How Democratic was Andrew Jackson?
Old Hickory never backed away from a fight. Even at seventy-five Andrew Jackson was still fighting and leaving a trail of card games, busted up taverns, liquor bottles, and bloody noses in his wake which earned him the nickname Old Hickory. Jackson became a lawyer on the North Carolina Frontier at age twenty-one and later moved west to Tennessee where he settled down with his wife. In 1815, Jackson was made an American hero because he and his troops were victorious as they held off a British attack known as the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson was elected president in 1828 and reelected in 1832. Jackson felt strongly that the common man was the power behind the government, which is why he extended the
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Though Jackson was democratic by expanding voting rights, he made many controversial decisions that reflected self-interest and not the common man. Many of Jackson’s critics believed that he ignored the separation of powers and abused his powers as president (Doc 3). In response to Andrew Jackson’s Bank Veto Message, Daniel Webster explained that, “(President Jackson's message) extends the grasp of (the chief executive) over every power of the government…” (Doc 5). Jackson crushed the majority vote of Congress by the use of the presidential veto. He selfishly broadened his power as president and disregarded the majority’s desires. Because Jackson caused the fall of the National Bank, the United States struggled to manage money and loans and this consequently led to the Panic of 1837. In Andrew Jackson’s letter to Congress, he asks for their consideration of, “(a) law which limits appointments to four years,” (Doc 6). Jackson wanted to rotate government officials so that he could implement spoils system. Though he said that it would give more people an opportunity to participate in government, it was a selfish, undemocratic claim because Jackson wanted to appoint his supporters and would give little to no consideration to other candidates. Jackson’s spoils system would humiliate him when his newly appointed collector of the Port of