Unformatted text preview: Andrew Jackson and the “Age of the
Common Man” “Old Hickory” This print shows young Jackson
receiving sword blows from a
British officer. Andrew Jackson was born on the
South Carolina frontier into a
poor family in 1767
He grew up with a deep
resentment for wealth and
As a teenager during the
American Revolution, he served
as a courier and was captured by
Later, Jackson’s mother and
brothers died of smallpox
contracted while they were in
As a result, Jackson hated the
British, blaming them for his
family’s deaths. Also, like most frontier whites, he
regarded Indians as enemies.
As a young man, he became an
attorney moved to Nashville.
He served as a magistrate, as
well as a congressman
He prospered in the legal
profession and as a planter and
Jackson was also a noted brawler
He achieved national fame during
the War of 1812 with his victories
over the Creek Indians and the
He was elected to the Senate in
1822. The Hermitage, Jackson’s
Nashville estate. The Election of 1824 Four candidates, each backed by a different faction
of the Republican Party, ran for president: William Crawford – Jeffersonian Republican
Henry Clay – Nationalist Republican
John Quincy Adams – Nationalist Republican
Andrew Jackson – the “People’s Candidate” Jackson received the most popular votes (43%) and electoral
votes (99), but with no majority, the election went to the
House of Representatives. “Curry and Bargain!” By law, only the three highest vote
totals could be considered (Jackson,
Adams, and Crawford).
As Speaker of the House, Henry Clay
was in a position to play “kingmaker.”
Since he and Jackson were enemies,
he threw his support to Adams.
Clay was made Secretary of State.
Jackson and his supporters accused
Adams and Clay of making a deal
behind the scenes.
The Republicans were now split into
the Adams-Clay faction (“Nationalist
Republicans” and the Jackson faction
(“Democratic Republicans”). Henry Clay John Quincy Adams “The Tariff of Abominations” John C. Calhoun Adams’s administration was
doomed from the outset, with
the Jacksonians working to
block his agenda.
In keeping with the “American
System,” a proposed tariff was
sent to Congress.
John C. Calhoun of South
Carolina and Martin Van Buren
of New York led the opposition.
The bill passed in 1828, but
Calhoun continued to seek its
repeal. Jackson and his supporters used the tariff and the 1824
election as weapons against Adams and Clay. This cartoon portrays Jackson “slaying a Hydra” of politicians, bankers, and
other “special interests.” This was part of Jackson’s image as a “champion of
the common man.” The Democrat Party The founder of the Democrat Party was
New York politician Martin Van Buren.
He emerged as a prominent leader
when he succeeded in getting the New
York legislature to pass universal
This measure reflected a vision he had
for the whole country: A political uprising of the common people
against the perceived privileged class.
A radical democratization of the political
process. To achieve these goals, Van Buren
sought to turn the Democratic
Republican faction into a political
machine which would exclude all
political opposition from power. Martin Van Buren Van Buren’s tactics
included: Party discipline
Keep slavery out of
“The Corrupting Power
The Spoils System He also pioneered
at the masses. Mass rallies
Mass media campaigns The Election of 1828 The election was a rematch
between Adams and Jackson.
It was a true mud-slinging contest: Adams was accused of misusing
Jackson and his wife, Rachel, were
accused of bigamy. Jackson won decisively.
Shortly after the election, Rachel
Jackson fell ill and died.
Jackson was convinced that the
attacks during the election drove her
to an early death.
He came to Washington seeking to
exact revenge on his enemies. Rachel Jackson Jackson’s First Term (1829-1833) Jackson enacted many changes
from his predecessors: Some 20,000 citizens came
to Washington for Jackson’s
Inauguration. He allowed them
the run of the White House. He initiated a great amount of
In his two terms, he issued 12
He enacted the “Spoils System,”
albeit on a limited scale.
The “Kitchen Cabinet” – a group of
friends and political allies who meet
with him informally and gave advice. The “Kitchen Cabinet” included Martin
Van Buren and Jackson’s attorney,
Roger B. Taney. Jackson also began
exacting revenge on his
political enemies: Jackson opposed the
program of internal
He also wanted to pay back
Henry Clay for the 1824
The Maysville Road Bill
(1830) was a pet project of
Clay’s that would have used
federal funds to build a road
Jackson vetoed the bill. This cartoon illustrates the enmity
between Jackson and Clay. The Indian Removal Act (1830) By the 19th century, the expanding white population created friction with
The Indian Removal Act was passed, mandating the removal of the
remaining eastern tribes to reservations west of the Mississippi River. This act was passed in violation
of treaties with these nations
passed by the Senate during
Some Indians resisted through
armed force: Osceola The Black Hawk War (1832)
The Second Seminole War (18351842) In the second conflict, 1,000
warriors led by Osceola held off
the efforts of 50,000 US Army
regulars, volunteers, and militia
for almost seven years before
surrendering. Cherokee Nation vs. the State of
Georgia (1831) More than any other Native
American nation, the Cherokees
had tried to assimilate into white
culture. Adopted a written language
Ratified a written constitution
Usually wore white American
clothing. When gold was discovered on
Cherokee land in northern
Georgia, both the state and
federal governments sought to
have the Cherokees removed. When the Indian Removal
Act was passed, the
Cherokees fought back
through the law courts. John Ross, chief of the Cherokee, led
his nation’s fight to retain their ancestral
lands. He was also a successful
businessman, farmer, and slave owner. They filed two cases
(Cherokee Nation v. the
State of Georgia 
and Worcester v. State of
On appeal, Chief Justice
John Marshall and the
Supreme Court upheld the
sovereignty of Cherokee
Jackson ignored the ruling. The “Trail of Tears” In 1838, General Winfield Scott arrived in Georgia with
7,000 troops to carry out the relocation of the Cherokees in
Georgia to what is now Oklahoma.
Somewhere between 3,000-5,000 Cherokees died en route
in what became known as the 'Trail of Tears.' The Nullification Crisis Towards the end of his first term,
Jackson confronted the
This was precipitated by the
“Abominations Tariff” of 1828. The tariff made imported
manufactured goods more
expensive than those made in
In the view of Southerners, all the
benefits of protection were going
to Northern manufacturers.
Also, tariffs were linked to slavery
as an issue of property rights.
If the federal government could
tax imports (one kind of property),
it might try to interfere with slave
holding (another kind of
property). This cartoon attacked the tariffs on
the basis of killing free trade. As vice president, John C.
Calhoun sought to have tariffs
He went back to Thomas
Jefferson’s theory of
“nullification” from the
Kentucky Resolutions of 1799.
Calhoun’s theory of
nullification: A state may call a special
convention to declare a federal
If the federal government
refused to rescind the law, the
state had the choice to submit or
secede from the Union. Jackson came down against
Congress passed another tariff in
South Carolina held a special
convention: Declaring the tariffs of 1828 and
Threatened to secede if Jackson
responded with force. Jackson declared nullification
“absurd and unconstitutional.”
Congress passed the Force Act,
which authorized his use of the
US Army against any state that
resisted the tariff acts. A cartoon attacking Jackson. Henry Clay again stepped in
with a compromise.
The Compromise Tariff of
1833 gradually reduced the
rates over a ten-year period.
The crisis marked an
intensification of the
developing conflict between
the North and South over
economics and slavery. A cartoon attacking Calhoun and South
Carolina. While none of the southern
state governments backed
South Carolina, many
The crisis entrenched the
idea of secession in the
minds of Southerners. The Bank War Andrew Jackson was determined to
eliminate the Second Bank of the
United States. Nicholas Biddle He saw it as a monopoly
threatening common Americans.
The bank was also a political threat,
through director Nicholas Biddle’s,
potential powers of patronage. Jackson saw his chance when
Henry Clay and his ally, Daniel
Webster, brought the bank’s charter
up for renewal by Congress in 1832.
Jackson vetoed the bank bill.
The House of Representatives
overrode Jackson’s veto. The controversy became the
main issue of the 1832
Jackson defeated Clay in a
He took this outcome as a
mandate to destroy the
Second Bank of the United
He had the Treasury
withdraw government funds
from the Bank and deposited
in state-owned and private
To keep the Bank solvent,
Biddle began calling loans.
dramatically. This pro-Jackson cartoon shows him
“driving out the moneychangers” in
the Bank War. The Panic of 1837 By 1837, a severe recession had set in which was largely blamed
on the Bank.
As Jackson was out of office, he would escape blame, which fell to
his successor, Martin Van Buren.
The Second Bank of the United States was liquidated in 1841. Jackson’s Legacy A photograph of Jackson
shortly before his death in 1845 Andrew Jackson left a controversial
legacy as president.
His status as the “hero of the
common man” inspired other citizens
of humble origins to involve
themselves in politics.
He significantly expanded federal and
He paid off the debts of the federal
He almost doubled the federal
budget during his presidency.
His Indian policies cruelly violated
their civil rights and trampled the rule
of law. The Whigs and the “Second Two-Party
System” The Whig Party emerged from the “National
It was led by Henry Clay, John Quincy
Adams, and Daniel Webster.
The party’s platform was based on Clay’s
“American System”: The national bank.
Protective tariffs to stimulate the economy.
Federal government subsidization of national
infrastructure improvement. Their support was centered in New England
and among the business community and
wealthy Southern plantation owners.
The Democrats and the Whigs made up the
“Second Two-Party System.” Daniel Webster of
Massachusetts The Van Buren Administration Martin Van Buren Vice President Martin Van
Buren was easily elected in
1836 as Jackson’s heir.
As the effects of the Panic of
1837 set in, Van Buren and the
Second Bank of the US took
much of the blame.
By 1840, Van Buren and the
Democrats were in trouble,
despite the recovery of the
economy. The Election of 1840:
“The Hard Cider Campaign” The 1840 election was the first
modern campaign aimed at the
The Whigs ran war hero Gen.
William Henry “Tippecanoe”
To take opposition votes, his
running mate was John Tyler, a
Democrat angered by Jackson’s
Bank War. “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!” By utilizing Van Buren’s tactics,
the Whigs culminated
“Jacksonian Democracy” with a
landslide victory. A campaign print of Harrison in front of
the log cabin he never lived in. “The Age of the Common Man” A romanticized painting of a 19th
century election. The Jacksonian era is often
called this because it witnessed
the democratization of American
All throughout the period,
property holding and taxpaying
qualifications for voting were
Conventions of elected delegates
replaced state legislative
caucuses for nominating
candidates for the presidency
and other offices.
Jackson himself was perceived
as standing for the poor against
the rich, thus embodying popular
democracy. Rep. David Crockett (TN) Born in Tennessee in 1786, Crockett
gained local fame as a young man for
his skill with a hunting rifle.
After serving in the War of 1812, he
used his bounty money to purchase
some grist mills, giving him the
finances to begin a political career.
He was eventually elected to the
House of Representatives.
Crockett was very skilled at using his
frontier image for political purposes.
After opposing Andrew Jackson’s
Indian removal policies, he was voted
out of his congressional seat in 1835. “You can go to hell, and I will go to
Texas!” – Crockett to his constituents
after losing the 1835 election. ...
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