Andrew Jackson (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Possessing the characteristics of the roughly hewn Western frontiersman as opposed to aristocratic propensities of the Eastern and Virginia “establishment,” Jackson came to symbolize the common man in America and the rise of democracy.
Andrew Jackson was born March 15, 1767, in the Waxhaw settlement of South Carolina. Jackson’s family came from County Antrim, Ireland. His father, Andrew, arrived in America in 1765 and died shortly before his son, the future president, was born. Andrew’s teenage years were “rough and tumble.” Acquiring little formal education, Jackson made his way through early life by hand-to-mouth jobs, helping his two older brothers support their widowed mother.
During the revolutionary war, the British invaded Waxhaw, an event that shaped much of Jackson’s subsequent life and career. His two brothers were killed, and his mother died of cholera while caring for prisoners of war. Jackson, taken prisoner by the British, was orphaned at the age of fourteen, a situation that taught him independence, both in action and in thought.
In 1784, Jackson went to Salisbury, North Carolina, apprenticed to the law firm of Spruce McKay. Within three years, he was admitted to the bar, and in 1788, Jackson made the decision to go west, to Nashville, Tennessee, to seek his fortune.
While Jackson pursued a legal career as a practicing...
(The entire section is 2551 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Andrew Jackson (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Jackson’s 1814 decisive defeat of the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend opened valuable cotton lands for settlement by white Americans. In 1815, Jackson prevented the British from seizing New Orleans, ending the War of 1812.
A refugee during part of the American Revolution (1775-1783), Andrew Jackson rode with various patriot militias and participated in the vicious civil strife that plagued the Waxhaw area in South Carolina. Captured and wounded by a British patrol, the imprisoned Jackson contracted smallpox and nearly died. His subsequent hatred of the British was further nurtured by the death of his mother and two brothers in the war.
Jackson’s rise to prominence began with his appointment as public prosecutor in the newly settled region around Nashville, Tennessee. He served briefly in Congress in the 1790’s and as judge of the superior court of Tennessee. Jackson was elected major general of the Tennessee militia in 1802.
In 1813, Jackson moved relentlessly against the rebellious Creek in what later became northern Alabama. Despite supply difficulties, orders to retreat, and potential mutinies, Jackson led his forces to victory at Talladega, Emuckfaw, and Enitachopko. The culmination of the Creek War was his victory at the Creek stronghold at Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814.
President James Madison commissioned Jackson major general in the...
(The entire section is 591 words.)