Age of Jackson: 1824–1840



Andrew Jackson—seventh president of the United States—served from 1829–37. The Age of Jackson (1824–40) describes his two terms and the years surrounding them. Jackson's presidency was the dividing line between the government started by the Founding Fathers and the government of the future. Reforms he initiated expanded rights of some citizens—specifically white men. His policies did not, however, improve the status of women or African Americans. Conditions for Native Americans declined disastrously under Jackson, as he systematically expelled them from their native lands.

Jackson's administration coincided with a religious social movement called the Second Great Awakening, which had a significant influence on the population's values and beliefs.

At A Glance

  • The Second Great Awakening was an evangelical religious movement that began in the late 18th century.
  • Evangelicalism's shift from established denominations and its emphasis on individual moral responsibility led to the formation of benevolent societies and civil rights organizations.
  • The single-party political system of the early 19th century fractured into a two-party system following the election of 1824.
  • Andrew Jackson beat incumbent John Quincy Adams in the fractious presidential election of 1828.
  • Andrew Jackson's presidency saw an expansion of rights for some citizens, white men in particular.
  • South Carolina's attempt to declare a federal law void was overruled by President Jackson during the Nullification Crisis of 1832–33.
  • Because he believed a private central bank gave too much control to the economic elite, Andrew Jackson severed governmental ties with the Second Bank of the United States at the beginning of his second term.
  • The Indian Removal Act of 1830 promised land and protection in the West to Native American tribes living east of the Mississippi River.
  • In Worcester v. Georgia, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled American Indian nations were sovereign and in control of what happened on their land.
  • In 1838 approximately 17,000 Cherokee were forced from their homes in the Southeast. During an arduous trek to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River, several thousand Cherokee died.