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Does Jackson Deserve to be on the $20 Bill?

Updated on February 2, 2012
$20 Bill Andrew Jackson
$20 Bill Andrew Jackson | Source

What type of person was Andrew Jackson? Andrew Jackson was a politician with imagination. He was determined, strong willed, and passionate about things he believed in. When Andrew Jackson wanted it, he did everything in his power to attain it, even if it meant killing people. He did have a soft side for one particular person, though. It was his wife, Rachel. He would do anything for her because he was madly in love. This greatly contrasted his fiery attitude. Jackson wanted a better education system, better economics, and rights for all people.


When Jackson ran for presidency in 1828, American politics changed. Not only did he want this imaginary system in the U.S., he launched the first political campaign ever. Before that, however, he won the most popular and electoral vote, but not the majority vote. Henry Clay lost to both Jackson and John Quincy Adams, and since politics were different at that time, Clay actually gave his votes to Adams, who in turn won the election and named Clay his secretary of state. This outraged Jackson, and with his determination he claimed this would never happen again. This is when he launched his political campaign using the lithograph. He was then the favorite and this is also the time when his wife, Rachel’s, story was revealed. She was actually still married when she was living with Jackson, which was a wrong doing at that time. This put a damper on Jackson’s fight for presidency for a time, but again, with his fiery attitude, Jackson shot back. He blamed Clay for releasing the story, so he claimed that Adams was associating with whores. This statement wasn’t true, but helped Jackson slip his way back into the running. Jackson was then elected president. He was the first “self made man” president. Rachel died shortly after his win of a heart attack.


After his win, there was an inauguration party for Jackson. It was here when a riot broke loose, damaging the White House and things in it. People were wondering if they had made the right decision. Jackson was trying to reinvent the presidency. He tried to fire the staff at Washington, some members dating back to George Washington’s time. He replaced them with what people called the “work of the devil.” He was becoming his own personal political machine. Washington was beginning to function poorly. Next there was the nullification. John Calhoun wanted to protect slavery and thought that any law deemed unconstitutional should be able to be nullified. This would be sure to create a civil war. In 1830, while celebrating Jefferson’s birthday, Jackson claimed that he wanted to preserve the union. Calhoun did not speak, and now everyone knew where Jackson stood on that matter. When South Carolina heard this, they decided to nullify anyway, claiming that if the capital doesn’t like it, then they would separate from the union. Jackson wrote a calm letter from his heart stating why a union of the people was necessary, and that once a state is in, they can’t get out. South Carolina agreed after Clay lowered a tariff and war was avoided.


In 1835, the steam powered printing press was invented and letters to abolish slavery were sent to South Carolina, but burned before reaching the people. Mailing was almost outlawed. Jackson also wanted to expand farther west for farming. In 1830, the Indian Removal Act was approved, and all Indians were taken out of Georgia and traveled the ‘’trail of tears.” They called Jackson, “Jackson the devil.” The economy was also becoming more industrialized and people were losing their jobs to factories. Finally, the 2nd Bank of the U.S. was vetoed by Jackson because he didn’t want the rich and powerful to take over the smaller people. He survived the “Bank Wars” and in 1836 the bank doors were closed. Jackson was re-elected and had one encounter with an assassin which he survived. In 1837, Jackson’s presidency ended and he left in a steam powered locomotive.


I think that Jackson does deserve to be on the $20 bill. He was a strong individual, and most people don’t like when others can think for themselves, which Jackson could do. He stood up for what he believed in, and also did some pretty good things along the way. He kept the union together, he closed the bank, which would have taken over the smaller people, and he expanded land out west. Not everyone is perfect, and a lot of times the President gets hounded for a lot of things that he or she does. Even today, people get mad at the President and can’t believe some of the things that he does. I think that without Jackson as President, the union may have fallen apart and we may not be in the same situation that we are in today, living in the United States. I don’t think we need to apologize for Jackson, I think we need to remember that he was an influential part of the history of America.


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