THE JACKSONIAN ERA
AMarshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.@-Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson is one of our most influential presidents. During his two term presidency, the powers of the office were widely used and thus greatly expanded. His personal popularity, built around his military victory at New Orleans enabled him to undertake many of his bold decisions. He understood the minds of average Americans better than his predecessors and his political opponents. His loss in the presidential election of 1824 enlightened him on the workings of American politics. His big victory in 1828 represents his popularity of a war hero as well as his ability to be all things to all people. Once he became president, he seemed to follow his dictum of making decisions, then building support for them. Once he determined someone to be his opponent, he never forgave that person, a lesson Henry Clay learned over and over.
His use of the veto based on personal objections rather than constitutional reasons and his use of a Akitchen cabinet@ for key advice represent a modernized presidency. His failure to enforce the Supreme Court=s decision on Indian removal was dangerous to the philosophy of separation of powers and its counterpart, checks and balances.
Jackson won a strong re-election victory over Henry Clay in 1832, and though he did not run for a third term (not forbidden until the 22nd Amendment passed in 1951), his handpicked successor, Vice President Martin van Buren, was easily elected to the White House in 1836 as the Jacksonian candidate.
TERMS TO KNOW
Maysville Road - Federal project to provide funding for a road (internal improvements) to be built entirely within Kentucky. Vetoed by President Jackson to get back at Henry Clay, a native of Kentucky, who had worked to keep Jackson from the presidency in 1824.
The "Corrupt Bargain" - The charge made by the Jacksonians that political wheeling and dealing prevented Jackson from earning the presidency in 1824. Clay help John Quincy Adams win the oval office by working his connections in the House of Representatives, and, in turn, Adams named Clay Secretary of State, a position which could help Clay eventually earn the presidency.
Nicholas Biddle - Director of Second Bank of the United States (2d BUS).
War on 2nd BUS - Jackson's desire to destroy the Second Bank of the United States, regardless of its success in managing American fiscal matters
"Spoils System" - also known as rotation in office, whereby an incoming administration fires government workers and replaces them with their own political supporters. The term originated out of New York City politics.
"Kitchen Cabinet" - the inner circle of advisors to the President, individuals who may or may not hold federal government office, who have influence beyond any official office they might hold.
Nullification - the theory that each American State has the authority to refuse to enforce federal law within its borders. First expressed in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions by Madison and Jefferson over the Alien and Sedition Acts, and later in John C. Calhoun's commentary in South Carolina Exposition and Protest, over the Protective Tariff.
Pocket Veto - A method by which the president can allow a bill to die without using a veto even though Congress passed the legislation. Once Congress adjourns its session, if the president fails to sign a bill within ten days, the legislation is dead.
Tindall, Chapter 10
TERMS TO KNOW
Indian Removal South Carolina Exposition and Protest Force Bill John C. Calhoun Cherokee Nation v Georgia/Worcester v. Georgia Martin van Buren
SAMPLE TEST QUESTIONS
What is meant by the term Aspoils system@?
Why did Jackson want to destroy the 2nd B.U.S.?