Andrew Jackson was the seventh United States president. He became president in 1829 and served until 1837. He was president for two terms, his vice presidents were John C. Calhoun and Martin Van Buren.
Andrew Jackson was born in Waxhaw, S.C. on March 15, 1767. He became the seventh president in 1829 and served until 1837. His vice presidents were John C. Calhoun and Martin Van Buren. General Andrew Jackson started his second campaign for the presidency soon after he lost his first. During the 1828 electon, the Democratic-Republican party split into two camps.
The Jackson supporters called themselves Democrats. The Adams forces called themselves National Republicans.
Andrew Jackson's victory in 1828 marked a new era in U.S. Politics. He was the first common man elected president. All six presidents before him had come from priveleged, lauded families, but Jackson was a self-made man, a poor orphan who had made a career for himself in the law and the army.
Immediately upon taking office, he fired nearly one thousand of the ten thousand people on the federal payroll and replaced them with his own supporters.
Jackson believed the president spoke with the voice of the people because he was the only government official, other than the vice president, elected by all the people. Because Jackson ran as their candidate, the people celebrated his inauguration as no inauguration had been celebrated before. A mob of twenty thousand well wishers followed Jackson's carriage all the way from the Capitol to the White House.
The most important legislation of Jackson's first term was the Indian Removal Act of 1830. For a number of years, the state of Georgia had been trying to confiscate and sell lands rightfully owned by the Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee Indians were among five tribes that had adopted the white mans way's in order to live peacefully among whites.
But neither the government nor president Jackson cared. Jackson was not an Indian lover, but rather he was known for being an Indian hater. The Indian Removal Act gave him the power to remove Indians from the south to land west of the Mississippi River. The Cherokee asked the Supreme Court for help, arguing that the tribe was essentially a foreign nation. Chief Justice John Marshall denied their petition. Marshall did point out, however, that only the federal government had sovereighty over the Cherokee. Therefore, the state laws of Georgia did not apply to them, and no whites could settle Cherokee land without Cherokee permission. But Georgia ignored the decision and Jackson refused to enforce it, so the forced removals continued.
President Jackson hated the Tarriff of Abominations as much as the public did, John Calhoun hated it even more. In 1832, Congress finally passed a new law reducing tariff rates, but Calhoun was not satisfied. Instead he resigned the Vice Presidency and accepted a seat in the Senate.
Jackson turned his attention to the Second Bank of the United States. The future of the bank had been the most important issue during his 1832 campaign against Clay. Jackson had always hated banks, and the Second Bank in particular. The Second Bank was based in Philadelphia with branches all over the country.
Jackson ordered Treasury Secretary Louis McLane to withdraw all the Federal deposits from the Second Bank and place them instead, in state banks. When McLane refused, Jackson dismissed him and appointed William Duane, who also refused and was fired.
After a frustrating search, Jackson finally found someone who would follow his orders, Attorney General Roger B. Taney. In September 1833, Taney ordered the withdrawal of the deposits. In response to Jackson's move, Nicholas Biddle, called in his bank's outstanding loans. Biddle wanted to pressure Jackson to change his mind. By calling in the Second Bank's loans, Biddle limited the availability of credit and brought the country to the brink of financial panic.
In the end Biddle relented, and the near panic turned into a land boom. The state banks began lending money from the new federal deposits at bargain rates and this in turn led to a new round of land speculation in the west.
One of Jackson's last actions before leaving office was to issue the Specie Circular in July 1836. The Specie Circular declared that buyers could no longer use paper money to purchase federal land. Instead, they would have to use gold or silver. He was worried that all the new credit offered by the state banks was making the economy unstable.
Jackson's drastic policy reversal, from easy credit to no credit, sent land prices plunging, which in turn led to Bankruptcies. By the time Jackson left office, businesses all over the country were closing their doors, and with the government still refusing paper money, the panic spread.