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Since its independence, multiple advancements and revolutions have pervaded the United States of America. Each new policy or reform movement had various political and economic agendas. Some of them were implemented and the American nation saw its benefits, however, some reforms failed. This essay discusses the presidential tenure of Andrew Jackson and analyses his distinctive policies used in the 19th century in the United States of America. Likewise, it also analyzes the downsides and political upheavals during Jackson’s presidential term.
Jackson introduced the right of suffrage to White men and reconstructed many federal institutions. It was his policy to ensure the protection of the legal justice system and equal distribution of wealth between all classes of the society. He used his authorities to bound the state administrative system to work for the welfare of common men in America. However, his policies were fixated to give relief to the White majority group and he ignored the legal and social rights of Black Americans. Similarly, one of the most famous and debatable initiatives of “Manifest Destiny” was taken during his presidential term. In lieu of this idea, the White privilege was glorified and it was used as a hidden agenda to expand American control over the northern states and Latin American territories. The American nation had to pay the price of this illegal control in the form of Mexican-American war. They enforced their laws on the natives of Latin America (Griswold del Castillo, “Manifest Destiny”). Likewise, this act also promoted slavery in the northern states because of settlers. On the other hand, Latin Americans had to migrate to America for better future prospects.
Both at a social and economic level, the huge influx of immigrants from Latin America burdened the American economy. Likewise, due to huge collateral damage in the Mexican-American war, the government faced backlash from both the opposition and the nation. In the Jacksonian era, radicalization was introduced but it was again limited to White men. President Jackson could not abolish the racial practices and as a result, the civil liberties of African Americans were denied. He wanted to safeguard his term of office and refrained from introducing reforms since, in the highly stereotypical American society, it was against his political motives. During his term, agriculture was preferred over industries because the process of immigration resulted in more demand for food items. Likewise, capitalist ideology manifested itself among the nation and they invested their energies in free trade markets. The American invasion of Latin America also provided it with an established market to sell its goods there and depreciate other countries’ economies.
Jackson was against the banking system and strongly opposed it in these words, “The bank is trying to kill me, but I will kill it!” (Parton, 1863, pg. 50) and he did the exact same by creating state banks in place of the Second National Bank. He wanted to shift to the earlier practices of using gold and silver metals for a bargain. Moreover, he used military forces to evacuate the lands where native Cherokees were living. Similarly, in his attempt at civilizing the native Indian Americans, he forced the tribes to send their children in specific hostels which were structured to teach them about Modern American values. However, in reality, such practices were just an excuse to kill the separate identity of the Cherokees. The famous slogan “Kill the Indian, save the man” unmasked the hidden political and economic manipulation of the Jacksonian democracy (Remini, 2013). He snubbed their legal control over their native lands and in a way, colonized them by forcing them to assimilate in the American culture.
The presidential term of Andrew Jackson centered on the democratic rule and improved the legal justice system for the American nation but he ignored the rights of Black Americans. He prioritized his political interests over morality and his policies resulted in the Mexican-American war and the cultural erosion of Indian Americans. His policy of rejecting the banking system further increased debts and after half a decade, resulted in the Great Depression.
Griswold del Castillo, Richard. “Manifest Destiny: The Mexican-American War and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.” Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the Americas 5 (1998): 31.
Parton, James. Life of Andrew Jackson. Mason brothers, 1863.
Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson: The Course of American Democracy, 1833-1845. JHU Press, 2013.
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