What developments enabled Andrew Jackson to become president? How did he influence national politics in the 1820s? What were Andrew Jackson's major beliefs regarding the common man, the presidency, and the proper role of government in the nation's economy?

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Andrew Jackson was somewhat unique in the history of the American presidency, for he was something of a self-made man, the president for the common man, and an embodiment of the West. Let's look at this in more detail.

Jackson grew up in poverty, studied law, and moved west. He...

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Andrew Jackson was somewhat unique in the history of the American presidency, for he was something of a self-made man, the president for the common man, and an embodiment of the West. Let's look at this in more detail.

Jackson grew up in poverty, studied law, and moved west. He became a war hero during the War of 1812, and led the way in the invasion of Florida in 1817. Jackson was extremely popular with the people, and we might note that the expansion of voting rights contributed to his political success. Jackson was the hero of the common man, someone they could look up to as a success story. When they got the vote, they would vote for someone just like him. He was “Old Hickory,” tough and strong.

As president, Jackson wanted to be in control. He wanted to get rid of government corruption and get the country's economy back on track. Jackson took charge of the nation's revenue and actually paid off the national debt. He also opposed the Bank of the United States as a tool of the privileged that harmed rather than helped the common people. Jackson used his presidential veto power all the time, and he used it to veto the Bank's recharter.

Jackson's record does have a black spot, though. He allowed the removal of the Cherokee and other tribes from the East onto reservations in the West along the Trail of Tears. This cost many Native American lives and led to a great deal of suffering.

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