Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) Face of the Twenty Dollar Bill
Andrew Jackson served as the seventh President of the United States. Jackson was elected president in 1828 and followed John Quincy Adams and served two consecutive terms, until 1837 when he was succeeded by his vice-president, Martin Van Buren. Andrew Jackson rose to political prominence as a soldier, achieving the highest rank of Major General. Before ascending to the presidency, Jackson also served in the House of Representatives and as a senator from the state of Tennessee. Andrew Jackson is also remembered as the founder of the Democratic Party.
Andrew Jackson – Early Life on the Frontier
Andrew Jackson, born on 15th March, 1767, was the son of two newly-arrived Irish immigrants. His father died in an accident three weeks before Andrew was born and Andrew’s mother gave birth to her son while in route back from the funeral. By the age of 13, Andrew was volunteering with the Continental Army, running messages as a courier. During a battle, Andrew Jackson was captured by British soldiers and subsequently starved and abused in captivity. Two of his elder brothers were killed in the same operation. A year later, his mother died of cholera and Andrew Jackson was an orphan.
Andrew Jackson – Birth of a new State and beginnings of a political career
In 1796, when Tennessee was officially accepted as a new state of the union, Andrew Jackson was one of the new state’s pre-eminent young politicians. From his tragic childhood, Andrew Jackson had remarkably made himself into a successful frontier lawyer and had established himself as a defender of the frontiersmen. Between 1796 and 1812, Jackson stayed busy serving Tennessee as a member of Congress, a Senator, a State Supreme Court justice, and commander of the state militia.
Andrew Jackson – War of 1812 and Rise to National Prominence
In 1812, war broke out on multiple fronts pitting the Americans against and the British and their Native American allies. Andrew Jackson led the Tennessee militia into battle and led the American forces to multiple victories, over the Natives in Georgia and Florida and then over the British in the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson’s victories made him a national hero and set him up for a run at the presidency in 1824. His brutal treatment of prisoners of war and crimes against the civilian Native populations would be glossed over by contemporaries and only in recent years have they been added to the legend of Andrew ‘Old Hickory’ Jackson.
Andrew Jackson – Seventh President of the United States
Andrew Jackson was elected President of the United States in 1828. Always a contentious figure, Jackson filled his cabinet with Democrat loyalists and was the first president to actively use his veto power. His disputes with Congress culminated with The Bank War, a battle over the continuation of a federal banking system. Andrew Jackson was also responsible for the Indian removal policy, which pushed Native Americans off their land and out into the western frontier. Andrew Jackson was forced to threaten to invade the state of South Carolina if it did not accept federal authority, a precursor to the Civil War. Andrew Jackson was resolute in his policies, even when they failed and resulted in the financial crash of 1837. His removal of the federal banks and his mandate that all land be bought in gold or silver left the national economy crippled in 1837.
Andrew Jackson – Later Life and Memory
Andrew Jackson was one of the most active early presidents. His policies were not always successful, but he was able to accomplish much of what he set out to do. His stance on slavery, treatment of Native Americans, and disdain for regulated banking have not been looked upon kindly by future generations.
His anti-bank stance makes it all the more ironic that his face was chosen to be displayed on the twenty dollar bill, since paper money is something that Andrew Jackson vehemently opposed.
Andrew Jackson died in 1845 at the age of 78 of chronic tuberculosis.