University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Andrew Jackson DBQ
Jackson was a man of many faces, and many of his views were not democratic. First, Jackson was not democratic for economic reasons, such as the Bank veto. Second, Jackson was not democratic for political reasons, such as implementing the Spoils system. Third, Jackson was not democratic for social reasons, such as being pro-slavery. Jacksonian views are not democratic.
First, Jackson was not democratic for political reasons. During his presidency many of his actions were viewed as tyrannical and his behavior reflected that of a king rather than of a president. One person drew a cartoon of Jackson, where he is wearing a crown, holding a scepter in his hand, and trampling on the Constitution (Doc 11). This represents that people saw Andrew Jackson as “King Andrew” because he did whatever he wanted and acted like a dictator by disobeying the Constitution. Another example was when Jackson implemented the Spoils System, which was when the President appointed his supporters with government jobs. Jackson argued that there aren’t many major qualifications necessary for government jobs and that anyone can do it (Doc 4). However, opponents of Jackson considered him a tyrant because he replaced experienced politicians with illiterate farmers who had no political experience just because they supported his campaign. Jackson was not democratic for many political reasons.
Second, Jackson was not democratic for economic reasons. To start, Jackson vetoed the bill to recharter the Second Bank of the United States. He claimed that he was protecting the democracy from corruption but in reality, he feared that the bankers would campaign against him. Jackson was a tyrant who destroyed the national bank for personal issues (Doc 8) and he was quoted as saying, “The Bank is trying to kill me but I will kill it.” Next, Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act, which forced the Indians to move west. Even though the Indians did not want to leave their lands and move into unknown lands, Jackson forced them to (Doc 6). Jackson argued that the white settlers needed the land and could make better use of it and could make the land more economically productive than the Indians had been able to. Jackson was not democratic for these economic reasons.
Third, Jackson was not a democratic president for social reasons. He did not believe in equality for all people. Jackson owned a large number of slaves during his presidency (Doc 5). This shows how Jackson supported slavery and only equality when it referred to white males. Jackson also treated the Native Americans very poorly. Jackson believed that Native Americans were inferior to whites’, and that it was not necessary to treat them fairly. He believed that Native Americans were children in need of guidance (Doc 10). He helped them by “guiding” them out of their lands and sending them on the Trail of Tears in which more than 4,000 Cherokee die of cold, hunger and disease. Jackson was not a democratic president due to many social reasons.