Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson was born March 15, 1767, only a few days after his fathers death. His two older brothers and his mother who lived with relatives raised him. He acquired a very small education and didn't go to school for much of his life. At the young age of nine years old he read the Declaration of Independence at a gathering of thirty to forty people. When Andrew Jackson was 14 he fought in the revolutionary war against the British with his fellow patriots.
The British captured him and the officer demanded that Andrew clean his boots and when Andrew refused the officer struck him with his sword that left a scar on his head for the remainder of his life. Soon after he was released from prison his mother died and orphaned him. In the War of 1812 Jackson defeated the Creek warriors at Horseshoe Bend after a strenuous campaign and won the rank of major general in the U.S. army. He was given command of an expedition to defend New Orleans against the British. The decisive victory gained there over seasoned British troops under General Edward Pakenham, though it came after peace had already been signed in Europe, made Jackson the one great military hero of the War of 1812. In 1818 he was sent to take reprisals against the Seminole, who were raiding settlements near the Florida border, but, misinterpreting orders, he crossed the boundary line, captured Pensacola, and executed two British subjects as punishment for their stirring up the Native Americans.
He thus involved the United States in serious trouble with both Spain and Britain. John Adams, the Secretary of State, was the only cabinet member to defend him, but the conduct of Old Hickory, as his admirers called Jackson, pleased the people of the West. He moved on to the national scene as the standard-bearer of one wing of the old Republican Party. Jackson was very popular that almost took him into the presidency in the election of 1824.
The vote was split with Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, and William H. Crawford, and when the election was decided in the House of Representatives, Adams ended up being the President. By the time of the election of 1828, Jackson's cause was more certain. John Calhoun, who was the candidate for Vice President with Jackson, brought most of Crawford's former following to Jackson. The result was a sweeping victory; Jackson polled four times the popular vote that he had received in 1824. His inauguration brought many people into the White House. There was a strong element of personalism in the rule of the hotheaded Jackson, and the Cabinet -- a small group of favorite advisers -- was powerful.
Vigorous publicity and violent journalistic attacks on anti-Jacksonians were ably handled by such men as the elder Francis P. Blair, Duff Green, and Amos Kendall. Party loyalty was intense, and party members were rewarded with government posts in what came to be known as the spoils system. Personal relationships were of utmost importance, and the social slights suffered by the wife of Secretary of War John H. Eaton helped to break up the cabinet. Calhoun's antagonism was more fundamental, however. Calhoun and the South generally felt threatened by the protective tax that favored the industrial East, and Calhoun solved the policy of nullification and resigned from the vice presidency. Jackson stood firmly for the Union and had the Force Bill of 1833 passed to intimidate South Carolina into accepting the Federal tax, but a compromise tax was rushed through and the affair ended.
Jackson, on the other hand, took the part of Georgia in its insistence on states' rights and the privilege of ousting the Cherokee; he refused to aid in enforcing the Supreme Court's decision against Georgia, and the tribe was removed. More important than the estrangement of Calhoun was Jackson's fight against the Bank of the United States. Although its charter did not expire until 1836, Henry Clay succeeded in having a bill to redo it passed in 1832, thus bringing the issue into the 1832 presidential election. Jackson vetoed the measure, and the powerful interests of the bank we rejoined with the other opponents of Jackson in a bitter struggle with the anti bank Jacksonians.
Jackson in the election of 1832 beat Clay. His second administration -- more bitterly resented by his enemies than the first -- was dominated by the bank issue. Jackson promptly removed the funds from the bank and put them in chosen state banks. Secretary of Treasury, Louis McLane refused to make the transfer as did his successor W.J. Duane, but Roger Taney agreed with Jackson's views and made the transfer. Jackson retired in 1837, and lived in Hermitage. He died on June 8 1845.
One of his admirers declared " Jackson was the embodiment of the true spirit of the nation.".