Assess the successes and failures of Andrew Jackson's presidency

2230 Words Apr 14th, 2004 9 Pages
When Jackson came to power in 1829 he promised much, advocating equality, democratic change, morality in government and true representation. However Jackson's success or failure as a president is shown by what he actually did. The thesis of this essay is that despite the variety of issues faced by Jackson he didn't actually bring about much change. This could be interpreted as failure but his legacy as a strong president, as a symbol of US democracy, and also the devotion of the people to him, does perhaps counter the failings. Failure might constitute not meeting one's promises but Jackson's ambiguity and inconsistency on many issues make it hard to judge his performance. I would not say he was completely successful or unsuccessful but …show more content…
In 1830 Jackson vetoed the Maysville Road Bill, which authorised the use of federal funds to construct a road between two towns in Kentucky. He didn't want federal funds to finance internal improvements, as he wanted expenditure to be decreased to fulfil his promise to reduce the national debt. His official reason to Congress was that the Bill was unconstitutional because it concerned only the state of Kentucky. However as Jones points out his reasons were political, particularly wanting to strike a blow at his opponent, Henry Clay's own state. Jackson had no qualms about signing other internal improvement Bills showing his inconsistency. If he had consistently kept to his policy of no federal help this then could be heralded a success rather than possible failure.

The second incident where Jackson stood by his solicitude for state rights was in the removal of the Indian tribes. Jackson has been associated mainly with his decision to support Georgia in its efforts to remove the Cherokee from their land, despite a Supreme Court ruling against the state. However his enthusiastic support for Indian removal was "undoubtedly one of the reasons he swept the southern states in the 1828 election" . Jackson had Native Indian policy on his mind from the beginning as he saw that Indians were subject to American sovereignty and that national security demanded they be removed. Removal to the West would increase the security of the US from outside attacks. Upon
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