What were the main challenges of Andrew Jackson's administration and how did he handle them?

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Andrew Jackson, a former soldier and military officer who battled Native Americans during and after the War of 1812, became President in 1828, in part because increased suffrage (voting rights) led to an expansion of the electorate. Many less prosperous people voted for Jackson, a Democrat. During his time in office, Jackson faced challenges that kept the Union together but that set a bad precedent for Indian removal and that created conditions leading to the Panic of 1837.

One of Jackson's primary challenges was dealing with resistance to the so-called "Tariff of Abominations," which had been passed in 1828. The southern states particularly disliked the tariff because it raised the cost of imported good that they relied on. As a result, in 1832, South Carolina attempted to "nullify" the law, meaning that they declared it void. The event was referred to as the "Nullification Crisis." Vice President John C. Calhoun from South Carolina supported this action, but Jackson threatened to send federal troops to enforce the payment of the tariff. Before he could do so, however, the Congress led by Henry Clay passed a reduced tariff as a compromise. In this situation, Jackson did not allow states to nullify federal laws and kept South Carolina from disobeying federal law. 

In the Indian Removal situation, however, Jackson set a poor precedent. In 1830, he signed the Indian Removal Act, which allowed the President to negotiate with Native American tribes to exchange their lands in the east for lands in the west. Several tribes were removed by force, leading to the Trail of Tears in which Cherokees and other tribes were removed from their ancestral lands in the southeast to the west. Several died along the way. Jackson also forced the Cherokee to agree to removal even after the case Worcester v. Georgia in 1832, in which John Marshall, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, ruled that Georgia did not have the right rule over Indian tribes or force them to follow state laws.

Jackson also dealt with the re-chartering of the Second Bank of the United States. He vetoed the bill to grant the bank another charter, as he believed the bank only benefited the wealthy. The result was that state and local banks took over the money lending business, leading to speculation and freer credit. Many historians believe this situation led to the Panic of 1837, which was blamed on President Van Buren and not on Jackson. While Jackson deftly handled the Nullification Crisis, his management of Indian Removal and the re-chartering of the bank had negative consequences. 

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