The Jackson Era
Andrew Jackson in The Jackson Era
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was the seventh president of the United States. Born in South Carolina, Jackson served as a teenager in the patriot militia during the American Revolution and had a distinguished career in the American military. He served as a major general in the militia during the Creek War of 1813-14 and as a major general in the United States army during the War of 1812. In the latter capacity he led American forces to victory in the Battle of New Orleans. He also served as a general in the Seminole War of 1818 and as the military governor of Florida in 1821. After Tennessee was admitted to the Union, he served as its first congressman (1796-1797) and briefly served in the United States Senate before accepting an appointment to the state Supreme Court (1798-1804). He represented Tennessee again as a United States Senator from 1823 to 1825.
He married Rachel Donelson Robards in 1791; the circumstances of their marriage—Rachel was legally still married to her first husband at the time—plagued Jackson's political career.
Despite receiving more popular and Electoral College votes than John Quincy Adams in the presidential election of 1824, Jackson finished second to Adams when the election was thrown into the House of Representatives because neither attained an absolute majority. Jackson alleged that Adams, in order to win the election after it was thrown into the House, secured the critical support House Speaker Henry Clay by promising to appoint Clay his Secretary of State. Jackson's supporters labeled this a "corrupt bargain" and built Jackson's 1828 presidential campaign around this issue.
As president, Jackson organized the relocation of more than 90,000 Indians from the eastern United States to territories west of the Mississippi River; he strengthened the Union by rejecting South Carolina's claim that it possessed the authority to nullify federal laws; and he destroyed the Bank of the United States, leaving the nation without a central bank capable of monitoring the nation's money supply.