Andrew Jackson was called the first “people’s president. ” A strong leader, he was extremely popular among the western farmers and the working classes. However, he believed that everyone was capable of filling in a government position thus one of his first moves was to replace the corrupt and incompetent civil servants with his supporters “who were in fact like their predecessors. ” His economic policy was weak as he lacked the foresight on how to foster and achieve growth.
He was too careful not to step on toes and infringe on the right of the States that he opposed federal funding if improvements on infrastructure would seem to immediately benefit only one or a limited number of States.
His annual average for internal improvements was a paltry $1. 3 million concentrated on the river system and lighthouses. South Carolina stirred his patriotism and indignation, however, when it threatened the Union and declared nullification of the Tariff of 1828.
Jackson was firm and uncompromising and ordered that the duties be collected, regardless.
When a lower compromise tariff was passed, by Congress, North Carolina repealed its nullification laws. Apparently, Jackson was the people’s president only for the whites. Under guise of humanitarian concern to the Native American’s culture, he adjusted his policy of national sovereignty to that of the States when it came to the forcible relocation of the Native Americans.
Adding insult to injury, or to a quarter of the 15,000 Cherokees which was literally death, the $6 million cost for the removal was even deducted to the $9 million awarded to them. His weak grasp of the economic and financial aspects of governance was again made apparent when he fought the Bank of the United States (B. U. S. ) which he deemed unconstitutional, exercise privilege monopoly and benefited only the bankers of the Northeast.
When he got re-elected, he embarked to weaken the B. U. S. by transferring the Federal Funds to selected state banks. Each of these state banks issued paper money and soon the flood of bank notes caused inflation made worse by land speculation in the West. The 1836 Specie Circular came too late that when the new President, Martin Van Buren came into office, a financial panic had already swept the country.