Discuss Andrew Jackson’s political, social, and economic beliefs
Andrew Jackson, a self-made man, frontiersman, and military hero, was the first President from west of the Appalachians. He was identified with a new kind of democracy—a democracy embracing the entire population rather than only those who were wealthy or owned property. Jackson was neither an original nor a profound thinker, and did not always follow or understand the principles of the “Jacksonian democracy” that bears his name.
However, he did know to interpret the aspirations and viewpoints of the common people who were clamoring for a voice in government. Jackson was a skilled and astute politician, who molded a faction composed mostly of Southerners and Westerners into the Democratic Party. Although politically conservative and a believer in states’ rights, he expanded the powers of the Presidency and was fervently committed to the preservation of the Union.
Jackson had a domineering personality. He was proud, ambitious, and aggressive. Throughout his life, his temper frequently caused him to act hastily or injudiciously, and he was often swayed by personal prejudices. However, his fearless, honesty, and loyalty endeared him to wide sections of populace. His influence was felt well beyond his two terms, and the period from his election of that of Abraham Lincoln is often referred to as the “Age of Jackson. ”