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How did Andrew Jackson support slavery?

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gabriellesol | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 24, 2014 at 4:53 AM via iOS

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How did Andrew Jackson support slavery?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 24, 2014 at 11:35 AM (Answer #1)

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As Jackson became President, the issue of slavery was dormant.  The nation had simply accepted the condition of servitude that people of color occupied. While there might have been some limited questioning of it, the intensity and fervor that would lead to the Civil War was not evident during Jackson's time.

Thus, Jackson's support of slavery is seen in his own actions. Jackson lived his life as a Southerner who made a profit from slavery.  In his early life in the Carolinas and then as he made his fortune, Jackson did not oppose slavery. Jackson never spoke out against it and made no claims about its inhumanity. Jackson could be seen as a supporter of slavery because it helped him to generate profit and establish his name.  Jackson "prospered" as a result of slavery.  He owned a plantation that produced cotton.  The workers on this plantation were slaves, by some accounts up to 300 slaves.  At the same time, Jackson participated in military campaigns that sought to increase the Southern, slave- owning territory.  

In this, Jackson's support of slavery is once again evident.  Abolitionist Frederick Douglass was quite pointed in his critique of Andrew Jackson's support of slavery:  "Jackson has to own that he owes his farm on the banks of the Mobile to the strong arm of the Negro." Without questioning the system in which profit was tied to human misery, Jackson must be seen as a supporter of slavery:  "..wealth accumulation was tied to slavery...Jackson practiced and defended what had been the accustomed way for white men to make money for 200 years."  It is in these respects in which Jackson supported slavery.

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eli468 | TA , Undergraduate | Salutatorian

Posted July 4, 2014 at 8:51 PM (Answer #2)

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Andrew Jackson's wealth was due to slavery. His 1,050 acre plantation, named The Hermitage, raised mainly cotton and was grown and harvested through slaves tending to it. Jackson even had over a hundred slaves when he died who were working his property. Without slavery he would have not been wealthy. His family and his own life were built off of the money that he received through his cotton crops. 

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