The presidency is labor in which the individual requires outstanding commitment and responsibility. It is not enough to be a solid leader to be president; one must be able to solve strategic problems and lead people. Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, was the first president genuinely elected because of public sentiment. He was a lawyer, a member of the legislature, and a fierce warrior, rising to the rank of major general during the War of 1812. These qualities probably made him a strong political figure, understanding the intricacies of political gamesmanship and thinking critically about one decision or another. Andrew Jackson redefined the presidency through fundamentally new ways of governing: public involvement in politics, the election of the president, and the rights of parliament.
Ways to Redefine the Presidency
Jackson came to power in a second election, losing in the first but still making a difference in politics. He was known as the people’s president because the people first elected him in an election (AndrewJacksonPBS 00:03:25-00:03:38). He was elected because he had a military background and his campaign reflected public sentiment. It led him to redefine the presidency from a general perspective: it had a role in politics through elections, and he gave voting rights to white Americans. This right, in particular, was a significant breakthrough in American history because the Democratic Party resulted from people’s desire to express an opinion. Jackson became a companion to the people in political games because, through parties and elections, the public was able to participate in the country’s politics. He changed the way people viewed the presidency and later parliament. It is his third way of changing the president’s concept: the parliament could not elect him; it was necessary to transfer the will to the people because this was the only way to develop the national idea.
The creation of the Democratic Party is perhaps the most significant event at the time. Jackson brought about a substantial contribution to the development of individual liberty for Americans, which later had a positive influence on shaping the politics of constitutional rights. I think this way is the most correct compared to the others: his party reflected the sentiments of the people, and so the election was fair, not just on the part of parliament (AndrewJacksonPBS 00:03:52-00:04:04). I also think that the role of the people in politics is vital to make the country accessible and plentiful. The restriction on voting is probably the cruelest to me because the ability to choose is the main criterion of a person’s freedom. Jackson’s parliamentary decisions were closely tied to his veto power, not precisely reflecting the national idea. Parliament can and should participate in elections, and Jackson’s restrictions cannot facilitate that.
The Nature of the Presidency
I was surprised to learn that Andrew Jackson was loved more for his presidential policies than for his national solutions. His actions against Native Americans horrify me, but at the same time, his laws on individual rights and freedoms command respect. It makes me feel good to know that anyone can become president; the main thing is to prove you are a decent person and gain the people’s trust. The example of Jackson’s presidency teaches me that the nature of any political game must be tied to honesty and integrity, which are often lacking in politicians outside of a democratic society.
Andrew Jackson’s ideas about redefining the presidency lay in three main areas: incorporating the public into politics through party formation, electing the president, and limiting the rights of parliament. While the first two ways seem right to me and strategically successful, the veto power and exclusion of parliament raise questions about its necessity. It seems to me that Jackson is an example of a president with a solid national idea of freedoms and rights, despite having flaws.
“Andrew Jackson: Reinventing the Presidency.” YouTube, uploaded by AndrewJacksonPBS, Web.