Photos of Andrew Jackson

Share Your Quotes Join Us Inspire & Move Your Friends

How do you feel today?    I feel ...

Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 June 8, 1845), eponym of the era of Jacksonian democracy and a founder of the Democratic Party, was the seventh President of the United States, serving from 1829 to 1837. Jackson was nicknamed "Old Hickory," He was the first president from the American frontier, and thus the first not primarily associated with one of the original thirteen states. (Previous presidents came from Virginia or Massachusetts.) He was a polarizing figure who helped shape the Second Party System of American politics in the 1820s and 1830s. More nearly than any of his predecessors, Andrew Jackson was elected by
popular vote; as President, he sought to act as the direct
representative of the common man.

Born in a backwoods settlement in the Carolinas in 1767, he received
sporadic education. However, in his late teens, he read law for about
two years, and he became an outstanding young lawyer in Tennessee.
Fiercely jealous of his honor, he engaged in brawls, and in a duel
killed a man who cast an unjustified slur on his wife Rachel.

Jackson prospered sufficiently to buy slaves and to build a mansion, the
Hermitage, near Nashville. He was the first man elected from Tennessee
to the House of Representatives, and he served briefly in the Senate. A
major general in the War of 1812, Jackson became a national hero when he
defeated the British at New Orleans.

In 1824 some state political factions rallied around Jackson; by 1828
enough had joined "Old Hickory" to win numerous state elections and
control of the Federal administration in Washington.

In his first Annual Message to Congress, Jackson recommended eliminating
the Electoral College. He also tried to democratize Federal
office-holding. Already state machines were being built on patronage,
and a New York Senator openly proclaimed "that to the victors belong the
spoils. . . . "

Jackson took a milder view. Decrying officeholders who seemed to enjoy
life tenure, he believed Government duties could be "so plain and
simple" that offices should rotate among deserving applicants.

As national politics polarized around Jackson and his opposition, two
parties grew out of the old Republican Party--the Democratic
Republicans, or Democrats, adhering to Jackson; and the National
Republicans, or Whigs, opposing him.

Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and other Whig leaders proclaimed themselves
defenders of popular liberties against the usurpation of Jackson.
Hostile cartoonists portrayed him as King Andrew I.

Behind their accusations lay the fact that Jackson, unlike previous
Presidents, did not defer to Congress in policy-making but used his
power of the veto and his party leadership to assume command.

The greatest party battle centered around the Second Bank of the United
States, a private corporation but virtually a Government-sponsored
monopoly. When Jackson appeared hostile toward it, the Bank threw its
power against him.

Clay and Webster, who had acted as attorneys for the Bank, led the fight
for its recharter in Congress. "The bank," Jackson told Martin Van
Buren, "is trying to kill me, but I will kill it!" Jackson, in vetoing
the recharter bill, charged the Bank with undue economic privilege.

His views won approval from the American electorate; in 1832, he polled
more than 56 percent of the popular vote and almost five times as many
electoral votes as Clay.

Jackson met head-on the challenge of John C. Calhoun, leader of forces
trying to rid themselves of a high protective tariff.

When South Carolina undertook to nullify the tariff, Jackson ordered
armed forces to Charleston and privately threatened to hang Calhoun.
Violence seemed imminent until Clay negotiated a compromise: tariffs
were lowered and South Carolina dropped nullification.

In January of 1832, while the President was dining with friends at the
White House, someone whispered to him that the Senate had rejected the
nomination of Martin Van Buren as Minister to England. Jackson jumped to
his feet and exclaimed, "By the Eternal! I'll smash them!" And, so he
did. His favorite, Van Buren, became Vice President, and succeeded to
the Presidency when "Old Hickory" retired to the Hermitage, where he
died in June 1845.

Jackson was a life-long Freemason, and served as the Grand Master of the
Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Tennessee.
Although many Presidents were Freemasons, Jackson was the only one to
achieve this highest honor of the Masonic Fraternity.

Bio submitted to QB by: Phillip G. Elam

<< Back to the quotes page for this author

Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Daguerreotype of Andrew Jackson, possibly taken by Edward Anthony
Daguerreotype of Andrew Jackson, possibly taken by Edward Anthony
2-cent US postage stamp, 1863 (the Black Jack)
Jackson fights the Bank in 1832 (1833 print)
Andrew Jackson
White House Portrait
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Statue in D.C.
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson