By Mark R. Cheathem
Many american citizens view Andrew Jackson as a frontiersman who fought duels, killed Indians, and stole one other man's spouse. Historians have generally awarded Jackson as a guy who struggled to beat the stumbling blocks of his backwoods upbringing and helped create a extra democratic usa. In his compelling new biography of Jackson, Mark R. Cheathem argues for a reassessment of those long-held perspectives, suggesting that during truth "Old Hickory" lived as an elite southern gentleman.
Jackson grew up alongside the border among North Carolina and South Carolina, a district tied to Charleston, the place the city's gentry engaged within the transatlantic market. Jackson then moved to North Carolina, the place he joined numerous political and kinship networks that supplied him with entrée into society. in truth, Cheathem contends, Jackson had already began to suppose the features of a southern gentleman by the point he arrived in heart Tennessee in 1788.
After relocating to Nashville, Jackson additional ensconced himself in an specific social order by means of marrying the daughter of 1 of the city's cofounders, accomplishing land hypothesis, and best the nation defense force. Cheathem notes that via those ventures Jackson grew to possess a number of plantations and cultivated them with the exertions of just about 200 slaves. His prestige additionally enabled him to construct an army occupation all in favour of removing the nation's enemies, together with Indians living on land wanted via white southerners. Jackson's army luck ultimately propelled him onto the nationwide political degree within the 1820s, the place he received phrases as president. Jackson's years as leader government verified the complexity of the expectancies of elite white southern males, as he earned the approval of many white southerners by means of carrying on with to pursue happen future and opposing the unfold of abolitionism, but earned their ire due to his efforts to struggle nullification and the second one financial institution of the United States.
By emphasizing Jackson's southern identification -- characterised via violence, honor, kinship, slavery, and show up future -- Cheathem's narrative bargains a daring new standpoint on one of many 19th century's most famous and arguable presidents.
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