Was Andrew Jackson a president Americans should be proud of or a president Americans should apologize for?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This is, of course, purely a matter of opinion.  My view is that Jackson, like many presidents, had a very negative side to him, but he is generally a president of whom we should be proud.

We must realize that we cannot be 100% proud of essentially any historical figure, and particularly not of any figures from before the Civil War.  Jackson held views that would be abhorrent today.  He felt that it was acceptable to kill or remove Indians as a way of getting their land.  He felt that slavery was acceptable.  These are horrible views to hold, but many, many people held them in those days.

In other ways, Jackson was a figure we should be proud of.  Our country is supposed to be based on the idea of democracy.  We are supposed to believe that government should be by the people and for the people.  Jackson was a major symbol of this idea.  He was the first president to come from the lower classes.  He was the first president to believe that he should be trying to put the needs of the common people first.

Thus, while Jackson clearly held abhorrent views, so did practically every other major figure in our antebellum history.  When we look at other aspects of his record and his ideas, we can be proud of him.

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