A.J. Dbq for Us History Advanced Placement
Before Andrew Jackson became president, he came off as an average man living in middle class America. He pulled his “Average Joe” persona off like a pro and got elected into the White house as a “man of the people”. However, Jackson may have been a common man, but he wielded power like a king. Kings have a difficult job. They have to walk the fine line of being strict enough that the subjects won’t throw a fit when they don’t get what they want but at the same time not being too dictatorial or else the people will rebel. More importantly, a king must be firm in what he believes is right for the country.
Jackson greatly increased the power of the presidency. He did not comply with the checks and balance system, and also did not allow North Carolina to nullify the Protective Tariff of 1823. Jackson fired the old aristocrats (from farming families) from government jobs and replaced them with incompetent people – this was known as the “spoils system. ” He was also responsible for the “Trail of Tears”. Jackson took his job extremely seriously and used his full power to help the entire country. Andrew Jackson often took advantage of his veto power.
He was very willing to veto the laws that the legislative branch came up with. Because of this, Congress learned to ask for his opinions in advance to avoid vetos. All presidents have since had a say on impending legislation. Andrew was not afraid to use his power aggressively if it meant helping the whole country. An example of this is in the Nullification Crisis. In short, this was when Andrew Jackson passed tariff acts on the states. South Carolina, after years of complaining about it, finally refused to obey the 1832 tariff. They voted to have troops defend them against Jackson.
The president responded angrily and sent troops to South Carolina to enforce the tariff bill and asked Congress for a “Force Bill” to back him up. Andrew Jackson was also responsible for the Trail of Tears. This was when he forced thousands of Native Americans to relocate. In 1830, Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act. It ordered all Native Americans living east of the Mississippi River to move west of it. This resulted in many of them dying from exposure, disease and starvation while migrating. Jackson, of course, did this intending the best for the country.