Andrew Jackson A President That Lost Sight

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Andrew Jackson: A President That Lost Sight Of The People Essay, Research Paper There have been many arguments made about President Andrew Jackson. A war hero, standing tall and strong, he tried to represented the idea of reform in government and in the American ways. Jackson is often credited to be one of the United States’ greatest presidents, but there are many powerful reasons for doubting that claim. From the beginning, in 1824, Jackson has tried to do what is best for our nation, but evidence like the spoils system, Trail of Tears, and the Bank veto, has shown that in fact most of what he accomplished is now looked on as only causing problems for the Untied States as a whole. With the presidency of Jackson came the spoils system, which in theory is rewarding political

supporters with public office. While this basic idea is “ as old as politics,” (The American Pageant p.271) it is Jackson that extended the system to involve more of the common person. In theory, this would re-enforce loyalties as well as making it possible for politics to become a full-time career. Instead it made government positions more about the spoils than the responsibilities. The seventh president created the idea of “rotation in office.” Jackson was trying to make “clean sweeps” in the government, cleaning out the ex-president Adams and his “dishonest” supporters like Clay. In the end, he only dismissed one-fifth of the old corrupt government leaving nine thousand out of the original eleven thousand in office. His system not only didn’t succeed in

cleaning the government but it was a demoralizing practice that reached a national scale. Citizens were discouraged from entering public service because of the insecurity now found in holding such positions. Jackson made the holding official positions in government a matter of what could this person do for Jackson’s presidency and not the question of what he could do for their country. Jackson’s system was inevitably accompanied by scandal. Men openly began to buy their government positions. “Illiterates, incompetents, and plain crooks were given positions of public trust,” (p.272) and officials were more interested in the spoils of the office rather than the duties. A perfect example of the corruption that Jackson brought to the government is Samuel Swartwout. He was

awarded the high salaried post of collector of customs in New York. Nine years later he left the United States with more than a million dollars. The first person ever to steal money from the American government. Jackson, with the introducing of the spoils system, spoiled the morals and values of holding government positions. He created a system meant to clean up officials’ act but instead added to the corruption of the politics in Washington. Adding to the dishonesty of the struggling government demonstrates how Jackson presidency lacks in having a strong powerful effect on our government’s history. While Jackson reduced the national debt, one must ask ones self, at what cost? Jackson opposed a large number of bills that Congress proposed. Previous presidents had used the

power of the veto a total of ten times. Jackson uses it at least twelve times, increasing the role of president and its power of the executive branch that he wasn’t meant to hold. Jackson vetoed the Maysville Road Bill, which would authorize the use of federal funds to construct a road between the towns of Maysville and Lexington. While, it was a road in that would only pass through Kentucky, it was connected to inter-state road, which was federally funded. With the expansion of the West and the increasing population, roads were needed to connect people and businesses within the state as well as throughout the growing country. With vetoing this bill and many bills like it, he was going against the American system, which believed in unity; the same unity that he believed should