The Public Relations Strategy That Made Andrew Jackson President

Long before his campaign launched, ‘Old Hickory’s’ supporters were scrubbing his image. Sixty-five years ago, historian John William Ward had the insight that for better or worse, Andrew Jackson’s victory over the British at New Orleans on January 8, 1815, made him the “Symbol for an Age.” There are those who would argue that the[…]

When American Politicos First Weaponized Conspiracy Theories in the 1820s and 1830s

Outlandish rumors helped elect Presidents Jackson and Van Buren and have been with us ever since. From claims that NASA faked the moon landing to suspicions about the U.S. government’s complicity in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Americans love conspiracy theories. Conspiratorial rhetoric in presidential campaigns and its distracting impact on the body politic[…]

Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Act of 1830

The 1830 Indian Removal Act led to the displacement of the Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Cherokee tribes of the Southeast. By Dr. P. Scott CorbettProfessor of HistoryVentura College Introduction Pro-Jackson newspapers touted the president as a champion of opening land for white settlement and moving native inhabitants beyond the boundaries of “American civilization.” In this[…]

The Ugly Election of 1828

As the presidential election of 1828 approached, the nation’s emotions were running high. As the presidential election of 1828 approached, the nation’s emotions were running high. Andrew Jackson, the former Governor of Tennessee, was to challenge incumbent president John Quincy Adams. This was a partial rematch of the controversial four-way contest of 1824. Jackson won[…]

The 1824 Election and the ‘Corrupt Bargain’

The outcome of the very close election surprised political leaders. The 1824 presidential election marked the final collapse of the Republican-Federalist political framework. For the first time no candidate ran as a Federalist, while five significant candidates competed as Democratic-Republicans. Clearly, no party system functioned in 1824. The official candidate of the Democratic-Republicans to replace[…]

Electoral Debate: The Election and Presidency of John Quincy Adams

In the 1820s, political leaders and parties rose to popularity by championing the will of the people. By Dr. P. Scott CorbettProfessor of HistoryVentura College Introduction The most extraordinary political development in the years before the Civil War was the rise of American democracy. Whereas the founders envisioned the United States as a republic, not a[…]

‘King Andrew I’: Andrew Jackson’s Power-Hungry Self-Styling as Louis XIV

He claimed that he embodied the people in the same way that Louis XIV believed that he was France. Jackson’s defeat of incumbent John Quincy Adams in the 1828 election was the first great US political upset in which an anti-establishment candidate defeated an insider. Jackson styled himself as a champion of the “common man,”[…]