|Airdate||August 30, 2006|
Andrew Jackson is a BrainPOP Social Studies video that launched on August 30, 2006.
Moby arrives with a $20 dollar bill and tells Tim that if he wants it, he'll have to answer a letter asking about Andrew Jackson, the 7th President of the United States of America.
After Tim finishes talking about Andrew Jackson, he asks Moby if he can have his 20 dollars, but Moby is nowhere to be seen.
- Andrew Jackson was the first President born in a log cabin.
- Jackson’s father died just a few weeks before his son was born.
- It’s not clear whether Jackson was born in North or South Carolina. All that’s known for sure is that his family’s cabin was close to the border.
- Andrew and Rachel Jackson never had children of their own, but they adopted several, including an American Indian boy.
- Among his other expansions of executive power, Andrew Jackson was the first U.S. President to fire a cabinet member, Treasury Secretary William John Duane. Because of Jackson, it is now accepted that cabinet officials “serve at the pleasure of the President.” In other words, a President can fire them anytime he likes.
- Richard Lawrence, an unemployed housepainter, tried to kill Andrew Jackson just outside of Washington, D.C. in 1835. Bad move; when both of Lawrence’s guns misfired, Jackson rushed him, and beat the would-be assassin with his cane! It was the first assassination attempt on a U.S. President.
- Jackson pushed to get rid of the electoral college, the system of indirect voting that cost him the 1824 election. Instead, he wanted Presidents to be elected by popular vote—whoever got the most individual votes would win.
- Though Jackson fought in many duels, only one ended in death. In 1806, Charles Dickinson insulted Jackson’s wife, and Jackson challenged him to a duel. Firing first, Dickinson’s bullet struck Jackson in the ribs. Jackson held his hand over the wound to stop the bleeding, aimed carefully, and shot Dickinson in the chest. He died later that day.
In the 1820s, European manufacturers were able to produce certain goods much more cheaply than their competitors in the northern U.S. As a result, Americans bought more of these imported items instead of those made in their own country.
To help American manufacturers, Congress passed the Tariff of 1828. A tariff, or tax on foreign goods, forced the sellers of those goods to raise prices in order to make up the cost of the tax. In response, consumers become more likely to buy now cheaper domestic goods.
Southerners hated the tariff, since it forced them to pay more for the supplies they needed to do business. To them, it was one more sign that the federal government favored the North. And if the government could punish slaveholders with a tariff today, what was to stop them from outlawing slavery altogether tomorrow?
For southerners, this was a matter of states’ rights: the idea that each state should be able to control its own affairs. This was a fundamental belief of all Americans, but the question remained: What if a state law violated a federal law?
Vice President John C. Calhoun (pictured) disagreed with Jackson on the point so fiercely that he resigned his position in order to run for the Senate. After winning a Senate seat, he co-sponsored South Carolina’s Ordinance of Nullification, declaring the tariff invalid within state lines.
When Jackson threatened to send federal troops in to enforce the tariff, South Carolina agreed to a slightly lower tariff, and the Nullification Crisis ended in peace. But almost 30 years later, the states’ rights issue was pushed to its extreme, when seven Southern states declared their right to leave the Union, triggering the Civil War.
Quirky Stuff Edit
When Andrew Jackson moved to Nashville in 1788, he fell in love with a 21-year-old woman named Rachel Donelson Robards. Rachel returned his affections, but there was just one problem: She was already married to (though separated from) Colonel Lewis Robards of Kentucky.
In 1790, Robards sent word to Rachel that he had filed for divorce. So she and Jackson were soon married. There was just one more problem: Robards had only laid the groundwork for a divorce, meaning Rachel was still married when she married Jackson!
When the divorce finally went through a few years later, Andrew and Rachel quickly re-married. But the damage was already done. For the rest of their lives, charges of cheating and bigamy—marrying more than one person at a time—would plague them.
In fact, many of Jackson’s duels were fought over insults to his wife’s honor. And during the 1828 presidential campaign, opponents used the scandal to smear Jackson’s name. When Rachel died just two weeks after Jackson was elected, he blamed her death on the viciousness of these attacks.
A year later, Jackson’s Secretary of War, John Eaton, found himself entangled in a similar scandal: He married a recently widowed woman, and rumors were flying that the two had had an improper relationship while her husband was still alive.
The wives of most of Jackson’s cabinet refused to host the new couple at parties, which made governing difficult. This infuriated Jackson, who saw echoes of his own scandal in what became known as the Eaton Affair. He stuck by the embattled couple, leading to the resignation of his entire cabinet in 1831!
Did You Know Edit
For the most part, Andrew Jackson’s history with American Indians was marked by violence. But his attitude toward them was more complex than you might imagine. In 1814, General Jackson fought the Red Stick Creek Indians in the Creek War of 1814. The Red Sticks had been inspired to attack white settlements by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh, who hoped a British victory in the War of 1812 would be helpful to American Indians.
Leading a mixed army of American soldiers and friendly Indian forces, Jackson defeated the Creek in battle after battle. At the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, more than 800 of about 1,000 Red Stick Creeks were killed. As a result, the Creek nation gave up 93,000 square km of land to the U.S.
Jackson was equally brutal in the First Seminole War, beginning in 1818. President James Monroe ordered General Jackson to put down a rebellion of Seminole and Creek Indians in Georgia. To that end, Jackson burned down the Indians’ villages and crops. (He also invaded Florida, then a Spanish territory, and took it over for the United States.) For his cruelty in battle, the Indians named him Sharp Knife.
To his credit, though, Jackson didn’t seem to view Indians as an inferior people. He simply believed that there was no way for them to live side by side with white men in peace.
This view is supported by his actions after the Battle of Talladega, during the Creek War: An Indian baby was found among the dead, and Jackson adopted the boy as his own.
From all accounts, he treated Lyncoya with kindness and love, and planned on sending him to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Unfortunately, Lyncoya died of tuberculosis at age 16.
Like so many American Presidents, you can find Andrew Jackson’s name and image all over the place. Here are some examples!
- More than 40 U.S. towns and counties are named after our seventh President.
- Jackson’s face adorns the $20 bill. In the past, it has also appeared on the $5, the $50, the $10,000, and a $1,000 bill used by the Confederate States of America.
- The USS Andrew Jackson was a nuclear submarine, in service from 1963–1989.
- If you want to learn more about Old Hickory, visit the museum at Andrew Jackson State Park in South Carolina.
- There are four identical statues of Jackson on horseback sprinkled across the country: one in New Orleans, LA; one in Nashville, TN; one in Jacksonville, FL; and one in Washington, D.C.
- The “Black Jack” was a two-cent stamp in widespread use after the Civil War. Its name derives from its black ink depiction of Andrew Jackson.
- Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (pictured) is a 2008 musical play in which Andrew Jackson is portrayed as a rebellious teen heartthrob.
Way Back When Edit
Jackson’s outstanding performance in the War of 1812 was probably fuelled at least in part by his personal hatred for the British. After all, most of his family died during the Revolutionary War.
In 1779, Andrew’s oldest brother, Hugh, fought with the Continental Army at the Battle of Stono Ferry, near Charleston, South Carolina. The colonists lost the battle, and Hugh died of exhaustion in the brutal June heat. He was 17.
Sometime around then, Andrew and his other brother, Robert, began working as messengers for a local colonial militia. When British soldiers attacked their town, Andrew and Hugh were taken prisoner.
While they were under guard, a British officer demanded that Andrew shine his boots. When Andrew refused, the officer slashed his face with a sword. Jackson was left with a scar on his forehead to commemorate the incident.
The British threw Andrew and Robert into a military prison, where they both caught smallpox, a deadly disease. Their mother, Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, convinced the British to release her boys, but Robert died on the way home. Andrew slowly recovered.
In 1781, Elizabeth began working as nurse for colonial soldiers in Charleston. She caught cholera, another deadly illness, and died that same year.