Andrew Jackson War Hero President

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Jackson became the seventh president of the US, following John Quincy Adams. Andrew Jackson War Hero President served as a General in the War of 1812. And became known for winning the Battle of New Orleans. Before his presidency, his most important accomplishment became the victory in the Battle of New Orleans. He became the first president from west of the Appalachian Mountains. And here’s a link to the US Presidential post.

Andrew Jackson War Hero President
Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

Above stands a rear view of The Hermitage, as Jackson named it. I’ll show a front view later but it’s fronted by trees and difficult to get a good picture. The buildings and grounds are very well maintained. It was a great visit! Although I could include many more pictures, I didn’t want to “overcrowd” this post. The end of my trip approaches as I reach this place, just outside of Nashville.

Jackson’s parents immigrated from Ireland, landing in the US two years before his birth. Although his parents settled in the Carolinas, his birthplace is undetermined as the family moved around and very little surveying happened until later. As he grew up, he claimed South Carolina as his birthplace, although his claim may have been politically motivated.

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He served as a courier in the Revolutionary War at the age of 13! The British captured him and his brother and held them as prisoners. They both developed smallpox and their mother rescued them. His brother died of the disease and his mother helped treat American prisoners of war who had cholera. She also died of that disease. As a result, Jackson developed a deep hatred for the British.

Battle of New Orleans

Of course, Andrew Jackson accomplished much in his lifetime, and the Battle of New Orleans made him a hero. With his troops outmanned and outgunned, he developed the perfect battle plan. The British poor execution of their plan helped! Did you know that the Battle of New Orleans occurred 16 days AFTER the Treaty of Ghent negotiations reached a conclusion? However, the treaty wasn’t ratified by the US and in those times, news traveled slowly. And, the British troops were warned to keep fighting until they received official word of the cease of hostilities.

Following the decisive victory, Jackson gained hero status which remained for much of his life. The actual battle only lasted about two hours. British suffered the wounding and killing of approximately 2,000 troops while the Americans suffered only about 70. The British began preparing for the battle a month or more before Jackson brought his troops to the area.

The win restored pride and confidence among the American people. The decisive battle added an exclamation point to the end of the War of 1812 and clearly established America’s independence and the beginning of a major nation in the world.

Pre-war: Andrew Jackson War Hero President

Jackson served in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate. After resigning from the Senate, he served as a justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court from 1798 until 1804. During that time, he purchased the property later known as The Hermitage. He developed a large plantation and owned enslaved people during his lifetime.

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During this time, he held the position of Colonel (and commander) of the Tennessee Militia. He found himself increasingly drawn into national politics. While he aligned himself with Aaron Burr, he quickly ended that relationship when Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in the infamous duel. Then, he lived relatively quietly at Hermitage until shortly before the War of 1812 broke out.

War of 1812: Andrew Jackson War Hero President

Jackson and others eyed US expansion into both Florida (from Spain) and Canada from the British. His expansionist views led to his involvement in the Creek War, which ran concurrently with the War of 1812. Initially, Jackson funded his militia and neared financial ruin. Eventually, a former mentor convinced the Secretary of War, John Armstrong, Jr., to fund the militia and repay Jackson. In return, Jackson reluctantly agreed to pull back from Natchez Mississippi (then a territory) and return to Nashville.

Later, Jackson received a commission in the US Army as a Brigadier General. Within 10 days, he received a promotion to Major General. He and his troops fought the Creeks, the British, and the Spanish. After his victories in those wars, shortly after the Battle of Pensacola. Jackson learned of the British threat on New Orleans and brought his troops there, just in time to win the famous Battle of New Orleans.

Following the War of 1812, he continued to battle with local Indian tribes. He also battled the Spanish over Florida. Eventually, in 1819, Spain agreed to sell Florida to the US. After briefly returning to Tennessee, he briefly served as the first Territorial Governor of Florida in 1821. Then, in 1823, he served as a US Senator from Tennessee until 1825.

Andrew Jackson War Hero presidential elections

Jackson ran for president in the 1824 election. Although he won the popular vote, he didn’t accumulate enough Electoral Votes. As a result, the House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams as president. Jackson and his supporters referred to the election as a “corrupt bargain”, and set about vigorously opposing John Q. Adams. As it turned out, Adams did a good job of playing to the opposition with his early, unpopular policy statements.

While Jackson resigned from the Senate and returned to Tennessee, he and his supporters started campaigning for 1828 not long after the 1824 campaign ended. (So, that’s where this type of politics has its roots!) The campaign became long and vicious with attacks on Jackson’s long-deceased parents and on his wife. (His wife’s previous marriage wasn’t ended when they married the first time. After her divorce became final, they married again.)

His wife, Rachel became ill during the long campaign and died after the election. Jackson blamed Adams and his supporters and never forgave them.

Andrew Jackson presidency

Background and political parties

Jackson won easily in the 1828 election. His popularity based on his military victories gave him a huge advantage. He became the first president born in poverty. Yet, he became a rich man through his forceful personality and shrewd business practices. As the first president from west of the Appalachians, his frontiersman attitudes and mannerisms endeared him to the “common people.” He invited the public into the White House for his inauguration. Some of his frontier supporters left damage to furniture, carpets, and dishes in the White House.

While this further endeared him to “his people”, the aristocracy galvanized against him. The Whig party, led by Henry Clay, emerged from the remains of the Federalists, National Republicans, and opponents of Andrew Jackson! Jackson, along with his supporters, formed the modern Democratic Party, the oldest political party in the world. Although political parties began emerging in the late 1700s, the 1820s saw the galvanization of parties.

Presidential actions – Andrew Jackson War Hero President

His presidential policies allowed the Indian Removal Acts and his anti-abolitionist stands lost popularity for him. Still, his presidency, as viewed by historians, gained high praise. Since the 1970s, his reputation suffered due to his stand on slavery. He worried about the potential annexation of Texas. He believed the action would further push the abolitionist/anti-abolitionist “war”.

But, his accomplishments stand out among presidents. He laid the framework for democracy from that time going forward. And, Jackson paid off the national debt, the only president to do so. He gained new lands for America. Also, Jackson strengthened relationships with foreign nations globally. Although his health suffered from war wounds, he maintained his image of vigor and action. That, and his war hero status kept him popular.

In retirement, he remained active in Democratic Party politics and supported the presidencies of Martin Van Buren and James K. Polk. His picture still appears on the US Federal Reserve Note and on other banknotes and postage stamps.

He died on June 8, 1845, at the age of 78. Although that age was “old” for the time, his wounds likely shortened his life.

So, that’s a wrap for Andrew Jackson, Old Hickory.

Classic Rock Recollection

“Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton

In 1814, we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip’
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans

We fired our guns and the British kept a-comin’
There wasn’t as many as there was a while ago
We fired once more and they began to runnin’
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

Written by: Johnny Horton