Andrew Jackson was elected by popular voting, more nearly than any president before. He acted as the direct representative of common man as the president of his country.
Andrew Jackson was born in a backwoods settlement located in Carolinas in the year 1767. The education received by him was irregular. But for 2 years in his late teens, he studied law and became a brilliant lawyer at that young age in Tennessee.
Jackson was fierce when it came to his honor. He engaged in more than a few brawls and fought a number of duels mainly for the honor of his wife Rachel. In one of this duel, he even killed the other man who had cast an unjustified disgrace on his wife.
Andrew Jackson had sufficie
nt wealth to build a mansion and buy slaves. His mansion was called the Hermitage and was located near Nashville. He was the first man from Tennessee who was elected to the House of Representatives. He also served in the senate for a small period of time.
In the war of 1812, he was ranked a major general and became a hero when he defeated British at the New Orleans.
Jackson got the highest total of votes in the election of 1824, although he did not become the president then. The elections in 1829 was won easily by him and in his first annual message to the congress, he suggested removal of the Electoral College. He also tried to introduce democracy at the Federal offices.
One can say that the path taken by Jackson was a mild one. He criticized the officeholders where people seemed to have the benefit of life tenure without much work. He believed that the duties in the Government can be plain and simple and the work in the office should be given to people who deserve it.
Since the politics of the United States was polarized around Jackson and his opponents, two parties were formed from the Republican Party – the Democrats, lead by Jackson and the Whigs, lead by his opponents.
Daniel Webster and Henry Clay were among the popular leaders in Jackson’s opposition and proclaimed themselves as the defender of the popular liberties. Cartoonist portrayed Jackson as King Andrew I.
The reason behind the accusations lied in the fact that Jackson was the first president who did not rely on the Congress for making policies. Instead he used his veto power to assume command.
The Second Bank of the United States was a Private company, around which the greatest party battle in American politics was surrounded. The bank had a government-sponsored monopoly over many areas and Jackson was against it. Jackson’s hostility towards the bank made the Bank use all it powers against him.
Webster and Clay led the fight for re-chartering the bank in the Congress as attorneys. Jackson told Martin Van Buren , “The bank is trying to kill me, but I will kill it!” He charged the Bank with undue privileges and vetoed the re-charted bill.
Jackson’s views were accepted by the people of America and he won more than 50 percent of votes in the elections of 1832, which was more than 5 times than Henry Clay.A head-on challenge between John C. Calhoun and Andrew Jackson took place when the former tried to get rid of a high protective tariff on them.
When South Carolina went on to nullify their tariff, Jackson sent armed forces to Charleston and threatened Calhoun privately. Violence looked inevitable, but Clay negotiated a compromise between the two parties and tariffs were lowered and idea of nullification was dropped.When the Senate rejected the nomination of his favorite Martin Van Buren as the Minister of England, Jackson said, “By the Eternal! I'll smash them!" And he did. Van Buren became the Vice President and became the President when Jackson retired.