In what ways did Andrew Jackson support slavery?I know he was a slaveholder, but how did he "openly" campaign for slavery? Like how did he favor slavery?

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larrygates's profile pic

larrygates | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Andrew Jackson was himself a wealthy plantation owner and the personal owner of over 100 slaves. The slavery issue only presented itself during his administration when Congress passed an Enabling Act to allow Texas to come into the Union as a slave state. This would have upset the balance between slave and free states established by the Missouri Compromise; and Jackson vetoed the legislation. Texas did not come into the Union until the last days of John Tyler's administration. Slavery was the sleeping elephant in the room which no one was willing to address, including Jackson himself. So, although Jackson was himself a slave owner, he took no official position on the issue other than in typical Jackson fashion, he had no intention of seeing the Union dissolved on his watch over this or any other issue.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

During the time that Andrew Jackson was president, slavery was not really a very big issue in American politics.  The Missouri Compromise had already happened and the war with Mexico had not yet happened.  This meant that the issue of slavery was pretty much settled during Jackson's time in office.  At least partly because of this, Jackson did not really do anything to promote slavery.

This does not mean that Jackson was opposed to slavery.  It simply means that slavery was not an issue and so he did not have to go around campaigning for it anymore than a modern president has to go around campaigning fo people's right to eat meat.

The one thing that sometimes connects Jackson and slavery is the "gag rule" that was imposed by Democrats in Congress at the end of Jackson's time in office.  It prohibited the House of Representatives from considering any petitions having to do with slavery.  However, since he was President, Jackson was not personally involved in this issue.

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