The Presidency of Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson

Andrew Jackson was a unique president. When Jackson was twelve years old, he was captured by a British soldier during the Revolutionary War and was slashed by a sword above the eye which left a scar that stayed there for the rest of his life. He also fought in the War of 1812 in the Battle of New Orleans. With all of this experience, Jackson decided to run for office in the presidential election of 1824. Unfortunately, Jackson won the popular vote, but it did not count and he lost. Jackson lost even though he was clearly the more liked candidate. In spite of his initial failure, Jackson was not a quitter and won the election of 1828 and reelection in 1832. As president, he was very effective.

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After being inaugurated, Jackson threw a huge party at the White House. Some attendees stated that the party was, in fact, so lit that they threw furniture out the window and broke very old china from George Washington. Jackson later became known as a Democrat and is recognized as the founder of the party. Being the shrewd politician that he was, President Jackson used many unorthodox tactics including the Spoils System. This is the idea of hiring and firing often to prevent a lot of power from going to those other than oneself. Andrew Jackson fired almost everyone he was allowed to when he got into office. He kept the flow going and always kept his cabinet on their toes. This is one similarity between Jackson and President Trump. He also had a kitchen cabinet, a group consisting of his closest, most reliable friends. These were the people that he turned to for advice instead of his actual presidential cabinet. The only downside to this is that he would only hear what he wants, but it did give him reassurance on stances. Meaning, if he wasn’t very sure on his position on a topic, his kitchen cabinet could help him to be more confident on the issue. Jackson was not a calm man. He had an awful, unpredictable temperament. He often dueled with people that insulted him or his wife. He famously said, “I was born for a storm, and a calm does not suit me.”

Jackson is well-known for his using of vetos. He vetoed more bills than all six presidents before him combined. The past president vetoed ten in total whereas Jackson vetoed twelve. Although effective, vetoing, at the time, was a debatable power. For example, Jackson repealed the Maysville Road bill which would have allowed the federal government to buy a stake in the Maysville, Washington, Paris, and Lexington Turnpike Road Company. Jackson thought that this was none of the government’s business and that it could be harmful to the national debt. Not only did Jackson veto bills he disagreed with, but also those he straight up did not like. For instance, when Henry Clay proposed his three-legged American system which enforced a tariff, created the national bank, and provided federal funding for “internal improvements”, Jackson said “no” because he very much disliked Henry Clay.

During the beginning of Andrew Jackson’s second term, there was the Nullification Crisis. This occured when South Carolina declared that the federal tariffs of 1828 and 1832 were unconstitutional and thus were null and void in the boundaries of the state. Jackson’s Vice President, John C. Calhoun, was another one of Jackson’s numerous. Calhoun, a South Carolinian himself, disagreed with the president’s proposed resolution for South Carolina. They also had many disagreements prior, but this was one of their larger ones. Eventually, Calhoun resigned because of Andrew Jackson’s threats and joined Congress where he felt he could fight Jackson’s policy propositions.

Jackson’s most controversial yet very effective order was the Indian Removal Act. This is considered by the overwhelming majority of historians to be in the bottom five worst acts ever signed. In 1830, there were 125,000 Native Americans living in the south. Jackson bought out this land so White people could grow cotton in the land owned by the Natives. Jackson forced these Native Americans into a small, Indian territory across the Mississippi River in Oklahoma. This removal relocation is known as “The Trail of Tears” because of the amount of death and suffering endured by those involved. Although the relocation was successful, it was a repulsive and crude act. Andrew Jackson could’ve done better.

Because of Jackson’s deep hatred for Henry Clay, Jackson opposed everything proposed by him. The national bank was no exception. It is incredibly ironic that Jackson opposed a national banking system and yet he is the face of the 20 dollar bill. Jackson viewed banks as a corrupt government system. “I have always been afraid of banks,” Jackson said. As a huge advocate of hard coin and trade, it is not that unbelievable that Jackson would disagree. Jackson decided to veto the bill in 1832 that would continue the bank because he felt that the monopoly would hurt the middle and lower classes. To show how much he hated the national Bank, while sick, he said to Vice President, Martin Van Buren,“The bank is trying to kill me Mr. Van Buren, but I will kill it.”

Jackson was an incredibly effective president just not the best, nicest, or predictable. He used unorthodox, slightly improper ways to achieve what he felt was best for the country at the time. The people of his time clearly liked him, proven by the amount of support he got, especially from the southerners and lower classmen. Although an effective president, he is considered to be one of the worst human beings of all-time. 

The United States Presidential election of 1800 became one of the most radical elections of its time. This election candidates were Thomas Jefferson a Democratic-Republican, Aaron Burr a Democratic-Republican, John Adams a Federalist, C. C. Pinkney a Federalist, and John Jay who was a Federalist also. This was the first election where people ran for the election. Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied the Electoral College Votes at 73 due to the Republican voters giving all their votes to Jefferson and Burr. This was made possible because there was only one ballot to cast the Vice President and the President on. This was the first time an election was determined by the House of Representatives. Because of this, there was The Twelfth Amendment was created. This amendment made it possible to provide the district ballots for two electoral offices. The House had to choose who would be selected. After the decision Aaron removed himself which left the Federalist in charge of the House. While the leadership power struggle was happening there was a man by the name of Gabriel.

He was a slave and he lead a rebellion in Virginia. He got this idea from the Haitian Revolution. He wanted to take over the governor. He put together a group of slaves to march on the state capital in Richmond, Virginia. He took James Monroe into custody. He was caught, and he went to jail and trial due to the slaves he rounded up for the capture shared the information with authorities. This was the first rebellion under Jefferson. Now that Jefferson is in office he started creating his cabinet and his administration. While serving as president he wanted to create a smaller government. So, he cut the government budget and pulled back on Federalist building plans for Washington. He wasn’t big on hosting weekly formal gatherings he rather has smaller parties where he picked the political people that he wanted to host, either Federalist or Republicans but the attendees were all male. This is how he built his political relationships this way which made those relationships stronger and it helped him with governing. Jefferson next order of business as president was to break apart the Federalist modernizations by reducing the size of the military, downsizing the amount of navy ships, and with congress support he removed all federal taxes that was based on population or whiskey. Revenue for the government would now be obtained through sales of the western expansion and custom duties. By end of Jefferson’s first term, he reduced the national debt. He only wanted the federal government to maintain the postal system, federal courts (the Judicial System), the coastal lighthouse, and conduct a census. As much as Jefferson wanted to make changes the constitution doesn’t render all the power to be only with the president. The Department of State started to employ individuals for their positions within the White House. John Adams made all the appointment for the military and judicial at the last minute before leaving office. Jefferson ignored the judges who were hired and haven’t fully gone through the process. This is what sparked the Supreme Court Case Marbury v. Madison in 1803. This case created the Judicial Review. The case was also a part of the Judiciary Act of 1789 and it placed the powers of the constitutional interpretation with the Supreme Court. This case forces Jefferson to honor those midnight judges who were hired under John Adams. This case settled the constitutional issue within the political parties, Federalist and the Republicans.

The Supreme Court decided that any federal law that is unconstitutional it will not have any bearing on decisions within the courts. Jefferson’s next order of business was expanding the American territory westward. He was interested in Louisiana. Jefferson had Robert Livingston to reached out to the French negotiator. The negotiator asked him to name the price for the entire territory. The Territory stretch from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada. He offered $15 million for the land. Jefferson gain congressional approval for the purchase of Louisiana but without the support of the Federalist votes. This purchase also offered several benefits. The benefits were securing the Mississippi River for America for shipping purposes, doubles the size of the US, and to open uncharted new expanses for settlement by yeoman farmers. Since the French was close to going to war with the British and in need of money they accepted the offer. This purchase doubles the size of America for the settlement to expand westward and the military took formal control of the Louisiana Territory to protect the home front. Once the land purchase was completed, Jefferson appointed Meriwether Lewis to head the exploration of the land along with his counterpart William Clark. He wanted to know the Indian cultures, their plants and animals, and to keep a record of the geography of the West. Congress wanted to know the military post locations, fur trade agreements, and find out the routes of the rivers throughout the land. Lewis and Clark came back as national hero’s. They created great relationships with the Indians and collected valuable information about the land. As the westward expansion happening there was also overseas and home front issues as well which lead up to the war of 1812. The war between the British and the French which put American in the middle.

During this war, the British warned the US to not ship military arms to the French. The British begin to stop US ships for inspections to check to see if they were carrying cargo for military aid to France. If anything was found the British would keep the items and use the them for their military. America fought back against the impressment against American Sailors. Jefferson influence congress to pass the nonimportation law to band British goods. Which lead to the Embargo Act of 1807 after the British opened fired and killed three Americans on US Territory. The Embargo Act prohibited U S Ships from traveling to all foreign ports and banning overseas trade. This Act put a hardship on American and the British. Next, became the battle of Tippecanoe on the home front where the Indians and the American’s fought. The battle lasted for two hours and 62 men died on the American side and 40 Indian men died, This American’s won this was due to the Prophet’s forces the flee. The Indians conflicts in the old Northwest merged with the British. This was known and the war of 1812. In March of 1811, Congress brought in several your Republicans from the West and the South which would came to be known as the War Hawks. They led by Henry Clay and John C Calhoun. They wanted a war that would end the impressments, the fight against the Indians, and to expand into the British Territory which was Canada. So, the War Hawks, welcomed the war on the British just to justify the attack on the Indians who they wanted to move off their land and the invasion on British soil. In 1812 Congress declared war on the British. The war lasted for two years with a win for the Americans after several small victories at sea. The Americans became more Independent as a country with the removal from the Monroe Doctrine, increased the western expansion, and increase national pride and gained notoriety throughout the world.

A few other issues that surrounded Jefferson was slavery, women’s rights and equality, and religion. Jefferson was strong minded when it came to slavery although some legislative things were done to remove slavery. He stated that “all men are created equal” but he kept thousands of slaves himself. He didn’t see African Americans as equals, nor did he believe that African Americans whites could live together, and interracial marriages. He wrote about this in his Notes on the state of Virginia. One special slave he kept was by the name of Sally. She was his concubine who mothered some of his children. She was given to him as a gift from his wife’s father. Jefferson knew that for the country to be united slaves would have to be free. Women during this time did not have true freedom especially slave women. Women were not allowed to divorce, no legal ability to testify against their husband, and unless they were never marred the rights belong to their father or their husband. Because of female education, there was private school and public school. Women who had access to education became leaders and they learned how to behave in social settings.  

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The Presidency of Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson. (2021, Mar 20). Retrieved December 1, 2022 , from
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