Andrew Jackson and The Common Man
Andrew Jackson’s presidency is a period known as the Age of Jackson, also called the Era of The Common Man. This is because America was now creating their own identity separate from European powers and traditions. Before Jackson, the presidents of the United States came from wealthy, privileged, and highly educated backgrounds and families. Andrew Jackson’s humble beginnings resembled that of many Americans, and they embraced him unlike any previous president. Jackson’s presidency shifted politics towards democratic ideals that served the common classes instead of wealthy aristocrats.
Andrew Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 during the American Revolution. His parents were Irish immigrants with little means. His father died weeks before he was born, adding to the difficulty in his early life. At the age of 10, he joined the independence movement by becoming a courier during the Revolutionary War. Andrew’s two older brother’s died fighting in the war.
Despite being captured and held as a prisoner of war by the British army, Andrew Jackson survived the war and grew up to become a lawyer and later a successful plantation owner. As General of the Tennessee militia, Andrew Jackson led his troops to several victories against the British during the War of 1812, including the final victory in the Battle of New Orleans.
Andew Jackson was elected president in 1828. Jackson believed in having a small but strong federal government and held that every man (or woman) should be self-made, toil the earth and rely on his (or her) own independence.
During his presidency white men who did not own land gained more political power, the right to vote, and the economy favored industry and American agriculture. He was against central banks because he thought they only helped the rich. As President of the United States, Andrew Jackson represented the rise of the common man through the American political system.