Jackson's Accomplishments

The Inauguration Ball of Jackson

Many poor and commoners showed up to the White House after Jackson's Inauguration as he represented the "Common Man".

General Jackson slaying the many headed monster

Jackson's war with the Bank depicted in a political cartoon.

Andrew Jackson is more well known for his shortcomings, but he had some remarkable accomplishments in the economy, when he served as president. One of Jackson’s campaigns against John Adams was his stance against federally- funded internal improvements, which Adams favored. One of Jackson’s goals was to eliminate the national debt and he believed that government expenditures would threaten his goal. He went so far as to veto bills passed in the House of Representatives, pertaining to infrastructure and improvements. One bill he vetoed was for a road that would connect the National Road, a major infrastructure project during his presidency, because he believed it was to localized for federal funding. He supported internal improvements, so long as they would not incur more debt at the national level. This led to a increase in state debt for internal improvements, but Jackson ultimately erased all of the national debt, one of his major accomplishments as president.

As well as economic success, Jackson also had success in other sectors. One of Jackson’s major accomplishments in foreign relations was his negotiated trade agreement with Great Britain which opened America trade to Canada and the British West Indies. Many of Jackson’s predecessors strongly desired a trade agreement with Great Britain, adding to Jackson’s success. Jackson also was supported in his adoption of the spoils system, however he did not invent the spoils system. Many viewed him giving political positions to his supporters as increasing party unity and Jackson was determined to change the operations of the federal government. He intended to rid of nepotism and make sure the popular will of the people was upheld. His opposition viewed this as corrupt, but his supporters stuck by his side.

Jackson was also seen as the first president to advocate and represent the common man. He symbolized a man who worked hard for success in life and, as his predecessors inherited their wealth and could receive better education with that. He also symbolized that an education isn’t the most important qualification for being a member of politics and representing constituents.  He wanted to combat economic inequality and monopolies of wealth. He wanted to ensure that the people would be adequately represented which is why he believed that the executive should have more power than Congress. Jackson also showed strong support and protection for the union under the nullification crisis. After the Tariff of Abomination in 1828, a high protective tariff, angered the South, especially South Carolina, they turned their interest to nullifying the tariff. Henry Clay proposed another tariff in replace in 1832, still not low enough to keep the Southerners satisfied. Jackson enacted legislation allowing him to use armed troops to enforce federal legislation, highlighting his strong commitment to the union and eventually leading to compromise with the South.

Andrew Jackson succeeded as well by limiting the bower of the banks and placing greater financial liberty into the hands of the people. Jackson had a distrust in the bank that accumulated early in his life., as he was ruined by speculation and tight credit in his business career. Jackson had vetoed the bill authorizing the recharter of the Second Bank with the reasoning that it was an economic privilege to the elite. He argued that it went against constitutional principles of social equality and states sovereignty, as well has harming southern farmers. It was replaced with different state banks and “pet” banks. Jackson eliminated federal funding and deposits going into the bank and was ultimately successful in eliminating the bank as it was liquidated in 1841.