Jackson appeared a symbol of the self-made man for many Americans. He managed to inspire people the idea of American national identity through his multiple successful reforms and personal achievements 1. Strengthening of American political and party system, gradual development of two-party system, fair people-centered politics and successful innovations helped the nation to overcome previous colonial mentality and build a prosperous welfare society of XIX century America.
Symbolizing himself the changes in countrys political system Jackson indeed made the nation to believe in him and his policy targeted to improve the lives of all common Americans. For many Americans who associated Jackson primarily with the Battle of New Orleans in 1912 his coming to power was a synonym of the same successes in archaic and corrupted political sphere . As the war hero Jackson captured imagination of people and dedicated loyalty of a great part of American society.
He was believed to be a symbol, a kind of a national ideal, a self-made man possessing strong will and moral courage. Many researchers believe that the very idea of national identity, American nationalism has its roots in Jacksons presidency 4. Jackson was elected a President of the United States in 1828, and soon supported several very important changes both in political and social milieus. Before all, Jackson increased the power of the Executive Office. This measure was targeted to ensure the rights of the common Americans and suggest them the idea of a sole nation.
Jacksons changes were first of all targeted to reinforce people, inspire them a vaporized feeling that a government is before all for the people, not vice versa. Jackson believed that no social group or privileged class are entitled to any special political or economic advantage. These rich minorities that were in power prior to Jackson didnt respect the will of common Americans and the real political power was concentrated in the hands of an elite minority. Jacksons electoral campaign and future policy was targeted to clean up corruption in Washington.
In his electoral program Jackson declared that people were cheated by previous Adams administration and corruptions and intrigues in Washington defeated the will of common Americans. These ideas united people around the idea of fair politics: factory workers, frontiersmen, farmers, bankers, and businessmen from all across the United States rallied behind Jackson. He appeared that charismatic leader that gathered the nation. Even his nickname King Andrew serves a good illustration of his respect amidst the common people.
These promises and real deeds of Jackson indeed helped people to identify them as Americans and became proud of the own country. Almost 20. 000 citizens, an incredible crowd in XIX century, greeted Jackson near the White House after he was elected! After Jackson was elected a president his primary efforts were focused on making that political and economic changes that eventually helped American society to become more democratic and welfare. Jackson sufficiently reconsidered the very idea of presidency, partially, the issue of presidential veto.
Jackson changed the perception of the presidential veto. It had originally been viewed as something the president could do if he considered a bill unconstitutional. Jackson eventually made it clear that the president could veto a bill on whatever grounds he saw fit. The first president to proclaim himself the elected representative of all the American people, Jackson did not hesitate to use the power of veto. Jackson himself vetoed twelve bills, more than all of his predecessors all together.
His use of the powers of removal and of executive orders paved the way for the modern American presidency 6. Jackson has made a government more open to the common people and sensitive to their wills through implementation of his principle of rotation in office. He believed that no person should regard officeholding as a right he decided to protect the nation from a permanent, aristocratic officeholding elite through removing of long-term officeholders. Nevertheless that only a small part of federal officials were indeed removed by Jackson, this policy helped the President to become even more popular in the society.
This measure also helped Americans to trust authorities and respect political power 7. Rapid economic development and growing demand for man power determined rapid social migration within the county that also prompted self-identification of people. It was the very beginning of a legendary American Dream idea further united the nation. The old way of living was reshaped by the influence of Industrial Revolution. Traditional political system was unable to promote development of the country as far as both the political and economic layers concentrated in the hands of a small minority. Jackson, instead, suggested different standards of economic development.
Jacksons economic policy caused rapid development of territories, huge growth of cities and transportations. In the new democratic American society built by Jackson, people no longer associated themselves with family background, occupation, or class to define themselves. Believe in a self-made man based on the example of Andrew Jackson helped to new model of peoples self-identification according to the different standards 8. Jackson himself supported several controversial decisions that, however, were popular in that time society.
One of such measures undertaken by Jackson was a notorious Indian Removal. National interest in Middle West territories and personal feelings of a President as a former Indian fighter led to the governmental decision to move all eastern Indian tribes to the territories beyond Mississippi. The removal policy of Jackson was popular among white majority of the country that obtained new fertile lands 9. Andrew Jacksons foreign policy also promoted nations consolidation and evoked peoples proud of being Americans. The President eventually ended the long-lasting disputes with the United Kingdom and France.
In 1937 Jackson recognized Texas independence from Mexico. At the same time he rejected the calls for its joining the country due to the slavery policy of the state. Territorial expansions of America were also helpful in forming of national dignity and proud of the common people. Jacksons presidency, his political and social outlooks and reforms indeed help the nation to recognize its unity and role in establishment of fair democratic society. The rise of national identity during Jacksons presidency helped people to build completely different nation and welfare country.