Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) was the seventh President of the United States, serving two terms from 1829 to 1837. He was a polarizing figure in American history, known for his military career, populist political style, and controversial policies.
## Early life
Jackson was born in the Waxhaws region, near the border of North and South Carolina, to a family of Scotch-Irish immigrants. His father died shortly before his birth, and his mother and two brothers died during the Revolutionary War, leaving Jackson an orphan at a young age. He received a sporadic education and eventually studied law, becoming a lawyer in the late 1780s.
Jackson began a military career began during the Revolutionary War when he served as a courier. He later gained national fame as a general in the War of 1812, most notably for his victory at the Battle of New Orleans. This battle occurred after the war had officially ended but due to slow communication, the news had not yet reached the soldiers. His military prowess earned him the nickname "Old Hickory," a reference to his toughness and strong will.
## Andrew Jackson's political career
Jackson's political career began when he was elected to the U.S. [[House of Representatives]] and later the U.S. [[Senate]], representing Tennessee. He also served as a Tennessee Supreme Court judge and as a major general during the First Seminole War. In 1824, he ran for president but lost in a controversial election decided by the [[House of Representatives]], despite winning the popular vote. Jackson ran again in 1828 and won in a landslide.
Jackson's presidency was marked by a focus on the "common man" and a distrust of the federal government and financial institutions. He opposed the rechartering of the Second Bank of the United States, leading to the Bank War, which eventually resulted in the bank's demise. He also implemented the Indian Removal Act of 1830, leading to the forced relocation of Native American tribes from the southeastern United States, a policy that resulted in the tragic Trail of Tears.
## First populist president
Jackson's use of the presidential veto was unprecedented, and he frequently clashed with [[Congress]]. Despite these conflicts, he was reelected in 1832. His presidency laid the foundation for the modern Democratic Party, and he is often considered the first "populist" president.
After serving two terms, Jackson retired to his [[plantation]], the Hermitage, in Tennessee. He remained politically active, endorsing candidates and offering advice to his political allies. Jackson died on June 8, 1845, at the age of 78.
Andrew Jackson's legacy is mixed. He is remembered as a champion of the common man and a strong advocate for democracy. However, his treatment of Native Americans, his forceful methods of governing, and his support for [[slavery]] cast a formidable pall on his contributions to American history.