King Andrew Jackson
King Andrew Jackson President Andrew Jackson may have had common man beginnings, but he turned his life into that of a king. Jackson quickly became a powerful man and was eager to use his influence. Jackson embarked on a wild life that included running large plantations, entrenching the spoils system in American politics, and using executive action more than any prior president. Andrew Jackson took control of his life at a young age. He became an attorney by the age of 17 and quickly won over enough support to earn a public office position. Andrew found away into public office as a young man.
He put his military prestige to good use, and many people were eager to follow him. In the early 1800’s Jackson purchased a large amount of land, he then hired many slaves to help clear it and turn it into an enormous plantation. While Andrew was president, he possessed more than 150 slaves. This alone takes away Jackson’s status as a common man, he had more in common with Virginian royalty than with any backwoods frontiersman. Once Jackson became president, his kinglike actions became even more apparent. Although the spoils system had been used before in the United States, no prior president had used it to the extent with which Jackson did.
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The idea of a spoils system is to replace politicians from another political party with one from the same party as you. This sounds like a great idea as long as the newly appointed individuals are qualified for the job. However, President Jackson regularly appointed people that had no experience or training in the field where Andrew placed them. In fact this led to great unrest in congress; any legislation that Jackson didn’t like, was either shot down by being out voted by his supporters or he himself vetoed it. President Andrew Jackson used executive action and his veto powers more than any other commander-in-chief of his time.
He rarely waited for Congress’ decisions, and when he did, he would listen to one of his appointed officials. There are many examples of this throughout Andrew’s two terms. Two of the more prominent examples of this are his decisions involving The 2nd National Bank and the Indian Removal Acts. In both cases he refused to follow his contemporaries’ advice and disputed all of their views. In fact, many believe his motivation for the Indian Removal Act was from his military experience fighting them. Andrew did what he wanted whenever he felt it was appropriate, without congress’ consent.
To conclude, President Andrew Jackson bears the nickname of “King Andrew” much better than “Champion of the Common Man. ” He was a military hero, a very wealthy, slave owning plantation owner, and a controlling President of the United States of America. That does not exactly compare to a resume of a common man that would include being a poor backwoods farmer, whose military experience did not surpass what they had to do in order to protect their farms. Jackson lived and ruled like a king, more so than even he would have like to admit.