The US has been overseen by many presidents, and each head of the country was perceived differently by the nation. Andrew Jackson was adored by the common people who regarded him as a reflection of themselves (Heidler and Heidler 11). At that time, public men were the prevalent group in the American scene, and Jackson became a public man (Heidler and Heidler 11). He opposed the elites and had the support of individuals with different hopes and dreams (Heidler and Heidler 12; Thompson 279). However, the president was and has been critiqued by many people. In particular, Jackson has been viewed as a slave owner and instigator of Indian removal who disrespected courts, laws, and behavioral standards (Feller 2). Although some have called him the first modern president due to mirroring contemporary leaders, Andrew Jackson was rather a revolutionary ruler but not the one to represent current norms.
Throughout his administration, Jackson made several unique decisions and actions, challenging the prior regime. First, the president transformed American history by establishing the Democratic Party, focusing on the nation’s right to govern itself (Thompson 282). Second, Jackson concentrated on rotation in office to dismiss alleged corrupt officials, although instead of persecuting the federalists, he sought to create a more democratic government (Thompson 283). Third, the president pursued the destruction of the Bank of United States, which was a profit-making commercial organization with branches spread across the country (Feller 9). Jacksonian democracy claimed that people had the power to choose how banks should be supervised and strived to end private control (Thompson 282). Fourth, Jackson initiated the Indian Removal Act to promote his democracy further (Thompson 284). The president was supported by various communities, especially farmers, who had been fighting with the native population for valuable territories (Thompson 279). Consequently, Jackson’s removal policy forced the migration of multiple Indian tribes (Feller 7). Accordingly, Jackson’s actions and decisions can be evaluated as rebellious due to altering the previous regime and providing more opportunities to common people but also damaging to aboriginal individuals.
Despite seeking a better life for the public and attempting to cease corruption, Jackson’s administration does not reflect contemporary values. Jackson has been referred to as the first modern president due to his achievements that have been approved by many individuals, including Donald Trump (Feller 2). In particular, such persons admire Jackson’s special connection with simple people and his willingness to challenge the status quo (Feller 2). Nonetheless, Jackson’s policy is criticized by many groups across the country. For instance, although Jackson sought to facilitate democracy, today’s Democratic Party is said to be embarrassed by the former president (Feller 1). Some argue that Jackson’s decisions were recklessly destructive and driven by personal spite (Feller 6). For example, his Indian Removal Act has been deemed a national disgrace characterized by deceit, bribery, and a lack of humanity (Feller 6). Moreover, Jackson has been condemned for the termination of the Bank of the United States because the central financial institution could have prevented the Panic of 1837 (Feller 8). Therefore, Jackson’s actions and resolutions can be evaluated as having reasonable intentions but leading to harmful outcomes.
To conclude, Andrew Jackson cannot be considered the first modern president because his policy significantly differed from contemporary norms. Regardless of seeking democracy and connecting with common people, Jackson’s acceptance of slavery and the mistreatment of the native population do not correspond with the current values of human rights and standing up against discrimination. Accordingly, Jackson can be perceived as a revolutionary head of the country who challenged the prior administration. However, I do not agree with the notion that Andrew Jackson is the first modern president because he does not reflect the nowadays standards.
Feller, Daniel. “The Historical Presidency: Andrew Jackson in the Age of Trump.” Presidential Studies Quarterly, vol. 51, no. 3, 2021, pp. 1-16.
Heidler, David, and Jeanne Heidler. The Rise of Andrew Jackson: Myth, Manipulation, and the Making of Modern Politics. Basic Books, 2018.
Thompson, William. “President Andrew Jackson’s Transformative Presidency Transformed the American Political System, by Creating the Democratic Party.” International Relations, vol. 9, no. 7, 2021, pp. 278-288.