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U.S. President Andrew Jackson Pros and Cons of Presidency

About the U.S. President Andrew Jackson, a list of pros and cons in the history of his presidency.

FULL PORTRAITS OF SELECTED PRESIDENTS

7th President

ANDREW JACKSON

PRESIDENCY

His 8 Years as President:

PRO

He was a strong leader who greatly expanded the powers of the presidency.

CON

He was arrogant and dictatorial and showed a complete disregard for constitutional restraints or the rule of law. When the Supreme Court declared that the state of Georgia had no right to expel the Cherokee Indians from their land, Jackson resolved to ignore the decision. "John Marshall has made his decision," he thundered; "now let him enforce it!"

PRO

Jackson's firmness during the nullification crisis prevented South Carolina from dissolving the Union and helped postpone the Civil War for 30 years.

CON

Though Jackson stood up to the South at a crucial moment, his attitude on the slavery issue was that of a bigoted Southerner. While each of the previous six presidents had questioned the morality of slavery, Jackson saw nothing wrong with the institution and professed that his conscience was never troubled by the scores of Negro slaves that he owned. Jackson bitterly ridiculed any talk of black emancipation.

PRO

Through his speeches and actions as president, Jackson identified himself with ordinary Americans rather than with members of the wealthy and educated classes.

CON

His only concrete accomplishment on behalf of the common man was the seizure of millions of acres of Indian land. Under Jackson's orders, countless treaties were violated and the Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, Sauks, and Cherokees were all driven from their homes. Jackson's genocidal approach to the Indian problem cannot be excused as simply typical of all frontiersmen, for his most determined opponent on the issue of Cherokee removal was another celebrated Tennessean, Congressman Davy Crockett.

PRO

In his successful war against the Bank of the U.S., Jackson destroyed a great bastion of wealth and special privilege.

CON

Jackson's bank war was all form and no substance. Jackson simply withdrew funds from the U.S. Bank and redeposited them in state banks, which were even more ruthless in their attempt to exploit debtors and the poor than the Bank of the U.S. The only long-range effect of the bank war was to weaken U.S. currency and bring about the Panic of 1837, one of the worst economic setbacks in American history.

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