The War of 1812

Start Free Trial

Student Question

What was Andrew Jackson's role in the War of 1812?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

During the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson proved to be a distinguished Major General of the Tennessee Militia, earning himself in due course the reputation of a national war hero. Throughout his long and illustrious political career, Jackson and his supporters regularly drew upon his distinguished military service to bolster his reputation. Opponents were equally keen to refer to Jackson's military record, albeit for different reasons. During the remarkably dirty campaign of the 1828 presidential election, Jackson's National Republican opponents accused him of committing atrocities against Native Americans during the Creek War, which was part of the War of 1812.

Whatever the truth of such accusations, there can be little doubt that Jackson proved himself an able general, spearheading a string of major victories at the Battles of Talladega, Enotachopo Creek, and Horseshoe Bend. Once he'd defeated the Creek, he turned his attention towards repelling the Spanish and the British.

At the Battle of New Orleans in 1815, Jackson's forces repelled a major frontal assault by British troops. In the ensuing battle, the Americans won a comprehensive victory, and the British were forced to retreat from the area.

In the aftermath of the battle, hailed by some as the "Second Revolution" against the British, Jackson was proclaimed a national hero. He was formally given the thanks of Congress and awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.

In his conduct throughout the War of 1812, and especially at the Battle of New Orleans, Jackson displayed the characteristics that were to make him famous (and in some cases, infamous). Tough, no-nonsense, and efficient, Jackson was also possessed of a strong intelligence that made him a more astute general and politician than many of those from more socially prominent backgrounds. It was these qualities, forged in the heat of battle, that would stand Jackson in good stead throughout his eight years as President of the United States.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial