The charging of his would-be assassin is representative of how Jackson handled much of his Presidency: strong-armed and unafraid. When Jackson decided on something, he would relentlessly wear down his opponents. In addition to staring down the Bank supporters and the nullifiers, Jackson slowly won an argument which the French government that had dragged on for almost two decades. The French refused to pay Americans back for damages caused on shipping during the Napoleonic wars, even though they had paid such damages to the British. Then, finally, when damages were assessed in 1831, the French made no move to pay them. But with the people–even the Whigs–behind him, Jackson was not afraid to demand payment. In a message to Congress he suggested a bill to penalize French holdings for the amount of the damages, and in 1836 the French had paid four of six installments of damages.
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