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Andrew Jackson: Patron of the Northern States or President of the United States?

By , Wayland, MA
Ladies and Gentleman, I thank you for traveling to the Free Trade Convention so that you may consider our grievances against the tariff and the oppression that we have endured under the regime of our despotic dictator, Andrew Jackson. He has imposed on us this tariff, which has “favored northern manufacturing interests at the expense of Southern agricultural producers…,”(Nullification, 147) despite his claims that he is dedicated to the interests of all States and all people. He is no man of the people. He has charged into office and has unset the balance that the Founding Fathers weighed when they created the Separation of Powers between the executive, legislative, and judiciary branches. Jackson calls himself a democrat, and yet he has destroyed all traces of an effective democracy. America is now witnessing, “‘the concentration of all power in the hands of one man,” (The Jacksonian Revolution, 245) a dictatorship that we have feared since the start of the Revolution. He has signed and passed the Removal Act, which has prompted the immoral, unethical removal of the Cherokee Indians, only to please Georgia. He refers to a Cherokee Indian as a savage when the real savage is Jackson himself. His baseness and marked lack of humanity have caused the oppression of millions, Cherokee and Americans alike. Immense power, upholding his presidency, and the economic development of the North, no matter the toll taken on the South, are his sole interests. He is not interested in the people. So I ask you, how can we be ruled by a power hungry, callous, oppressor? Even with these remarkable attributes aside, he is a blatant hypocrite and liar and a violator of the sacred “compact between the States:” (Nullification, 159) the United States Constitution.

When the Constitution was drafted, the Founding Fathers deliberately instituted a system of checks and balances to distribute power among the three branches of government. Their intentions were, “to provide a mix of democratic, oligarchic, and monarchial forms in the Constitution,” (The Jacksonian Revolution, 244). Jackson, justifying his actions by hiding behind the refuge of democracy, has taken the powers of the three branches into his own hands. He has delegated more power to himself, by “assume[ing] the right to initiate legislation,” (The Jacksonian revolution, 243). He claims that he alone, “[Is] the soul representative of the American people and [is] responsible to them,”(The Jacksonian Revolution, 244) thereby justifying his ability to influence the legislative process and to interfere with judiciary rulings. John C. Calhoun, the previous Vice President, with roots right here in South Carolina has proclaimed that Jackson, “tells us again and again with the greatest emphasis that he is the immediate representative of the American people. What effrontery! What boldness of assertion!...” (The Jacksonian Revolution, 245) because truth be told, Jackson has turned American government into a near dictatorship.

The Constitution never reads that protective tariffs, tariffs designed to increase the success of one industry while essentially stealing from another, can be passed by Congress. Under the elastic clause, Congress is granted the power to make laws as they see fit if it is “necessary and/or proper” to do so. It is neither necessary nor proper to oppress an entire body of the United States to benefit the large manufacturing industries of the North. Our president has previously denounced a “broad interpretation” of the Constitution; meanwhile, he twists the meanings of the words written by our Founding Fathers to work to his advantage. Jackson has stolen a forbidden power in order to bind us by a protective tax, only to benefit what he believes is the future industry of our country. He is a hypocrite on every count and of course the manufacturing firms will be the future of this country if we continue to let them rob us of our hard earned money. We cannot let Jackson make a slave out of the South. The Declaration of Independence states most concisely, that all Americans have certain inalienable rights which they can not be denied such as “the pursuit of happiness.” In this day and age, it is true that money has an undeniable association with happiness because, “[we] are devoured by the longing to make [a] fortune; it is the passion of [our] live[s],” (Nullification, 152). If money is the passion of our lives then we must assert, “the unquestionable right of every individual to apply his labor and capital in the mode which he may conceive best calculate to promote his own interest,” (Nullification, 154). Jackson is not only in violation of the right to free trade, but he is violating our basic inalienable rights, that we as Americans, must be entitled to. If Jackson cannot even grant us, let alone recognize, our basic rights, then he is not fit to be a president, but a pirate.

This lying thief is no man of the people. “Old Hickory” has repeatedly claimed that he has the interest of the Union as well as the interest of all the States at heart. If he had interest in the wealth of all States then we would not find ourselves losing “one third of our incomes…as a bounty to Northern labour,” (Nullification, 157). If he had any interest in the preservation of the Union, he would not have caused the factionalism that has resulted from the tariff. The tariff is, “subversive of the harmony of the Union,”(Nullification, 154) Jackson is a liar. He does not care about the Union or the States. His only interest lies with the North and the manufacturing industry. Furthermore, not long ago, we stood idly by, thinking that the tariff would not pose a problem to South Carolina because Jackson would veto it on account of his past statement that the National Bank, “impeded the interest of states,” but this abomination, this tariff has impeded the interest of South Carolina more than the National Bank ever will. Jackson opposes the National Bank solely because he fears that it will have too much of an impact on Northern industries. He has never cared for the South and he never will care for the South.

Jackson has dealt with another problem besides the National Bank that has also supposedly, “impeded the interest[s] of the state[s];” the Cherokee community in Georgia. The Removal Act, which Jackson was more than enthusiastic to sign, has caused thousands of Cherokee to walk the Trail of Tears from their lands in Georgia to Oklahoma, bringing about four thousand innocent Native American deaths of, “dysentery and pellagra, cold and hunger, [and] brutality and despair,” (Indian Removal, 128). The cruelty with which they have been robbed and removed is many degrees worse than the tariff which has been imposed upon us, a degree of oppression that I cannot possibly understand. As if this murder were not enough, perhaps the worst is that Jackson did not actually view the Indians as a great threat or problem. He was compelled to tear them from their crops, their forests, their ancestor’s graves; their homeland, because he sought Georgia’s vote in this upcoming election, as he knows that he does not have ours. But, the horridness does not end here, for Jackson has failed to obey the various binding treaties of peace between the Cherokee and the State of Georgia, and so, “the executive and the State [are] guilty of the very crime currently being threatened by [us] with regard to the tariff: nullification!” (Indian Removal, 120).

I say, that if Jackson can swoop into office, delegate himself a degree of power fit for a dictator, incessantly violate the Constitution, and bear the murders of thousands of Cherokee without so much as flinching, then we, the honest state of South Carolina are more than justified in nullifying the unconstitutional tariff if Jackson himself can nullify constitutional Cherokee treaties. When John C. Calhoun was Vice President he stated so eloquently the essence of a true nullifier to be one, “who believes that the General Government originated with the people…and that the Constitution is in fact a compact between the States…and that, as parties to it, they have the right to interpose to arrest the violation of it.” (Nullification, 158-9). Most simply, the tariff violates the glue that holds these States together, and so we have the right, the responsibility to step in to claim it null and void. The hypocrisy and lies that Jackson has projected to the public are far worse than the justified nullification of the tariff. But, we should not even have a need to deal with the notion of nullification, because if we had a proper president and the original system of Check and Balances, we would not be exerting this much time and effort into the abolition of such a ludicrous tariff.

People of this convention, do you want to be represented by a patron of the Northern States, or a president of the United States? Jackson has oppressed the South with this tariff so that the North may prosper. Jackson has erased any sliver of the original form of government which the Founding Fathers intended to be perpetual. This liar only opposes the National Bank because it may stand as a threat to his precious northern industries. This hypocrite has only removed the Cherokee, whilst causing the death of four thousand people, so as to earn the approval of Georgia. He has violated the binding words of the Declaration of Independence, Cherokee treaties, and the sacred Constitution. If Jackson can not even abide by the document that unites us together, then he is tearing us apart. He is causing the deterioration of the States, of the Union, and he must be stopped. The upcoming election is our chance to make a change, our chance to mend the compact that binds these States as one.

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SecretNonConformist said...
Sept. 10, 2010 at 12:05 pm

Great article! I just had to read a book about Andrew Jackson for my AP US history class and it was really interesting for me now to read about what the opposition thought through their point of view. Anyways, keep up the good work!

p.s. The book was called American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House if you're interested. Just a warning, it's really hard to read.

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