Was Andrew Jackson a Fit President? Essay

* “The chief duties of the President are to diligently uphold the Constitution” – Thomas Jefferson* The presidential election of 1828 brought a great victory for Andrew Jackson. He is the seventh president of the United States and one of the most contentious. Jackson’s election swerved American politics in a new direction. He was the first elected president from a state other than Virginia or Massachusetts. Andrew Jackson was not fit to be president because he did not abide by the constitution; he adopted the “spoils system”, went against Supreme Court rulings, and was responsible for the ‘Trail of Tears’.

Jackson’s unconstitutionality is the chief reason that supports his impeachment. He did not uphold the responsibilities of a president, thus making him unfit for the job. According to the official US History website, the spoils system is a practice that gives political jobs to “supporters who help elect a person to office. ” Andrew Jackson was the first President to adopt this kind of system on a larger scale in the national government. He eradicated all the previous experienced office holders and replaced them with uneducated “farmers with no political experience”; he did not care about the workers’ abilities in doing their jobs.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

Jackson’s motives were to reward his fellow supporters as well as to surround himself by the people who were politically aligned with his viewpoints – thus, making it easy for the president to accomplish his agenda without significant resistance. The spoils system is seen as corrupt since bribery is used to win over the votes of the common people. Andrew Jackson believed in Manifest Destiny, which is the geographic expansion of the nation through white settlements. When white settlers pushed their way east of the Mississippi River, they were confronted by Indians who resisted breaking away from their valuable land in Georgia.

According to PBS, they signed a treaty in 1832 which stated that the federal government would provide them with “suitable western land and would protect them until they moved. ” However, instead of having a “voluntary and peaceful removal,” the resistance of the Indians caused Jackson to remove them by force. As asserted by the NYC Department of Education, “When Jackson discovered gold on Cherokee land in Georgia, he simply ignored existing treaties” and had his agents make a treaty on behalf of the Native Americans that declared their dislocation.

As a result of Jackson’s broken campaign promises, Cherokee Indians sued the white settlers in the Worcester v. Georgia case. As said by PBS, the Supreme Court ruled that “the Cherokee had the right to self-government, and declared Georgia’s extension of state law over them to be unconstitutional. ” However, Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the law and responded with, “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it. ” According to Thomas Jefferson, “The chief duties of the President are to diligently uphold the Constitution and administer the laws enacted there under. Andrew Jackson was the only president in US history to openly defy a Supreme Court ruling and fail to maintain his presidential responsibilities. Given the fact that he did not abide by the Constitution, Jackson does not seem like a fit national leader. He violated the constitution by over-riding Supreme Court’s decision not to strip the native Cherokee from their land. The opposition and ignorance towards Supreme Court rulings alone is a valid enough reason to support the impeachment of the president.

As stated by the NYC Department of Education, not only did Jackson forcibly remove the Indians from their land, but he also caused the death of nearly “2000 Native Americans by evicting them from their homes. ” The Indians were sent west of the Mississippi River; the long journey towards the Indian territory of Oklahoma became known as the ‘Trail of Tears’. The Native Indians were stripped of their belongings and had to travel the difficult trail during the harsh winter time. According to PBS, this walk was responsible for a fourth of the Cherokee.

The extensive walk to Oklahoma was a means of cruelty to wear the Indians out. Andrew Jackson is known for his hostility towards the Indians. However the case, a good president would not jeopardize the lives of innocent people. Jackson was responsible for the death of many Indians. Yet, he clearly did not care for the lives of the Indians; they could have gone straight west, but Jackson purposely made the voyage very long and difficult. Even though Andrew Jackson was so popular as to have his face on our current twenty dollar bill, he was not fit for the presidency and should have been impeached.

When the actions of the seventh president are weighed against his anticipated responsibilities, it is concluded that he did not fulfill his expectations as a president. Since Andrew Jackson took out unconstitutional actions, he did not serve as a promising president. He corrupted the government system, went against Supreme Court ruling, and caused the death of countless Indians. Although Jackson might be seen as the Battle of New Orleans’ hero and the father of the Democratic Party, he did not fulfill the essential responsibility of a president – being constitutional.

Works Cited

* Jacksonian Democracy and Modern America. Jacksonian Democracy and Modern America [ushistory. org]. N. p. , n. d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www. ushistory. org/us/23f. asp>. * Duties of the Executive. ” Jefferson on Politics & Government: Executive Duties. N. p. , n. d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www. famguardian. org/Subjects/Politics/ThomasJefferson/jeff1250. htm>. * “Indian Removal. ” PBS. PBS, n. d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www. pbs. org/wgbh/aia/part4/4p2959. html>. * “New York City Department of Education. ” New York City Department of Education, New York City Department of Education. N. p. , n. d. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www. slideshare. net/fnewsomlang>.