Andrew Jackson

955 Words4 Pages
Andrew Jackson was not plainly a common man or an aristocrat. He was in fact a combination of the two. Because he came into popularity on the frontier and was not of aristocratic decent he is often considered to be a common man. However, many facts about his life do not coincide with this stereotype. From the beginning of his career in Tennessee, he considered himself an aristocrat. As a result his tastes, manners and life style were shaped accordingly. Although he considered himself, an aristocrat he was similar to the common man in that he could not spell and he lacked education and culture. However, this was not unusual of aristocrats from the southwest region. Many of them were not born aristocrats but merely rose from middle or lower class migrants who had prospered. Jackson was one of these self-made aristocrats, a blend of pioneer and aristocrat. Jackson began his life as a commoner who after losing all of his family began studying law. In his early twenties Jackson came to Tennessee where he established himself as a lawyer. Being on of only two lawyers’ in his town, he gained wealth. After buying both land and slaves with his new wealth, he began to strengthen his position with the self-made aristocrats in his area. Soon with newfound political offices, he became a prominent member of the western aristocrats and consequently he became a first-generation aristocrat.
Jackson’s loathing of “Eastern Money Power'; and the national bank began in 1796 with one incident that had a disastrous effect upon Jackson’s fortunes. This event sewed in him his dislike of “Eastern Money Power'; and paper money system. Jackson had accepted notes from David Allison as payment for land that Jackson had sold him. Jackson then used those notes to buy supplies that he was going to use to open a general-merchandise store. When Allison’s notes were defaulted, Jackson was held accountable for the merchandise he had bought. As a result, he was put into great debt that took him years to pay off. Then again, with the panic of 1819 his resentment towards the "Eastern Money Power" and national bank grew. During this time, an ensuing depression fell hard upon the people of the west and south, including Jackson who had regained his financial footing. The depression was the result of ...

... middle of paper ...

... In response to this action Biddle, the head of the national bank, brought about a short-lived but severe depression. He achieved this through the restriction of credit. However, this ended once the business community rebelled. Biddle’s intentions were to force Jackson to return the funds to the national bank. Once the depression ended an inflationary movement began. This was the result of Jackson depositing federal funds from the national bank into several dozen state banks. These banks used their new resources to start a credit boom, which broke disastrously in 1837. By destroying the national bank Jackson had removed the only restraint on the wildcatters, and by removing the funds he placed capital in the hands of inflationists. Although Jackson’s plan to get rid of the national bank had many negatives, it did have one positive result. By removing the national bank, he had removed a great threat to democratic government. The national bank could no longer use its strength to effect government. Jackson’s war with the national bank ended in failure. He inadvertently caused two depressions and made our money system worse than when he first took office.

More about Andrew Jackson

Open Document