How Democratic Was Andrew Jackson?

Andrew was born in 1767 between North and South Carolina. Although he was the president of the United States, his life didn’t start with wealth. His fighting instincts made him a tough child for his mother to raise him without any help from his dad. At only thirteen years old, Jackson suffered an injury and the loss of loved ones during the Revolutionary War.

When he won re-election in 1828 at the age of 61, he promised to listen to the people who had made him their president three times before: during the war, while he was previously president, and then when they elected him again. His commitment to democracy ended up being unbelievable as he refused to acknowledge any comparisons or questions about his performance that would have led others to think of him as a tyrant or king instead of what people wanted: a democrat.

President Andrew Jackson believed that it was important to retain the power of voting in order to prevent any powerful individual from taking advantage of others.

In 1832, Jackson vetoed a bill put before congress by the national bank, which stated to give the shareholders more power and control over the middle- and lower-class citizens. This veto message truly proved his success as a leader.

“The great evils that could come to our country are easy to see when power is concentrated in the hands of a few men who don’t answer to the people,” Jackson said. He did not want anyone to risk ignorant voting because he knew that with voting comes responsibility and any leader who neglects this could be in great problems. 

Jackson wasn’t afraid of being cast into a powerless position where he had no say or no power, but what he wanted was a fair playing field where people had their chance at winning while they were informed. 

The Native American neighbors were being forced to move west of the Mississippi as their population has decreased drastically. Jackson seems to be listening, but even then he didn’t take action until it became critical. One of his last public messages was in 1843: “Setting apart an ample district west of the Mississippi River… guaranteed to the Indian tribes as long as they shall occupy it…,” and he adds that, “we wish to live in the land of our fathers–no disturbance or molestation should ever reach us.”

In essence, Andrew Jackson wasn’t democratic to all people, but other parts of his presidency prove that he was. His spoils system was just a part of the promotion of himself and his party. He made people select who worked with him by four criteria, which were loyalty and time of service. He also said in a letter to congress no one is entitled to any more power than another in this line.

When Jackson says “this he means” that there was no bias involved with choosing a public officer because their qualifications and duties were “so plain and simple.” But many citizens disagree with him, saying that he did not make unbiased decisions about those appointed to public office. He stuck with his personal feelings about the person chosen for the appointment.

As President Jackson quickly found out, Samuel was not the best choice for a collector in office. Jackson had a strange opinion of Swartwout from the start, but he didn’t realize it. Swartwout recommended Samuel from day one as a supporter and before long President Jackson discovered his mistake made by appointing Swartwout as a collector. Samuelson learned his lesson fast when this mistake at first happened, but will never happen again.

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Andrew Jackson’s presidency can be viewed from many different perspectives, primarily the people’s opinions and viewpoints. They decided most of their major decisions based on public opinion and opinion polls, making them democratic in many ways. To become a democratic country, people should listen to other people what are saying. Andrew Jackson enacted such policies, as well as utilized a spoils system that was not biased at all towards any race or creed.

President Andrew Jackson advocated democratic ideals, but in the end, he was not bound by any of the major democratic principles. The legacy that he left behind is insurmountable.

Sample Details

Topic

Andrew Jackson, Democracy, United States

Subject

Government

Academic Level

Undergraduate

Page

2

Words

704
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Sample Details

Topic

Andrew Jackson, Democracy, United States

Subject

Government

Academic Level

Undergraduate

Page

2

Words

704
Download PDF
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