HISTORY ESSAY – Essay Example
A Successful President with Some Failed Policies Andrew Jackson rose to national prominence after the Battle of New Orleans during the War of 1812. He used his status as a military hero to build a political career first as a senator and then as president. After losing the 1824 election with the majority of the votes, Jackson won election in 1828 with populist support and easily won reelection. Despite his hard-headed approach and an ample supply of adversity, Andrew Jackson was largely successful in achieving his political goals.
The greatest challenge that Jackson overcame during his presidency was the Nullification Crisis. The high tariffs imposed by Congress forced Southerners to purchase goods manufactured in the Northern states rather than cheaper European goods. South Carolina threatened to nullify, or ignore, the tariffs (Goldfield et al. 276). With tensions mounting, the incident threatened to lead to succession or civil war. This crisis was averted through compromise with a lower tariff that appealed to both the industrial North and the agrarian South. Jackson succeeded in avoiding a civil war and maintaining the authority of the federal government.
Aside from his success in handling the Nullification Crisis, some of Jacksons other aims were successfully achieved, even if there were some disastrous consequences as a result of his policies. Jackson achieved his economic goals by dismantling the Second Bank of the United States over the objections of Congress (Goldfield et al. 281) and by paying off the federal debt. While some of Jacksons economic policies also resulted in the Panic of 1837, he did manage to implement his economic policies in the face of opposition. Under Jacksons tenure, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830 allowing the president to remove indigenous peoples from their Eastern lands (Goldfield et al. 275). Some of the tribes were removed peacefully while others resisted in Black Hawks War and were slaughtered (Goldfield et al. 276). Jackson is also sometimes blamed for the atrocities that occurred along the Trail of Tears; however, the forced migration of the Cherokee took place under the supervision of Jacksons successor. Nonetheless, it would have been much more humane for Jackson to have pursued the policies of his predecessors towards gradual assimilation. He succeeded in implementing his policies even though some of those policies resulted in a panic and the deaths of many indigenous peoples.
Despite opposition, Jackson achieved most of his political goals. He resolved the Nullification Crisis in a manner that appeased both sides. Jackson soundly defeated the Second Bank of the United States despite opposition from Congress. He also succeeded in relocating indigenous peoples in the face of peaceful and armed resistance. Although some of his policies were misguided and problematic, Jackson was successful in achieving his political goals.
Goldfield, David, Carl E. Abbot, Virginia D. Anderson, Jo Ann E. Argersinger, Peter H. Argersinger, , William Barney, and Robert M. Weir. The American Journey. 5th ed. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall, 2009.