November 18

Blog #161 – Final Exam – Andrew Jackson: Hero of the Common Man or Dictatorial President?

Now, since we talk about shades of grey here in APUSH, a question like this – Andrew Jackson, Hero of the Common Man or Dictatorial President? – should be harder to answer than the either/or options that I have given you.  Chances are, Jackson is both the hero of the common man and acted dictatorially as president.

Image result for andrew jackson

Using the article that you read a couple of weeks ago, “The Jacksonian Revolution”, please answer the following questions:

  1. Argue the side that Jackson is the hero of the common man.  Use examples from the article and your text / PPT.
  2. Argue the other side that Jackson was a dictatorial president.  Use examples from the article and your text / PPT.
  3. Which side do you think the author, Robert Remini, came down on?  Do you agree w/ him?  Why or why not?

Total words – 400 – due Wednesday night, Nov. 22, by midnight.  

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Posted November 18, 2023 by geoffwickersham in category Blogs

64 thoughts on “Blog #161 – Final Exam – Andrew Jackson: Hero of the Common Man or Dictatorial President?

  1. Delilah

    Jackson was a very multi-faceted president. He was able to be very well loved by many during his time, but as we look back now, historians disagree with quite a few of his decisions. There were many reasons for people to love Jackson at the time. He wanted “equal protection and equal beliefs for all white men”, no matter how much wealth they had. He believed that the people of the U.S. should control the government, opposed to the government controlling the people, and many Americans agreed with him, making him very popular. An example of Jackson wanting the people to govern is stated in the text, “In his first message to congress as president written in December 1829 Jackson announced: The majority is to govern. To the people belonged the right of electing their Chief Executive. He, therefore, asked Congress to adopt an amendment to abolish the College of Electors. He wanted all intermediary agencies standing between the people, and their government swept away, whether erected by the Founding Fathers or not. The people are sovereign, he reiterated. Their will is absolute.” Indirectly, this is showing how Jackson wanted the people to influence the government; the majority is the people.
    However, if we are looking at Jackson’s presidency through a modern day lens, he doesn’t seem as great. A lot of the laws he had created only benefited white men, and even further put down black people, Native Americans, and women. Many people also believe that he was a dictatorial president. An example of this, as stated in “The Jacksonian Revolution”, is that “… he vetoed congressional legislation more times than all his predecessors combined, and for reasons other than a presumed lack of constitutionality. More importantly, by the creative use of his veto power be successfully claimed for the chief executive – the right to participate in the legislative process. He put Congress on notice that they must consider his views on all issues before enacting them into law or run the risk of a veto.”
    I think that the author of the text believes that Jackson was a hero of the common man. He clearly states his belief in the quote, “But above all, it was an age of the self-made man, a time when privilege and elitist rule gave way to the vestiges of popular democracy at least for white males.” I disagree with Remeni because I do not think that Jackson can be a hero of the common man when his laws only benefited white men. He cannot claim to benefit the “common man” when the group of people he was talking about did not make up the majority of the US population.

  2. Aaron H

    1. Argue the side that Jackson is the hero of the common man. Use examples from the article and your text / PPT.
    Andrew Jackson can be considered the hero of the common man for many reasons: his spoils system, his ideas that the government was completely controlled by the people, the idea that he was a common man, and the public’s own reaction to him. Starting with the spoils system “Jackson wanted every office of government, from the highest to the lowest, within the reach of the electorate, arguing that ‘where the people are everything…there and there only is liberty’” (243). Jackson truly believed that the government was in the hands of the people, and it needed to be more open to them. He fought to have them in the government, and expressed his will many times throughout his presidency. Even doing so in his first letter to Congress: “‘The majority is to govern….The people are sovereign. Their will is absolute’” (242). Jackson carried this belief with him till the end of his presidency, and probably after it as well. “‘I have great confidence in the virtue of a great majority of the people, and I cannot fear the result” (244). Jackson never doubted the people for a moment, and that’s only one reason why people trusted him so much. Another would be because he started as a common man himself: “Well, if Andrew Jackson can be president anybody can” (239), “Old Hickory’s personality and military accomplishments made him an attractive and viable candidate…Jackson became a symbol of the best in American life—a self-made man” (241). People trusted Jackson because he knew what it was like to struggle. Jackson built himself up from nothing, and people loved him for it because it proved that they could do the same. Before Jackson won the presidency, support for him was rapidly growing. After a ‘Jackson meeting’ one newspaper declared that it wasn’t filled with the models of the country, but actually the discontented and dissolute. The Democrats responded to this by saying : “that these so-called dissolute were actually the “bone and muscle of American society. They are the People. The real People who understand that Gen. Jackson is one of them and will defend their interests and rights” (242). Then right after Jackson won the presidency, the people expressed their love for him “[a]t his inauguration people came from five hundred miles away to see General Jackson…’It was a proud day for the people, General Jackson is their own president’” (242).

    2. Argue the other side that Jackson was a dictatorial president. Use examples from the article and your text / PPT.
    Jackson can also be considered a dictatorial president for many reasons: his fighting with all levels of government & the Supreme Court, his forced focus on the presidency, how he fought for the public a little too much, and the King Jackson image. To start, Jackson was always fighting with some form of government. “He vetoed congressional legislation more times than all of his predecessors combined, and for reasons other than a bill’s presumed lack of constitutionality” (243). From this one can imply that Jackson vetoed some bills simply because they were not liked by his party, or other not very respected reasons. Jackson used any power he had at hand, and even went further than that at times. Remini himself stated that Jackson “altered the president’s relationship with Congress and made the president head of state” (237).
    “Instead of a separate and equal branch of the government, the president, according to Jackson, was the head of state, the first among equals” (243). Jackson put so much focus on the presidency, and allowed himself so much more power than he was previously believed to hold. Jackson was a strong figure in history, but he got pretty power drunk at times. Jackson even “assumed the right to initiate legislation” (243) a power previously only held by Congress. Not to mention how he fought for the people’s rights, “He [Jackson] therefore asked Congress to adopt an amendment that would abolish the College of Electors. He wanted all ‘intermediary’ agencies standing between the people and their government swept away” (242). While, yes, a lot of what Jackson did allowed the public to be more involved in the Government he also almost let it fall apart at times. I don’t believe Jackson ever truly understood why the powers of government were so separated, and why the founders structured the government as such. Once, Jackson even said that “‘The duties of all public officers are…so plain and simple that men of intelligence may readily qualify themselves for their performance’” (243). Not to mention, the King Jackson image. It was meant to express how Jackson held so much power after his presidency, “‘the concentration of all power in the hands of one man’” (245). Jackson did a lot of things, but he definitely wasn’t just for the people.

    3. Which side do you think the author, Robert Remini, came down on? Do you agree w/ him? Why or why not?
    Remini definitely believed that Jackson was the hero of the common man. On the first page Remini states “‘He [Jackson] became a symbol of ‘the common man’, because he was devoted to liberty and democracy and had a powerful faith in ‘the people’” (236). On the second page it also stated how Remini “disputes those who have dismissed Jackson as an opportunist and a fraud masquerading as a man of the people. Remini even defends Jackson’s Indian Removal Policy” (237). While I don’t know how he ever defended that, it’s obvious that Remini believes Jackson to be a good man who fought for the public. While I’m not sure if I agree with this, I’m not sure I don’t. Both sides bring forth a bunch of evidence, and because we can’t time travel yet, I don’t know which I agree more with. How I see Jackson is a powerful, strong-minded, chaotic man who simply did whatever he saw fit in the moment. He held a very democratic view-point, and believed that things should be done one way, his way. While this can be good for some things, I do have to say I share the public’s fears when going fully democratic. Thus, I can’t say I stand completely on either side.

  3. Ashley Glime

    Jackson is a hero of the common man for multiple reasons. Jackson did now come from the typical wealthy family, well educated lifestyle. Jackson lived like a normal average person. Jackson had to work extra hard to become into the role of power as president. Due to his lack of education Jackson made it an unnecessary requirement for political leadership. Jackson also defended the common man by fighting for the equal pay and respect of people no matter their social status. Jackson also fought to get rid of the BUS because he saw what it did to the common man stereotype. It caused dept for families and caused people to struggle financially. Jackson also gave hope to anyone that no matter what their background was. In the “Jacksonian revolution” someone said “If Andrew Jackson can be president anyone can.”
    Jackson was a dictatorial president by his excess use of the power to veto which caused a very big view of how he had the traits of a dictator. A major contribution to this was his choice to veto the rechartering of the second bank the BUS. This was seen in a way of a dictator because he was a strong protector of the common man. His choice to veto this bill went against what the court had decided and overruled it entirely. Another way that made him look like a dictator was the Peggy Eaton Affair. Most of his cabinet disliked Peggy Eaton. Jackson then told people of his cabinet that they must accept her. If they went against what he had asked he would punish them by firing them from his cabinet.
    In Reminis “Jacksonian Revolution” I think that it was more on the side of the opinion that Jackson was a big hero to the common man rather than a person who was a dictator. Remini at times agreed with things that Jackson had done in his presidency like the spoils system and how he was truly just looking out for the common man and influencing a new respect for the common man and that it was not a selfish decision he made he was genuinely just doing what he thought was correct. Remini also talked about Jacksons constant devotion to the people. And how he was, “was devoted to liberty and democracy and had a powerful faith in the people”. Remini also does talk about how Jackson was at fault at certain times but mostly stressed how he was a major hero to the common man.

  4. Matias Bolanos

    1. Argue the side that Jackson is the hero of the common man. Use examples from the article and your text / PPT.
    One example of how Jackson was a hero of the common man is how it’s shown in the text that he helped and favored the majority of the people and not just the “elite” which really shows how he wanted equality for more people and not only the privileged people. Another example is how Jackson had vetoed the Bank of the United States because on his point of view it was seen as very corrupt because he thought that it would help the more privileged than the common man. One last example is how Jackson eliminated the property qualifications for voting which means that now the common man could vote even if they did not own any land. All these examples show how one of Jackson’s main purposes was for most men to have equal rights and opportunities.
    2. Argue the other side that Jackson was a dictatorial president. Use examples from the article and your text / PPT.
    An example that can argue why the Jackson could be seen as a dictatorial president is how in the text it is shown how Jefferson has used the power of veto more than any other president before him which made people think that he looked like he had way to much power and authority because of the amount of vetos he has done. Another example of how Jackson’s presidency can be portrayed as dictatorial is when he enforced the indian removal act which was ruled against by the Supreme Court in the Worcester v. Georgia case, but Jackson still followed with the Indian removal in many states of the United States, and this was seen as how Jackson was able to do whatever he wanted to do and no one could stop him which made him look like a dictator or like a monarch.
    3. Which side do you think the author, Robert Remini, came down on? Do you agree w/ him? Why or why not?
    I think the author came down on the side that Jackson was seen as a hero to the common man. I do agree with him because of all the policies he implemented so more people could have more similar economy opportunities and also allowing people without a land to be able to vote, and also if Jackson ever seemed to be more dictatorial and starting to act like a monarch it was because he was trying to protect the common man as shown when he vetoed the ban of the United States because he wanted to protect his people from the corruption from the wealthy and powerful people. So I believe that Jackson was doing everything just to protect the common man and to give them a better life opportunity.

  5. Vidushani Hettiarachchi

    Andrew Jackson is viewed as the hero of the common man for many reasons. One that spoke out to me is that he grew up without being wealthy or highly-educated unlike the other presidents that were elected. A piece of evidence from Chapter 9 – Age of Jackson states, “When he became president, Andrew Jackson had already battled dysentery, malaria, tuberculosis, and lead poisoning from two bullets lodged somewhere in his body from duels”. This proves he was a folk hero and inspired others that they had potential because he came from the bottom but rose to the top. Also in the article The Jacksonian Revolution it states, “They are the people, the real people who understand that Gen. Jackson is one of them and will defend their interests and fights”. Jackson made so many believe in him even though he was born not as rich and educated as the other presidents. This shows that he was the hero of the common man because he was like every other working class man but proved himself by acting for America as the president.

    After becoming president, Jackson abused the power he had and some could say he was a dictatorial president. One of the reasons he was a dictatorial president is because he vetoed congressional legislation more times than any other president before him combined and not for the reason of the bill being unconstitutional. In the article it says, “He put Congress on notice that they must consider his views on all issues before enacting them into law or run the risk of a veto”. In 1816, the Second Bank of the United States was founded for the purpose of stabilizing the national economy by supplying sound paper money. Andrew Jackson was not fond of this idea because he thought that it gave too much economic power to the capitalists and was unconstitutional so he vetoed it: “When the court decided in McCulloch v. Maryland that the law establishing a national bank was constitutional, Jackson disagreed. In his veto of a bill to recharter the Second National Bank in 1832, he claimed among other things that the bill lacked authority under the Constitution, despite what the high court had decided”. This goes to show that Jackson mishandled his presidential power and was not that great of a president overall.

    In The Jacksonian Revolution, I think that Robert Remini is on both sides but mainly believing that Jackson was a hero of the common man. Although he talks about him abusing his power and making impulsive decisions in the article, Remini seems to truly believe that Jackson was different and portrayed him in some areas as an adequate president. Also in the beginning of the article, there is a note that states, “Remini even defends Jackson’s Indian removal policy, which so offends many modern Americans”. This demonstrates that Remini is perhaps choosing to ignore some of the bad things Jackson has done.

  6. Lauren Goins

    1.) During his presidency, Andrew Jackson was referred to by many as a self-made man. Jackson earned this title because of his common position in society before his imposing victory at the Battle of New Orleans (1815). Along with his previous, insignificant position, his attractive personality and ambitions allowed him to become a heroic figure for a large number of citizens. Considering that many of his actions and decisions, such as South Carolina’s nullification, reflected his want for unity and order, voters were eager to support him in this said push for unification. Not only did he want unity and order, but Jackson also put a lot of effort towards securing his position, as well as the influence of his words and actions. The spoils system that Jackson put into place is a clear example of this want for security.

    2.) Jackson also proved to use his power in dictatorial ways. For example, Jackson’s constant use of his veto power transformed during his two terms until it put him in a position in which he became the sole initiator of legislation. “The law creating the Treasury department never called it an ‘executive’ department, and it required its secretary to report to the Congress, not the president. None of this made a particle of difference to Andrew Jackson” (pg 244). Along with the legislative branch, Jackson also trampled the checks and balances set between the executive and judicial branches. A case of this violation can be seen in his reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling of the McCulloch v. Maryland case. Despite the justices’ declaration that the BUS was constitutional, Jackson felt differently about the matter, and then proceeded to use his views to justify his later failure to recharter the BUS.

    3.) The author, as interpreted from his work, viewed president Jackson as a hero of the common man, rather than as a dictatorial president. “As Remini explains in an afterword, his view of Jackson is a revival of a once popular interpretation that had fallen into disfavor” (pg 237). As time has progressed, and history has been further analyzed, many opinions of Jackson have gone sour upon the education of more recent knowledge. Since Remini’s views are less popular and from older times, it makes perfect sense that they would portray Jackson through a lens that praises his beneficial actions, and glazes over his more controversial actions. I do not agree with the one-sided and heedless opinion and interpretation of Jackson because of this. One of my main reasons for disagreement is my dissatisfaction with the author’s reference to the permanent changes to the president’s role, as if they were all rewarding, and never ruinous.

  7. Carl

    1. Andrew Jackson is often hailed as the hero of the common man because of his commitment to the interests of ordinary citizens against elites. His presidency was a departure from the aristocratic governance that characterized previous administrations. Jackson championed expanding suffrage and advocated for the extension of voting rights to white males regardless of property ownership. His presidency also saw the dismantling of the Second Bank of the United States, a move that he believed would prevent the concentration of economic power. By opposing the bank, Jackson positioned himself as a defender of the common man against what he saw as an institution that favored the wealthy. Moreover, Jackson’s rise to power itself was seen as a triumph of the common man over the entrenched elites. Born in humble circumstances, Jackson’s ascent to the presidency was a testament to the American dream. Supporters used his background as evidence that anyone, regardless of social standing, could achieve the highest office in the land.

    2. Jackson often ignored checks and balances, particularly in his dealings with the Supreme Court. The most notable example of this is the forced removal of Native Americans. Jackson’s aggressive stance in implementing the Indian Removal Act of 1830, despite a Supreme Court ruling declaring the removal unconstitutional, demonstrated a willingness to override the courts for his policy goals. This overreach raised concerns about the abuse of presidential power and contributed to the perception of Jackson as a dictatorial figure. Additionally, Jackson’s frequent use of the veto further showed his willingness to ignore checks and balances. His unprecedented number of vetoes, surpassing those of all previous presidents combined, reflected his determination to combat what he viewed as threats to the interests of the common man. While Jackson’s veto power was constitutionally legitimate, the sheer volume and the nature of these rejections raised concerns about his commitment to cooperative governance and the potential for unchecked executive power. All of these things added to the perception of Jackson as a dictatorial figure, willing to go to great lengths to enforce his populist agenda.

    3. Robert Remini generally portrayed Jackson in a favorable light. While recognizing Jackson’s flaws, Remini emphasized his contributions to the expansion of democracy and the protection of the common man. Remini often highlighted Jackson’s populist appeal and his efforts to challenge entrenched interests. However, Remini’s portrayal of Jackson downplayed the negative aspects of Jackson’s presidency, such as his treatment of Native Americans and his aggressive approach to executive power. While acknowledging Jackson’s populist achievements, I think that it is also important to recognize the darker aspects of his presidency, particularly in relation to Native American removal and his confrontational approach to governing.

  8. Rhian Dansby

    Playing the side that Andrew Jackson was a hero to the common man, Andrew Jackson was first a huge help in the War of 1812, the battles of New Orleans on January 8, 1815. The Battle of New Orleans was also the biggest battle and this is why this was such big help. This battle also made Jackson known as a military hero. This enhanced the image that the common man had of him. Jackson came from humble/common beginnings since he lived in a log cabin when he was young. The common man felt that if Jackson could become president then anyone could. (since he was once a common man) An example of this was said in the portrait “Well, if Jackson can be president, anyone can!”. One last thing is that Jackson had no education. He was the first since Washington who didn’t. These all made Jackson seem like a hero to the common man making them look up to him since he was a war hero, used to be a common man just like them, didn’t go to college, and even became president.

    Many viewed Jackson as a dictatorial president in a few ways and here’s why. Jackson was seen as a “king” during his presidency because of a few decisions he made that not everyone agreed with. Starting off with him making the Indian Removal Act. Jackson felt he had the right to remove the American Indians east of the Mississippi River so that white men who settled there did not want any Indians there no matter what. Another thing is Jackson choosing to veto the 2nd national bank. This showed that he really felt entitled and he didn’t care what anyone else thought. His vetoing of the bank even put the country in a panic. (The Panic of 1837) One last thing is the spoils system. Jackson went out of his way to give government jobs to his personal supporters and friends. All of these issues just showed how dictatorial Jackson was and why he was seen as a “King”.

    I believe the author Robert Remini views Jackson more as a dictatorial president. I think this because as he described Jackson, he says “Jackson also inaugurated the history of powerful executive in this country”. When I read this I think he saying he was powerful and thinking of powerful, so is a king. I do agree with him because of the many things Jackson did, making me feel as if he was a very entitled man who overused his power in the office such as the tariff he passed, the Indian Removal Act, and the spoils system.

  9. Sofia Alrawi

    Jackson was the hero of the common man in the sense that his values represented the values of America’s general population and focused on stability rather than economic development and wealth. Granting him the nickname “Old Hickory”, Americans found themselves relating to his humble upbringing and were drawn to his belief that the true foundation government resided with the people. Additionally, Jackson believed that each federal position should require the peoples’ approval rather than letting someone lacking the interests of the general population take the role. This included his “spoils system”, which deterred corruption by allowing a public reelection for most governmental positions. Unlike the presidents before him, Jackson attempted to involve the common man in politics rather than focus on the interests of the wealthy minority, who were more focused on expansion and economic growth than keeping people satisfied with their freedoms.

    Though firmly supporting the values of the common man, Jackson was often too quick to abuse his presidential powers in order to grant him the ability to fight for his cause. Most noticeably was the frequency at which he vetoed Congress’s bills, which became a cause for concern due to him collecting more vetoes in his two terms than all of the previous presidents combined. Additionally, he would often alter the workings of the government to satisfy his opinion on the balance of power between each branch and the people. Using strict interpretation to veto the rechartering of the Second National Bank, Jackson granted additional power to the legislative and executive branches in which they were allowed to deem a bill as unconstitutional rather than leave all final decisions up to the Court. Eventually, he would even be publicly mocked as “King Andrew the First”, a consequence of his abuse of power seeming almost king-like to the public.

    Nearing the end of the article, Robert Remini states that he believes Jackson was the hero of the common man and that he aimed for the advancement of democracy through even his most controversial actions. He also continues on to defend what might be his most debated proposal, the Indian Removal Act, claiming that it was a last-ditch effort to save the Native American population. I find myself agreeing with his view on Jackson’s dedication to the common people, yet disagreeing with his defensiveness to what was clearly a flawed and biased plan to create more space for American settlement. While he did abuse much of his power in office, creating limited terms, balancing the power of the branches, and opening up politics to the general population were all for the sake of democracy and still hold an effect on the government we see today. Still, I believe he should be held accountable for bypassing existing laws for his own self interest, which was shown when he ignored the Court ruling in Worcester v. Georgia to enact the Indian Removal Act.

  10. Hangyul Kim

    Argue the side that Jackson is the hero of the common man. Use examples from the article and your text / PPT.
    Jackson was a hero of the common through the “spoils system”, his support for a majoritarian rule, and his origins. Jackson’s “spoils system” rotated government office positions every few years and was regarded by his critics as a way for his followers and friends to be able to hold power. But it was never this way, as Remini states, “Jackson wanted every office of government, from the highest to the lowest, Within the reach of the electorate.” Jackson only wanted the people to have a voice in the office and to be represented within the government. He didn’t create the system to benefit his own party but he wanted it for the people. Jackson’s opinions of the majoritarian rule also held in during his time in office. As he states himself, “The people are the government, administering it by their agents; they are the Government, the sovereign power.” Jackson always supported the majority in making the decisions which he did by supporting the majority voting system many states began to adopt. Jackson also comes from a poor background, so he understands the struggles many of the common people might face which he tried to implement by vetoing the rechartering of the National Bank, an institution he thought only benefited the minority, the rich.
    Argue the other side that Jackson was a dictatorial president. Use examples from the article and your text / PPT.
    Jackson was a dictatorial president because of his implementation of the spoils system, his constant use of the veto, and his power within the office. Jackson’s spoils system constantly rotated people out of the government’s office and he rotated people who were of his liking and party. He implemented the system so that only people who supported him were able to have power, eliminating the other party’s power or opinions from the office, hence the name given by the Whigs, the “spoils system”. He made sure there was no interference with his personal ideals through this system which Parton in his Life of Andrew Jackson describes as, “An evil so great and so difficult to remedy…” Jackson’s use of the veto also made his own desires outshine the common desire. Jackson constantly vetoed the rechartering of the National Bank which led to the people experiencing economic depression, and he vetoed funding internal improvements though they would have been very beneficial. Jackson gave himself too much power and Remini states that Jackson “put Congress on notice that they must consider his views on all issues before enacting them into law or run the risk of a veto.” Jackson also fired his own Secretary of State after they refused to take out federal deposits from the National Bank. He then hired a new Secretary of State who would follow his orders, a true act of a dictator.

    Which side do you think the author, Robert Remini, came down on? Do you agree w/ him? Why or why not?
    I think Remini came down to the conclusion that Jackson was a hero of the common man as his own writings support, as he states, “Jackson’s faith and commitment to liberty and democracy.” I can sort of agree with Remini. Jackson believed in supporting the common people and supported majoritarian voting, but at the same time, he gave himself too much power through his actions in office, as previously stated in Question 2. If someone like him constantly vetoed bills and fired important members of the office in the modern day, I could understand why many would be upset.

  11. Henry M

    1. Many people that supported Andrew Jackson believed him to be the “hero of the common man”. This was believed for multiple reasons. Firstly, he was a self-made man, who had risen through the ranks and became the most powerful person in America. Before Jackson, every president had been a wealthy revolutionary figure, something completely out of the realm of reality compared to a normal citizen. People idolized Jackson because he was the first to become president without these impossible prerequisites, he was a more normal man. Secondly, he thought that the federal government shouldn’t favor any one class or religion. This broadened his audience of supporters, as all white men were said to have been treated similarly by him. He thought that all white men should be given equal protection and equal benefits, leading to him being proclaimed a hero by many people who had faced discrimination.
    2. Some people criticized Jackson, labeling him a dictator. A primary reason for this was his rampant use of his veto, which he used 12 times during his presidency. This was more than the 6 presidents before him combined. Jackson was taking advantage of his power as president, only allowing Congress to do things he agreed with. This was argued at the time to be dictatorlike, as the entire power of Congress was held in 1 man’s hand for the first time in American history. Jackson also went around the Supreme Court. In the 1819 Mcculloch vs Maryland case, the Supreme Court established that the federal government had the constitutional power to establish a national bank. However, Jackson completely ignored this and vetoed the bill to recharter the BUS. In this veto, he claimed that the BUS lacked constitutionality, despite what the Supreme Court had decided. Jackson’s actions of ignoring the legislative and judiciary branches of government, giving most of the power to one person, rightfully led him to be labeled as a dictator.
    3. I think that Robert Remini believes Andrew Jackson to be more a hero of the common man. He referenced Jackson as a normal man who had risen up the ranks and fought for equal treatment of white men. I feel that many of the criticisms of Jackson were brushed over and that more needed to be said about his shortcomings as president and the bad path he set our country on. I disagree with Remini, I feel that Andrew Jackson took advantage of his power too much. America was founded on escaping tyranny, but Jackson was close to taking us right back. He used this power to further his best interests at the expense of our country.

  12. Zoe Burrell

    ‘Argue the side that Jackson is the hero of the common man.’
    Andrew Jackson was identified by many as the “symbol of the common man”. Jackson came from humble beginnings. He understood what differences were made between the wealthy and powerful and the “common man.” Jackson was a self-made man. He had little education growing up but he was able to become a lawyer as an adult. The article indicates that Jackson obtained the ‘tag’ as a supporter of the ‘common man’ “because he was devoted to liberty and democracy and had a powerful faith in “the people.” Jackson changed the political structure by moving toward a democratic point of view. He was instrumental in making sure that the people were not ignored and dismissed in politics.. Jackson wanted the officials of the government to be accountable to the people.

    Argue the other side that Jackson was a dictatorial president.
    Jackson was a dictatorial president. To be president you must be dictatorial to get your agenda across and accepted . Jackson had to be forceful as he moved towards a democracy point-of-view. He was very well respected due to his accomplishments in the Revolutionary War. He was a persuasive president. The article cites, ..”he put congress on notice that they must consider his views on all issues before enacting them into law or run the risk of a veto.” The Tariff of 1833 was a good example of his being a dictator. Jackson encouraged Congress to get the Force Act passed. This would allow the President to use force, if necessary, on South Carolina in order to collect the Tariffs.

    Which side do you think the author, Robert Remini, came down on?
    Remini, a historical scholar onAndrew Jackson states in his article that “..Remini disputes those who have dismissed Jackson as an opportunist and a fraud masquerading as a man of the people. Remini even defends Jackson’s Indian removal policy, which so offends many modern Americans.” It appears that Remini was in total support of the actions and methods of Andrew Jackson. I agree with the author of the article. I think Jackson was a supporter of the common man. I don’t view him as a dictator. His successes during the Revolutionary War put him in the position of getting things done without being questioned. This was a carry-over into his Presidency.

  13. Mamy Diop

    Jefferson was a lot different from our past presidents. He was seen as a common man because, although he had a lot of wealth during his presidency, his life didn’t start that way. Jackson wasn’t born into wealth in fact he was born into bread poverty. His background allowed him to be more empathetic towards the common people, it also allowed the people to see themselves in him. For the people it was like one of their own was the president. Other reasons are his schooling. By this time most of our presidents were educated but Jackson wasn’t. He didn’t grow up in a place where he could regularly go to school. Also, Jackson was also declared as a hero from the war of 1812. Overall Jackson was just relatable for the people although his rags to riches story wasn’t common he gave the people hope. And throughout his presidency he gave the people a voice and gave them a seat at the table.
    Jackson vetoed more bills then all his predecessors combined. Although it is his right as president, at the time it was seen as dictatorial. Another example of Jackson’s over use of power is when he tried to remove all of the government funds out of the second U.S. bank so the bank would fail. When his current secretary of treasury refused he just fired him and hired someone else. Or when he got to office and fired everyone that didn’t align with him. Jackson did a lot throughout his presidency, it was a mixed bag, but one thing no one can dispute no matter which side of the argument you stand on, Jackson overused his power weather for good or bad. He expanded the precedence power beyond where it was before. When he went against the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that the charting of national banks was constitutional, he set a dangerous precedent and showed himself in a negative light to many people.
    Remini believes that Jackson is a common man, we see this through his entire piece. For example, when he talks about the spoils system, he defends it saying that Jackson was just looking out for the people and keeping the government safe from corruption. I believe that Jackson was both. There were something’s that he did that were in the best interest of the people. An example is the Indian removal act, although this was a disgusting thing and can never be justified, in his mind he was doing what was best for the people. But then when we look at his use of the veto power and his defiance of The Supreme Court’s rulings he looks more like a dictator than a common man.

  14. Sofia B

    Jackson was a hero of the common man for many reasons. Firstly, he represented the opportunities common men now had by becoming president and implementing “equal protection and equal beliefs” no matter what their social status was. This can be seen through Universal white male suffrage. Jackson was also a common man himself which allowed the majority of people to connect with him better. For example, “When he became president, Andrew Jackson had already battled dysentery, malaria, tuberculosis, and lead poisoning from two bullets lodged somewhere in his body from duels”. These diseases were quite common for the time as well as duels which helped Jackson connect with more people. On top of that, the duels plus Jackson’s military career helped establish him as a folk hero.

    Jackson was also seen as a dictator by many. He often interfered with the workings of the other branches due to disagreements. In fact, “He vetoed congressional legislation more times than all of his predecessors combined, and for reasons other than a bill’s presumed lack of constitutionality”. The other reasons were that the bills conflicted with his personal views. Another example of Jackson meddling with other branches of government in disagreement is the BUS. The BUS was found to be constitutional in the supreme court case McCulloch v. Maryland. Even though the BUS was declared constitutional Jackson still thought it benefited the rich too much and decided not to recharter it out of personal interest.

    Remini seems to believe that Jackson is a tragic hero. Jackson was an important president and proved that common men who were not rich or highly educated could be presidents which was unseen before. He did; however, make many controversial decisions mainly regarding the native peoples such as the Trail of Tears and relocation. I think that people are oftentimes too complex to shove into one category and therefore, I disagree with Remini. Remini also seems to be partially biased because he seems to really like Jackson which makes sense why he would want to portray him well and in this case into the hero category. I see Jackson as being both a hero and a dictator all at once based on his decisions, views, and personality.

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