Jillian Vo Period 5 How Democratic Was Andrew Jackson? Andrew Jackson was a much known president, to the point people still wanted him to be president even after he had passed. Although people might think he was a democratic, he wasn’t. Jackson had a brutal childhood, his father died around the time he was born and he wanted to go into the war. After the many battles he has fought in it changed the way he thought. When he returned his mother had died and he was on his own once again. He proceeded with his life when he studied law at 17 years old and after that turned into a lawyer at 21 years old.
At the age of 29, he worked for the U. S Senate and the U. S House, but when he got elected president he had the idea to make the real democracy come to life. What that meant to him was to have all the parts of government listen to what the people had to say, unfortunately he had failed to do that. Andrew Jackson was not democratic because never really listened to what the people had to say, he didn’t treat everyone with equality, and he was blinded with power. One of the ways why Andrew Jackson wasn’t democratic was because he never listened to what the people had to say, and that was part of this new democracy he planned out when he became president.
They gave ideas of what they wanted, but he was overwhelmed by all the power he had and just couldn’t see it. In Document I it says, ‘Van Buren alerted the President immediately and warned him that Swartwout’s appointment would “not be in accordance with public sentiment… ” Unfortunately, Jackson refused to listen. He liked Swartwout because he had been an early supporter… and so he went ahead with the appointment. ” This just proves that when someone told Jackson about this person he was going to work with and said that something seemed suspicious, Andrew never listened and he just went with it because of his own intentions only.
His people had a say in something, and that went along with Jackson, but he denied his own idea of having this type of democracy and these events that happened went awry. Andrew was not a democratic president because even though he believed in equality of all citizens, he did not treat Native Americans as like all of the others. He was also rich which meant he owned many slaves and he was the biggest slave owner at the time. Jackson thought democracy was having all the parts of the government listen to what the people have to say, but he completely ignored all of the Native Americans.
Document H shows the hate he had against the Native Americans. In his message to the congress it said, “This emigration should be voluntary… if they remain within the limits of the states they must be subject to their laws”. What this means for the Natives is that if they go back to the states they would get in trouble with the law. He forces them to move farther west and basically just kicks them out of their original territory. In Document Kit states, “The country west of the Arkansas territory is unknown to us. Jackson made it a law for having the Native Americans never return to the states even though he wants to treat everyone equal. He’s moving these people into a place their not familiar with and they don’t know where resources are and don’t know who’s out there to communicate with. Andrew Jackson was a man was blinded with power, he didn’t even believe in his own people.
He thought a few foreigners could hurt the nation but he was so blinded that he didn’t trust them with anything. In Document F it shows why Jackson thought that the U. S had too many foreigners. It appears that more than a fourth part of the stock is held by foreigners and the (rest) is held by a few hundred of our own citizens, chiefly of the richest class”. Jackson didn’t even like the idea of the national bank because it had too many immigrants. He vetoed the idea because he didn’t know many people that worked at this bank. It also stated in Document F, “It is easy to conceive that great evils to our country… might flow from such a concentration of power in the hands of a few men irresponsible to the people”.
In this quote he essentially blamed the foreigners for the issues they were having in the U. S. Since Andrew did this it just proves that he didn’t know what was happening with the immigrants in the banks and immediately didn’t believe in those people because of his power and of the faith that he didn’t have on them. Andrew Jackson was not a democratic because of the fact that he did not follow his own idea of a democracy. He didn’t follow his own rule of listening to the people when he ignored the comments of the Native Americans, his own Secretary of State, and the government’s ideas. Although he did adopt a Native kid named Lyncoya to show his love for the Natives.
He only showed love for that one Native, but the other thousands were trapped in an unknown area where they knew nothing to do about and survive. The significance of presidents and democracy is relevant today because presidents now have to follow the same role as presidents in the past. If a president today disrespects the term of democracy, they will be accused and since democracy is what makes the United States so special today, disrespecting democracy is exactly like disrespecting the country today. Also all presidents that do disrespect will go through the same criticisms as Jackson.