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Andrew Jackson: Great or Not

The Jacksonian Era encompassed a period of massive change.

These changes, whether they be social, economic, or political, were embraced by Americans with a new found vigor. This enthusiasm, motivated by a new “common man” president, Andrew Jackson, gave Americans new hope to pursue their own personal successes in a politically and socially charged society.1 This is what some historians including our opponents believe to be true. We, the opposing side of this argument, believe that the appointment of Andrew Jackson to presidency was “NOT” the beginning of a democratic era or the “era of the common man”.

The start of Andrew Jackson’s political career began when he served as a delegate for Tennessee in the 1796 Constitutional convention and then as a congressman from 1796-97. He was elected senator in 1797 but soon after that appointment he resigned because of what is believed to be financial problems. He then served as a Supreme Court judge for six years. In 1804 he retired and moved to Nashville, Tennessee to work on his business ventures and on his plantation. At this point in time it seemed as though his political career was at its end, but in 1814 he became a Major General in the Tennessee Militia.

He fought against the Creek Indians who were sided with the British after the war of 1812. He was finally victorious at the battle of Horseshoe Bend in March of 1814 and eventually forced all of the Indians from the area. His victory impressed some important figures in Washington so Jackson was put in command of New Orleans defenses. In 1817, he was ordered to fight the Seminole Indians whom he pushed back into Spanish Florida. Finally, when America conquered Florida he became the preliminary governor. After being nominated for president in 1822, inducted in the U.S. Senate and following the “corrupt bargain” in the election of 1824, Jackson, in 1828, became America’s 7th president.

There are three general arguments that my fellow debaters will break down and define. They are about, The Election, by Rebecca Ringler, Spoils System, by Andrew Patterson, and the number of people that were included in the Election, broken down by Rose Bern-Zieve. Rebecca will talk about how the election was not fair, Jackson was already a war hero so it was an unfair advantage, the popular contest and how people’s votes were not private. Andrew will tell how the spoils system worked, how the election was very hypocritical in some senses, and the right for states to nullify laws if it’s a democratic quote on quote society. He will also mention about, how it was said that government would give equal protection and benefits……… “To White Men”!!! Finally rose will explain that not all people were equal and how a person’s economic status, race, education and religion still affected their rights and benefits. That even though the government said that all at least “WHITE” people shall be treated equal this still wasn’t the case. And here’s Rebecca talking about The Election.

1. Excerpt taken from an essay written by Yuri Guzmann

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