Andrew Jackson Legacy

Good Essays
What qualities must a man possess to be considered an honorable asset to society? Is it a healthy conscience or an intellectually-superior mind? When one envisions the perfect example of a leading man, visions of a morally-intact, well spoken, and thoughtful individual come to mind. After all, this single individual carries a country on his shoulder; in a way, he is the people 's Atlas. Stories and textbooks will be written in his honor, depicting his character and presidential legacy, therefore, it is instigated into human nature to pick out the very best of mankind for this position. This brings up another vital question: Was Andrew Jackson, our seventh president, worthy of this honor? Jackson, perhaps the epitome of contradiction, has met…show more content…
First of all, Jackson’s strong character can be traced back to his early childhood and adolescence. His family emigrated from their poverty-stricken home in Ireland to a Scotch-Irish immigrant settlement along the Carolinas. It was here, in the land of the free, that the Jacksons continued to live in poverty. As a young child, his knowledge of the woods bought him a part in the Revolutionary War. This part of his life, however, is dampened by sorrow and abandonment. For instance, his oldest brother, Hugh, who he fought alongside with, died of a heatstroke. In 1781, smallpox made an appearance into the scattered battles and massacres. Because of this disease, Jackson’s other brother, Robert, and his mother died. This made Andrew Jackson an orphan at the tender age of 15; it also hardened him as an individual. As he grew up, his other ventures would also be stained by his unemotional, yet power-driven traits. For example, he proved to be a ruthless military leader during the war of 1812. His name can be traced back to the battles of Horseshoe Bend and New Orleans. After the latter, a sense of patriotism followed and with it, it elevated Jackson to celebrity status. When Jackson became president in 1829, he took full control of his reigns and his position of authority. He did not defer to congress, and tried to be a direct link of power to the people. In this way, he used his power of vetoing to get his way in political matters. For example, when the Second Bank of America was…show more content…
Secondly, Andrew Jackson’s presidency is stained by the tears and oppression of minority groups, such as the African and Native Americans. In the years following his adolescence, Jackson became the owner of The Hermitage, his home. The Hermitage was a working plantation that depended wholeheartedly on the labor of slaves. When one of his slaves escaped, Jackson offered a reward and an extra ten dollars for every one hundred lashes to whoever found the slave. Perhaps the most controversial of Jackson’s actions during his presidency is the Indian Removal Act of 1830 that lead to the Trail of Tears. Soon after becoming president, Jackson passed the former act which called for the relocation of native tribes from their homelands to a designated “Indian territory” in present-day Oklahoma. While Jackson had a clear idea of his plans, he befriended the tribes and promised them prosperity, friendship, and the possibility of becoming civilized children of God. In other words, he, the symbol of reassurance in America, stabbed the backs of all natives. Beyond the question of Jackson 's morality, what was the ultimate reason behind the removal? The answer to this is simple: white settlers wanted to grow and cultivate on Indian lands, and they attained this when the government pushed the natives out of their lands. This act, as stated before, led directly to the Trail of Tears. Many tribes were relocated and had to walk hundreds of miles, suffering from disease, exhaustion, and
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