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President Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson

When was Andrew Jackson born?

Andrew Jackson was born in 1767.

Where was Andrew Jackson born?

Andrew Jackson is presumed to have been born in the Waxhaws region that would later become the border between North and South Carolina.

How old was Andrew Jackson when he became president?

Andrew Jackson was elected at the age of 61.

What years was Andrew Jackson president?

Andrew Jackson was president from 1829-1837.

When did Andrew Jackson die?

Andrew Jackson died at the age of 78 in 1845.

How did Andrew Jackson die?

He died from congestive heart failure. 

Early Life

Birth and Upbringing

Andrew Jackson was born on March 15th, 1767, to Scots-Irish immigrants. Since the land had not yet been surveyed, it is presumed that he was born in a family member’s cabin somewhere in the Waxhaws region along what would later become the border between North and South Carolina.

In adulthood, Jackson continually asserted that he was born in South Carolina, and all available evidence supported this assertion.

As a child, Jackson was known for swearing, pulling pranks, and fighting with other children. Due to this, his mother quickly let go of her dream that he would one day grow up to become a minister.

Jackson had been born only a few weeks after his father’s death, leaving the task of raising him and his brothers to their mother. Raised in poverty in an area with few opportunities, Jackson’s early life did not offer many outlets to further his eventual career in politics.

Tragedy Strikes

Between 1780 and 1781, during the British invasion of the Carolinas, Jackson’s family life took a severe turn for the worse. After joining the patriots alongside his brothers at 13, he was exposed to the horrific consequences of war.

British redcoats
Jackson became a prisoner of war after being captured by the British during the American Revolution.

In 1779, his oldest brother Hugh died of heatstroke shortly after the Battle of Stono Ferry. Both he and his other brother Robert were captured by the British army and became prisoners of war approximately two years later.

It would not be until their mother arranged a prisoner exchange for the sake of their release that they were finally set free from their imprisonment. While imprisoned, Robert contracted smallpox, which would eventually kill him after their release.

Even after his release from prison and Robert’s death, tragedy was not quite done wreaking havoc in Jackson’s life.

While nursing sick and injured soldiers, his mother contracted cholera, leading to her death shortly after Jackson was set free from prison.

At only fourteen years old, Jackson was left an orphan, and the remainder of his childhood was spent being raised by his uncles.

Even while imprisoned by the British army, Jackson refused to hide his rebellious spirit. On one occasion, after refusing to shine the shoes of a British officer, Jackson was slashed in the face with a sword. 

This scar would remain on his face for the remainder of his life. Due to this incident, as well as the various forms of trauma that Jackson had suffered at the hands of the British, Jackson began to harbor an aversion to the British, which would persist throughout the remainder of his life.

Educational and Legal Background

After the death of his mother, Jackson would later study law in his late teens. After receiving a decent inheritance from one of his grandfathers back in Ireland, Jackson moved to Charleston, North Carolina, to study and seek adventure. 

law books
Jackson pursued a career in law thanks to an inheritance from his Irish grandfather.

However, once his money ran out, Jackson begrudgingly finished schooling and worked as a schoolteacher for a short time.

Although he was not particularly fond of studying, Jackson decided to eventually pursue his career as a lawyer.

He moved to Salisbury, North Carolina, and studied as an apprentice under practicing lawyers. Three years later, at the age of twenty-one, Jackson was admitted to the North Carolina Bar and was soon after appointed as prosecuting attorney of a western district in North Carolina. This settlement would later become Nashville, Tennessee.

During this time, Jackson established his own law practice and became very wealthy from the revenue that it brought in. He used this money to buy large amounts of land, build a mansion known as The Hermitage, and purchase slaves. He also met Rachel Robards, who would later become his wife.

A Sub-Par Reputation

From the beginning, Jackson never had the best reputation amongst his peers. His penchant for partying, gambling, and causing trouble followed him well into his professional career.

Dueling pistol
Andrew Jackson famously killed attorney Charles Dickinson in a duel.

He was arguably most well-known for his temper. In 1806, he killed fellow attorney Charles Dickinson in a duel over a spat regarding a horse race and insults about his wife.

While he did not face any legal or physical repercussions, it was a massive stain on his reputation, which forced him to temporarily go into hiding back at The Hermitage.

Political Background

In 1796, Jackson became a member of the convention, which was tasked with drafting the Tennessee state constitution. He would become the first Tennessee elected member of the House of Representatives, although he would go on to resign after his first term.

He returned home for a short time in 1797, only to be almost immediately elected as a member of the Senate. He resigned less than a year later.

Approximately one year later, Jackson was then elected as a circuit judge on the Tennessee superior court, and he served in this position until 1804

Military Background

War of 1812 and the Creek War

In 1802, even though he had barely any applicable military experience, Jackson was chosen to head the Tennessee state militia. He stayed in this position until 1812, when the War of 1812 erupted between the United States, Great Britain, and their Native American allies.

Within the war of 1812 was the Creek War, also known as the Creek Civil War, during which the United States would later acquire large swaths of land in Alabama and Georgia from the British-allied Creek.

Native American
Great Britain was allied with Native Americans in the Northwest Territory.

There was a massacre at Fort Mims in what is now Alabama, a force of approximately 700 Creek killed over 200 American settlers. 

After this, Jackson embarked on a five-month-long campaign against the British-allied Creek. This campaign came to a decisive end after the Battle of Tohopeka, or the Battle of Horseshoe bend, in 1814, during which over 1,000 Red Stick Creeks were either killed or wounded.

The war continued and would not see its end until after the American victory at the Battle of New Orleans in January of 1815. After the war’s conclusion, Jackson was declared a war hero and became known by the nickname “Old Hickory” due to his ambition and willingness to fight alongside his men.

First Seminole War

Jackson was put back into active military service during the First Seminole War in 1817 and ordered his soldiers to invade then Spanish-occupied Florida. Although he had received no instructions to initiate such an attack, he successfully captured St. Mark’s and Pensacola.

This action sparked a strong reaction from Spain, and although many within the United States government called for him to be punished, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams defended him from such criticism.

Approximately two years later, Florida became a part of the United States, per the 1819 Adam-Onis Treaty.

Campaign for Presidency

Election of 1824

After his successes as a military commander, many believed that Jackson had a fairly good chance of being elected president. While he was not initially interested in the position, by 1824, enough people had rallied behind him to see him nominated for the presidency.

After a five-way race, during which no candidate received a majority vote in the electoral college, the decision over who would take the presidency fell into the hands of the House of Representatives.

Portrait of Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson lost the 1824 election.

Henry Clay, the Speaker of the House at the time, placed his support behind John Quincy Adams, one of Jackson’s opponents. As a direct result of this, Adams was chosen as the victor of the 1824 election, and many of those who supported Jackson protested against what they interpreted as a back-door deal between Adams and Clay.

Election of 1828

Four years later, Jackson returned to defeat Adams in an election that was characterized by especially nasty mudslinging.

His wife died not long before he was sworn in, and Jackson believed that her death had been hastened by the stress she experienced upon being accused of adultery by his political opponents.

Thus, the role of First Lady was left to be filled by Jackson’s niece, Emily Donelson.


King Andrew

Jackson was not afraid to flex his authoritative power as president and thus earned himself the nickname “King Andrew” or “King Andrew the First.”

He was known not to hesitate to exercise his ability to veto acts proposed by Congress and was declared by the Whig Party as an enemy of popular liberty.

New Political Parties

Under Jackson, the United States saw the emergence of two major political parties: the Democrats, formerly known as the Democrat-Republicans, and the Whig Party. The Democrats supported Jackson’s presidency, while the Whig Party was staunchly anti-Jackson.

The Spoils System

As one of the first presidents that were deemed a “people’s president,” Jackson paid great attention to actions that would increase the power of the American people to vote for their representatives in government.

While he actively tried to abolish the electoral college, he was unsuccessful. However, this campaign for transparency and eliminating corrupt politicians began the spoils system: a process through which a president will remove incumbent officeholders to fill the same positions as those who support them.

This system of governing would later be denounced as one of the greatest sources of corruption in the United States government.

Indian Removal Act

In 1830, Jackson pushed the Indian Removal Act through Congress, prompted by the desire of white settlers to move into lands that various Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole, among others, had previously occupied.

Mississippi River
Mississippi River.

As a result, over 15,000 members of these tribes were forced to immigrate from over 25 million acres of their ancestral lands westward past the Mississippi River. The migration was not peaceful; over 4,000 died along what was later named the Trail of Tears.

John Ross, the political leader of the Cherokee tribe, attempted to thwart Jackson’s attempts to force Native Americans from their land by taking the issue to the Supreme Court.

At the conclusion of the ensuing Supreme Court case, Worcester v. GeorgiaChief Justice John Marshall ruled that the United States Government did not have the right to assert authority over the members of Native American tribes and therefore did not have the power to continue to clear the way for white settlers.

Jackson is infamously known for scoffing at Marshall’s decision, saying, “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.”

Battle with the Second Bank of the United States

Arguably the most notable occurrence that came from Jackson’s time as president was his battle with the Second Bank of the United States, during which he blocked its re-charter in 1832.

Jackson believed that the Second Bank of the United States was a government-sponsored monopoly and had previously been given the ability to monopolize the young nation’s economy. He denounced its existence as an institution that allowed for “the advancement of the few at the expense of the many.”

Bank vault
Jackson’s refusal to renew the charter of the Second Bank of the United States was seen as a victory for the common man.

Federal funds were pulled from the Second Bank and redistributed to a series of 23 state banks. The Second Bank’s charter officially ended in 1836, and the American people saw his actions as a victory for the common man.

Despite the fact that his opponents within the government reprimanded him, the support that he garnered from this action paved the way for his reelection in 1832 against Henry Clay with over 56% of the popular vote.


After the conclusion of his second presidential term, Jackson retired to his home back in Nashville, Tennessee. He would live there for the remainder of his life until his death on June 8th, 1845.

His ultimate cause of death was determined to be congestive heart failure, most likely expedited by chronic mouth infections, smoking, a bullet remaining in his abdomen after his duel with Charles Dickinson, and possible poisoning from the medications his physician was prescribing him.

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