The Jacksonian Era
The Jacksonian period (1824-1845) has been celebrated as the era of the “common man”.
To what extent did the period live up to its characterization? As Andrew Jackson campaigned for presidency, he set himself up to look like the “common man’s” best friend. Throughout his presidency, he proved that this image was not truthful.
More accurately, he was called “King Andrew. ” He ignored the political system, played favorites, and was completely against Indian Rights. No, the Jacksonian Era did not live up to it’s characterization as the era of the “common man. Instead, the country bowed down as King Andrew ruled from his throne. Andrew Jackson was no friend to the common man.
His laws instead favored a ruler instead of a president. When Head of Congress, John Marshall said that the Native Americans were “dependent domestic nations” Jackson ignored him and continued with the Indian Removal Act. In doing so, he ignored the entire political system in favor of his own beliefs. The Indian Removal Act gave states the right to take over Native American land, it is also the beginning of the “Trail of Tears”.Or, shipping Indians to the West. When a bill was passed through Congress asking for money to build the Maysville road, a road in Kentucky, Jackson immediately vetoed it. His public reasoning was that it was unconstitutional to give money to a state for something that would only benefit that one state.
Privately, it was probably more accurate that he did not give Kentucky the money due to the fact that it was the home state of Henry Clay, his rival. Andrew Jackson did things according to his own feelings, not the needs of the country.Jackson is opposed to the Second National Bank. He distrusts banks in general. He was in favor of using coins for everything, instead of paper money. He thought of the Bank as a monopoly. After removing federal funds from the bank, he placed the government’s money in “pet banks”, or privately owned state banks.
This led to the Panic of 1837. Most of Jackson’s mistrust of the Bank mostly came from his personal misgivings about them. He was a selfish president.During Jackson’s presidency, he did not act like America’s president but as if he were king of America. Henry Clay said, “Jackson claimed powers greater than European kings. ” This was a very true statement. Jackson acted mostly on his own personal feelings towards the issue instead of what was best for the country.
He caused economic turmoil for the entire country for acting on his own feelings. This is why the Jacksonian Era should be more accurately called the ear of “King Jackson” than that of the “common man. ”