Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, was the first president to come from an upbringing that was unlike his opponents. South Carolina, in the year 1767, Andrew was born and shortly after he was orphaned as a youth. Even at his young age, he still displayed his infamous traits of courage and passion which followed him throughout his life. As he grew older he moved to Tennessee, where he decided to study law. It was then that he became interested in the local politics and in the 1790s he won the election to the House of Representatives and the Senate. Before long he was a Judge on the state supreme court.
At a young age Jackson joined the regimen for the Revolutionary War, which is just one of many battles that he would fight during the course of his life. The election of 1828 was significant for many reasons. One of them being is that it revealed a new wave of politics. His inauguration on March 4th , 1829 attracted around 20,000 people who ended up trashing the White House in a jubilant celebration of one of their own into the presidency. The election represented the common peoples’ right to pick their president. Those in support of Jackson saw the election as the beginning of true democracy, one in which the power rests upon the common man.
President Jackson brought forth strong feelings in citizens which were both positive and negative. His opponents saw him as a murderous tyrant with a hothead temper who executed army deserters and is known to have killed men in duels. In the end, despite slander thrown in his direction, his popularity with the common people won him the office position with a staggering 650,000 votes compared to Adams 500,000 votes. This was the first relevant election in which we can see the new American politics and the power of the white male voting system, arranged by national political parties.
He was admired not for a specific public policy but instead for his military background and his victories over the British at the Battle of New Orleans, and also the battle over the Creek and Seminole Indians. The 1830s and 1840s became known as the Age of Jackson, or as others put it the Jacksonian Democracy. Andrew Jackson exemplified the chief developments that were evolving during his era. These developments included the westward movement, the market revolution, the expansion of slavery, and the rapid growth of the democracy.
Both the expansion of the west and the market revolution proved to be tied to a third central division of American freedom which was political democracy. During the time of Jackson’s presidency the democracy was changing. White males who were originally excluded from any political participation were now able to take part in political events. American democracy still had a long way to go to get where it is today. During the Age of Jackson the democracy was taking in those poor white men that were native born along with immigrants to the United States, however, it still excluded women and non-white men.
Such exclusions of this era were evident of the American ideology that women and non-whites were inferior to white men, they had characteristics that were seen as fixed by nature. To many Jackson was a symbol for the self-made man. He started with essentially nothing to his name and became the most popular president to date. During Jacksons run as president, the Americans believed he symbolized the triumph of political democracy. Throughout the mid to late 1800s politicians had the popularity of what rock stars have today. They were heroes with a magnitude of followers and many were given nicknames, Jacksons’ was Old Hickory respectively.
Jackson was also a significant icon for our young nations belief in itself, he reinstated our sense of competence and destiny. Another important symbolic figure of this time period was a man named Martin Van Buren, who was a symbol of the evolving new political era. He started out as a New York Senator and the man who took it upon himself as one of Jackson’s supporters who organized the election of 1828. Buren would often disagree with then president, John Quincy Adams, who embodied the old political views and background. Adams came from a father who was a president and he was known as being an intellectual man.
Buren, on the other hand, came from a humble background as the son of a tavern keeper. He was a party manager, but was not known for his intellects. Intellects aside, he vastly changed political America. His vision for America was one in which the nation had organized political parties which proved to be a necessary and a desirable part of political life. This idea was immensely different than the political system during this time period which was known as being dangerous and decisive. Together with Andrew Jackson these two men started in what is now known as the Democratic Party or as others call it the Jacksonian Democracy.
Andrew Jackson was an influential president during his era. Coming from a modest background and revolutionizing himself into a successful self-made man, he became the worlds first democratic symbol and cofounder of the democratic party along with Martin Van Buren. It was his idea of democracy that is now incorporated into our American nationality and it helps us define the American idea of what liberty means to Americans. He was the most popular president who was for and of the people and left a lasting blueprint upon American politics and the presidency.