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Andrew Jackson Case

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Throughout the course of Andrew Jackson's presidency, Jackson demonstrated fluctuating and inconsistent viewpoints that carried over to his actions made as president. Jackson presented himself as the representative of all people and the defender of the common man against the corruption of power by the rich. Jackson drew support from every section and social group in the United States. The criticism about Andrew Jackson upholding the principles of the majority rule and the supremacy of the federal government is valid in the cases of the removal of the Native Americans, the recharter of the National Bank, and the nullification controversy.

Andrew Jackson interpreted the powers of Congress narrowly, advocated for a strong national government in some instances, and vastly amplified the power of the presidency. For example, in 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which forced thousands of Native Americans to resettle west of the Mississippi (Newman and Schmalbach 189). In 1828, Georgia asserted its own authority over Native American affairs and land. The Cherokees challenged Georgia's assertion and went directly to the Supreme Court, which stated that Georgia had no force within the Indian territory (Kennedy, Cohen, and Baily 284). Despite the Supreme Court ruling, Jackson deliberately went against the ruling and signed the Indian Removal Act. Jackson's act of defiance against the Supreme Court asserted the strong executive power of the president.

In addition, Jackson vetoed the attempt by Congress to recharter the National Bank. Jackson believed that the National Bank abused its powers, served exclusively the interests of the rich, and was unconstitutional. Therefore, Jackson vetoed the rechartering of the National Bank and denounced it as "a private monolpoly that enriched the wealthy and foreigners at the expense of the common people" (Newman and Schmalbach 190). Jackson vastly amplified the power of the presidency in this instance by subjugating congressional control.

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