The history of the United States has a plethora of people that stood out of the crowd in one way or another, yet all of them seem to come from the same ilk – all except one. As a rule, these amazing people share combined elements of a true leader such as wisdom, diplomacy, political savvy, etc. However, there was the president that subverted the traditional image of an American president and a leader at the point when the image in question was only beginning to shape. Andrew Jackson, with his bold and often reckless manner of decision-making, should be listed among the people that changed the course of the American history due to not only their surprising choices but also their unique personality.
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The first and most obvious, the fact that Jackson managed to restructure the political and social institutions that were in existence at the time needs to be mentioned. Contributing to the creation of the contemporary democratic system as it exists in the context of the American politics, economy, and social interactions, Andrew Jackson managed to build the pathway to the further fight for freedom. Even though some may consider it quite a stretch, one might argue that the democratic principles, which Jackson heralded as the basis for the American society, would, later on, become the philosophy for the liberation movements in the United States (Holitz 219).
Jackson’s election at the time when America was facing the challenge of further political development was a stroke of luck for the state and its citizens since this was the man that was made to address consistent threats of violence that the citizens were facing in this time slot. While nowadays, some of the methods that he chose when managing the issues associated with the domestic policy could be deemed as dubious, he was perfect for the era when violence was common. Therefore, being extraordinarily controversial and often called a savage (“Andrew Jackson – Good Evil & the Presidency – PBS Documentary” 00:04:12-00:07:33), Jackson provided the foundation for the further development of the state and the reinforcement of the standards that would, later on, become the pillars on which the U.S. values and standards would rest.
In a similar way, the introduction of the Manifest Destiny, which proclaimed expanding further into the West as the primary goal of the colonists, is controversial in its nature. The focus on the political and economic opportunities, in which the Westward expansion was bound to result, was politically sensible since it opened new opportunities for the development of the state. However, the effects that the identified step had on Native Americans made the process infamously controversial. The very concept of the Manifest Destiny, therefore, embodied the ideas and values that Jackson upheld, i.e., the willingness to explore and embrace new possibilities with little regard for the possible negative consequences. Although it would be erroneous to claim that Jackson never considered the ramifications of his actions, his actions were always bold and reckless, of which the Manifest Destiny is a graphic proof (Miller et al. par. 7).
In other words, it would be wrong to claim that Jackson did not have any flaws as far as his political and economic choices were concerned. In fact, even saying that his leadership style had problems would be an understatement. His political passion, while being admirable, led to taking quite reckless choices and, as a result, suffering serious consequences. Furthermore, his political choices were the reflection of his nature, which was rebellious and reckless. Often considered one of the less dignified presidents of the United States, Jackson clearly is a political figure that needs further studying. He became the leader that America needed at the time yet would hardly accept in the future due to the controversy that surrounded him and his decisions. Andrew Jackson was a product of his time; he was far from being an impeccable leader, yet he could make the right choice and insist on its implementation even though others could be telling him that the plan would not work. In the era that needed an aspiring and somewhat insane leader, Jackson was a perfect candidate for the position of a president.
As a historical and political figure, Jackson could be viewed as quite controversial, and not all of his choices were fully ethical. However, the innovativeness of his solutions, as well as his personality, in general, should be considered extraordinary for a leader at the time. One must admit that some of the decisions that Jackson made were ethically questionable from the perspective of the contemporary morals, yet they were politically justifiable and very sensible at the time. Therefore, even though, as a historical figure, Jackson can be viewed as somewhat dubious, the uniqueness of his leadership style cannot be denied. In fact, it is the controversy around him and his approach that makes Jackson so interesting as a political and historical personality. While Jackson cannot be considered an entirely positive leader, he clearly contributed to the political and economic development of the United States, as well as the definition of a true leader.
“Andrew Jackson – Good Evil & the Presidency – PBS Documentary.” YouTube, uploaded by Trurher TV, 2002. Web.
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Holitz, John. Thinking Through the Past. Vol. 1. Cengage Learning, 2014.
Miller, Donald L., et al. “Program 6: Westward Expansion/The Empire of Liberty.” Annenberg Learner, 2016, Web.