Andrew Jackson Vs…


Jackson favored the idea of removing Native Americans from Southern states and moving them to present-day Oklahoma. The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by Jackson in 1830. This law signed the order to forcibly remove Native American tribes off their land to federal land West of the Mississippi. This land would be given to the Southern states. Over several months the Cherokee, Muscogee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole tribes were marched hundreds of miles to reservations. This forced march is known as the Trail of Tears.  

In 1833, President Andrew Jackson waged a bank war against The Second Bank of the U.S. to prevent the bank from renewing it’s charter in 1836. The Second Bank was founded in 1816, and was biased towards the northern states that focused on industry and manufacturing. Jackson was angered that the bank did not support westward expansion and thought the bank favored the privileged business class. He announced that funds would no longer be deposited into the bank. The president of the bank fought back, but Jackson won and the charter was not renewed.

In 1832, South Caroline hoped that President Jackson would modify the federal tariff acts of 1828 and 1832 they felt were unfair to them and other Southern states. Lack of support prompted the South Carolina state government to issue an Ordinance of Nullification that declared the tariffs “null, void, and no law, nor binding upon this State, its officers and citizens.” Fearing that states nullifying federal laws would threaten the union, Jackson issued a proclamation in response to South Carolina’s nullification. The proclamation disputed the right of a state to nullify a federal law. After the proclamation, Congress passed the Force Act which authorized military force against any states that resisted the tariff acts.

While revered as a populist, these issues show the contentious side of Andrew Jackson’s presidency and why he is a controversial figure even today. Some see him as the principle force behind a genocide or ethnic cleansing, while others admire how he gave greater voice to the “common man” in government.