Andrew Jackson Demagogue

Andrew Jackson Essay

A demagogue is defined as “ a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices...” Andrew Jackson clearly and unequivocally meets this definition shown through his policy towards the Native American population, the Peggy Eaton affair, and his spoils system used to reward his political supporters.
The Indian Removal act passed in 1830 gave Andrew Jackson the right to negotiate with the “five civilized tribes” for the possesion of their land and relocating them west of the Mississippi river. The act, which was heavily backed by land owning southerns, gave Jackson a legal way to remove these Indians and implement the “trail of tears” the exodus across a huge number of miles killed thousands of Indians. This relocation was meant to be voluntary but many tribal leaders were pressured into it by Jackson’s political supporters and essentially forced out of their homeland and moved to Oklahoma where Jackson wouldn’t have to worry about them. This clearly shows Jackson appealing to the desires of southerners for land, and going along with prejudices assigned to Indians at the time, feeling which he himself shared.
The Peggy Eaton affair was a complicated event that occurred privately in Washington but soon became a national scandal stoked as Jackson suspected by his political rivals to hurt his reputation. A member of Jackson’s cabinet, John Eaton, was rumored to be seeing a woman named Peggy Timberlake whose husband was away at sea. When her husband died the two decided to officially begin their relationship but this action was scorned by the Washington elite because she had not waited the socially acceptable mourning period and they were rumored to be together before her husband had died as well. Eaton asked the president for advice on the matter, Jackson who had been through a similar situation with his wife threw his full support behind the now married Eaton couple, Jackson's vice president however, John C....