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The Life and Transformation of Andrew Jackson

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Andrew Jackson wasn’t always popular, he had to work his way from the bottom to reach where he is now. He started off heading off to the war like his two brothers which lead to him getting captured. He underwent heavy persecution with the loss of his family, he then reformed his way of living and set his path straight eventually becoming the President of the United States.

With the loss of his family and the victory against the British for independence, Jackson had strong hope for the United States. When Jackson started to renew his way of living he “sought a law career, most frequently obtained in his day by apprenticing to a lawyer” (Ripper, 2008). Jackson eventually got admitted lawing school and later became an attorney in the soon to be Tennessee. As “Sean Wilentz put it, ‘Jackson came into the world a perfect nobody.’” (Ripper, 2008).

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The first big event in his life was a court case against Waightstill Avery, who degraded him publicly in court. Being as young as he was, he recklessly challenged him to a duel which led to both firing their guns straight into the air, both men walking away with their honor and lives. The way he handled this situation gave us a glimpse of how he would handle future ones, and as Ripper put it “He would fight rather than lose face” (Ripper, 2008).

He later ended up falling in love with Rachel Donelson Robards who was already married, but her current marriage was already weak. She filed a divorce that did not completely go through which “They did not realize that the divorce had only been initiated, not finalized, and this technical slipup would come to haunt their marriage and Jackson’s political future” (Ripper, 2008). In the next upcoming years, Jackson achieved positions in the United States Congress along as a Senator and simultaneously a superior court judge

Jackson had another important duel in 1806 which nearly ended his life. He got into an argument with Charles Dickenson which was originally over a debt owed to Jackson by Dickenson’s father. He was also shamed publicly because he shot his gun twice in a row without letting Charles have the same opportunity. Another thing that led to Jackson’s bad reputation is his involvement with Aaron Burr, “Burr stayed for a spell with the Jacksons in 1806, spreading his charm like poison in the ears of those foolish enough to listen” (Ripper, 2008). Burr was eventually found out and was hanged for treason while Jackson pleaded to John Marshall’s Supreme Court and got away without a trial

He later started gaining his reputation back during the war of 1812. He was in command of a state militia, but his senior officer was a spy for the Spain. Not knowing, he “complied, even though the weather was nasty—only to be instructed upon arrival that his army was not needed… During the miserable trek, Jackson was dubbed “Old Hickory” in honor of the hardest tree in the region” (Ripper, 2008). With this success, his reputation only continued to grow. He made many contributions during the war, he eventually led a small army and won many battles against the Native Americans and opposing powers. The Battle of Horseshoe Bend was won because of Jackson and he was promoted to major general because of it, “This victory enabled Jackson to dictate terms—even to the many hundreds of Creeks who had fought as his allies” (Ripper, 2008). He was able to negotiate for land from the Native Americans, which pretty much ended the war and gave him his second name “Sharp Knife”

Many battles later, Jackson still alive, gained great honor during his service. He eventually ran for the United States in 1824 which resulted in a loss, during the upcoming election of 1828, Jackson’s supporters once again helped him which “thanks to his lasting popularity and the alliances that were struck Jackson stepped into the White House” (Ripper, 2008). He also had strong support from the poor, “common people loved Andrew Jackson for his humble origins and his gruff toughness” (Ripper, 2008). He started from nothing and was now the President of the United States which the common people adored. He also fought against moneymen and bankers which put him in a different light compared to other presidents.

With all the hardships along Andrew Jackson’s journey, he successfully turned from a common person, or pretty much nobody into the President of the United States. He was loved by many, be it poor people or the people he led during his time in the military. With his ideology that he would rather fight than lose and his courage and integrity he achieved much in his lifetime, let it be names to be known by or the first poor people’s president he made a lasting impact on the United States. My question would be “Do you believe that he achieved this through hard work or sheer luck?”.

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