Jackson's behavior in the duel outraged men of honor in Tennessee, who called it a brutal, cold-blooded killing and saddled Jackson with a reputation as a violent, vengeful man. As a result, he became a social outcast.[38]

Military career

War of 1812

Creek campaign and treaty

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Portrait by Ralph E. W. Earl, c. 1837

After the War of 1812 broke out between the United States and Great Britain, Jackson led an army of volunteers to New Orleans to defend the region against British and Indian attacks. The newly-appointed Secretary of War, John Armstrong Jr., ordered Jackson to dismiss his forces, but Jackson disobeyed the order and led his men on a long march back to Nashville. During this time, Jackson's soldiers began referring to their commander as "Hickory" due to the toughness he displayed, and Jackson would eventually become known as "Old Hickory." In the fall of 1813, Jackson was ordered to quash Indian resistance in Alabama, Georgia, and parts of the disputed territory of West Florida. In the Creek War, Jackson fought against a group of Muscogee (Creek Indians) who had broken with the Creek Confederacy and violently opposed the United States. This breakaway faction of Muscogee, known as the Red Sticks, was allied with Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief who had launched Tecumseh's War against the United States. Americans, including Jackson, were particularly outraged by the Red Sticks's perpetration of the Fort Mims massacre, in which hundreds of Americans had been killed.[39]

In the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which ended the Creek War, the Muscogee surrendered large parts of present-day Alabama and Georgia

Jackson defeated Red Stick forces at the Battle of Tallushatchee and the Battle of Talladega, then crushed Redstick resistance at the March 1814 Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The campaign ended three weeks later with the surrender of the Red Stick chief, Red Eagle, although some Red Sticks fled to East Florida. In the aftermath of the campaign, Jackson, with Madison's approval, imposed the Treaty of Fort Jackson. The treaty required the Muscogee, including those who had not joined the Red Sticks, to surrender twenty-three million acres of land to the United States. In recognition of his talents and service, Jackson was appointed to the position of major general in the United States Army. Though in ill-health from dysentery, which he contracted during the Creek campaign, Jackson turned his attention to defeating Spanish and British forces. Though the United States was not formally at war with Spain, Jackson believed that they had colluded with the British to arm Indians against the United States. In the Battle of Pensacola, Jackson defeated British and Spanish forces and seized control of much of West Florida. Weeks later, he learned that the British were planning an attack on New Orleans, which sat on the mouth of the Mississippi River and held immense strategic and commercial value. Jackson rushed west to defend to the city.[40]

According to author Gloria Jahoda, the Creeks coined their own name for Jackson, Jacksa Chula Harjo or "Jackson, old and fierce".[41]

Battle of New Orleans

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The Battle of New Orleans. General Andrew Jackson stands on the parapet of his makeshift defenses as his troops repulse attacking Highlanders, by painter Edward Percy Moran in 1910.

After arriving in New Orleans, Jackson instituted martial law in the city, as he worried about the loyalty of the city's Creole and Spanish inhabitants. At the same time, he formed an alliance with Jean Lafitte's smugglers, and formed military units consisting of Negroes and Muscogees. These forces, along with volunteers from surrounding states, joined with Jackson's force in defending New Orleans. The approaching British force, led by Edward Pakenham, consisted of over 10,000 soldiers, many of whom had served in the Napoleonic Wars. The British arrived on the east bank of the Mississippi River on the morning of December 23, 1814. On January 8, the Jackson's forces repelled a major British attack on the city. The British suffered 1900 casualties, including the death of Pakenham, compared to about fifty American casualties. After the battle, the British retreated from the area, and the war ended shortly thereafter when the country learned that the Treaty of Ghent had been signed in Europe. Coming in the waning days of the war, Jackson's victory made him a national hero, as the country celebrated the end of what many called the "Second American Revolution" against the British. Following the end of the war, Jackson remained in command of Army forces on the southern border of the U.S.[42]

Enforced martial law in New Orleans

Jackson ordered the arrest of U. S. District Court Judge Dominic A. Hall in March 1815, after the judge signed a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of a Louisiana legislator whom Jackson had arrested.[43] State senator Louis Louaillier had written an anonymous piece in the New Orleans newspaper, challenging Jackson's refusal to release the militia after the British ceded the field of battle.[44] Jackson had claimed the authority to declare martial law over the entire City of New Orleans, not merely his "camp".[45] Jackson did not relent his campaign of suppressing dissent until after ordering the arrest of a Louisiana legislator, a federal judge, and a lawyer, and after the intervention of State Judge Joshua Lewis. Lewis was simultaneously serving under Jackson in the militia, and also had signed a writ of habeas corpus against Jackson, his commanding officer, seeking Judge Hall's release.[46]

Civilian authorities in New Orleans had reason to fear Jackson—he summarily ordered the execution of six members of the militia. Their deaths were not revealed until the Coffin Handbills were circulated during his 1828 Presidential campaign. Jackson became a national hero for his actions in the Battle of New Orleans and the War of 1812.[47] By a Congressional resolution on February 27, 1815, Jackson was given the Thanks of Congress and awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.[48] Alexis de Tocqueville ("underwhelmed" by Jackson according to a 2001 commentator) later wrote in Democracy in America that Jackson "...was raised to the Presidency, and has been maintained there, solely by the recollection of a victory which he gained, twenty years ago, under the walls of New Orleans."[49]

First Seminole War

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Trial of Robert Ambrister during the Seminole War. Ambrister was one of two British subjects executed by General Jackson. (1848)

Since the end of the American Revolution, many in the United States had hoped to acquire Florida from Spain. The Spanish presence made the United States vulnerable to invasion from the south, and several Indian tribes straddled the border between the U.S. and Florida. The tribes along the border became known as the Seminole, and they frequently raided Georgia before retreating back into Florida. These skirmishes continually escalated, and the conflict is now known as the First Seminole War.[50] Jackson was ordered by President James Monroe in December 1817 to lead a campaign in Georgia against the Seminole and Creek Indians. Jackson was also charged with preventing Spanish Florida from becoming a refuge for runaway slaves, after Spain promised freedom to fugitive slaves. Critics later alleged that Jackson exceeded orders in his Florida actions. His orders from President Monroe were to "terminate the conflict".[51] Jackson believed the best way to do this was to seize Florida from Spain once and for all. Before departing, Jackson wrote to Monroe, "Let it be signified to me through any channel... that the possession of the Floridas would be desirable to the United States, and in sixty days it will be accomplished."[52]

Jackson invaded Florida in March 1818, capturing the town of Pensacola. He crushed Seminole and Spanish resistance in the region and captured two British agents, Robert Ambrister and Alexander Arbuthnot. After a brief trial, Jackson executed both British agents, causing a diplomatic incident with the British. Jackson's actions polarized Monroe's cabinet, some of whom argued that Jackson had gone against Monroe's orders and violated the Constitution, since the United States had not declared war upon Spain. Yet Jackson was defended by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams. Adams thought that Jackson's conquest of Florida would force Spain to finally sell the province, and Spain did indeed sell Florida to the United States in the Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819. A congressional investigation exonerated Jackson, but Jackson was deeply angered by the criticism he received, particularly from Speaker of the House Henry Clay. After the ratification of the Adams–Onís Treaty in 1821, Jackson briefly served as the Governor of Florida before returning to Tennessee.[53]

Presidential aspirations

Election of 1824

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Jackson in 1824, painted by Thomas Sully

After returning to Tennessee, Jackson turned down an offer to run for governor of his home state, but he welcomed John Overton's plan to have the Tennessee legislature nominate Jackson for president. Jackson had come to detest Secretary of the Treasury William H. Crawford, who had been the most vocal critic of Jackson in Monroe's cabinet, and he hoped to prevent Tennessee's electoral votes from going to Crawford. Yet Jackson's nomination garnered a welcoming response even outside of Tennessee, as many Americans appreciated Jackson's attacks on banks. The Panic of 1819 had devastated the fortunes of many, and banks and politicians seen as supportive of banks were particularly unpopular. In 1823, with his political ambitions growing, Jackson allowed his name to be placed in contention for one of Tennessee's U.S. Senate seats, and the legislature narrowly elected him. With his growing political viability, Jackson emerged as one of the five major presidential candidates, along with Crawford, Secretary of State Adams, Speaker of the House Henry Clay, and Secretary of War John C. Calhoun. During the Era of Good Feelings, the Federalist Party had faded away, and all five presidential contenders were members of the Democratic-Republican Party. Jackson's campaign promoted him as a defender of the common people, as well as the one candidate who could rise above sectional divisions. On the major issues of the day, most prominently the tariff, Jackson expressed centrist beliefs, and opponents accused him of obfuscating his positions.[54]

Democratic-Republican presidential nominees had historically been chosen by informal Congressional nominating caucuses, but this method had become unpopular. In 1824, most of the Democratic-Republicans in Congress boycotted the caucus. Those who attended backed Treasury Secretary William H. Crawford for President and Albert Gallatin for Vice President. A Pennsylvania convention nominated Jackson for President a month later, stating that the irregular caucus ignored the "voice of the people" and was a "vain hope that the American people might be thus deceived into a belief that he [Crawford] was the regular democratic candidate".[55] Gallatin criticized Jackson as "an honest man and the idol of the worshipers of military glory, but from incapacity, military habits, and habitual disregard of laws and constitutional provisions, altogether unfit for the office".[56] After Jackson won the Pennsylvania nomination, Calhoun, who had been counting on the state's support, dropped out of the presidential race and successfully sought the vice presidency instead.[57]

In the presidential election, Jackson won a plurality of the electoral vote, taking several southern and western states as well as the mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He was the only candidate to win states outside of his regional base, as Adams dominated New England, Clay took three western states, and Crawford won Virginia and Georgia. Jackson won a plurality of the popular vote, taking 42 percent, although not all states held a popular vote for the presidency. With no candidate having won a majority of the electoral, the House of Representatives held a contingent election under the terms of the Twelfth Amendment. The amendment specifies that only the top three electoral vote-winners are eligible to be elected by the House, so Clay was eliminated from contention. Jackson believed that he was likely to win this contingent election, as Crawford and Adams lacked Jackson's national appeal, and Crawford had suffered a debilitating stroke that made many doubt his physical fitness for the presidency. However, Clay saw Jackson as a dangerous demagogue who might topple the republic in favor of his own leadership. He threw his support behind Adams, who shared Clay's support for federally-funded internal improvements such as roads and canals. With Clay's backing, Adams won the contingent election on the first ballot. Furious supporters of Jackson accused Clay and Adams of having reached a "Corrupt Bargain" after Adams appointed Clay as his Secretary of State. After the election, Jackson resigned his Senate seat and returned to Tennessee.[58]

Election of 1828 and death of Rachel Jackson

1828 Electoral college results

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Jackson was nominated for president by Tennessee legislature in October 1825, more than three years before the 1828 election. It was the earliest such nomination in presidential history, and it attested to the fact that Jackson's supporters began the 1828 campaign almost as soon as the 1824 campaign ended. Adams's presidency floundered, as his ambitious agenda faced defeat in a new era of mass politics. Senator Martin Van Buren, who had been a prominent supporter of Crawford in the 1824 election, emerged as one of the strongest opponents of Adams's agenda, and he settled on Jackson as his preferred candidate in the 1828 election. Van Buren was joined by Vice President Calhoun, who also opposed much of Adams's agenda. Van Buren and other Jackson allies established numerous pro-Jackson newspapers and clubs around the country, while Jackson avoided campaigning but made himself available to visitors at his Hermitage plantation. In the election, Jackson won a commanding 56 percent of the popular vote and 68 percent of the electoral vote. The election marked the definitive end of the one-party Era of Good Feelings, as Jackson's supporters coalesced into the Democratic Party and Adams's followers became known as the National Republicans.[59]

The campaign was very much a personal one. As was the custom at the time, neither candidate personally campaigned, but their political followers organized many campaign events. Both candidates were rhetorically attacked in the press. Jackson was strongly attacked as a slave trader, who bought and sold slaves and moved them about in defiance of higher standards of slaveholder behavior.[60] Matters reached a low point when the press accused Jackson's wife Rachel of bigamy.[61] The accusation was technically true; it was based on the legal status of Rachel's marriage and divorce from her former husband many years prior (1791 to 1794).

Rachel Jackson had been under extreme stress during the election, and she never did well when Jackson was away at war or work. Jackson blamed John Quincy Adams because Adams's supporters had repeatedly attacked the circumstances for Jackson's wedding to Rachel. Jackson described her symptoms as "excruciating pain in the left shoulder, arm, and breast".[62] After struggling for three days, Rachel finally died of a heart attack on December 22, 1828 three weeks after her husband's victory in the election (which began on October 31 and ended on December 2) and 10 weeks before Jackson took office as President. A distraught Jackson had to be pulled from her so the undertaker could prepare the body.[62] He felt that Adams' accusations had hastened her death and never forgave him.[63] Rachel was buried on Christmas Eve. "May God Almighty forgive her murderers," Jackson swore at her funeral. "I never can."[64]

Presidency 1829–1837

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President Andrew Jackson
New York: Ritchie & Co. (1860)

Jackson's name has been associated with Jacksonian democracy or the shift and expansion of democracy with the passing of some political power from established elites to ordinary voters based in political parties. "The Age of Jackson" shaped the national agenda and American politics. [65] Jackson's philosophy as President was similar to that of Thomas Jefferson, advocating Republican values held by the Revolutionary War generation.[66] Jackson took a moral tone, with the belief that agrarian sympathies, and a limited view of states rights and the federal government, would produce less corruption.[66] He feared that monied and business interests would corrupt republican values. When South Carolina opposed the tariff law, he took a strong line in favor of nationalism and against secession.[67]

Jackson believed that the president's authority was derived from the people.[66] When selecting his Cabinet, instead of choosing party favorites, Jackson selected "plain, businessmen" whom he intended to control.[66] Jackson chose Martin Van Buren of New York as Secretary of State, John Eaton of Tennessee as Secretary of War, Samuel D. Ingham of Pennsylvania as Secretary of Treasury, John Branch of North Carolina as Secretary of Navy, John M. Berrien of Georgia as Attorney General, and William T. Barry of Kentucky as Postmaster General.[68] Jackson's first choice of Cabinet proved to be unsuccessful, full of bitter partisanship and gossip, especially between Eaton, Calhoun, and Van Buren.[68] By the spring of 1831, only Barry remained, while the rest of Jackson's cabinet had been discharged.[69] Jackson's next round of cabinet choices worked better together.[68]


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On March 4, 1829, Andrew Jackson became the first United States president-elect to take the oath of office on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol.[70] In his inaugural speech, Jackson promised to respect the sovereign powers of states and the constitutional limits of the presidency. He also promised to pursue "reform" by removing power from "unfaithful or incompetent hands." At the conclusion of the ceremony, Jackson invited the public to the White House, where his supporters held a raucous party. Thousands of spectators overwhelmed the White House staff, and minor damage was caused to fixtures and furnishings. Jackson's populism earned him the nickname "King Mob".[71]

Petticoat affair

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Jackson devoted a considerable amount of his presidential time during his early years in office responding to what came to be known as the "Petticoat affair" or "Eaton affair".[72] Vicious Washington gossip circulated among Jackson's Cabinet members and their wives, including Vice President John C. Calhoun's wife Floride Calhoun, concerning Secretary of War John H. Eaton and his wife Peggy Eaton. Salacious rumors held that Peggy, as a barmaid in her father's tavern, had been sexually promiscuous or had even been a prostitute. Petticoat politics emerged when the wives of cabinet members, led by Mrs. Calhoun, refused to socialize with the Eatons. Jackson was outraged—male honor, he firmly believed, required husbands to control their wives. Allowing a prostitute in the official family was of course unthinkable—but Jackson, after losing his own wife to horrible rumors, believed that Peggy's virtue could not be questioned. It was a matter of authority: Jackson told his Cabinet that "She is as chaste as a virgin!"[73] Jackson believed that the dishonorable people were the rumormongers, who in essence questioned and dishonored Jackson himself. [lower-alpha 4]

Meanwhile, the Cabinet wives insisted that the interests and honor of all American women was at stake. They believed a responsible woman should never accord a man sexual favors without the assurance that went with marriage. A woman who broke that code was dishonorable and unacceptable. Historian Daniel Walker Howe notes that this was the feminist spirit that in the next decade shaped the woman's rights movement. The aristocratic wives of European diplomats shrugged the matter off; they had their national interest to uphold, and had seen how life worked in Paris and London. Secretary of State Martin Van Buren, a widower, was already forming a coalition against Calhoun; he could now see his main chance to strike hard; he took the side of Jackson and Eaton.[75][76]

The upshot was Jackson conducting a total revamping of the cabinet; everyone resigned or was fired except the Postmaster General. Jackson nominated Van Buren to be Minister to England; Calhoun blocked the nomination. Calhoun continued to serve as Vice President and boasted that Van Buren's political career was over, saying the defeated nomination would "...kill him, sir, kill dead. He will never kick, sir, never kick." [77] Van Buren, however, fully recovered and played a leading role in the Jackson's unofficial Kitchen Cabinet. He became Jackson's running mate in 1832 and his successor in 1836. Jackson also acquired the Globe newspaper to have his own propaganda weapon for fighting the rumor mills.[78]

Indian removal policy

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Jackson's Indian Removal Act and subsequent treaties resulted in the forced removal of several Indian tribes from their traditional territories, including the Trail of Tears.

Since the presidency of James Madison when Jackson was a military commander, Jackson had played a prominent role in Indian relations.[79] Although there are scant details, Madison often met with Southeastern and Western Indians who included the Creek and Osage.[80] Madison would meet with the Indians and would often encourage them to give up their lives as hunter-gatherers and instead take up farming.[79][80] Indian conflicts continued to intensify during Madison's presidency, particularly with the War of 1812, and in the years after. Throughout his eight years in office, Jackson made about 70 treaties with Indian tribes both in the South and the Northwest.[81] Jackson's presidency marked a new era in Indian-Anglo American relations initiating a policy of Indian removal. [77] Jackson himself sometimes participated in the treaty negotiating process with various Indian tribes, though other times he left the negotiations to his subordinates. The southern tribes included the Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, Seminole and the Cherokee. The northwest tribes include the Chippewa, Ottawa, and the Potawatomi. Though conflict between Indians and American settlers took place in the north and in the south, the problem was worse in the south where the Indian populations were larger. Indian wars broke out repeatedly, often when native tribes, especially the Muscogee and Seminole Indians, refused to abide by the treaties for various reasons.[82] The Second Seminole War, started in December 1835, lasted over six years, finally ending in August 1842 under President John Tyler.[82]

Though relations between Europeans (and later Americans) and Indians were always complicated, they grew increasingly complicated once American settlements began pushing farther west in the years after the American Revolution. Often these relations were peaceful, though they increasingly grew tense and sometimes violent, both on the part of American settlers and the Indians. From George Washington to John Quincy Adams, the problem was typically ignored or dealt with lightly; though by Jackson's time the earlier policy had grown unsustainable. The problem was especially acute in the south (in particular the lands near the state of Georgia), where Indian populations were larger, denser, and more Americanized than those of the north. There had developed a growing popular and political movement to deal with the problem, and out of this developed a policy to relocate certain Indian populations. Jackson, never known for timidity, became an advocate for this relocation policy in what is considered by some historians to be the most controversial aspect of his presidency.[77] This contrasted with his immediate predecessor, President John Q. Adams, who tended to follow the policy of his own predecessors, letting the problem play itself out with minimal intervention.[77] Jackson's presidency thus took place in a new era in Indian-Anglo American relations, marked by federal action and a policy of relocation.[77] During Jackson's presidency, Indian relations between the Southern tribes and the state governments had reached a critical juncture.[81]

Jackson painted by Ralph Eleaser Whiteside Earl, 1830

In his December 8, 1829, First Annual Message to Congress, Jackson advocated land west of the Mississippi River be set aside for Indian tribes. Congress had been developing its own Indian relocation bill, and Jackson had many supporters in both the Senate and House who agreed with his goal. On May 26, 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, which Jackson signed into law. The Act authorized the President to negotiate treaties to buy tribal lands in the east in exchange for lands farther west, outside of existing U.S. state borders.[81] The passage of the bill was Jackson's first legislative triumph and marked the Democratic party's emergence into American political society.[81] The passage of the act was especially popular in the South where population growth and the discovery of gold on Cherokee land had increased pressure on tribal lands.

The state of Georgia became involved in a contentious jurisdictional dispute with the Cherokees, culminating in the 1832 U.S. Supreme Court decision Worcester v. Georgia. In that decision, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for the court, ruled that Georgia could not impose its laws upon Cherokee tribal lands.[83][84] [lower-alpha 5]

Jackson used the Georgia crisis to broker an agreement whereby the Cherokee leaders agreed to a removal treaty. A group of Cherokees led by John Ridge negotiated the Treaty of New Echota with Jackson's representatives. Ridge was not a widely recognized leader of the Cherokee Nation, and this document was rejected by some as illegitimate.[85] A group of Cherokees petitioned to protest the proposed removal, though this wasn't taken up by the Supreme Court or the U.S. Congress, due to delays and timing.[86]

The treaty was enforced by Jackson's successor, President Martin Van Buren, who sent 7,000 troops to carry out the relocation policy. Due to the infighting between political factions, many Cherokees thought their appeals were still being considered when the relocation began.;[87] subsequently, as many as 4,000 Cherokees died on the "Trail of Tears" in 1838.

By the 1830s, under constant pressure from settlers, each of the five southern tribes had ceded most of its lands, but sizable self-government groups lived in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. All of these (except the Seminoles) had moved far in the coexistence with whites, and they resisted suggestions that they should voluntarily remove themselves. Their methods earned them the title of the "Five Civilized Tribes".[86] More than 45,000 American Indians were relocated to the West during Jackson's administration, though a few Cherokees walked back afterwards or migrated to the high Smoky Mountains along the North Carolina and Tennessee border.[88]

Jackson's initiatives to deal with the conflicts between Indians and American settlers has been a source of controversy on and off over the years. In the 2015 debate on displacing Jackson from the $20 bill, Indian removal was often mentioned as justification—especially among his political opponents at the time and since.[89] [lower-alpha 6] Modern historians such as Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., often note the history of American conflicts with Indians[62][91] dating to long before the American revolution, and the ultimate need for a solution which Jackson and Congress partly achieved. Starting around 1970, the controversy picked up again, this time with more ideological tones. Around that time, Jackson came under sharp attack from revisionist writers on the left, such as Michael Paul Rogin and Howard Zinn, often on this issue.[lower-alpha 7] In 1969 Francis Paul Prucha argued that Jackson's removal of the "Five Civilized Tribes" from the very hostile white environment in the Old South to Oklahoma probably saved their very existence.[94] [lower-alpha 8]


  • Treaty between the United States of America and the United Nation of Chippewa, Ottowa, and Potawatamie Indians [96]
February 21, 1835


Initiated and proposed reforms

BEP engraved portrait of Jackson as President
BEP engraved portrait of Jackson as President

In an effort to purge the government of corruption of previous administrations, Jackson launched presidential investigations into all executive Cabinet offices and departments.[97] During Jackson's tenure in office, large amounts of public money were put in the hands of public officials. He believed appointees should be hired on merit and withdrew many candidates he believed were lax in their handling of monies.[97] He asked Congress to reform embezzlement laws, reduce fraudulent applications for federal pensions, revenue laws to prevent evasion of custom duties, and laws to improve government accounting. Jackson's Postmaster Barry resigned after a Congressional investigation into the postal service revealed mismanagement of mail services, collusion and favoritism in awarding lucrative contracts, failure to audit accounts and supervise contract performances. Jackson replaced Barry with Treasury Auditor and prominent Kitchen Cabinet member Amos Kendall, who went on to implement much needed reforms in the Postal Service.[98]

Jackson repeatedly called for the abolition of the Electoral College by constitutional amendment in his annual messages to Congress as President.[99][100] In his third annual message to Congress, he expressed the view "I have heretofore recommended amendments of the Federal Constitution giving the election of President and Vice-President to the people and limiting the service of the former to a single term. So important do I consider these changes in our fundamental law that I can not, in accordance with my sense of duty, omit to press them upon the consideration of a new Congress."[101]

Jackson's time in the presidency also saw various improvements in financial provisions for veterans and their dependents. The Service Pension Act of 1832, for instance, provided pensions to veterans "even where there existed no obvious financial or physical need",[102] while an Act of July 1836 enabled widows of Revolutionary War soldiers who met certain criteria to receive their husband's pensions.[103] In 1836, Jackson established the ten-hour day in national shipyards.[104]

Rotation in office and spoils system

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Upon assuming the presidency in 1829 Jackson enforced the Tenure of Office Act, passed earlier into law by President James Monroe in 1820, that limited appointed office tenure and authorized the president to remove and appoint political party associates. Jackson believed that a rotation in office was actually a democratic reform preventing father-to-son succession of office and made civil service responsible to the popular will.[105] Jackson declared that rotation of appointments in political office was "a leading principle in the republican creed".[99] Jackson noted, "In a country where offices are created solely for the benefit of the people no one man has any more intrinsic right to official station than another."[106] Jackson believed that rotating political appointments would prevent the development of a corrupt bureaucracy. Opposed to this view, however, were Jackson's supporters who in order to strengthen party loyalty wanted to give the posts to other party members. In practice, this would have meant the continuation of the patronage system by replacing federal employees with friends or party loyalists.[lower-alpha 9] The number of federal office holders removed by Jackson were exaggerated by his opponents; Jackson only rotated about 20% of federal office holders during his first term, some for dereliction of duty rather than political purposes.[108] Jackson, however, did use his image and presidential power to award his loyal Democratic Party followers by granting them federal office appointments. Jackson's democratic approach incorporated patriotism for country as qualification for holding office. Having appointed a soldier who had lost his leg fighting on the battlefield to a postmastership Jackson stated "If he lost his leg fighting for his country, that is ... enough for me." [109]

Jackson's theory regarding rotation of office generated what would later be called the spoils system, a practice that Jackson, ironically, didn't justify.[105] The political realities of Washington, however, ultimately forced Jackson to make partisan appointments despite his personal reservations.[110] Historians believe Jackson's presidency marked the beginning of an era of decline in public ethics. Supervision of bureaus and departments whose operations were outside of Washington (such as the New York Customs House; the Postal Service; the Departments of Navy and War; and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, whose budget had increased enormously in the previous two decades) proved to be difficult.[111] Other aspects of the spoils system including the buying of offices, forced political party campaign participation, and collection of assessments, did not take place until after Jackson's presidency. During Jackson's presidency, those in opposition to Jackson's purging of office holders and expansion of executive power formed the Whig Party, calling Jackson "King Andrew I" having feared his military background, and named their party after the English parliamentary Whigs who opposed eighteenth century British monarchy.[112]

Nullification crisis

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In 1828, Congress had approved the "Tariff of Abominations," which set the tariff at an historically high rate. Southern planters, who sold their cotton on the world market, strongly opposed this tariff, which they saw as favoring northern interests. The issue nonetheless came to a head during Jackson's presidency, resulting in the Nullification Crisis, in which South Carolina threatened disunion.[113]

In the South Carolina Exposition and Protest of 1828, which had secretly been written by Calhoun, South Carolina's leaders asserted that their state had the right to "nullify"—declare void—the tariff legislation of 1828. Although Jackson sympathized with the South in the tariff debate, he also vigorously supported a strong union, with effective powers for the central government. Jackson attempted to face down Calhoun over the issue, which developed into a bitter rivalry between the two men. One incident was at the April 13, 1830, Jefferson Day dinner, involving after-dinner toasts. Robert Hayne began by toasting to "The Union of the States, and the Sovereignty of the States". Jackson then rose, and in a booming voice added "Our federal Union: It must be preserved!" – a clear challenge to Calhoun. Calhoun clarified his position by responding "The Union: Next to our Liberty, the most dear!"[114]

In May 1830, Jackson discovered that Calhoun had asked President Monroe to censure then-General Jackson for his invasion of Spanish Florida in 1818 while Calhoun was serving as Secretary of War. Calhoun's and Jackson's relationship deteriorated further. By February 1831, the break between Calhoun and Jackson was final. Responding to inaccurate press reports about the feud, Calhoun had published letters between him and Jackson detailing the conflict in the United States Telegraph. Jackson and Calhoun began an angry correspondence which lasted until Jackson stopped it in July.[115]

At the first Democratic National Convention, which was privately engineered by members of the Kitchen Cabinet, Calhoun and Jackson broke from each other politically and Van Buren replaced Calhoun as Jackson's running mate in the 1832 presidential election.[116]

On July 14, 1832, Jackson signed into law the Tariff of 1832. It was designed to placate the nullifiers by lowering tariff rates, but the nullifiers in South Carolina remained unsatisfied. On November 24, the South Carolina legislature officially nullified both the Tariff of 1832 and the Tariff of 1828.[117][118] In response, Jackson sent U.S. Navy warships to Charleston harbor, and threatened to hang any man who worked to support nullification or secession.[119] On December 28, 1832, with less than two months remaining in his term, Calhoun resigned as Vice President to become a U.S. Senator for South Carolina.[115]

In December 1832, Jackson issued a resounding proclamation against the "nullifiers", stating that he considered "the power to annul a law of the United States, assumed by one State, incompatible with the existence of the Union, contradicted expressly by the letter of the Constitution, unauthorized by its spirit, inconsistent with every principle on which it was founded, and destructive of the great object for which it was formed". South Carolina, the President declared, stood on "the brink of insurrection and treason", and he appealed to the people of the state to reassert their allegiance to that Union for which their ancestors had fought. Jackson also denied the right of secession: "The Constitution... forms a government not a league... To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union is to say that the United States is not a nation."[120]

Jackson asked Congress to pass a "Force Bill" explicitly authorizing the use of military force to enforce the tariff, but its passage was delayed until protectionists led by Clay agreed to a reduced Compromise Tariff. The Force Bill and Compromise Tariff passed on March 1, 1833, and Jackson signed both. The South Carolina Convention then met and rescinded its nullification ordinance. The Force Bill became moot because it was no longer needed. On May 1, 1833, Jackson wrote, "the tariff was only the pretext, and disunion and southern confederacy the real object. The next pretext will be the negro, or slavery question."[121][122]

Foreign affairs

Jackson's Minister to France William C. Rives successfully negotiated a reparations treaty with France in 1831.

When Jackson took office in 1829 spoliation claims, or compensation demands for the capture of American ships and sailors, dating from the Napoleonic era, caused strained relations between the U.S. and French governments. The French Navy had captured and sent American ships to Spanish ports while holding their crews captive forcing them to labor without any charges or judicial rules. According to Secretary of State Martin Van Buren, relations between the U.S. and France were "hopeless".[123] Jackson's Minister to France William C. Rives, however, through diplomacy was able to convince the French government to sign a reparations treaty on July 4, 1831, that would award the U.S. ₣ 25,000,000 ($5,000,000) in damages.[124] The French government became delinquent in payment due to internal financial and political difficulties. The French king Louis Philippe I and his ministers blamed the French Chamber of Deputies.[123] By 1834, the non-payment of reparations by the French government drew Jackson's ire and he became impatient. In his December 1834 State of the Union address, Jackson sternly reprimanded the French government for non-payment, stating the federal government was "wholly disappointed" by the French, and demanded Congress authorize trade reprisals against France. Feeling insulted by Jackson's words, the French people demanded an apology. In his December 1835 State of the Union Address, Jackson refused to apologize, stating he had a good opinion of the French people and his intentions were peaceful. Jackson described in lengthy and minute detail the history of events surrounding the treaty and his belief that the French government was purposely stalling payment. The French government accepted Jackson's statements as sincere and in February 1836, American reparations were finally paid.[123]

In addition to France, the Jackson administration successfully settled spoliation claims with Denmark, Portugal, and Spain. Jackson's state department was active and successful at making trade agreements with Russia, Spain, Turkey, Great Britain, and Siam. Under the treaty of Great Britain, American trade was reopened in the West Indies. The trade agreement with Siam was America's first treaty between the United States and an Asiatic country. As a result, American exports increased 75% while imports increased 250%.[125]

Jackson, however, was unsuccessful in opening trade with China and Japan. He was unsuccessful at thwarting Great Britain's presence and power in South America. Jackson's attempt to purchase Texas from Mexico for $5,000,000 failed. Jackson's agent in Texas, Colonel Anthony Butler, suggested to take Texas over militarily, but Jackson refused. Butler was later replaced toward the end of Jackson's presidency.[125]

Bank veto and election of 1832

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1832 Electoral College results
1833 Democratic cartoon shows Jackson destroying the Devil's bank

In 1816 the Second Bank of the United States was chartered by President James Madison to restore the United States economy devastated by the War of 1812.[126] In 1823 President James Monroe appointed Nicholas Biddle, the Bank's third and last executive, to run the bank, and in January 1832 Biddle submitted to Congress a renewal of the Bank's charter four years before the original 20-year charter was to end. Biddle's recharter bill passed the Senate on June 11 and the House on July 3, 1832. Jackson, believing that Bank was a fundamentally corrupt monopoly whose stock was mostly held by foreigners, vetoed the bill. Jackson used the issue to promote his democratic values, believing the Bank was being run exclusively for the wealthy. Jackson stated the Bank made "the rich richer and the potent more powerful".[127] The National Republican Party immediately made Jackson's veto of the Bank a political issue, attempting to undermine Jackson's popularity.[128] Jackson's political opponents castigated Jackson's veto as "the very slang of the leveller and demagogue", claiming Jackson was using class warfare to gain support from the common man.[127]

During the 1832 presidential election the rechartering of the Second National Bank became the primary issue. The election also demonstrated the rapid development and organization of political parties during this time period. The Democratic Party's first national convention, held in Baltimore, nominated Jackson's choice for vice president, Van Buren. The National Republican Party, who had held their first convention in Baltimore earlier in December 1831, nominated Henry Clay, senator from Kentucky and former Speaker of the House, and John Sergeant of Pennsylvania.[127] The Anti-Masonic Party, which had earlier held its convention also in Baltimore in September 1831, nominated William Wirt of Maryland and Amos Ellmaker of Pennsylvania; both Jackson and Clay were Masons.[128] The two rival parties, however, proved to be no match for Jackson's popularity and the Democratic Party's strong political networks known as Hickory Clubs in state and local organization. Democratic newspapers, parades, barbecues, and rallies increased Jackson's popularity. Jackson himself made numerous popular public appearances on his return trip from Tennessee to Washington D.C. Jackson won the election decisively by a landslide, receiving 55 percent of the popular vote and 219 electoral votes. Clay received 37 percent of the popular vote and 49 electoral votes. Wirt received only eight percent of the popular vote and seven electoral votes while the Anti-Masonic Party folded.[129] Jackson believed the solid victory was a popular mandate for his veto of the Bank's recharter and his continued warfare on the Bank's control over the national economy.[130]

Removal of deposits and censure

In 1833, Jackson began removing. federal deposits from the bank, whose money-lending functions were taken over by the legions of local and state banks that materialized across America, thus drastically increasing credit and speculation.[131]

In 1836, in response to increased speculation, Jackson issued the Specie Circular, an executive order that required buyers of government lands to pay in "specie" (gold or silver coins). The result was high demand for specie, which many banks could not meet in exchange for their notes, causing the Panic of 1837 and a deep depression. It took years for the economy to recover, and the bulk of the damage was blamed on Van Buren, who took office in 1837.[132] The White House Van Buren biography notes, "Basically the trouble was the 19th-century cyclical economy of "boom and bust", which was following its regular pattern, but Jackson's financial measures contributed to the crash. His destruction of the Second Bank of the United States had removed restrictions upon the inflationary practices of some state banks; wild speculation in lands, based on easy bank credit, had swept the West. To end this speculation, Jackson in 1836 had issued a Specie Circular requiring that lands be purchased with hard money—gold or silver. In 1837 the panic began. Hundreds of banks and businesses failed. Thousands lost their lands. For about five years the United States was wracked by the worst depression thus far in its history."[133]

The move was deeply controversial. A movement emerged amongst National Republicans in the Senate to censure Jackson. The censure was a political maneuver spearheaded by Jackson-rival Senator Henry Clay, which served only to perpetuate the animosity between him and Jackson.[134] During the proceedings prior to the censure, Jackson called Clay "reckless and as full of fury as a drunken man in a brothel",[135] and the issue was highly divisive within the Senate; however, the censure was approved 26–20 on March 28.[136] When the Jacksonians had a majority in the Senate, the censure was expunged after years of effort by Jackson supporters.[134] [lower-alpha 10]

Attack and assassination attempt

Richard Lawrence's attempt on Jackson's life, as depicted in an 1835 etching

The first recorded physical attack on a U.S. president was directed at Jackson. He had ordered the dismissal of Robert B. Randolph from the navy for embezzlement. On May 6, 1833, Jackson sailed on USS Cygnet to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he was to lay the cornerstone on a monument near the grave of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother. During a stopover near Alexandria, Randolph appeared and struck the President. He fled the scene chased by several members of Jackson's party, including the well-known writer Washington Irving. Jackson decided not to press charges.[16]

On January 30, 1835, what is believed to be the first attempt to kill a sitting President of the United States occurred just outside the United States Capitol. When Jackson was leaving through the East Portico after the funeral of South Carolina Representative Warren R. Davis, Richard Lawrence, an unemployed house painter from England, aimed a pistol at Jackson, which misfired. Lawrence pulled out a second pistol, which also misfired. Historians believe the humid weather contributed to the double misfiring.[138] Lawrence was restrained, and legend says that Jackson attacked Lawrence with his cane. Others present, including Davy Crockett, restrained and disarmed Lawrence.

Lawrence told doctors later his reasons for the shooting. He blamed Jackson for the loss of his job. He claimed that with the President dead, "money would be more plenty" (a reference to Jackson's struggle with the Bank of the United States) and that he "could not rise until the President fell". Finally, he told his interrogators that he was a deposed English king—specifically, Richard III, dead since 1485—and that Jackson was his clerk. He was deemed insane and was institutionalized.

Afterwards, due to public curiosity concerning the double misfires, the pistols were tested and retested. Each time they performed perfectly. Many believed that Jackson had been protected by the same Providence that they believed also protected their young nation. The incident became a part of the Jacksonian mythos.

Slavery controversies

Anti-slavery tracts

During the summer of 1835, Northern abolitionists began sending anti-slavery tracts through the U.S. Postal system into the South.[139] Pro-slavery Southerners demanded that the postal service ban distribution of the materials, which were deemed "incendiary". Jackson wanted sectional peace, and desired to placate Southerners while resisting demands from abolitionists. He supported the solution of Postmaster General Amos Kendall, which gave Southern postmasters discretionary powers to either send or detain the anti-slavery tracts.[140]

Recognition of Republic of Texas

In 1835, the Texas Revolution began when pro-slavery American settlers in Texas fought the Mexican government for Texan independence; by May 1836, they had routed the Mexican military for the time being, establishing an independent Republic of Texas. The new Texas government legalized slavery and demanded recognition from President Jackson and annexation into the United States. However, Jackson was hesitant recognizing Texas, unconvinced that the new republic could maintain independence from Mexico, and not wanting to make Texas an anti-slavery issue during the 1836 election.[125] The strategy worked; the Democratic Party and national loyalties were held intact, and Van Buren was elected President. Jackson formally recognized the Republic of Texas, nominating a chargé d'affaires on the last full day of his Presidency, March 3, 1837.[125]

U.S. Exploring Expedition

USS Porpoise, a brig ship laid down in 1835 and launched in May 1836 by Secretary of Navy Dickerson; used in the U.S. Exploring Expedition

Jackson initially opposed any federal exploratory scientific expeditions during his first term in office.[141] The last scientific federally funded expeditions took place from 1817 to 1823, led by Stephen H. Harriman on the Red River of the North. Jackson's predecessor, President Adams, attempted to launch a scientific oceanic exploration in 1828, but Congress was unwilling to fund the effort. When Jackson assumed office in 1829 he pocketed Adams' expedition plans. However, wanting to establish his presidential legacy, similar to Thomas Jefferson and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Jackson finally sponsored scientific exploration during his second term.[141] On May 18, 1836, Jackson signed a law creating and funding the oceanic United States Exploring Expedition. Jackson put Secretary of Navy Mahlon Dickerson in charge, to assemble suitable ships, officers, and scientific staff for the expedition; with a planned launch before Jackson's term of office expired. Dickerson however proved unfit for the task, preparations stalled and the expedition was not launched until 1838, during the presidency of Van Buren.[141] One brig ship, USS Porpoise, later used in the expedition; having been laid down, built, and commissioned by Secretary Dickerson in May 1836, circumnavigated the world, explored and mapped the Southern Ocean, confirming the existence of the Antarctica continent.[142]

Panic of 1837

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A New York newspaper blamed the Panic of 1837 on Andrew Jackson, depicted in spectacles and top hat.

The national economy following the withdrawal of the remaining Funds from the Bank was booming and the federal government through duty revenues and sale of public lands was able to pay all bills. In January 1835, Jackson paid off the entire national debt, the only time in U.S. history that has been accomplished.[143][144] However, reckless speculation in land and railroads caused the Panic of 1837.[145] Contributing factors included Jackson's veto of the Second National Bank renewal charter in 1832 and subsequent transfer of federal monies to state banks in 1833 that caused Western Banks to relax their lending standards. Two other Jacksonian acts in 1836 contributed to the Panic of 1837: the Specie Circular, that mandated Western lands only be purchased by money backed by gold and silver, and the Deposit and Distribution Act, that transferred federal monies from Eastern to western state banks which in turn led to a speculation frenzy by banks.[145] Jackson's Specie Circular, albeit designed to reduce speculation and stabilize the economy, left many investors unable to afford to pay loans backed by gold and silver.[145] The same year there was a downturn in Great Britain's economy that stopped investment in the United States. As a result, the U.S. economy went into a depression, banks became insolvent, the national debt (previously paid off) increased, business failures rose, cotton prices dropped, and unemployment dramatically increased.[145] The depression that followed lasted for four years until 1841 when the economy began to rebound.[143][146]

Administration and cabinet

The Jackson Cabinet
Office Name Term
President Andrew Jackson 1829–1837
Vice President John C. Calhoun 1829–1832
None 1832–1833
Martin Van Buren 1833–1837
Secretary of State Martin Van Buren 1829–1831
Edward Livingston 1831–1833
Louis McLane 1833–1834
John Forsyth 1834–1837
Secretary of Treasury Samuel D. Ingham 1829–1831
Louis McLane 1831–1833
William J. Duane 1833
Roger B. Taney 1833–1834
Levi Woodbury 1834–1837
Secretary of War John H. Eaton 1829–1831
Lewis Cass 1831–1836
Attorney General John M. Berrien 1829–1831
Roger B. Taney 1831–1833
Benjamin Franklin Butler 1833–1837
Postmaster General William T. Barry 1829–1835
Amos Kendall 1835–1837
Secretary of the Navy John Branch 1829–1831
Levi Woodbury 1831–1834
Mahlon Dickerson 1834–1837

Judicial appointments

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Jackson appointed 24 federal judges: six Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States and eighteen judges to the United States district courts.

States admitted to the Union

Later life and death

Photographic copy of an 1845 daguerreotype

After serving two terms as president, Jackson retired to his Hermitage plantation in 1837.,[147] and immediately began putting it in order as it had been poorly managed in his absence by his adopted son, Andrew Jr. Although he suffered ill health, Jackson remained influential in both national and state politics.[147] He was a firm advocate of the federal union of the states and rejected any talk of secession, insisting, "I will die with the Union."[148] Blamed for causing the Panic of 1837, he was unpopular in his early retirement.[147] Jackson continued to denounce the "perfidy and treachery" of banks and urged his successor, Van Buren, to repudiate the Specie Circular as president.[147]

As a solution to the panic, he supported an Independent Treasury system, which was designed to hold the money balances of the government in the form of gold or silver and would be restricted from printing paper money so as to prevent further inflation.[149] However, a coalition of conservative Democrats and Whigs opposed the bill, and it was not passed until July 4, 1840. During the delay, no effective remedy had been implemented for combating the depression. Van Buren grew deeply unpopular. A unified Whig Party nominated popular war hero William Henry Harrison and former Jacksonian John Tyler in the 1840 presidential election. The Whigs' campaign style in many ways mimicked that of the Democrats during Jackson's presidential campaigns. They depicted Van Buren as an aristocrat who did not care for the concerns of ordinary Americans, while glorifying Harrison's military record and portraying him as a man of the people. Jackson campaigned heavily for Van Buren in Tennessee.[150] He wrote in support of the nomination of James K. Polk of Tennessee for vice president at the 1840 Democratic National Convention over unpopular incumbent Richard Mentor Johnson. However, no nominee was chosen, and the party chose to leave the decision up to individual state electors.[151]

Ultimately, Harrison won the election, and the Whigs captured majorities in both houses of Congress. "The democracy of the United States has been shamefully beaten," Jackson wrote to Van Buren. "but I trust, not conquered."[152] However, Harrison died only a month into his term, and was replaced by Tyler. Jackson was encouraged by this because Tyler was known to act as an independent and not be bound by party lines.[153]

Jackson strongly favored the annexation of Texas, a feat he had been unable to accomplish during his own presidency. While Jackson still feared that annexation would stir up anti-slavery sentiment, his belief that the British would use Texas as a base to re-conquer the United States overrode his other concerns.[154] He also insisted that Texas was part of the Lousiana Purchase and therefore rightfully belonged to the United States.[155] At the request of Senator Robert J. Walker of Mississippi, acting on behalf of the Tyler administration, which also supported annexation, Jackson wrote several letters to Texas President Sam Houston, urging him to wait for the Senate to approve annexation and lecturing him on how much being a part of the United States would benefit Texas.[156] Jackson initially supported Van Buren for the 1844 Democratic nomination and Polk as vice president. However, when a letter from Calhoun to British Ambassador Richard Pakenham linking annexation to slavery was made public, Van Buren was moved into opposing annexation. When Van Buren wrote that he would not support the annexation plans of President Tyler, Jackson threw his support behind Polk for the nomination. At the 1844 Democratic National Convention, Polk emerged as the party's nominee after Van Buren failed to win the required two-thirds majority of delegates. George M. Dallas was selected as the vice presidential nominee. After Polk won the party's nomination, Jackson convinced Tyler to drop his plans of running for re-election as an independent by promising, as Tyler requested, to welcome the president and his allies back into the Democratic Party and by instructing Blair to cease his criticisms on the president.[157] With Jackson's support, Polk won the 1844 presidential election, narrowly defeating the Whig nominee, Henry Clay.[154] A bill of annexation was finally signed by Tyler on March 1, 1845.[158]

Jackson died at his plantation on June 8, 1845, at the age of 78, of chronic tuberculosis, dropsy, and heart failure. According to a newspaper account from the Boon Lick Times, "[he] fainted whilst being removed from his chair to the bed ... but he subsequently revived ... Gen. Jackson died at the Hermitage at 6 o'clock P.M. on Sunday the 8th instant. ... When the messenger finally came, the old soldier, patriot and Christian was looking out for his approach. He is gone, but his memory lives, and will continue to live."[159]

In his will, Jackson left his entire estate to his adopted son, Andrew Jackson Jr., except for specifically enumerated items that were left to various other friends and family members.[160]

Family and personal life

Jackson had three adopted sons: Theodore, an Indian about whom little is known,[161] Andrew Jackson Jr., the son of Rachel's brother Severn Donelson, and Lyncoya, a Creek Indian orphan adopted by Jackson after the Creek War. Lyncoya died of tuberculosis on July 1, 1828, at the age of sixteen.[162]

The Jacksons also acted as guardians for eight other children. John Samuel Donelson, Daniel Smith Donelson, and Andrew Jackson Donelson were the sons of Rachel's brother Samuel Donelson, who died in 1804. Andrew Jackson Hutchings was Rachel's orphaned grand nephew. Caroline Butler, Eliza Butler, Edward Butler, and Anthony Butler were the orphaned children of Edward Butler, a family friend. They came to live with the Jacksons after the death of their father.[163]

The widower Jackson invited Rachel's niece Emily Donelson to serve as hostess at the White House. Emily was married to Andrew Jackson Donelson, who acted as Jackson's private secretary and in 1856 ran for Vice President on the American Party ticket. The relationship between the President and Emily became strained during the Petticoat affair, and the two became estranged for over a year. They eventually reconciled and she resumed her duties as White House hostess. Sarah Yorke Jackson, the wife of Andrew Jackson Jr., became co-hostess of the White House in 1834. It was the only time in history when two women simultaneously acted as unofficial First Lady. Sarah took over all hostess duties after Emily died from tuberculosis in 1836. Jackson used Rip Raps as a retreat, visiting between August 19, 1829, through August 16, 1835.[164]


Tennessee Gentleman, portrait of Jackson, c. 1831, from the collection of The Hermitage

Jackson's quick temper was notorious. Brands says, "His audacity on behalf of the people earned him enemies who slandered him and defamed even his wife, Rachel. He dueled in her defense and his own, suffering grievous wounds that left him with bullet fragments lodged about his body."[62] However, Remini is of the opinion that Jackson was often in control of his rage, and used it (and his fearsome reputation) as a tool to get what he wanted in his public and private affairs.[165]

Brands also notes that his opponents were terrified of his temper: "Observers likened him to a volcano, and only the most intrepid or recklessly curious cared to see it erupt. ...His close associates all had stories of his blood-curling oaths, his summoning of the Almighty to loose His wrath upon some miscreant, typically followed by his own vow to hang the villain or blow him to perdition. Given his record—in duels, brawls, mutiny trials, and summary hearings—listeners had to take his vows seriously."[166]

On the last day of the presidency, Jackson admitted that he had but two regrets, that he "had been unable to shoot Henry Clay or to hang John C. Calhoun."[167]

Physical appearance

Jackson was a lean figure, standing at 6 feet, 1 inch (1.85 m) tall, and weighing between 130 and 140 pounds (64 kg) on average. Jackson also had an unruly shock of red hair, which had completely grayed by the time he became president at age 61. He had penetrating deep blue eyes. Jackson was one of the more sickly presidents, suffering from chronic headaches, abdominal pains, and a hacking cough. Much of his trouble was caused by a musket ball in his lung that was never removed, that often brought up blood and sometimes made his whole body shake.[168]

Religious faith

About a year after retiring the presidency, Jackson became a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville.[169]

Jackson was a Freemason, initiated at Harmony Lodge No. 1 in Tennessee; he also participated in chartering several other lodges in Tennessee. He was the only U.S. president to have served as Grand Master of a state's Grand Lodge until Harry S. Truman in 1945. His Masonic apron is on display in the Tennessee State Museum. An obelisk and bronze Masonic plaque decorate his tomb at The Hermitage.[170][171][172]

Legacy and memory

Historical reputation

Jackson remains one of the most studied and controversial Americans of the 19th century.[173][174] Historian Charles Grier Sellers says, "Andrew Jackson's masterful personality was enough by itself to make him one of the most controversial figures ever to stride across the American stage."[175] His most controversial presidential actions included removal of the Indians from the southeast, the dismantling of the Bank of the United States, and his threat to use military force against the state of South Carolina to make it stop nullifying federal laws. Not at all controversial was his resounding victory over the British at New Orleans in the last battle of the War of 1812. He was the main founder of the modern Democratic Party and became its iconic hero; he was always a fierce partisan, with many friends and many enemies.[176]

Jackson was mentioned and criticised by his contemporary Alexis de Tocqueville, in Democracy in America for flattering the dominant ideas of his time, including the mistrust over the federal power, for sometimes enforcing his view by force and disrespect towards the institutions and the law:

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Far from wishing to extend the Federal power, the President belongs to the party which is desirous of limiting that power to the clear and precise letter of the Constitution, and which never puts a construction upon that act favorable to the government of the Union; far from standing forth as the champion of centralization, General Jackson is the agent of the state jealousies; and he was placed in his lofty station by the passions that are most opposed to the central government. It is by perpetually flattering these passions that he maintains his station and his popularity. General Jackson is the slave of the majority: he yields to its wishes, its propensities, and its demands—say, rather, anticipates and forestalls them. (...) General Jackson stoops to gain the favor of the majority; but when he feels that his popularity is secure, he overthrows all obstacles in the pursuit of the objects which the community approves or of those which it does not regard with jealousy. Supported by a power that his predecessors never had, he tramples on his personal enemies, whenever they cross his path, with a facility without example; he takes upon himself the responsibility of measures that no one before him would have ventured to attempt. He even treats the national representatives with a disdain approaching to insult; he puts his veto on the laws of Congress and frequently neglects even to reply to that powerful body. He is a favorite who sometimes treats his master roughly.

On a more favorable note, Remini argues that Jacksonian democracy..."stretches the concept of democracy about as far as it can go and still remain workable....As such it has inspired much of the dynamic and dramatic events of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in American history—Populism, Progressivism, the New and Fair Deals, and the programs of the New Frontier and Great Society."[177]

Portrayal on banknotes and stamps

Jackson portrait on obverse $20 bill

Jackson has appeared on U.S. banknotes as far back as 1869, and extending into the 21st century. His image has appeared on the $5, $10, $20 and $10,000 note. Most recently, his image appears on the U.S. $20 Federal reserve note, Series 2004-2006, with a redesigned, larger portrait. In 2016, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced his goal that by 2029 an image of Harriet Tubman would replace Jackson's depiction on the front side of the $20 banknote, and that an image of Jackson would be placed on the reverse side, though the final decision will be made by his successors.[178][179]

Jackson has appeared on 13 different U.S. postage stamps. Only George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Benjamin Franklin have appeared more often.[180][181] He first appeared on an 1863 2-Cent stamp, which is commonly referred to by collectors as the Black Jack due to the large portraiture of Jackson on its face printed in pitch black.[182] During the American Civil War the Confederate government also issued two Confederate postage stamps bearing Jackson's portrait, one a 2-cent red stamp and the other a 2-cent green stamp, both issued in 1863.[183]


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Equestrian statue of Gen. Jackson, Jackson County Courthouse, Kansas City, Missouri, commissioned by Judge Harry S. Truman
The tomb of Andrew and Rachel Jackson located at The Hermitage

Popular culture depictions

Jackson and his wife Rachel were the main subjects of a 1950 historical novel by Irving Stone, The President's Lady, which told the story of their lives up until Rachel's death. The novel was the basis for the 1953 film of the same name starring Charlton Heston as Jackson and Susan Hayward as Rachel.

Jackson has been a supporting character in a number of historical films and television productions. Lionel Barrymore played Jackson in The Gorgeous Hussy (1936), a fictionalized biography of Peggy Eaton starring Joan Crawford. The Buccaneer (1938), a fictionalized version of the Battle of New Orleans, included Hugh Sothern as Jackson, and was remade in 1958 with Heston again playing Jackson. Basil Ruysdael played Jackson in Walt Disney's 1955 Davy Crockett TV miniseries and subsequent film release. Wesley Addy appeared as Jackson in some episodes of the 1976 PBS miniseries The Adams Chronicles.

Jackson is the protagonist of the comedic historic rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (2008) with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman and book by Alex Timbers.

See also


  1. In the antebellum South, rural schools were often built in exhausted cotton or tobacco fields, hence the name.
  2. "In the Mero [usually spelled Miro] District, two young attorneys, John Overton and Andrew Jackson, entered into a formal partnership on May 12, 1794, 'for the purpose of purchasing lands as well as those lands without as within the military bounds.' "[22]
  3. His return to the U.S. Senate in 1823, after 24 years, 11 months, 3 days out of office, marks the second longest gap in service to the chamber in history.[24]
  4. "When he defended the honor of Peggy Eaton, Jackson was also defending the honor of his recently deceased wife".[74]
  5. Jackson is frequently, though incorrectly, attributed the following response: "John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it." The quote originated in 1863 from Horace Greeley.
  6. Jackson historian Steve Inskeep reports: "Recent Jackson biographers, such as Jon Meacham and H. W. Brands, candidly described the human cost of Jackson's policy while keeping it in the perspective of his broader career."[90] Sean Wilentz, in The Rise of American Democracy, believed that while Jackson was a "paternalist", telling Indians what was best for them, paternalism was not the same as genocide.
  7. Zinn called him "exterminator of Indians".[92][93]
  8. Paul R. Bartrop and Steven Leonard Jacobs argue that Jackson's policies did not meet the criterion for genocide or cultural genocide.[95]
  9. The Spoils system, as the rotation in office system was called, did not originate with Jackson. It originated with New York governors in the late 18th and early 19th centuries (including George Clinton and DeWitt Clinton). Thomas Jefferson brought it to the Executive Branch when he replaced Federalist office-holders after becoming President.[107]
  10. The expunction movement was led by Thomas Hart Benton, who though he had once shot Jackson in a street fight, eventually became an ardent supporter of the president.[137]


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  • Bassett, John Spencer. The Life of Andrew Jackson (2 vol. 1911). Useful old biography; vol 1 online free; vol 2 online
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  • Burstein, Andrew. The Passions of Andrew Jackson. (2003). online review by Donald B. Cole
  • Cheathem, Mark R. Andrew Jackson, Southerner (2013), scholarly biography emphasizing Jackson's southern identity
  • Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition (1948), chapter on Jackson. online in ACLS e-books
  • James, Marquis. The Life of Andrew Jackson Combines two books: The Border Captain and Andrew Jackson: Portrait of a President, 1933, 1937; winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1938.
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  • Parton, James. Life of Andrew Jackson (1860). Volume I, Volume III.
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  • Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'strict' not found. Abridgment of Remini's 3-volume monumental biography.
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  • Remini, Robert V. The Legacy of Andrew Jackson: Essays on Democracy, Indian Removal, and Slavery (1988).
  • Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and his Indian Wars (2001).
  • Remini, Robert V. "Andrew Jackson", American National Biography (2000). short summary
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  • Bugg Jr. James L. ed. Jacksonian Democracy: Myth or Reality? (1952), excerpts from scholars.
  • Cheathem, Mark R. "Andrew Jackson, Slavery, and Historians." History Compass 9.4 (2011): 326-338. online
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  • Mabry, Donald J., Short Book Bibliography on Andrew Jackson, Historical Text Archive.
  • McLemore, Laura Lyons, ed. The Battle of New Orleans in History and Memory (LSU Press, 2016).
  • Remini, Robert V. and Robert O. Rupp. Andrew Jackson: A Bibliography (Greenwood, 1991).
  • Sellers, Charles Grier, Jr. "Andrew Jackson versus the Historians", The Mississippi Valley Historical Review, Vol. 44, No. 4. (March 1958), pp. 615–634. in JSTOR.
  • Taylor, George Rogers, ed. Jackson Versus Biddle: The Struggle over the Second Bank of the United States (1949), excerpts from primary and secondary sources.
  • Van Sledright, Bruce, and Peter Afflerbach. "Reconstructing Andrew Jackson: Prospective elementary teachers' readings of revisionist history texts". Theory & Research in Social Education 28#3 (2000): 411-444.
  • Ward, John William. Andrew Jackson, Symbol for an Age (1962) how writers saw him.

Specialized studies

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  • Cheathem, Mark R., and Terry Corps, eds. Historical Dictionary of the Jacksonian Era and Manifest Destiny (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016).
  • Cheathem, Mark. "Frontiersman or Southern Gentleman? Newspaper Coverage of Andrew Jackson during the 1828 Presidential Campaign", The Readex Report (2014) 9#3 online
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  • Gammon, Samuel Rhea. The Presidential Campaign of 1832 (1922).
  • Hammond, Bray. Andrew Jackson's Battle with the "Money Power" (1958) ch 8, of his Banks and Politics in America: From the Revolution to the Civil War (1954); Pulitzer prize.
  • Hays, Joel Stanford. "Twisting the Law: Legal Inconsistencies in Andrew Jackson's Treatment of Native-American Sovereignty and State Sovereignty." Journal of Southern Legal History 21 (2013): 157.
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  • Latner Richard B. The Presidency of Andrew Jackson: White House Politics, 1820–1837 (1979), standard survey.
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  • Parsons, Lynn H. The Birth of Modern Politics: Andrew Jackson, John Quincy Adams, and the Election of 1828 (2009) excerpt and text search
  • Ratner, Lorman A. Andrew Jackson and His Tennessee Lieutenants: A Study in Political Culture (1997).
  • Rowland, Dunbar. Andrew Jackson's Campaign against the British, or, the Mississippi Territory in the War of 1812, concerning the Military Operations of the Americans, Creek Indians, British, and Spanish, 1813–1815 (1926).
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  • Schama, Simon. The American Future: A History (2008).
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  • Schlesinger, Arthur M. Jr. The Age of Jackson. (1945). Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for History. history of ideas of the era.
  • Syrett, Harold C. Andrew Jackson: His Contribution to the American Tradition (1953). on Jacksonian democracy

Primary sources

  • Bassett, John Spencer and J. Franklin Jameson, eds. The Correspondence of Andrew Jackson (7 vols.; Washington, 1926-1935),
  • The Papers of Andrew Jackson Edited first by Sam B. Smith and Harriet Chappell Owsley, and now by Dan Feller, Sam B. Smith, Harriet Fason Chappell Owsley, and Harold D. Moser. (9 vols. 1980 to date, U of Tennessee0 online.
    • Searchable digital edition online
  • Richardson, James D. ed. A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents (1897), reprints his major messages and reports.
  • Library of Congress. "Andrew Jackson Papers," a digital archive that provides direct access to the manuscript images of many of the Jackson documents. online

External links

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United States House of Representatives
New constituency Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's at-large congressional district

Succeeded by
William C. C. Claiborne
United States Senate
Preceded by United States Senator (Class 1) from Tennessee
Served alongside: Joseph Anderson
Succeeded by
Daniel Smith
Preceded by United States Senator (Class 2) from Tennessee
Served alongside: John Eaton
Succeeded by
Hugh Lawson White
Chair of the Senate Military Affairs Committee
Succeeded by
William Henry Harrison
Honorary titles
Preceded by Baby of the Senate
Succeeded by
Ray Greene
Preceded by Oldest living President of the United States
Succeeded by
John Quincy Adams
Political offices
Preceded by as Governor of Spanish East Florida Governor of Florida

Succeeded by
William Pope Duval
Preceded by President of the United States
Succeeded by
Martin Van Buren
Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic-Republican nominee for President of the United States¹
Served alongside: John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, William H. Crawford
Party dissolved
New political party Democratic nominee for President of the United States
1828, 1832
Succeeded by
Martin Van Buren
Notes and references
1. The Democratic-Republican Party split in the 1824 election, fielding four separate candidates.

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