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The American Tyrant

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 5 (1176 words)
Categories: Government, Native American History, Slavery In America
Downloads: 19
Views: 1

Andrew Jackson was and is one of the most loved presidents of all time to some. Some consider him one of the greatest men in U.S. history. He made connections with many people just because American’s knew he understood them. Some might see our seventh president as a real war hero, when as a matter of fact Andrew Jackson’s presidency was more like a dictatorship in more ways than one. Although Jackson entered the white house with promises of “a greater degree of civilization.

”  In turn to that promise President Jackson was the cause for the death of approximately 7,000 Cherokee Indians.

Jackson’s peers in the government disliked him, they felt he was unqualified to be president. They believed that he did not belong in the white house. Jackson did many questionable things like oppressing Native Americans, owning slaves, supporting Peggy Eaton as well as opposed paper money. Once Jackson moved into his seat as president, some say had an heir of vengeance about himself.

In the mists of his campaign he charged the Adams bureaucracy with fraud. It was alleged by Jackson that they were working against his election.  One of his first orders of business seemed to be removing most of John Adams high ranking officials including bureau chiefs, custom officers, federal marshals, attorneys and more. Jackson claimed to be “purging the corruption.”

With the presidential election of Andrew Jackson in 1828, many felt a contemporary age of political, economic, and social equality was about to emerge. However, the Age of Jackson was tormented by numerous racist policies, as well as unlawful job placement in the White House. Jackson also shrewdly prepared the country for an economic panic. The Jackson Democratic Party promoted segregation and they took an almost oppressive hold of the government. An immense attempt to set the country up for an economic depression. Jackson inflated the condition of the working man without creating equality. When four states got rid of the requirement to own property to vote all white men were eligible to vote. Jackson took advantage of that as well as the resources and support.  He had the majority vote of the campaign. Accordingly, Jackson won presidency due to the three changes of the U.S.; Perseverance, voting rights, and campaigning.

Indian nations had been mostly erased from the northeastern part of the states by the time Jackson became President. In the southwest however the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Creeks still occupied massive parts of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. At some point Jackson had protested the treatment of Indian tribes as if they were foreign nations. Truthfully though Jackson did believe that Indian civilization was below that of whites. The Cherokee nation had several of the attributes of white civilization. They had come up with a written communication, a newspaper, and a constitution of presidency. Under its treaties with the federal government, the tribe claimed sovereign authority over its territory in Georgia and adjoining states. Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi countered by asserting state jurisdiction over their Indian domains.

To facilitate the removal, Jackson introduced Congress in 1830 to pass a bill empowering him to get off new Indian homelands west of the Mississippi, exchange them for current social group holdings, purchase the Indians’ capital enhancements, and pay the prices of their westward transportation. This Indian Removal Act was the sole major piece of legislation passed at Jackson’s bid in his eight years as Presidency. Indian removal was therefore necessary to Jackson, that he went back to Tennessee to conduct the primary negotiations head to head. He gave the Indians a straightforward alternative: labor under state authority or transmigrate on the far side the Mississippi. The crazy thing is he offered generous aid on one hand and also the threat of subjugation if they didn’t oblige. The Chickasaws and Choctaws submitted quickly and without a fight.

Most of the tribes went without force. Although, cohesion lead the peace treaties they were somewhat fair it’s the execution that was diabolical. Generally, the treaties promised fair payment for the Indians’ land and goods, safe transportation to the west, sustenance upon arrival, and protection for the property of those who chose to remain behind under state jurisdiction. These safeguards collapsed under pressure from corrupt contractors, unscrupulous traders, and white trespassers backed by state authority. Jackson’s desire to economize and avoid trouble with the state governments further undercut federal efforts to protect the tribes. For the record he bore ultimate responsibility. Jackson did not countenance the abuses, but he did ignore them. Though he allegedly was a stickler for formal obligations, he made promises to the Indians that the government did not and could not fulfill. Jackson didn’t visage the abuse; however, he did ignore them. Inclusive to having the military drawn guns on the Cherokees to force them off their land.

Jackson didn’t only want removal for personal enhancement, he also wanted a way to further white supremacy and slavery. Not to mention he wanted to secure his southern support. “The hunger for Indian land was most intense in the Southern slave-owning states, and Jackson as a politician generally reflected Southern economic interests.” (Matthews)

Jackson wasn’t alone. The entire democratic party had backed him in servitude to the slave power. They were also receptive to certain policies like the Indian Removal Act that freed up land for slavery. “The exaltation of the common man (meaning, on the frontier, the settler and speculator hungry for Indian land), the sense of America as the redeemer nation destined for continental expansion, the open acceptance of racism as a justification not only for the enslavement of blacks but also for the expulsion of Native Americans — these were popular, politically powerful themes that would have driven any Democratic President to press for a policy of Indian removal.” (Matthews)

In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its land’s east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the “Trail of Tears,” because of its devastating effects. The migrants faced hunger, disease, and exhaustion on the forced march. Over 4,000 out of 15,000 of the Cherokees died.

In the end it was unfathomable that thousands of Native American men, women, and children were forced to march west, sometimes freezing to death or starving because U.S. soldiers wouldn’t let them bring extra food or blankets. It was hard to hear that the Choctaw Nation lost up to a third of its population on the death march.  It was disorienting to learn that what amounted to ethnic cleansing had come at the insistence of an American president. Andrew Jackson engineered a genocide. Andrew Jackson was not only a bully, slave owner and murder. Andrew Jackson was an American Tyrant.


Executive Power. CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOUNDATION. Winter 2004. <https://www.crf-usa.org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-21-1-c-indian-removal-the-cherokees-jackson-and-the-trail-of-tears.html>.

Feller, Daniel. Andrew JAckson: Domestic Affairs. 2019. <https://millercenter.org/president/jackson/domestic-affairs>.

Independence Hall Ass. U.S. History. 2008. <http://www.ushistory.org/us/24f.asp>.

Keenan, Jillian. 03 March 2014. <https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2014/03/andrew-jackson-should-be-kicked-off-the-20-bill-he-ordered-a-genocide.html>.

O’Neil, William L. 20 November 2005. <https://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/20/books/review/old-slickery.html>.

U.S. Senate. 21 Februrary 1868. <https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Impeachment_Johnson.htm>.

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The American Tyrant. (2020, Sep 10). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/the-american-tyrant-essay

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