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Andrew Jackson
7th U.S. President
Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States. He was born near the end of the colonial era, somewhere near the then-unmarked border between North and South Carolina, into a recently ...
Born: March 15, 1767, Waxhaws
Died: June 8, 1845, Nashville, TN
Presidential term: March 4, 1829 – March 4, 1837
Spouse: Rachel Jackson (m. 1794–1828)
Vice presidents: John C. Calhoun (1829–1832), Martin Van Buren (1833–1837)

ANDREW JACKSON IN THE WHITE HOUSE
Andrew Jackson won redemption four years later in an election that was characterized to an unusual degree by negative personal attacks. Jackson and his wife were accused of adultery on the basis that Rachel had not been legally divorced from her first husband when she married Jackson. Shortly after his victory in 1828, the shy and pious Rachel died at the Hermitage; Jackson apparently believed the negative attacks had hastened her death. The Jacksons did not have any children but were close to their nephews and nieces, and one niece, Emily Donelson, would serve as Jackson’s hostess in the White House.

Jackson was the nation’s first frontier president, and his election marked a turning point in American politics, as the center of political power shifted from East to West. “Old Hickory” was an undoubtedly strong personality, and his supporters and opponents would shape themselves into two emerging political parties: The pro-Jacksonites became the Democrats (formally Democrat-Republicans) and the anti-Jacksonites (led by Clay and Daniel Webster) were known as the Whig Party. Jackson made it clear that he was the absolute ruler of his administration’s policy, and he did not defer to Congress or hesitate to use his presidential veto power. For their part, the Whigs claimed to be defending popular liberties against the autocratic Jackson, who was referred to in negative cartoons as “King Andrew I.”

ANDREW JACKSON’S LEGACY
In contrast to his strong stand against South Carolina, Andrew Jackson took no action after Georgia claimed millions of acres of land that had been guaranteed to the Cherokee Indians under federal law, and he declined to enforce a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Georgia had no authority over Native American tribal lands. In 1835, the Cherokees signed a treaty giving up their land in exchange for territory west of Arkansas, where in 1838 some 15,000 would head on foot along the so-called Trail of Tears. The relocation resulted in the deaths of thousands.

In the 1836 election, Jackson’s chosen successor Martin Van Buren defeated Whig candidate William Henry Harrison, and Old Hickory left the White House even more popular than when he had entered it. Jackson’s success seemed to have vindicated the still-new democratic experiment, and his supporters had built a well-organized Democratic Party that would become a formidable force in American politics. After leaving office, Jackson retired to the Hermitage, where he died in June 1845.