The Tyranny of Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson: the common man or the first king of America? He is viewed by history in many different ways, some see him as the man who granted universal white male suffrage, created a more democratic way to elect electoral voters to congress and replaced caucuses with national nominating conventions; and others, who saw past this false representation and saw how in his sightseers in office, he vetoed 12 bills, forced Native Americans from their homeland, ignored supreme court decisions and let his personal life affect his presidential decisions.
Jackson, as captured in his portrait in the National Portrait gallery was a stern man with a strong sense of self-reliance. And while these qualities can be seen as the prominent characteristics for a good leader, when abused, they could cause unrest throughout a nation. Jackson entered the political office with a hint Of vengeance. One Of his main goals was to efface Dam’s high-ranking officials, whom he claimed worked against his election using fraud.
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Long standing bureau chiefs, attorneys, custom and land officers, and federal marshals were losing their jobs to benefactors of Jackson’s campaign at rapid rates because “rotation in office ivies the people a sense of sharing in their own government” (Van Deuces 35). Not only were these jobs given to those without experience, but at times the appointee’s were conniving and slimy. The best example of this would be former army comrade Samuel Squawroot. Jackson appointed Squawroot as the collector of the New York City customhouse, where the IIS government collected almost half of its annual revenue.
After a couple years in the job, Squawroot fled with over $1 million dollars, equal to a bit more than $29,850,000 today. (menstruation’s. Com) (Andrew Jackson: Domestic Affairs). After this debacle among others, the rotation in public service eventually lowered the prestige and rank of government service (Van Deuces 36). Not only did Jackson displace many major jobs in government, but he defied major decisions, earning him the name King Andrew l. Throughout his presidency Jackson vetoed twelve bills, ignored Supreme Court rulings and became the first to enforce the “Pocket Veto. He ignored the Supreme Court in major cases, brushing them off as if he were omnipotent. While some bills he vetoed were insignificant in today’s world, it is evident that he did not veto any bills for a practical purpose but as an act of revenge or malice. His reactions to minor problems caused an economic scare and nearly a civil war. Following the War of 181 2, America was in great debt. We owed money to Britain and the various banknotes distributed by the differing banks caused an influx of inflation.
To fix this economic situation, in 1816 President Monroe signed a bill authorizing the Second Bank of the United States to create another place to keep federal funds and create a consistent banknote. The Bank was effective for approximately twenty years, until president Jackson ND President of the Bank, Nicholas Fiddle, were faced with opposing beliefs. Andrew Jackson, the “common man,” who showed a strong liking for the west, claimed that the bank’s economic power was a threat to the country and the government.
On his side were State banks, who felt threatened by the central bank’s influence and western farmers who tended to be jealous of the wealthy Northerners. Nicholas Fiddle on the other hand was a sophisticate from Philadelphia. He and his cohorts came from the wealthy North, and all from moneyed families with a lot of political backing and influence. Despite he fact that Fiddle’s supporters overrode Jackson’s by 1 1 1,090 citizens on a memorial designed to save the bank, he ignored this popular support and vetoed the 1832 recharge from Congress (Second Bank of United States).
President Andrew Jackson let his hypocrisy and his personal issues get in the way with the Massively Road veto. Jackson built part of his campaign platform on growth on international expansion. As President, he provided nearly twice as much funding as Adams for developments of roads, railroads and various expenditures. However, when introduced the Massively Road Bill, he was kick to shoot it down. Behind the Bill was Henry Clay, a politician from Kentucky.
In previous years, Clay had earned credit from Jackson’s faults and publicly said that Jackson’s part in the Trail of Tears “stained the national honor. ” The Massively Road Bill was a plan to build a twenty mile stretch of highway within Clay’s home state of Kentucky. Jackson vetoed it after it had been passed by congress, declaring that the bill violated the economic affairs of the government and would put America is greater financial crisis. In reality, it was a personal attack against Henry Clay (Van Deuces 52-54).
Despite Jackson’s support for the growth and prosper of the West, both he and his constituents lobbied to raise tariffs on imported textiles such as fur, flax, hemp, liquor and wool to about 50 percent their intended value. The increase of prices from other countries was greatly beneficial to the Northern economy, who were able to sell more of their products, but detrimental to the South. Because the South simply produced raw goods, it was essential that they imported manufactured goods for their general well being.
This tariff not only threatened to reduce the flow of goods from Britain, but the loss of none made it difficult for them to purchase raw materials. Representative of South Carolina and long time foe of Jackson, John C Calhoun spoke out against this. He claimed that the goal of these protective tariffs was to make the poor in the South poorer, and the wealthy from the North richer, (“1816-1860: The Second American Party System and the Tariff) making Southerners “the serfs of the system” (Van Deuces 39). Under general law, congress was only allowed to permit tariffs and laws that support a common purpose.
Since the Tariff of 1 828 favored the North, Calhoun decided to life the law in South Carolina. Even after Congress passed legislation lowering the tariff on goods, with the exception of manufactured cloth and iron, Calhoun legislature passed the Ordinance Of Nullification, banning the collection of duties. In the Ordinance of Nullification, they challenge Jackson and his party to “shut her ports, destroy or harass her commerce or to enforce the acts hereby declared to be null and void” (“South Carolina Ordinance of Nullification, November 25, 1832”).
South Carolina’s Ordinance Nullification could have been solved rather quickly, however due to the rift teens Jackson and Calhoun; it almost ended up in a civil war. In years prior, Calhoun wife refused to invite Jackson’s wife to a dinner party she was hosting, because Mrs.. Jackson was labeled as a ‘Indore” for remarrying and living with Andrew Jackson before her divorce was final. Andrew Jackson was so enraged by Mrs.. Calhoun actions that he excommunicated the Calhoun family from Washington D. C.
Jackson’s inane sense of revenge erupted when he was informed about the Ordinance of Nullification. Despite the fact that the issue could have been talked out at the beginning, Jackson was prompted to use military action. He planned to march with the army to South Carolina and hang John C. Calhoun publicly for treason. This episode would have undoubtedly caused, or accelerated our road to a civil war. However, due to congressmen Henry Clay America averted the potential conflict by peaceful negotiation. Henry Clay spoke directly to John C.
Calhoun and created the Compromise Tariff or the Tariff of 1833, which agreed to lower the taxes significantly between 1833 and 1842 (“1816-1860: The Second American Party System and the Tariff’). Although Jackson had Clay to prevent one war, Jackson let his aggression manifest in other ways. Even before Jackson became president, he was a prominent figure in the removal of Indians from their homelands. Though he did not hate the Indians as a race, he saw them as third rate citizens. In 1814 he led military forces against the Creek nation, taking 22 million acres of land from their territory in southern Georgia and central Alabama.
Four years later, in 1818 he invaded the Seminole in Spanish Florida because they were “harboring’ fugitive slaves. Meanwhile, he was active in negotiating nine out of the eleven treaties which exchanged Creek, Cherokee and Choctaw territories in the east for new rewriter in the west – giving the United States over three quarters of Florida and Alabama and significant amounts of land in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Kentucky and North Carolina. Only a fraction of these tribes relocated, and did so only to avoid further conflict with white Americans (Indian Removal).
Once Jackson became president, his desire to remove Indians from land he believed was rightfully America’s grew. In the first year of his presidency, he pushed the “Indian Removal Act’ through both houses of Congress; allowing the president to negotiate removal treaties with all Indian ribbed east of the Mississippi River. (Indian Removal) Jackson himself traveled to his homeland of Tennessee to negotiate with these Native Americans. He gave them an ultimatum, submit to the authority of the state and become citizens of the United States, risk war or emigrate to the west of the Mississippi.
He offered them generous aid and transportation for their venture across the country, and claimed to be doing through the paternalistic and caring nature of his heart. He believed that this policy was beneficial to Indians, because whites will not attempt to colonize the west for years, if ever. This move would give the Native Americans a place to govern themselves in peace (Andrew Jackson: Domestic Affairs). The Chickasaws and Choctaws succumbed easily and moved west, the Creeks and Seminole followed soon after (Indian Removal).
Despite the promise of a smooth move to the west, the voyages to the Indians new homes were brutal and inhumane. The Choctaws migrated from Mississippi to the Red River took place in December of 1 831. Myriads of people, accustomed to warm weather, walked hundreds of miles, without proper dress and without moccasins, forced to endure subzero temperatures. Creek Indians were forces to migrate out of Alabama chained together and under the force of troops. Seminole were tricked into agreeing to leave their homeland of Spanish Florida to the West – and led to a bitter war.