• Andrew Jackson was born in the Carolina Territory in 1767, and said he considered himself a native of South Carolina. By age 15 Jackson had fought in the American Revolution and left the war as an orphan, having lost most of his relatives in the fighting in some way.
• Jackson studied law and opened a practice in Nashville, Tennessee. Before his career in the military he was a delegate to the Tennessee constitutional convention, the first congressman from the state, a U.S. senator, and then a judge on Tennessee’s superior court.
• Jackson became major general in command of the Tennessee militia, where he fought many battles against Native Americans and acquired millions of acres of land for the U.S., and became a hero for his work during the War of 1812 defending New Orleans.
• Jackson’s final act in the military came when he led an invasion of Florida, leading to the United States acquiring the territory from Spain. Jackson became governor of the territory in 1821.
• Largely on the strength of his military reputation, “Old Hickory” — so named because of his toughness — was elected president of the United States in 1828.
How he defined the office
• Jackson’s ardent followers, pitted against those who strongly opposed him, created the Democratic Party and in turn, the Whig Party. Though parties would change throughout the years, Jackson is credited with inspiring the modern two-party system.
• Jackson vetoed 12 bills while in office, more than every president who came before him combined.
Successes and failures
• Jackson’s presidency might be best known for the Indian Removal Act, in which Jackson sided with the states when it came to deciding who owned the land occupied by different Native American tribes. When told to relocate, some tribes did so willingly and some resisted.
• Jackson’s disapproval of the Second Bank of the United States came to a head when he vetoed the bill renewing the bank’s charter. He also moved to remove the government’s deposits from the bank and put them in state-chartered banks.
• “As long as our Government is administered fro the good of the people and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of person and property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending.” — from his first inaugural address, March 4, 1829.