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HIST 2300 EXAM STUDY GUIDE IDENTIFICATIONS: Who? What? When? Where? Why? How? Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, is perhaps more relevant today than most of the other Presidents of the early nineteenth century. In the wake of the contested election of 2000 and amid growing complaints of the "dirtiness" of politics, we might do well to look back to Jackson's dirty and hotly contested race for the Presidency in 1824, in which he won the popular vote but subsequently lost the Presidency after the election was thrown into the House of Representatives. When Jackson was finally elected, he pushed to have the Electoral College abolished and railed against life tenure for government workers. Throughout his life, Jackson was criticized for his steadfast opinions and autocratic manner, but he nonetheless proved himself a savvy and thoughtful politician. It was only after he had fully considered his options that he made a decision–once that decision had been made, however, he pursued it relentlessly, gradually grinding away at his opponents until he got what he needed. In doing so, he helped modernize the nation and forever define his term of office as the mini-Enlightenment now known as Jacksonian America. Andrew Jackson, son of Irish immigrants, Andrew and Elizabeth Jackson, was born in the backwoods of the Carolinas–what was then considered the frontier of America. His father died shortly before Andrew's birth and his mother tried to raise him to be educated. Jackson resisted, and without a father figure, he became a wild young boy who liked to bully his peers. The Revolutionary War affected the teenage Jackson in an intensely personal way, leaving him forever bitter towards the British. When the war came to his area, his oldest brother, Hugh, volunteered to fight and died soon thereafter during the Battle of Stono Ferry. Jackson worked as an errand boy for the commander of the local patriot regiment, but nothing could have prepared him for the ordeal of being taken captive by British troops along with his other brother, Robert. After both were severely wounded by the sword of a British officer, Jackson and his brother were herded into a prisoner-of-war camp where they contracted smallpox. This stint as a captive would cost Jackson's brother his life. Jackson's only remaining relative, his mother, died of cholera while helping soldiers in Charleston. Thus, when the war ended, it left Jackson orphaned and alone. As Jackson grew older, he became engaged in a wild lifestyle of betting, horseracing and partying before eventually settling on law for a career. He traveled west into the new Tennessee territory. After establishing himself as an able politician there, he rose quickly through the political ranks. When Tennessee joined the Union in 1796, Jackson became a Congressman and was promoted to the Senate a year later. He soon found himself engaged in military affairs, and won the election to be Major General of the state militia in 1802. Throughout his time in
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