Andrew Jackson

U.S. President

Born: 15 March 1767
Died: 8 June 1845
Birthplace: Waxhaw, South Carolina
Best known as:

President of the United States, 1829-37

A veteran of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson was popularly known as "Old Hickory" for his ruggedness. He gained national fame when he ran the British out of New Orleans in 1815, and he governed the Florida territory from 1821-23. Elected to the U.S. Senate by the Tennessee legislature in 1823, he was sent to Washington as a presidential contender on the strength of his image as a hero of the wild frontier. The confusion of the 1824 election led to the House of Representatives electing John Quincy Adams over Jackson, but Jackson won the 1828 election and denied Adams a second term. Jackson was re-elected in 1832, then followed the example of George Washington and chose not to seek a third term. Jackson, in ill health, returned to his estate in Tennessee, the Hermitage, and continued to play a role in party politics after handpicking Martin Van Buren as the Democratic party's nominee in 1836 (Van Buren won and succeeded Jackson). Jackson's efforts to limit the power of the affluent elite led to his reputation for "Jacksonian Democracy," but his administration was known for a heavy hand when it came to the power of the executive branch. He was a staunch champion of states' rights against federalism, and his administration was marked by expansion in Texas, wars with the Indians and his rejection of the Bank of the United States.

Extra credit:

Jackson's wife Rachel died on 22 December 1828, just weeks after his election to the presidency... Harvard College conferred an honorary degree on President Jackson in 1833, much to the disapproval of Harvard alumnus John Quincy Adams, who called Jackson "a barbarian who could not write a sentence of grammar and hardly could spell his own name."... Both North Carolina and South Carolina have claimed Jackson as a native son, as his hometown of Waxhaw was in border territory... Jackson was a notorious brawler and duellist; in 1806 he killed a man named Charles Dickinson in a duel (with pistols) over Mrs. Jackson's honor.

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