THE CHEROKEES| JACKSON| CALHOUN | ELIZA
Andrew Jackson became the seventh President of the United States,
serving two terms from 1829 - 1837. Regarded as the first President
to represent the common man, Jackson reshaped the character of the
Presidency and helped to construct the foundation for the modern
Born in the Carolinas in 1767, Jackson had little formal education,
but during his teen years, studied law and eventually moved to the
Tennessee frontier to seek his fortune. In Tennessee, Jackson became
a successful attorney and prospered enough as a "self-made man" to
build a plantation home outside of Nashville, called the Hermitage.
Jackson lived at the Hermitage with his wife, Rachel
Jackson was the first man from Tennessee to be elected to the United
States House of Representatives, and he briefly served in the United
States Senate. He rose to national prominence during his tour of
duty in the War of 1812 where he served as a Major General, defeating
the British at New Orleans.
After becoming a national war hero, Jackson ran for President in
1824. Jackson won the popular and electoral vote, but because none
of the four candidates—Jackson, John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay,
and William H. Crawford—had a majority, the election was decided
by the House of Representatives. The House voted and John Quincy
Adams was chosen. Jackson ran for the Presidency again in 1828 and
won. Heralded the champion of the common man, Jackson vowed to clean
up the corruption that he believed had led to his denial of the Presidency
in 1824. Jacksonian democracy was born.
As President, Jackson actively wielded the power of the office,
vetoing more pieces of legislation than the first six Presidents
combined. He was also a strong supporter of the Union and of federal
authority, a stance that eventually clashed with that of his Vice
President John C. Calhoun, who resigned over the issue.
Other significant events during Jackson's tenure included his dismantling
of the national bank system, which he did by vetoing the extension
of the bank's charter, claiming that the bank benefited the upper
classes at the expense of the working people. Jackson was also responsible
for the Trail of Tears—the removal of Native Americans from their
east coast homelands.
Jackson returned to Heritage in 1837 after serving his second term.
He remained active in the Democratic Party and supported the annexation
of Texas by the United States. Jackson died on June 8, 1845, having
lived to see the passage of the joint annexation resolution by both
Houses of Congress (although Texas did not officially become a state
until the end of 1845). Jackson was buried at the Hermitage, beside
his beloved wife, Rachel, who died shortly after Jackson won the
Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, accessed June, 2003
The White House biography of President Andrew Jackson, accessed
The Texas State Library, accessed June, 2003
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