Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson




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Andrew Jackson


Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 in Piedmont, North Carolina. His mother was named Elizabeth, and Andrew's father was a Scotch-Irish immigrant who was also named Andrew. His father died 2 weeks before Andrew was born. Then as a child he received an elementary education in a log cabin schoolhouse. There he gained a reputation for wrestling and fighting in general. Andrew was easily offended, and he would stand up to anyone.

When Andrew was just a teenager, the American Revolution broke out. Andrew joined the side of the Americans. A short time after enlisting, he and his brother Robert were captured by British redcoats. Conditions in the prisoner of war camp were terrible, and both Andrew and Robert contacted small pox. Robert would soon die, and then Andrew's mother would die of cholera shortly afterward. Following their deaths he studied law in Salisbury, North Carolina. Then, in 1788 he set out to practice law in Nashville, Tennessee. In Nashville he would live with a widow named Donelson and her daughter Rachel. Rachel had recently separated from her husband, and a relationship would soon develop. Jackson would marry Rachel in 1791. At the time, Andrew Jackson took payment for his legal services in tracts of frontier land. By the time he was 30 years old he owned 10's of thousands of acres.

In 1796, Tennessee would enter the Union, and Andrew Jackson was elected to serve as their first congressman. At the time Jackson disliked George Washington's policies which he described as lenient towards the Indians. Andrew also thought that Washington was too pro-British. The following year he was elected to the United States Senate where he served a year before becoming a superior court judge in Tennessee. Jackson continued buying land and slaves. He purchased slaves until he had more than 100. At the same time, he helped found several towns including Memphis, Tennessee. He became very known for his duels and fist fights.

Then, when the War of 1812 erupted, Andrew Jackson assembled 2,000 Tennessee Volunteers. In 1814, he would crush the Creek Indians and confiscate all of their land. The following year Jackson and his troops would annihilate the British, killing over 300, and wounding another 2,000, in a battle along the side of the Mississippi River. Jackson was now a political hero, and politicians wanted him to run for the presidency. First, he again successfully ran for the United States Senate. Jackson would win the popular and electoral vote in a four way contest for president in 1824. However, he lacked a majority, and the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams. Andrew Jackson would then win by a landslide in 1828.

In 1832, Jackson closed down the National Bank because he believed that it favored the wealthy and powerful. Then in 1829, Andrew Jackson told Congress that he wanted to move all of the Native Americans west of the Mississippi River. Settlers had discovered gold in Georgia, and he wanted the Indians moved west where they would be out of the way. Congress and Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. It began with the removal of the Creek Indians in 1832. In the next 6 years over 10,000 of them would die as a result of harsh living conditions, including starvation. Then, in 1838, 17,000 Cherokees were moved in what became known as the Trail of Tears. Approximately, 25 percent of them died. Andrew Jackson was reelected in 1836.