Andrew Jackson was an American soldier and statesman. He was born on March l5,
l767, and was the 7th President of the United States. Young Andrew was wild, quick tempered,
and independent, with little interest in studying. His few years of formal education were
interrupted by the call for soldiers to resist the British invasion. At the age of l3, he participated
in the Battle of Hanging Rock (August l, l780). The following year, he and his next oldest
brother joined their neighbors in trying to capture British troops. The attempt failed, and the
boys were taken prisoners. When he refused to shine an officer’s boots in the prison camp,
Andrew was beaten with a saber, which left him marked for life, and established a lifelong hate
for Great Britain.
In l784, he began studying law in North Carolina. In l787, he was admitted to the bar.
He quickly made his way to prosecuting attorney in the Western District of North Carolina,
which is now the State of Tennessee. In l796, Jackson assisted in framing the Constitution of
Tennessee. He soon represented the State in the Federal House of Representatives, where he
distinguished himself as a worthy opponent of President Washington. In l797, he was elected to
the U.S. Senate, but he resigned the following year. He became a Supreme Court Judge in
Tennessee from l798 to l804.
Andrew Jackson’s continued to be combative as he fought a number of duels with
opposing attorneys and others who he continually exchanged angry words. Eventually he joined
the Army, where in May of l8l4 he was commissioned as a Major General in the regular Army.
In July, l824, the General Assembly of Tennessee nominated Jackson for President, but it was
not until after he had served a Senate term that he was elected to that office in l828.
Jackson, the first President from the New West, was recognized as vigorous, brusque,
uncouth, relentless, straightforward and open. As President, when in need of advice, he usually
consulted a group of personal friends, who came to be called the “Kitchen Cabinet”. In l832,
Jackson was re-elected by a large majority over Henry Clay, his chief opponent. Andrew
Jackson was a typical man of his generation. He represented the spirit and temper of the free
American of that day. He died at his residence “The Hermitage” near Nashville, Tennessee, on
June 8, l845.
Among his strong points, Andrew Jackson accomplished several things of great
importance in the history of the nation, and they are: He gave the common people the
opportunity to participate in the government, his stand against South Carolina nullification
crushed excessive State rights, he destroyed the Great Bank. Jackson is perhaps the only
President of whom it may be said that he left office far more popular than he was when he
entered. When he went into office, he had no political opinions, only popular ideas.
Among his weak points were his temper, he was uncouth, he had an intense dislike for
Indians and their culture, refusing to let Indians stay on their land, and he believed in slavery.
He fought duels with people he disagreed with.
I think that in his society and at that time, his straightforward, and sometimes harsh
behavior probably worked well, and helped him to accomplish great things before he was
President, and while he was in office. I don’t think that today his way of governing would be as
popular. He would have to be much more diplomatic with his actions and words.