Andrew Jackson was unforgettable as a politician and as an individual.
His back-country upbringing brought him grit and stamina unattainable to
many upper-class Easterners. Known as the "Old Hero," his military
triumphs brought him praise throughout America. Another distinguishable
trait of Jackson's was his loathing for the Bank. Altogether, this frontiersman
had a distinct character with many eccentric features.
From the beginning, Jackson was an isolated frontiersman. The
tragedy of his mother's fever made him learn the finality of death at an early
age. He also learned savage territorial supremacy, from growing up on the
Carolina piedmont with Germans, Swiss, and Native Americans. Descended
from Jonathan Edwards, Jackson possessed a reckless spirit and flaring
temper, even as a youth. To further emphasize these negative traits, he was
poorly educated and only interested in warlike activities. Other factors
contributed to his irritability, such as "the big itch" (a skin disease he had in
youth). Also, he tended to slobber, which made him humiliated and
extremely sensitive to criticism. All these childhood factors added up and left
Andrew Jackson as a touchy, irascible man.
As the oldest man ever elected to the presidency, he was sixty-one and
perhaps the most unhealthy. He had two bullets permanently lodged in him,
and often spat up blood because of them. Many missions of Andrew
Jackson's were self-righteous and stubborn. By his victory at the Battle of
New Orleans, where he killed many Native Americans, he gained enough
momentum for the American people to adore him. With this momentum as
"Old Hickory," "Old Chieftain," and "Old Hero," people felt forever indebted
to his military value, therefore staying aboard his zany political wagon.
"The Bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me, but I will kill it." After
accomplishing his goal, stuffy Jackson claimed it as a matter of self-defense.
His several flirtations with bankruptcy made him distrustful of paper money.
The Nashville Bank was his only bank of choice, because he questioned the
constitutionality of a national bank. Only Jackson saw it as the "Monster on
Chestnut Street," but he fueled a following of anti-Bank Americans with that
"Old Hero" momentum.
Looking at Jackson less critically, he was a human politician -- "but
"human" came first. Despite his share of trials and tribulations in youth,
Jackson rose from his painful childhood to be President of the United States
and a military hero. Even though he committed some outrageous acts, such
as the Bank War, he was only as corrupt as any American citizen. "Oh, do
not cry," said Andrew Jackson on his deathbed, "Be good children, and we
shall all meet in Heaven."