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President Andrew Jackson

Updated on January 6, 2017

Andrew Jackson, (1767-1845), 7th President of the USA, born in South Carolina. Both his parents were emigrants from Ireland. Though only a boy, he fought in the War of Independence and was captured by the British in 1781. He studied law in Salisbury, North Carolina, then migrated to what was then considered the West—the future state of Tennessee. Here by turns he was public prosecutor, planter, storekeeper, judge, and member of Congress. When the USA and Britain went to war in 1812, the Creek Indians also made war on the Americans.

Jackson, in charge of Tennessee troops, led a punitive expedition and defeated the Indians in two decisive battles. In the autumn of 1814 Great Britain sent Pakenham with a fleet of 50 vessels and 16,000 veteran soldiers to take New Orleans. Jackson defeated the British generals Pakenham and Gibbs, who were killed leading their troops into action. As a result Jackson became a national hero and the country turned to him in 1818 when the Seminole Indians raided American territory from the safety of Florida, then still a Spanish possession. Jackson not only defeated the Seminoles but against orders, invaded Florida, and as a result of his action Spain sold Florida to the USA and Jackson became its governor.

In 1823 Jackson was chosen US senator for Tennessee. In 1824 he ran for the presidency as a Democrat, other candidates being John Quincy Adams, W. H. Crawford of Monroe's Cabinet, and the famous orator, Senator Henry Clay. Jackson received the highest number of electoral votes, but the decision was thrown into the House of Representatives. Clay lent his influence to Adams, who thus became president. In 1828 Jackson had his revenge. Adams ran for re-election, with Jackson once more the Democratic nominee. Jackson obtained an enormous popular as well as electoral vote. He was the first genuine self-made man of the people to become president of the USA. In 1832 he was re-elected. His second term was marked by his opposition to the US Bank, which earned him the censure of the Senate. He held that it had too much power and was a corrupting influence in American political life. The bank's charter was rescinded. He retired at the end of his second term, dying at his residence, the Hermitage, near Nashville, Tennessee.

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