Andrew Jackson The Spoils System

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The political cartoons depicting Andrew Jackson “The Rats Leaving a Falling House” and “The Spoils System” show a view of Jackson that has him as a corrupt politician. They give the image that his only goal or motivation is the gain of personal power, and that he cared little for America. These drawings depict how Jackson used the ‘Spoils System’ to make his administration during his presidency to place only loyal supporters into any offices of relevance. The first cartoon, “Rats Leaving a Fallen House” shows Jackson sitting slouched down in a bow-legged chair with a blank expression on his face. Behind Jackson are several papers of resignation from various government officials who either resigned as Jackson took office or those who…show more content…
This image depicts a statue of Jackson wearing a formal military outfit and riding atop a fat pig, with a saddle covered in dollar symbols. The pig stands on top of several bones and human skulls, as well as banners with the words “Fraud”, “Bribery”, “Plunder” and “Spoils”. This symbolizes that the only way that Jackson rose to power was through dishonest methods, maintaining his position and furthering his personal status only by bribing others or placing supporters into positions of power using the “Spoils System”, a term first used by Senator William Marcy of New York when he said in defending Jacksons usage of the system, in which he said “To the victor belong the spoils of the enemy.”(Marcy). In this system, members of a rival political party are ejected from office when someone of an opposing faction comes to power and replaced with politicians sharing one’s own political views. This system had been used before Jackson’s presidency, however it was during Jackson’s terms in office that the name “Spoils System” became popular, and Jackson overused it for personal gain. The pedestal on which the statue of the pig rests has a plaque with the quote from Senator William, “To the victor belong the spoils”, however the quote on the statue is quoted from “A. Jackson” rather than Senator…show more content…
While the things that are shown in the cartoons did indeed happen, these are only focusing on the negative side of what Jackson did in his presidency. Even though he appointed only politicians who were loyal to him, he also did good things with his power, such as stopping the rebellion in South Carolina over the tariffs that his own supporters had put into place. Jackson did act corruptly, but in the end the results were positive with some exceptions, and the young country of America was improved. These cartoons both show a selective and overemphasized truth about Jackson and how he handled his rise to
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