Indian removal and banking policies were all controversies which brought forth strong rivalry and resentment throughout his years as president, but Jackson ‘s strong will and assertiveness got our country through these times. President Andrew Jackson did not overstep the boundaries of the executive branch Of government; he only strengthened these boundaries which were already in place. Andrew Jackson had a heroic military past. In 1810 Jackson was named Major General in the Tennessee Militia. Here Jackson became famous for his victories over the rebel Creek Indians.
These victories impressed leaders in Washington and Jackson was put in charge of the defense of New Orleans in the war of 1812. Jackson was able to lead his troops to victory and solidify himself as a dominant figure in the US armed forces. This show of American strength made Americans feel proud after a war filled with many military defeats. This sense of nationalism lead to a time known as “the era of good feelings. Jackson was given the nickname “Old Hickory”, and was treated as a national hero. In 181 7 he was ordered against the Seminole Indians.
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He pushed them back into Spanish Florida and continued to take the rest of the land from the Spanish. Many to this day claim Andrew Jackson was not authorized to do so, but in reality he was. He and President Monroe both realized the acquisition of Spanish lands would strengthen the nation. On December 28, 1817, Monroe wrote Jackson a provocative note explaining his true intention for Florida. “This days mail will convey to you an order to repair to the command of the troops now acting against the Seminole, a tribe which has long wilted our right and insulted our national character.
The movement that you will bring may possibly have other services to perform, depending on the conduct of the bandit at Amelia Island and Galveston. This is not a time for you to think of repose. Great issues for the future of our country are at issue, and until our course is carried through triumphantly and every species of danger is settled on the most solid foundation, you ought not to withdraw your active force from it”. (Remind peg. 1 19) “Jackson naturally believed he had been instructed to seize Florida. What “other services” did Monroe have in mind if not the seizure Of this territory? (Remind peg. 11 9) Jackson did not hesitate, and his actions helped to acquire the Florida territory’, and he became a provisional governor of Florida that same year. This situation demonstrates the character of this man. Andrew Jackson was a man dedicated to strengthening our country at any cost. He was not one let what others may think of him get in the way of what he knew was best for his country. Later, Jackson nearly won the presidential campaign of 1824, however due to a “corrupt bargain” between John Quince Adams and Henry Clay he lost.
Over the next four years the current administration built a strong political machine with nationalistic policies and a lack of concern of states rights. Adams also implements the tariff of Abominations, which outraged common merchants and southerners. The 1828 campaign was filled with mud slinging on both sides. John Quince Adams and his northern supporters went as far as saying that Jackson’s wife had committed adultery by being with Jackson while she was still married to Lewis Roberts. However the people still rallied behind Jackson, and he became the seventh President to the United States.
Originally the President relied more on an informal group of newspaper writers and northern politicians for political advice, rather than his presidential cabinet. This made him more in contact with the people Of the united States, and more in contact with the public opinion and feelings award national issues. However this could not last for long. Immediately after taking office Jackson conducted a strict examination into the operations of specific departments within the government, and from now on all these departments would have to report to him. Jackson wanted to find out, “what retrenchments could be made without injury to the public service. What offices could be dispensed, and what economical improvements could be made to further his administration”. (Remind peg. 1 84) Because of the widespread corruption throughout the last administration Jackson expected amoebas in order to strengthen the national government. However Jackson felt that, “these removals must emanate from principle”. He therefore directed that only those who has been appointed against the manifest will of the people would be replaced.
President Jackson developed the system of “rotation in office”. However his enemies labeled it the “spoils system”. Many feel the way President Jackson utilized the “spoils system” overstepped his executive power however legally he did have the power to do so, and Jackson used it to insure loyalty and obedience of the people in his administration. The new appointments to power were to “serve the cause of freedom”, said Jackson. He felt these new appointees would help restore virtue and morality into a sometimes-corrupt government.
Unlike the men who were forced to leave office, this new breed of politician would conform to a strict moral code in order to set a good example for all Americans. “Officers in both their private and public relations must be examples Of fidelity and honesty,” said President Jackson. NO other sort of man deserved to represent our fair country. “Needless to say, Andrew Jackson did not introduce the spoils system to American government, nor did he dismiss the rumored thousands of office holders. He removed only 919 person out of 10,95, roughly 8 percent”. (Remind peg. 85) This is obviously not overstepping or overdoing anything. States rights played an important part in Jackson’s policy’s as president. In the case of the Cherokee Indians vs.. The State of Georgia, n,vow Supreme Court decisions in 1831 and 1832 claimed the United States government must protect the Cherokee Indians living in the state of Georgia. However, Georgia had a long-standing vendetta with the Cherokees due to their jurisdiction on Georgians land and because gold had recently been found where the Cherokees resided. The state of Georgia saw the Indians as mere tenants on their land decided to “kick them out”.
Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that Georgia had no jurisdiction to interfere with the rights of the Cherokee and removal of them would violate treaties between them and the U. S. Government. However, Jackson’s nationalism and his states rights philosophy merged to produce an Indian policy that differed from that of John Marshall. Jackson rejected any notion that would jeopardize the safety of the United States. As far as he was concerned the Indians living in tribes within the boundaries of states constituted a distinct threat to the nation. However, Jackson had some compassion for the Indians.
He felt they would benefit from acquiring their own land, and he offered to recompense tribes with decent amounts of money. The question of the tariff was another major controversy in the United States during the Presidency of Jackson. His strong support for a unified nation would hold the country together in this national crisis. During his long campaign, Jackson had promised the south a reduction in the tariff established in 1828 by Adams. Southerners and westerners were thrilled to hear that this unfair tariff would be lowered and thereby threw President Jackson a lot of support.
However, in 1832 his administration only lowered the tariff by a small margin. The South was enraged because it was not even close to what they expected. Due to the small response by the federal government, South Carolina acted upon the doctrine of Nullification, which stated that the states had the right to null or void a law if they didn’t agree with it. South Carolina declared the federal tariff laws of 1828 and 1 832 invalid and unconstitutional and prohibited the collection of the tariff. Jackson ;s response to this came on his Nullification Proclamation.
He declared that he was determined to enforce the lava if South Carolina tried to leave the union, but would compromise in lowering the tariff. In 1 833 congress passed a compromise bill, which set a new tariff. South Carolina and the other Southern States were satisfied with the compromise and the union was preserved due to the execution of Andrew Jackson. He used his executive powers for good and left both northerners and southerners happy. Andrew Jackson and his policies strengthened the new American nationalism.