The Strengths and Weaknesses of Andrew Jackson

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Andrew Jackson personified the common man.[1] In Jackson we can see strengths as well as weakness, throughout his presidency. We will be looking at the common man. Andrew Jackson recognized as the Indian fighter[2], he showed he could and would remove the natives[3], backed by the people, for the people. During an era that was new in its democracy, that was social as well as political.[4]

In Andrew Jackson we see a breaking from the past. Under Jacksonian pressure, state legislatures abolished the licensing requirements for physicians, previously administered by local medical societies. As a result, practitioners of unorthodox modes of healing were permitted to compete freely with established medical doctorsthe democratic tide also struck the legal profession. Local bar associations continued to set the qualifications for practicing attorneys, but in many places they lowered standards and admitted persons with little or no formal training and only the most rudimentary knowledge of the law.[5] [6] The common man could advance more freely in professions during this era, without needing a license or education. He said, the duties of all public officers areso plain and simple that men off intelligence may readily qualify themselves for their performanceno man has anymore intrinsic claim to office than another.[7] This was a breaking away from the past of education, being held in high esteem.

Jackson was a symbol for his era, which held white men above other races and genders, in his personification, of the common uneducated white Nature's noblemen[8]. Common men saw themselves in him. In the 1800s and 1840s, northern abolitionist and early proponents of women's rights made other efforts to extend the meaning and scope of democracy. But Jacksonian America was too permeated with racism and sexism to give much heed to claims that the equal rights prescribed by the Declaration of Independence should be extended to blacks and women. Most of those who advocated democratization explicitly limited its applications to white males, in some ways, the civil and political status of blacks and women actually deteriorated during the age of the common man.[9] Jackson related to the people in desire to rid of Natives. In an address to congress Jackson said, Doubtless it will be painful to leave the graves of their fathers; but what do they more than our ancestors did or than our children are now doing? To better their condition in an unknown land our forefathers left all that was dear in earthly objects.[10] There was a greed and prejudice under Jackson's democracy which was exposed by the removal of natives.[11] Under Jackson the removal of Natives was a success.[12]

The era of Jackson was the age of the common man.[13] Which excluded people of color and women. Those whose rights were not outlines clearly in the constitution, yet. But he was a symbol of the common man, he didn't have an education.[14] What gave Jacksonians the edge was their success in portraying their candidate as an authentic man of the people, despite his substantial fortune in land and slaves. His backwoods upbringing, his record as a popular military hero and Indian Fighter, and even his lack of education were touted as evidence that he was a true representative of the common people, especially the plain folk of the South and the West.[15] The common man, the plain folk saw a man that was authentic among plain people.[16] A supporter of Jackson when speaking of him said he had a judgement unclouded by the visionary speculations of the academician.[17] Jackson was a break from the past in how he featured the widespread use of such electioneering techniques as huge public rallies, torchlight parades, and lavish barbecues or picnics paid for by the candidate's supporters.[18]

Andrew Jackson was a symbol for his era in his similarities to the common man. One who used force to get things done, for the people of the United States. A person who showed, to be president, one did not need an education. He became president without haven't taken a clear stand on such issues as banks, tariffs, and internal improvements.[19]


Divine, Robert A., Timothy Hall Breen, R. Hal Williams, Ariela J. Gross, and H. W. Brands, America Past and Present. 10th ed. Boston (Mass.): Pearson Education, 2013. Jackson, Andrew. Second Annual Message to Congress (1830)

[1] Robert A. Divine et al, America past and Present (Boston: Pearson Education, 2013) 230.

[2] Ibid., 207

[3] Ibid., 234

[4] Ibid., 225

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid., 226

[7] Ibid., 231

[8] Ibid., 230

[9] Ibid., 229

[10] Andrew Jackson, Second Annual Message to Congress, 1830.

[11] Robert A. Divine et al, America past and Present (Boston: Pearson Education, 2013) 234.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid., 230

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Ibid., 231

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The Strengths and Weaknesses of Andrew Jackson. (2020, Apr 07). Retrieved July 22, 2024 , from

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