In history, many people failed a lot. But they also had accomplishments. Under the pressure of being the president, it’s pretty easy to become influenced by the “power” you possess. Many times, our leaders of the country can’t please everyone, but they can please themselves. Throughout Andrew Jackson’s presidency, he had many successes but also many failures. During his presidency, the United States evolved from a republic in which only landowners could vote; to a mass democracy, in which white men of all classes were enfranchised. This one act would impact the united states forming the national two party system. Which was good, but Jackson also was the one who oversaw the Indian Removal Act, which forcibly relocated tens of thousands of Native Americans, which had a devastating effect on the native population. There are many more things that occurred in Jackson’s terms all in which contributed to the way we run things in the United States in the present time.
In the election of 1828, John Quincy Adams was pinned against Andrew Jackson. Adams was the candidate of the National Republicans, the party that Jackson was representing became known as the Jacksonian Democrats, or just the Democrats. Andrew Jackson would win the election and become the seventh president of the United States in the year 1829. Jackson would go on to create what we use in America today, the two party system. “Jackson’s arrogant behavior led many to regard him as “King Andrew the First.” Groups who opposed him coalesced into a new party, known as the Whigs, thus producing the country’s second two-party system (Shi p.462). Jacksons desire to create a new party was fueled by his own difficulties with Congress. He made himself stronger compared to Congress by making direct links with voters. In his whole eight year term he only oversaw one major law; the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
The Indian Removal Act of 1830 is probably the criticized action taken during Andrew Jackson’s term. The relocation of Native Americans was meant to be voluntary, but tens of thousands of Indians were forced to move West of the Mississippi river, from their homelands; the route and trip would become known as The Trail of Tears. There was a court case ruled by the Supreme court called, “Worchester v Georgia,” where the Indians would use the court system to try to protect themselves from relocation. Jackson would completely disregard this. “The treaty’s that were already signed, recognized them as an independent nation. Jackson didn’t care for that. All Jackson cared about was getting the Indians out of the way and moving them to Oklahoma territory” (McKeown Jacksonian Democracy). More than ten thousand Indians died while making the trip. Causes ranging from starvation, disease, and exposure to varying temperatures. Many Native Indian tribes disagreed to the negotiation to give up their homelands for land in the West. But there was also a few tribes who did. “Two important tribes have accepted the provision made for their removal at the last session of Congress, and it is believed that their example will induce the remaining tribes also to seek the same obvious advantages.” (Library of Congress). Although the Trail of Tears does not directly affect the way we live each day, it did help form the country we live in today but also created tensions between various ethnic groups even also two centuries later.
One big thing that led to another failure in Jackson’s presidency was The Bank War. Jackson personally didn’t like the idea of banks being around.” Andrew Jackson had always hated banks and bankers, whom he called “vipers and thieves.” His prejudice grew out of his own experiences with banks in the 1790s, when he had suffered huge financial losses. Now, as a popularly elected president, he claimed to speak for ordinary Americans who felt that banks favored the “rich and powerful” in the East. Jackson also distrusted banks because they printed too much paper money, causing prices to rise (inflation). He wanted only gold and silver coins to be used for economic transactions. (Shi p.437). Despite Jackson not really understanding the sole purpose of the bank, he allowed his personal beliefs and hostility to control the way he ran things politically. The charter that the bank’s president, Nicholas Biddle, had in place stated that the bank didn’t need to be renewed until 1836. Senators Henry Clay and Daniel Webster warned Biddle could not afford to wait until the renewal in place and needed the bank renewed before the 1836 election. The National Republicans would endorse Clay as their presidential candidate and approve the renewal of the Bank of the United States. Jackson would veto the bill a week later. As a direct result of a series of policies enacted by Jackson for the explicit purpose of weakening the Bank of the United States, the country was thrown into financial turmoil and an economic recession hit in 1837.” (Khan Academy)
The Panic of 1837 was another example of Jackson letting his own personal issues in the way. He didn’t want the bank that bad, that he had refused to renew the charter of the bank. After it was passed, he vetoed the bill. He wrote to the Senate exactly why he had done this. “A bank of the united states is, in many respects, convenient for the Government and useful to the people. Entertaining this opinion, and deeply impressed with the belief that some of the power and privileges possessed by the existing Bank are unauthorized by the Constitution, subversive to the rights of States, and dangerous to the liberties of the people.” (Library of Congress 2). Jackson would announce that the Government would no longer deposit Federal funds into the Bank but put them in state banks. When the Bank’s charter expired in 1836, it was never renewed.
Having taken such a firm stand for state rights, it was shocking to see his views on the Nullification Crisis of 1832. In 1819, the financial panic caused a nationwide depression. For a ten year period, the state of South Carolina continued to suffer due to a downfall in prices of cotton. The people of South Carolina would blame the Tariff of Abominations, which taxed British clothing coming into markets of the US. This hurt the people of South Carolina by reducing British demand for raw cotton. “In a lengthy pamphlet called the South Carolina Exposition and Protest (1828), Calhoun claimed that the Tariff of 1828 favored the interests of New England textile manufacturing over southern agriculture. Under such circumstances, he argued, a state could “nullify,” or veto, a federal law it deemed unconstitutional.” (Shi p.439). A few years later, Jackson attempted to resolve the conflict with South Carolina by calling Congress to create the Tariff of 1832. This would lower rates on few products but kept them high on cotton fabric and clothing from Britain. This angered South Carolinians and caused them at a South Carolina state convention, to adopt the Ordinance of Nullification, a decree nullifying congressional acts involving duties and imposts on the importation of foreign commodities. South Carolina then threatened to succeed from the union if the tariffs were collected by the Government.?