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Andrew Jackson

There are many things that set Andrew Jackson apart from other presidents. His policies and personality set him apart from most. Although he was the seventh president, he was the first in many ways. Jackson was the first president to be born in a log cabin, and he was the first president to ride on a railroad train. Along with that, he was the only president to serve in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Andrew Jackson was also the first to have a vice-president (John C. Calhoun) resign, he was the first to marry a divorcee, he was the first to be nominated at a national convention, the first to use an informal Kitchen Cabinet of advisors, and he was the first president to use the pocket veto to kill a congressional bill. While these things are truly incomparable, they are not all that set Andrew Jackson apart from other presidents. Throughout this paper, many more accomplishments in Andrew Jacksons life will be discussed. Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767, in the Waxhaw settlement on the western frontier of South Carolina.

He was born into a poor family. Jackson was the third child of Scotch-Irish parents. His father, who was also named Andrew, died in a logging accident just a few days before the birth of his third son and future president. After her husbands death, Jacksons mother, Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, raised her three sons at the home of one of her sisters. At age 13, Andrew Jackson joined the Continental Army as a courier. The Revolution proved to be a tough time for the Jackson family. Hugh, one of Andrews older brothers, died after the battle of Stono Ferry, South Carolina, in 1779.

Two years later, Andrew and his other brother, Robert, were taken prisoner for a few weeks. Both Andrew and Robert contracted smallpox during their imprisonment, and Robert died just days after they were released. Later that same year, Andrews mother went to Charleston to nurse the American prisoners of war. Not long after she arrived, Elizabeth became ill with what was either smallpox or cholera and died. Andrew became an orphan at the age of fourteen, and he went to live with his uncle, a wealthy slave and land owner.

When he was seventeen, he moved to Salisbury, North Carolina to study law and was later admitted into the North Carolina Bar. In 1976, Tennessee became the sixteenth state to enter the Union. Not long after that, Jackson was elected Tennessees first congressman. The next year, Jackson was elected to be a U. S. senator by the Tennessee legislator. However, he only served on session before he resigned. Following his resignation, he served six years on the Tennessee Supreme Court as a judge. Jacksons military career resurfaced in 1802 when he was named major general of the Tennessee militia.

Ten years later, he was give the rank of major general of U. S. forces. In 1814, he was advanced to major general in the regular army. General Andrew Jackson came out as a national hero after the War of 1812, mainly because of the defeat of the British at the Battle of New Orleans. This was when Jackson received the nickname of Old Hickory. He had been directed to march his troops to Mississippi, but upon their arrival, they were told to disband because they were no longer needed. Jackson refused to disband, and proceeded to march his 2,500 troops back to Tennessee.

His strict discipline led his troops to call him Old Hickory because they believed him to be as tough as hickory wood, and the nickname stuck. Before Jacksons presidency, he was known as a great fighter who didnt let anyone mess with him. As stated in the Brittanica Encyclopedia, Charles Dickinson once insulted Jacksons wife, Rachel Donelson Jackson, and Jackson challenged him to a duel with pistols. Andrew stood there and purposely let Dickinson shoot first, knowing he was a much better shot. Dickinson shot Jackson in the chest, and Jackson stood there like a tree.

He first shot at Dickinson misfired, but the second was right on target, and he killed Dickinson. The bullet in Jacksons chest nearly missed his heart and could not be removed, so Andrew Jackson had to live the rest of his life with a bullet in his chest. Jacksons first presidential campaign was the 1824 election. Many of Jacksons followers refer to this election as the Stolen Election because Jackson easily captured the popular vote, but did not have enough electoral votes to win. Because of this, the election was decided by the House of Representatives.

Jacksons opponents were John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, and William H. Crawford. Both Adams and Clay were disgusted at the thought of Jackson as president, so Clay gave his support to Adams, and Adams was elected president. In the next four years, Andrew Jackson and his followers repeatedly condemned the Adams administration. Jackson believed he was the peoples candidate and never missed an opportunity to point out that the peoples choice in 1824 had been disregarded. His approach worked, and he beat Adams in the 1828.

The election of 1828 brought about much mudslinging in regards to Jacksons marriage. His wife, Rachel, had an unhappy first marriage with Lewis Robards. The Kentucky legislature decided to allow Robards to sue for divorce, but he did not do so right away. Andrew and Rachel mistook the permission to sue for an actual divorce declaration. They got married in 1791 while Rachel was still legally married. Robards eventually filed for divorce in 1793, making sure to mention Rachels supposed adultery with Andrew Jackson.

Andrew and Rachel remarried in 1794, but that did not stop the sometimes spiteful gossip. Rachel died just a few weeks before Andrews inauguration. Jackson put the responsibility of her early death on the stress caused by the public debate about their alleged adultery during the presidential campaign. During his presidency, Jackson vetoed twelve pieces of legislation, which was more than the first six presidents combined. One of the major issues during Jacksons presidency was his refusal to approve the recharter of the Bank of the United States.

Jacksons belief was that the Bank was operated for the sole benefit of the upper classes at the cost of the working people. Jackson vetoed, and the Banks supporters in congress did not have enough votes to override him. The charter expired in 1836, but Jackson had majorly weakened it before that by removing millions of dollars of federal funds. Another issue during Jacksons presidency was his relationship with the Native Americans. He led troops against them in the Creek War as well as the First Seminole War.

In his first term as president, the Indian Removal Act was passed. This was an act that offered the Indians land west of the Mississippi river if they would leave their tribal homes in the east. Two years later, he made the relationship worse after the Supreme Courts ruling in the case of Worcester vs. Georgia. The court had found that the state of Georgia did not have jurisdiction over the Cherokees; however, both Georgia and Andrew Jackson chose to ignore the Supreme Courts decision.

In 1838-39, Georgia forced the Cherokees to march west. Approximately twenty-five percent of the Indians were dead before they reached Oklahoma, and the Indians named the march the Trail of Tears. This did take place after Jacksons presidential terms; nevertheless, the beginnings of the march started when Jackson failed to maintain the legal rights of the Native Americans. After serving two terms as president, Andrew Jackson retired in 1837 to his home near Nashville that he and Rachel had named The Hermitage.

When first built, it had been nothing more than a small cabin, but by the time Jackson moved in 1837, it had been remodeled and rebuilt into a large plantation home. Andrew Jackson remained a power in politics after his retirement. He helped to secure the presidency for Martin Van Buren, his successor, and in 1840, he helped in Van Burens failed campaign for re-election. He also labored for the annexation of Texas and stayed close to future president James Polk, who had been one of Jacksons greatest supporters in Congress as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

In his last years, Andrew Jacksons health declined greatly, and he passed away at the Hermitage on June 8, 1845. Throughout his life, Andrew Jackson had many significant accomplishments, both good and bad. He was a loyal friend and a fierce enemy. He was truly unique, and while he was the seventh president, he was the first president to do many things. Jackson had his share of good times and bad times, but in the end, he proved to be a remarkably amazing man.

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