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Jackson DBQ1 of 10How Democratic WasAndrew Jackson?A Document Based Question (DBQ)C 2002 The DBQ ProjectThis page may be reproduced for classroom use127Jackson DBQTEACHER DOCUMENT LIST (SV)There are 11 documents in the Shorter Version of this DBQ. The documents are grouped into four analytical categories. Each category contains documents that arguefor and against Jackson's democratic leanings. An uncategorized list of documentsaccompanies the student materials. An important part of student analysis is to developcategories that mayor may not be the same as those below.Jackson and America - Extending Power to the "Common Man"Document 1: Voting for Presidential Electors - A State-by-State ViewDocument 2: The Election of 1828: One Historian's ViewJackson and the National BankDocument 3: "King Andrew the Firsf' (a cartoon)Document 4: Jackson's Veto of the National BankDocument 5: Daniel Webster's Reply to Jackson's Bank Veto Message128Jackson and the Spoils SystemDocument 6: Jackson Discusses Rotating Government OfficialsDocument 7: The Swartwout Case: A Study in CorruptionJackson and Native AmericansDocument 8: Jackson on Native Americans and Indian RemovalDocument 9: The Cherokee PleaDocument 10: Map - Indian RemovalDocument 11: Jackson's Letters about His Adopted Native American SonC 2002 The DBO ProjectBackground EssayHow Democratic Was Andrew Jackson?Jackson DBQ3 of 13Andrew Jackson may have been the mostpopular president in the history of the UnitedStates. Although he had his enemies during histwo terms (1829-1837), many Americans at thetime thought he could do no wrong. He was sopopular that he was still getting votes for thepresidency fifteen years after he died!Historians connect Jackson to a new spiritof democracy that swept over the United Statesduring the early 18oos. This era of the "commonman" marked a new stage for Americandemocracy where average people began to havea say in the workings of their government.There is no question Jackson saw himself as thePresident of the People. But just how democraticwas he? Before examining this question, it isimportant to review the early life of this mostremarkable American.BoyhoodBorn on the border between North andSouth Carolina in 1767, Jackson grew up poor.His father died a few days before his birth, andAndrew was not an easy child for his mother toraise. He enlisted in the Revolutionary War at age13, was captured and seriously wounded by aBritish officer. Typical of Jackson throughout hislife, he had refused to take a demeaning orderand was slashed with a sword. Because of aprisoner exchange, Jackson managed to survivehis wounds. Sadly, his mother died shortly afterhe returned home, and young Andrew was leftto confront the world on his own.Jackson was a tough kid with a wild streakthat ran deep. He never backed away from afight - not even as a 75-year-old man - and lefta trail of card games, busted-up taverns, liquorbottles, and bloody noses in his wake. A favoritetrick of Andrew and his buddies was to dragaway family outhouses and hide them in remoteplaces.At age 17 Jackson's self-discipline improved,and he began his study of the law. At 21 hebecame a public prosecutor on the NorthCarolina frontier. Jackson soon moved west toTennessee, married his wife for life, RachelDonelson, and got involved in land speculation,farming, and slave ownership. At age 29Jackson was elected Tennessee's first represen-tative in the U.S. House of Representatives anda year later was elected to the U.S. Senate.Military CareerIt was not, however, Andrew Jackson's earlypolitical career that would make him anAmerican hero; it was war. Andrew Jackson wasborn to be a soldier. His first successes camewhen he led a campaign of Tennessee volunteersagainst the Creek Indians in Alabama in 1813and 1814. A year later he commanded Americanforces in the defense of New Orleans against theBritish. Jackson unknowingly took a huge steptowards the presidency when he held off aBattle of the AlamoIThomas Jefferson andJohn Adams die onCongress July 4th, 50 years afterauthorizes steamboats the signing of theto carry mail Declaration of IndependenceGeneral Andrew Jackson Jackson isrouts British forces electedin New Orleans to 1st of 2termsI INat Turner'sRebellionCherokeeTrail of TearsFirst women's rightsconvention held inSeneca Falls, N.Y.1813 1815 1826 1828 1831 1836 1838 1848C 2002 The DBQ ProjectThis page may be reproduced for classroom use 105Jackson DBQTeacher Notes106C 2002 The DBQ ProjectBackground Essay (Continued) Jackson DBQ4 of 13pushed up through the skin in his arm. Hecarried a bullet next to his heart from a nearlyfatal duel over the honor of his wife. For the last25 years of Jackson's life, including his eightyears in the White House, he lived in nearlyconstant pain, but he never stopped. Knownaffectionately as Old Hickory, Andrew Jacksonwas tough and unbreakable.Jackson spent much of the time between1815 and 1820 removing the Spanish fromFlorida and negotiating treaties with the Five"Civilized" Indian Tribes - the Cherokees,Creeks, Chickasaws, Choctaws, and Seminoles.His treatment of the Indians is one subject ofthis DBQ.Presidential PoliticsIn 1824, Jackson made his fIrst run forPresident of the United States. The vote wassplit four ways - 158,000 popular votes forJackson, 114,000 for John Quincy Adams,47,217 for Henry Clay, and 46,979 for WilliamCrawford. In presidential elections, however, thepopular vote does not determine the winner. Awinning candidate needs a majority of theelectoral votes, and Jackson, while ahead in thepopular vote, fell short. The electoral tally wasJackson 99, Adams 84,Crawford 41, and Clay 37.What happened next wasto have a huge effect onJackson and his thinking forthe next 20 years. Accordingto the 12th Amendment, whenno candidate for the presidencyreceives a majority of theelectoral votes, the House ofRepresentatives elects thepresident from the top threevote-getters. This left Clayout of the running but notwithout great influence. In adeal that Jackson supportersforever branded "the corrupt bargain," Claytraded his support and 37 electoral votes toAdams for Clay's appointment as the Secretaryof State. Jackson raged that the People's voicehad been silenced. He had been the choice of thelargest number of voters, and he was being sentback home to Tennessee. Was this democracy?!Andrew Jackson spent much of the next fouryears preparing for the election of 1828. Hismantra was that the voice of the People must beheard. The electoral system and Henry Clay hadcost him the presidency. He, Andrew Jackson,would create a new era of real democracy in MEXICOr "---"DISPUTED \------l,/IBritish attack on January 8, 1815. The resultsof the battle were staggering - 71 Americancasualties versus 2,037 British soldiers killed,wounded, or missing. It did not matter to theAmerican people that a peace treaty had alreadybeen agreed upon in Europe (news traveledslowly in 1815). Jackson instantly became anational hero.Jackson won American hearts not justbecause he won battles. Jackson never asked hismen to endure more than he endured. During abad patch of the Creek War, he ate acorns andcattle offal with his soldiers. He mailed homebone splinters to Rachel that occasionallyQ 2002 The DBQ Project107This page may be reproduced for classroom useJackson DBQTeacher Notes108C 2002 The DBQ ProjectBackground Essay (Continued)America. He would listen to the People and dotheir will.Jackson was elected President in 1828 andagain in 1832. How well he listened to thePeople and did their will is left for you to decide.Ideas About DemocracyThe focus question of this DBQ is "Howdemocratic was Andrew Jackson?" A few wordsabout Jackson's understanding of democracy arein order. Jackson and others of his time distin-guished between something called republicanismand democracy. Republicanism might bethought of as cautious democracy. This ideaplaced an elite group of men - mostly lawyers,merchants, and wealthy farmers - between thecommon man and power. The electoral systemis a good example of republicanism. The peoplevote for electors and electors vote for the presi-dent. The Founding Fathers created this systemso that the electors could change an unwisechoice by the common voter. Election to the USSenate before 1913 was another example ofrepublicanism. The people in a given state votedfor state legislators; then the state legislatorsJackson DBQ5 of 13elected the two members of that state to the USSenate. For Andrew Jackson, this was notdemocracy. To Jackson, democracy meant thatall branches and agencies of the government -the President, the Congress, the National Bank,even the Supreme Court - must listen to andfollow the wishes of the People. Of course,Jackson, like most men of his times, had certainideas about who were included in the People,and enemies of Jackson claimed he behavedmore like an autocrat, or a king, than a demo-cratically elected president.Following are 15 documents that touch onsome of the key issues Jackson faced during hislife and his presidency. This DBQ asks you tomake a judgment about Jackson's commitmentto democracy: How democratic was AndrewJackson?Q 2002 The DBQ Project109This page may be reproduced for classroom useJackson DBQTeacher Document Notes - Longer Version (LV)Document A: Voting for Presidential Electors - A State-by-State ViewDocument B: The Election of 1828: One Historian's ViewContent Notes: Both Documents A and B place Jackson in the mid-dle of a larger democratizing spirit sweeping theUnited States. It is important to note that Jacksonwas both the product and the cause of this wave ofegalitarianism. The Methods of Electing Presidential Electors chartis a good way of showing the shift in power fromthe wealthy elite, who still controlled many of thestate legislatures, to