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Andrew Jackson

Important Terms, People, and Events

Summary

Simple Beginnings

Terms

Coinage Act -   · An 1834 bill Jackson signs as part of his push to make gold and silver the dominant specie in America. It made a small reduction in the value of silver relative to gold to encourage citizens to turn in their gold to the Mint. However, the bill actually resulted in the disappearance of much of the remaining silver in general circulation.
The Creeks  -   · A large Native American tribe primarily in Georgia and Alabama. Jackson defeated the tribe during his first military camp in 1814 at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend and imposed on them the Treaty of Fort Jackson.
The Corrupt Bargain  -   · In the spring of 1825, Jackson accused Speaker of the House Henry Clay of making a "corrupt bargain" with John Quincy Adams, where Clay would be appointed secretary of state under Adams if Clay would throw his support behind Adams in the disputed election of 1824.
Democratic Party  -   · One of the first political parties founded in America and headed by Jackson. Served as the main rival to the National Republican Party.
The Hermitage  -   · Jackson's plantation in Tennessee. He bought it in 1804 and later made it the military headquarters of the second district when we served as major general. It burned in 1834, but the plantation had been fully rebuilt by the time Jackson retired there in 1837.
Indian Removal -   · Jackson's policy of attempting to remove all Indian tribes to areas west of the Mississippi, where they could live forever in safety. He arranged treaties under which the Indians would trade their land east of the Mississippi and move west under the "protection" of federal troops. In reality, this policy caused the deaths of thousands of Indians, and still later, as America continued to expand westward, the Indians were confined to reservations or extinguished altogether.
Internal Improvements  -   · A controversial issue early in U.S. history, where the federal government was unsure of whether it could legally spend money to construct roads, bridges, canals, etc. within a given state. Jackson generally believed it could not. A faction of the government that believed it could eventually developed into the National Republican Party.
Maysville Road Bill -   · Jackson vetoed a bill to build a new road in the home state of Henry Clay, partly because of his dislike of internal improvements and partly because he refused to help his opponent Clay.
Nashville -   · The fledgling capital of Tennessee, where Jackson lived for several years. He served as a delegate from the surrounding Davidson County to the state constitutional convention National Republican party: In addition to the Democratic Party led by Jackson, one of the first political parties in America. An outgrowth of the internal improvements party and headed by Henry Clay, it served as the Democrats main rival.
National Republican Party -   · A rival party to Jackson's Democratic Party, the National Republican Party is most closely associated with Henry Clay.
Ordinance of Nullification -   · A bill passed by a special session of the South Carolina legislature in 1832, declaring the Tariff of 1828 and the Tariff of 1832 null and void within the state, leading to the Nullification Crisis.
Second Bank of the United States -   · A national bank chartered by Congress in 1816 for a twenty-year period. By the time Jackson became President it handled seventy million dollars a year and controlled about one-fifth of all of the loans in the country. Jackson swore to the kill the bank, then led by Nicholas Biddle.
The Seminoles  -   · A tribe of Indians in Florida whom Jackson fought against in 1817 and 1818. Later, when he was President, his administration spent more than fifteen million dollars fighting a war against the Indians and trying to throw them out of the state.
Tariff of 1828  -   · A protective tax levied by Jackson supporters and meant to curry favor with Northern industry leaders. Southerners saw the tax as an unfair subsidy for Northern manufacturing.
Tariff of 1832 -   · An attempt by Jackson and Congress to remedy the unevenness of the Tariff of 1828. It would eventually lead to the Nullification Crisis.
Treaty of Fort Jackson  -   · A punitive treaty Jackson imposed on the Creek Indians in 1814 after defeating the tribe in a series of battles. It stripped the tribe of much of its land and rights.
Waxhaws -   · Small backwoods area on the North Carolina and South Carolina border where Jackson grew up.
Whig Party  -   · The third major party in the U.S., after the Democratic party and the National Republican party, the Whigs were an amalgamation of Jackson opponents: Nullifiers, states righters, and men like John C. Calhoun and Henry Clay.

People

John Quincy Adams -  Narrowly beat Jackson for the Presidency in 1824 in a run-off vote in the House of Representatives, a leader in the National Republican Party. Elected to the House by Massachusetts in 1830 following his reelection loss to Jackson after the grueling and nasty campaign of 1828.
Thomas Hart Benton -  Democratic U.S. Senator from Missouri, who often led Jackson's party in Congress, especially the attack on the Second Bank of the United States
William Blount  -  The leader of one of the two political parties in Jackson's Tennessee, and Jackson's mentor through his early days of politics. The Blount party helped Jackson get elected to the House, the Senate and eventually the Presidency.
Nicholas Biddle -  The director of the Second Bank of the United States during Jackson's Presidency.
Martin Van Buren -  Jackson's closest ally and confident through his Presidency, and eventual Vice President during Jackson's second term. Van Buren's bid to be minister to Britain was voted down as part of the Nullification Crisis. Jackson later endorsed him for President in 1836 and Van Buren won easily.
John C. Calhoun -  Jackson's Vice President for his first term. Calhoun had been added to the ticket to form a coalition that could defeat John Quincy Adams. Calhoun later led the fight in his home state to nullify "unfair" tariffs, in what came to be known as the Nullification Crisis. Calhoun also broke the tie vote against the appointment of Martin Van Buren as minister to Britain.
Henry Clay -  Jackson's main opponent in the Senate throughout his Presidency, ran for President against Jackson in 1824 (finishing last behind Jackson, John Quincy Adams and William H. Crawford) and again in 1832, losing to Jackson.
William H. Crawford -  The third runner-up in the disputed election of 1824.
Elizabeth Hutchinson  -  Jackson's mother; she died during the Revolutionary War from cholera while tending to American prisoners.
Hugh Jackson  -  Jackson's oldest brother, who died of heat exhaustion following the Battle of Stono Ferry in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War.
Robert Jackson  -  Jackson's other brother, who died of infections and small pox received while he and Andrew Jackson were British prisoners of war.
Rachel Donelson Robards -  Jackson's wife. His marriage to her while she was still technically married to her first husband caused Jackson numerous scandals through his political career.
"Old Hickory"  -  nickname given to Jackson by his troops because he was "as strong as hickory."
John Sevier  -  A war hero and the leader of the main Tennessee opposition party to Jackson's William Blount party. Jackson eventually defeated him to be major general of the state militia.
Roger Taney -  Jackson's nominee to be secretary of the treasury (which failed due to the debate over the Second Bank of the United States. Jackson later appointed him chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Events

Battle of Horseshoe Bend  -  The battle in which Jackson defeated the Creek Indians.
Battle of New Orleans -  Jackson became a national hero after defeating the British at New Orleans during the War of 1812–albeit several days after the signing of a peace treaty in Europe. The battle was one of the most lopsided victories in American history, where the British lost over two thousand men and the Americans only a handful.
Nullification Crisis -  The biggest crisis of Jackson's Presidency, started by South Carolina opposition to the tariffs leveled in 1828 and 1832 by Jackson supporters. "Nullifiers" thought that a state could nullify a federal law within its own borders if it so desired. When South Carolina, led by John C. Calhoun, announced its intention to nullify the tariffs in the fall of 1832, it touched off what almost developed into a civil war, as Jackson massed military resources on the state's borders. Finally resolved in the spring of 1833 when South Carolina agreed to a new fairer tariff passed by Congress.
Panic of 1819 -  Four years of economic depression blamed on actions of the Second Bank of the United States.

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