Andrew Jackson Pros and Cons: What Both Sides Think

Avatar Parker Milner Contributor
Andrew Jackson Pros and Cons: What Both Sides Think

Andrew Jackson pros and cons are up for debate given the former US president’s impact on democracy and treatment of Native Americans. To have stories like this and more delivered directly to your inbox, be sure to sign up for our newsletter.

A Brief Background of Andrew Jackson

A discussion about Andrew Jackson pros and cons starts with some pertinent details about his background. Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 in the Waxhaws region that borders North and South Carolina. During the War of 1812, Jackson earned a gold medal and was named a national hero. Thereafter, he decided to launch his political career. 

Jackson ran for US president in 1824 and won the popular vote. However, the House of Representatives voted John Quincy Adams into the presidency because neither candidate won the electoral vote. As a result, Jackson’s supporters created the Democratic Party. In 1828, Jackson defeated Adams to become the seventh president of the United States and went on to serve two terms. During his eight years in office, Jackson was known as the “people’s president” given his desire to act as a direct representative for the common man. Jackson died in 1845 and is on the United States $20 bill.

Andrew Jackson Pros

Andrew Jackson pros start with his military achievements. He served as a major general in the War of 1812, defeating Britain in the Battle of New Orleans. At the time, Jackson gained status as a national hero due to this victory. He also ordered an invasion of Florida in 1817 to secure more land for the United States. 

As president, Jackson’s toughness earned him the nickname “Old Hickory.” Pro-Jackson citizens became Democrats, while Americans who did not like Jackson formed the Whig party. Those who favored a hands-off federal government were keen on Andrew Jackson, and he laid the framework for democracy during his presidency. In addition, Jackson paid off a large portion of the national debt. Lastly, he established important relationships with foreign countries overseas. Jackson showcased his work ethic while in office. He was not afraid to state what he believed, and people respected him for that. This made him an effective president.

Andrew Jackson Cons

There are cons to Andrew Jackson’s reign, as well. In fact, some people view Jackson as the worst president ever for a variety of reasons. First, Jackson owned many slaves and brought 14 of them to the White House. Second, Jackson led the charge to remove Native Americans from the Southern US. He did this in order to increase land for slave plantations. Jackson persuaded Native American tribes to sell land they owned in the Southeast, including states like Mississippi and Alabama. This forced relocation led to many Native American deaths during their northward trek. 

In addition, Jackson’s presidency was marked by the Panic of 1837. This was a financial crisis that followed a period of growth from 1834-1836. Many believe the crisis stemmed from Jackson’s decision to veto a bill to recharter the Second Bank of the United States in 1932. This caused major banks to scale back their loans, resulting in panic. In conclusion, Andrew Jackson cons are related to his mistreatment of slaves and Native Americans, along with his shaky fiscal policies. 

Public Opinion: What Both Sides Think

People have varied views on Andrew Jackson pros and cons. Some respect him for his tireless work ethic and willingness to make difficult decisions. However, others call him a hypocrite for his slave ownership and poor treatment of Native Americans. In fact, this led President Barack Obama to state he would take him off the $20 bill in 2016. So, where do you stand? 

Fans of Jackson aren’t happy with President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that his administration would speed up the process to remove Jackson from the $20 bill and replace him with abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Tubman escaped slavery and helped free other enslaved people through the Underground Railroad. President Obama has petitioned to put Tubman on the $20 bill since 2014, while others call for her placement on the $2 bill instead. During President Trump’s four-year term, the new $20 bill design faced a delay. Jackson would in fact be transplanted to the reverse side of the bill if he is eventually removed from this currency.