Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Greatness of Andrew Jackson

                    I have not yet decided whether we should consider Andrew Jackson to be a "great" President.  He was very polarizing, he treated the Native Americans very badly, and his enthusiastic followers created the modern Democrat Party.  What could be considered "great" about any of those facts?  The era of the Jacksonian democracy covered the period of time between 1830 and 1850. 

Jackson came from frontier Tennessee, and he was both a politician and an army general.  As a politician he reached the highest office in our nation as the seventh President of the United States.  As a general he defeated the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (1814) and the British at the Battle of New Orleans (1815).   

In my estimation, the best thing Jackson did as President was to destroy the national bank.  He was strongly against the national bank and caused its collapse by vetoing the renewal of its charter.  I consider his relocation of most of the Indian tribes from the southeast portion of the United States to west of the Mississippi River to be his worst accomplishment.  His "aggressive enforcement of the Indian Removal Act" was opposed by Whigs and moralists because it forced the relocation of thousands of Native Americans to Indian Territory (now the state of Oklahoma) along the Trail of Tears.

                    Jackson was tough and aggressive and earned the nickname of "Old Hickory."   He fought in duels, some of which ended with the death of his opponents.  He was also a rich slaveholder.

                    Andrew Jackson appealed to the common men of the United States and politically opposed what he considered to be "a closed, undemocratic aristocracy."  He is known for his protection of popular democracy and individual liberty as well as his support for states rights and a small and limited federal government.

                    You can decide for yourself if you consider him to be great.  Some Jackson quotes are as follow.  

                    "All the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous Judiciary."

                    "Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission."

                    "Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error."

                    "As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending."

                    "Democracy shows not only its power in reforming governments, but in regenerating a race of men and this is the greatest blessing of free governments."

                    "Every good citizen makes his country's honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred.  He is willing to risk his life in its defense and is conscious that he gains protection while he gives it."

                    "Fear not, the people may be deluded for a moment, but cannot be corrupted."

                    "Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there."

                    "In England the judges should have independence to protect the people against the crown.  Here the judges should not be independent of the people, but be appointed for not more than seven years.  The people would always re-elect the good judges."

                    "I feel in the depths of my soul that it is the highest, most sacred, and most irreversible part of my obligation to preserve the union of these states, although it may cost me my life."

                    "I weep for the liberty of my country when I see at this early day of its successful experiment that corruption has been imputed to many members of the House of Representatives, and the rights of the people have been bartered for promises of office."

                    "Every diminution of the public burdens arising from taxation gives to individual enterprise increased power and furnishes to all the members of our happy confederacy new motives for patriotic affection and support."

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