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Andrew Jackson - American politics in the 1820s and 1830s.

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Alice Wang Andrew Jackson was a polarizing figure who dominated American politics in the 1820s and 1830s. From leading Americans to an economical depression to essentially killing thousands of Native Americans, Jackson's presidency was a complete and utter failure. Jackson disregarded the Constitution in favor of what he interpreted the people as wanting, reiterating problems from the past such as the balance of state and federal powers and throwing the system of checks and balances into turmoil. A major issue during Jackson's presidency was his refusal to sanction the recharter of the Bank of the United States. Jackson spent much of his two terms downsizing the federal government. Jackson thought Congress did not have the authority to create the Bank in the first place and viewed the Bank as operating for the primary benefit of the upper classes at the expense of working people. ...read more.


Hence, Jackson's disastrous Specie Circular was one of the direct causes of the Panic of 1837, throwing the national economy into a deep depression that took years to recover from. Not only was Jackson an awful diplomat, he had no sentimental feelings among minorities, especially the Native Americans. In 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, a policy that Jackson enacted during office. The act offered the Indians land west of the Mississippi in return for evacuation of their tribal homes in the east. About 100 million acres of traditional Indian lands were cleared under this law. Although the Cherokees had developed a written language, converted to Christianity and embraced agriculture as a way of life, the Indians were not deemed an independent republic by either Georgia or Jackson. When gold was discovered on Cherokee land, the citizens of Georgia demanded that the Cherokees comply with the Indian Removal Act and resettle in Oklahoma. ...read more.


Jackson was not only responsible for killing thousands of innocent Cherokees but also moved regardless of Congress and tipped the branches of power, throwing the system of checks and balances into turmoil. Finally, another notable crisis that Jackson failed to handle properly was the nullification crisis during 1828 to 1832, which merged issues of sectional strife with disagreements over tariffs. The nullification crisis was precipitated by South Carolina's bitterness at Jackson's failure to urge a major downward revision of tariff rates. Protective tariffs were considered unconstitutional, inexpedient, and inequitable throughout the South. South Carolina was so opposed to the tariffs that were passed that they nullified the Tariff of 1832. Jackson asked Congress to pass a "Force Bill" explicitly authorizing the use of military force to enforce the tariff, but the bill was reduced to a compromise tariff which diffused tensions among the States. Although Jackson reduced friction among the States, the nullification incident was a precursor of the positions that would lead to the Civil War. ...read more.

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