Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson rose from humble beginnings to become the seventh President of the United States in 1828. Jackson’s rise in popularity and power coincided with the prevailing rise of democracy in America. While President Jackson was one of the most influential presidents in history he remains one of the most controversial. During Jackson’s administration he supported the will of the people, however he neglected the minority and abused his power as president. President Andrew Jackson was appropriately designated as the “People’s President” as he personifies America’s conflicted history of democracy.
There were a number of social and economic changes occurring in the Union in the 1800s that produced the ideal environment for Andrew Jackson’s rise to power. The new market economy was producing a more stratified, unequal society, at the same time the nations politics were becoming more democratic. The Panic of 1819 led to America’s first major depression. Many Americans believed that the depression was caused by the policies and corruption in the federal government and the national bank. In turn, Americans called for equal opportunity and agreed that one primary objective of government was to safeguard opportunity. Thus the new market economy and call for equal opportunity led to increased democracy and voter participation.
The 1824 election only fueled the public suspicions of government corruption further. The House of Representatives had decided the 1824 election since no candidate had a majority in the Electoral College, despite Jackson having won the popular vote. When Henry Clay, Speaker of the House of Representatives used his political influence and declared support for John Quincy Adams, he sealed the election for Adams. Once elected Adams quickly named Clay as Secretary of State, arousing suspicions about Adams integrity. Jackson and his supporters began making public accusations that a "corrupt bargain" had cheated him out of the office. These events set...