Essay, 2006, 3 Pages
Andrew Jackson and the Nullification Crisis,
Indian Removal and the Bank War
by: Amanda Guay
Andrew Jackson may or may not have been a good president, this depends upon one’s opinion. Perhaps he was right on some issues and perhaps he was wrong, but either way he was definitely effective as a president. He knew how to manipulate and persuade to get whatever it was that he wanted. After all, he managed to get elected into office for both terms.
Probably the biggest crisis of Jackson’s presidency started when South Carolina announced that they opposed the tariffs leveled in 1828 and 1832 by Jackson supporters. "Nullifiers" thought that a state could nullify a federal law within its own borders if it so desired. When South Carolina, led by John C. Calhoun, announced its intention to nullify the tariffs in the fall of 1832, it touched off what almost developed into a civil war, as Jackson massed military resources on the state′s borders. Finally resolved in the spring of 1833 when South Carolina agreed to a new, more fair, tariff passed by Congress. And so, President Jackson has his way.
Early in the 19th century, while the rapidly-growing United States expanded into the lower South, white settlers faced what they considered an obstacle. This area was home to the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chicasaw and Seminole nations. These Indian nations, in the view of the settlers and many other white Americans, were standing in the way of progress. Eager to steal the Indian’s land to raise cotton, the settlers pressured the federal government to “acquire” Indian territory.
Andrew Jackson was a forceful proponent of Indian removal. In 1814 he commanded the U.S. military forces that defeated a faction of the Creek nation. In their defeat, the Creeks lost 22 million acres of land in southern Georgia and central Alabama. The U.S. stole more land in 1818 when, spurred in part by the motivation to punish the Seminoles for their practice of harboring fugitive slaves, Jackson′s troops invaded Spanish Florida. A small number of Indians in the different tribes “willfully” decided to move, in hopes of being aloud to keep some of their land and in order to get away from white harassment.
Later the Supreme Court handed down a decision which stated that the different tribes could occupy lands within the United States, but could not hold title to those lands. This was because their "right of occupancy" was subordinate to the United States′ "right of discovery." In response to the great threat this posed, the Creeks, Cherokee, and Chicasaw instituted policies of restricting land sales to the government. They wanted to protect what little remained of their land before it was too late. Most of these attempts at resistance were non violent, though some tribes absolutely refused to lose their land, and were willing to go to war for it. The Cherokee tried to follow in the United State’s own policy and declare themselves sovereign and wrote a constitution so that they could keep their land, but Georgia didn’t see things their way. The Cherokee brought their case to the supreme court, which of course ruled against them.
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