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"The Imperial Presidency Of Andrew Jackson" This Is An Essay About The Presidency Of Andrew Jackson, And How His Conflicts And Personal Attitude Influenced The Outcomes Of His Actions And Policies.

1258 words - 5 pages

A president, in the eye of Andrew Jackson, was the "representative" of the people. Not only that, his presidency was said to be that of the "common man," because his beliefs reflected those of the common man. He was the first American president to be born on the frontier, and as he declared, he governed on behalf of "the humble members of society- the farmers, mechanics, and laborers" (Tindall/Shi P.332). The presidential office he entered in 1829 would not be left the same after he left in 1837. Jackson's personal attitude and conflicts influenced the outcomes of his policies and actions, and as a whole strengthened the presidential office at the expense of congress. This can be shown through issues such as internal improvements, the tariff, and his demise of the National Bank.To begin with, one of the reasons for Jackson's policy making and strong usage of the veto power was his conflicts with other politicians. Jackson, new to political administration, leaned heavily on Van Buren, Secretary of State, for advice and for help in soothing the ruffled feathers of rejected office seekers (Tindall/Shi P. 335). Yet, Van Buren had his rivalries with others, such as Vice President John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, which led Jackson to accept policies and veto those in which Calhoun would be identified with. For example, during the first year of Jackson's administration, some issues concerning internal improvement were halted, one being the Maysville Road Bill. For Van Buren, it was easy to bring Jackson into opposition to internal improvements and thus to federal programs with which Calhoun had long been identified (Tindall/Shi P.336). What the bill proposed, which was excepted by congress, was that it authorized the government to buy stock in a road that lay within the state of Kentucky, and started from Maysville to Clay's hometown of Lexington. Now because the road lay entirely within the state of Kentucky, even though it was part of a larger ordeal to link up with the National Road via Cincinnati, it could be observed as a local project. Therefore, since Jackson opposed federal aid to local projects and pushed the road as a local affair, he vetoed the Maysville Road Bill, which took out two birds with one stone, Calhoun and Clay. This went to show that because of Van Buren's conflicts with Calhoun, and Jackson's reliability on Van Buren, that certain actions were taken against Calhoun due to the conflict.The second issue that showed that personal attitude of Jackson was part of his "imperial presidency" decision-making was that issue regarding the tariff and the nullification crisis. What was happening down in the south was that they were losing tens of thousands of people to emigration, and thus blamed it on the protective tariff (Tindall/Shi P. 336). What this did was depress the sale of foreign goods in the U.S., which in turn diminished the aptitude of the British and French traders to get hold of American currency. If they weren't able to get...

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