Andrew Jackson 1767-1845 A brief biography


Andrew Jackson's era radically changed the American party system and methods of electioneering. The firmness, and some would say violence of his positions and methods gave birth to a new strong opposition (Anti-Jackson party), the Whigs, who were soon to copy the populist methods and "hero and man of the people" approach to defeat his successor, Martin Van Buren.

His presidential actions left the presidency much stronger than it had been, and he strengthened the idea of the United States as a nation, rather than a number of states with an agreement to act in concert, which agreement they might renounce some day.

His popularity, and the knowledge of how close he was to Van Buren, gave the latter an easy ride to the White House, though Van Buren, who did not capture the imagination of the masses, later became one of the few Democrats to lose office to a Whig.

He attracted the adoration of some and the hatred of others, as no other president had. He was cheered as a hero wherever he went. He was also the first president to be the target of an assassination attempt, albeit by a madman who thought he was heir to the British throne. The man fired two pistols at Jackson, both of which misfired. Jackson would have taken after the man with his cane had his friends not held him back.

He lived, despite chronic sickness and a bullet in his chest, to be seventy-eight years old, and died peacefully at home on June 8, 1845.