Although the presidency of Andrew Jackson could be described as cynical and selfish due to actions against Native Americans and anti-slavery movements, Jackson accomplished many important milestones during his time in office and helped resolve the Nullification Crisis in South Carolina . Over the course of his eight years as president, but not limited to, Jackson helped redefine the Democratic Party, strived to create a better government for the common man, resolve the nullification crisis in South Carolina, removed the National Bank of the United States, and lead the relocation of Native Americans. Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 to Andrew and Elizabeth Jackson in Waxhaw, South Carolina. His parents had emigrated from Ireland two years prior and his father had died just before he was born. His mother had hoped for Andrew to become a minister for the Presbyterian Church, but the job didn’t seem to fit the rebellious teen. At the age of thirteen, Jackson enlisted illegally to fight the British in the Revolutionary War. In 1781, while only in his mid-teens, Jackson and his brother Robert had been captured in the Carolinas by British Soldiers and contracted smallpox while in prison. After they had been released, Robert died and Andrew fortunately survived. Shortly after, his mother contracted cholera and died, leaving Jackson an Ryder 2orphan. Luckily for Jackson, he received inheritance money from a relative in Ireland. With the money, Jackson finished schooling and took up a job as a schoolteacher. In 1784, Jackson decided to become an attorney at the age of seventeen, so he moved to Salisbury, North Carolina and studied law with the most prominent lawyers in the state. Three years later he obtained his license that allowed him to practice law in North Carolina counties. Jackson also briefly served in the House of Representatives and Senate for Tennessee before resigning. When John McNairy, one of Jackson’s mentors was elected Superior Court Judge of the Western District, McNairy nominated Jackson to the district’s prosecuting attorney. In 1788, Jackson moved to Nashville and met his future wife Rachel Donelson Robards. Jackson continued practicing law until 1802 when he was elected General of the Tennessee Militia. On June 18, 1812, Congress declared war on Great Britain, which was the beginning of the War of 1812. In December of 1812, President Madison ordered Jackson to command 1,500 troops to defend New Orleans, but was later called back in March of 1813 due to the threat not being imminent. Jackson lead the army back to Tennessee through hostile Indian lands and earned the nickname Old Hickory. After winning the Creek War, Jackson was promoted to General in the U.S. Army. Jackson led an attack against the British in New Orleans and caused them to withdraw from Louisiana. In 1818 Jackson invaded Spanish Florida which lead to the United States having ownership of Florida. Jackson’s controversial but prestigious and highly successful military career lead to a bid for presidency of the United States. In 1822, Tennessee nominated him as a candidate for president and he shortly became a Senator for Tennessee in 1823. Jackson won the popular vote in 1824, but did not receive enough electoral votes and John Quincy Adams was elected. Four years later, Jackson Ryder 3lead a campaign against the corruption in government and was elected to be the seventh President of the United States in 1828. From the beginning of his presidency, Jackson aimed to remove corruption and many elitists feared that Jackson would fire everyone with government jobs and replace them with his colleagues. Jackson fired ten percent of government officers due to them being corrupt or opposing Jackson and was credited with the principle of rotation in office. Additionally, before Jackson, presidents had only demonstrated the veto on legislation that was deemed unconstitutional. Jackson changed this idea by vetoing a road bill that was very costly and not beneficial. This allowed Jackson to control spending which led to him paying off the nation’s debt, the only time in history it had occurred. Jackson had also demonstrated the first pocket veto. Jackson and Congress had dismal success working together, as Jackson was a very stubborn man and vetoed twelve bills in total, more than the previous presidents combined. The one major bill that Congress passed was the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which was arguably his most controversial moment in office. Jackson passed the Tariff of 1832 to please southerners after Adams passed the Tariff of 1832, which Southerners called the Tariff of Abominations because it favored the industry in the north. The tariff passed by Jackson did not fulfill the demands of the south, which lead to the Nullification Crisis in South Carolina. The crisis was solved with the Force Bill, which allowed Jackson to use military force to enforce the federal tariffs and then later the Compromise Tariff of 1833. Ryder 4One of Jackson’s main goals as president was to eliminate the Bank of the United States, as he feared the bank had too much power and could ruin the economy. Chartered in 1816, the Bank of the United States held the country’s money, made loans, and regulated currency. The government held stocks in the bank and in the early years, corruption filled the bank and resulted in economic difficulties. Jackson vetoed the bank, and the action was very popular among the population. Jackson also succeeded in foreign policy as, despite his military past, was very passive and led to an expansion in American trade. Jackson wanted to buy Texas from Mexico, vowing not to take any land by force, but Texas won its independence in 1836 and didn’t want to interfere with Mexico. With all successes comes failures, and the Indian Removal Act of 1831 proved to be costly to his legacy. Jackson sent Native American Tribes west of the Mississippi River as he argued that assimilating the two cultures couldn’t be worked out. He recognized that whites were interested in their lands and didn’t want it to lead to conflict. Even though Jackson thought it was for the greater good, the act turned out to be deadly for the tribes. One of the most impactful controversies during Jackson’s presidency didn’t even directly relate to him or his actions. Right before he took office, his friend and Secretary of War, John Eaton, married the controversial Margaret Timberlake. Many superior people in Washington disliked her for past. Jackson defended his friend, which was known as the Eaton Affair and caused his cabinet members to turn on him, but Jackson fired them all in 1831, excluding the Postmaster General. As mentioned before, the Indian Removal Act of 1831 caused great controversy between opposing groups and Congress, but the votes prevailed. The Native Ryder 5American Tribes had been warned by Thomas Jefferson to adapt to white culture and they did all they could, but in the end they had no say and were forced to vacate their homes. Other controversies include Jackson’s use of the veto, which some viewed as an abuse of power, and when France delayed payments to the U.S. that they had agreed on in 1831, which almost caused a war before Great Britain helped resolve the issue. Andrew Jackson’s presidency can be looked back at and it can be determined that there were almost no national security issues, but Jackson himself viewed the Bank of the United States as a threat to national security due to investors and stockholders being of foreign allegiances to other governments, which he feared could cause an economic collapse. Due to his high tempe as well, the issue with France and the indemnities that they had failed to pay almost caused a war to preserve American honor. Near his final days of his presidency, the first assassination attempt on a current U.S. president happened and was drawn out by Richard Lawrence, who was an American house painter. He attempted to shoot Jackson but his attempt failed. Jackson was always for the common man, and despite his controversial actions, his goal of his presidency was to remove the corruptness of the government and make the system more democratic. Jackson was a man of the people, and although may be viewed as one of the most controversial presidents of all time, the people stood with him as he had one of the deepest marks on the presidency. Andrew Jackson was anything but a normal president. From fighting in the Revolutionary War with his brothers underage, to being an orphan, to getting into law and then later politics, to Ryder 6later becoming the seventh president of the United States of America, Andrew Jackson’s life wasn’t a fairy tale nor tragedy, but a highly unpredictable success story. Jackson changed the executive branch in terms of power, and like all of American history, was built on controversy. Jackson gave the president powers never used before and helped cease secession efforts in the south. He was the only president to pay off the nation’s debt as he used veto powers to control spending. Sadly, the relocation of Native Americans can only leave us the unanswerable question of what could have been.