Andrew Jackson: His Political and Economic Policies
Andrew Jackson: His Political and Economic policies
The genesis of Andrew Jackson’s rise can be traced back to The Pre-Revolutionary days, when he set out for the western territory to seek greener pastures. The signing of the Peace of Paris in 1763 necessitated Jackson’s exploration of the western world. What is often not known to many is that Jackson was of Scotch-Irish descent. Six decades later, he would ascend to power to become the most influential man on the American soil. This, to be specific, took place in 1828. He was elected to presidency, in what Senator Benton described as “a triumph of democratic principle, and an assertion of the people’s right to govern themselves” (Ogg, 2004).
In 1829, the American political class was embroiled in an intensive debate which threatened to tear that nation apart. It was the concept of nullification and its crisis thereof. To understand nullification, John C Calhoun in 1827 put forward the nullification doctrine, which to the public, was referred to as The Report of a Committee of the Legislature. In it, Calhoun sought to not only protect slavery, but also accord states the right to go against laws governing the entire territory making up the United States of America. To this, President Andrew Jackson sternly warned the nullifiers that any form of forcible opposition to the laws enshrined by USA would be treated as treason. As a remedy, proponents of nullification would risk being hanged for reasons of treason. President Jackson’s assertions carried the day, making Calhoun and his opinion followers abandon that philosophy for fear of being executed (Ogg, 2004).
One of the deeds President Jackson is remembered for was the strong stands he held concerning “the spoils system”. From economics standpoint, “the spoils system” operates on a winner gets it all premise. Put simply, the system leaves losers with nothing to call theirs, and winners with everything to possess and boast of (Gardner, 1987).To strengthen the principle,
Jackson is known to have brought to his office an arrangement where bureaucrats would be rotated in office or, to put it better, appointees would hold their offices temporarily. That, as Jackson believed, would to a great extent phase out corrupt bureaucracy which was already dominating top political offices during his tenure as the president. He also believed it was instrumental in rallying heavy support towards his presidency, as his supporters would be sure of heavy rewards in form of heading key political and bureaucratic slots (Ogg, 2004).
Critics of Jackson’s administration branded him as a “no economist, no financier president”. This was made possible by a letter he wrote to Biddle. The content of that letter revealed that he was afraid of banks. Jackson pushed for the abolition of The Second Bank of the United States. Some of the reasons he cited for that undertaking, was that the bank widened the gap between the rich and the poor. Additionally, he criticized the bank as an institution which concentrates the state’s financial strength in one organization, a step which indirectly led to the deep economic depression of that time (Ogg, 2004).
What has made Jackson’s leadership to be discredited by many observers and critics was that he took the lead in advocating for the removal of the Southern Indians. As the population pressure of whites piled from both the Northwest and Southwest parts of United States, Jackson forcibly pushed the native inhabitants of the southern territory out of their lands, making him be termed as a leader who practices “ethnic cleansing”. They were further moved even into the state of Indiana (Ogg, 2004).
Following Jackson’s refusal to renew the charter of the Second Bank of United States, a great economic depression befell the American people. He however blamed it on the bank for having introduced the paper-money inflation. But many agree that Jackson hand a hand in the great economic panic of 1837, which gripped United States of America (Ogg, 2004).
To conclude, Jackson was to an extent regretful for some of his policies. A case in point was his refusal to renew the bank’s charter, a price he paid by America facing the great economic panic of 1837.That to me was regretful of him, since he sought for ways in which he could remove the blame from him.
Gardner, R. (1987). A Theory of the Spoils System. Public Choice, 54(2), 1-2. Retrieved
Sep 28, 2012, from http://www.proquest.com.
Ogg, A., (2004). The reign of Andrew Jackson: A chronicle of the Frontier in Politics. USA:
Project Gutenberg. Retrieved Sep 28, 2012, from http://www.ebscohost.com/eds.