How would you grade Andrew Jackson?How would you grade Andrew Jackson according to the Indian Policy (this includes Indian Removal Act, Worcester v Georgia, Five civilized tribes assimilation,...

How would you grade Andrew Jackson?

How would you grade Andrew Jackson according to the Indian Policy (this includes Indian Removal Act, Worcester v Georgia, Five civilized tribes assimilation, Trail of Tears, Black Hawk and or Seminoles)

Explain why would you give him that grade instead of another grade?



Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have to completely concur with the previous post.  I think that the treatment of Native Americans has to be incorporated in assessing Andrew Jackson.  It almost seemed driven by other demons when assessing the level of political and emotional cruelty Jackson possessed towards Native Americans.  He seemed to take an almost sadistic pleasure in relegating them to the periphery.  Completely granted that other leaders prior to Jackson had started and continued this process, but it seems as if Jackson moved the dialogue more towards the end of eliminating or marginalizing the Native American voice and presence to the very fringe or outskirts of American political and social discourse.  I would have to give him a rather low grade on this point alone.  The Trail of Tears and his disregard for the court's ruling on the matter might be where I rest in terms of assessing him in a critical manner.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Depends what my criteria are, and if you mean in the present day as opposed to from the perspective of the time.  White Americans who lived in the southern states liked Jackson's common roots, and the fact that he had no qualms about solving the "Indian problem" they felt they had.  Southern whites also profited personally from taking over the landholdings of native tribes marched away on the Trail of Tears, so they would give him high marks.

In the present day, I'd have to give him a low grade, especially based on his native policy, and given the fact he ignored the Supreme Court of the United States when they ruled the Indian Removal Act essentially unconstitutional.  "Justice Marshall has made his ruling," he said, "now let him enforce it".

usbummer eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, he is quite an enigma. His policies included an expansion of the right to vote to almost all white males but his Trail of Tears program was in direct defiance of a Supreme Court decision in Worchester v Georgia. Surely this constitutes a "high crime and misdemeanor" while in office justifying impeachment proceedings. No such attempt was made, however, as Jackson was just too popular with the people.

Is anybody in favor of replacing Jackson with, say, Sequoya on the $20 bill?

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I am not sure it's fair to judge Jackson by modern standards. Most of his own people probably would have given him high marks for efficiency. He had a problem, and he found a quick and efficient way to solve it. Today we'd say he was wrong, but who knows?