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Andrew Jackson

Geburtstag: 15. März 1767
Todesdatum: 8. Juni 1845

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Andrew Jackson war ein US-amerikanischer Politiker und von 1829 bis 1837 der siebte Präsident der Vereinigten Staaten. Ferner ist er der Gründer der Demokratischen Partei der USA.

Jackson entstammte sehr einfachen Verhältnissen und begann sich durch seine Teilnahme im Krieg von 1812 und später in diversen Indianerfeldzügen das Ansehen seiner Landsleute zu erwerben. Politisch trat er zunächst als Senator und Militärgouverneur von Florida in Erscheinung. Sein Ruhm als militärischer Befehlshaber ließen ihn 1824 erstmals für das Präsidentenamt kandidieren. Obwohl er von insgesamt vier Kandidaten eine relative Mehrheit an Stimmen und Wahlmännern erhielt, reichte es im Wahlmännergremium nicht für die zum Sieg erforderliche absolute Mehrheit und das Repräsentantenhaus bestimmte John Quincy Adams zum Präsidenten. Schon wenig später bereitete er sich für die Wahl von 1828 auf eine erneute Bewerbung um das höchste Staatsamt vor. Während dieser Zeit widmete er sich intensiv dem Aufbau der neugegründeten Demokratischen Partei. Nach einem äußerst heftig ausgetragenen Wahlkampf konnte er Adams souverän besiegen und das Präsidentenamt im März 1829 antreten. Im Herbst 1832 wurde er ohne Probleme für eine zweite Amtsperiode bestätigt.

Jackson ging als einer der prägenden Präsidenten in die Geschichte der USA ein: Zum einen war er der erste Präsident, der nicht aus der Elite des Amerikanischen Unabhängigkeitskrieges stammte, zum anderen nahm er in seiner Regierungszeit umfangreiche Änderungen an der Staatsorganisation vor. Dazu gehören das Etablieren des Spoils systems sowie die Zerschlagung der amerikanischen Nationalbank. In seine Amtszeit fällt außerdem die gewaltsame Vertreibung der „fünf zivilisierten Indianernationen“ mit ungezählten Todesopfern. Nach Beendigung seiner Präsidentschaft 1837 zog Jackson sich ins Privatleben zurück. Bis zu seinem Tod 1845 blieb er jedoch innerhalb der Demokratischen Partei eine einflussreiche Größe.

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Zitate Andrew Jackson

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„As Americans, your country looks with confidence on her adopted children, for a valorous support, as a faithful return for the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable government.“

— Andrew Jackson
Context: As sons of freedom you are now called upon to defend your most inestimable blessing. As Americans, your country looks with confidence on her adopted children, for a valorous support, as a faithful return for the advantages enjoyed under her mild and equitable government. In New Orleans, Louisiana, 1814. As quoted in [https://web.archive.org/web/20111029143820/http://home.nas.com/lopresti/ps7.htm The Life of Andrew Jackson] (1967), by John Spencer Bassett, Archon Books. p. 156-157.

„There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing.“

— Andrew Jackson
Context: It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics, and laborers — who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. Veto Mesage Regarding the Bank of the United States [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/ajveto01.asp] (10 July 1832).

„You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal,“

— Andrew Jackson
Context: Gentlemen! I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out, and by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out! From the original minutes of the Philadelphia committee of citizens sent to meet with President Jackson (February 1834), according to Andrew Jackson and the Bank of the United States (1928) by Stan V. Henkels - [http://kenhirsch.net/money/AndrewJacksonAndTheBankHenkels.pdf online PDF]

„I know what I am fit for. I can command a body of men in a rough way, but I am not fit to be President.“

— Andrew Jackson
Context: Do they think that I am such a damned fool as to think myself fit for President of the United States? No, sir; I know what I am fit for. I can command a body of men in a rough way, but I am not fit to be President. As told to H.M. Brackenridge, Jackson's secretary, in 1821; quoted by James Parton, The Life of Andrew Jackson (1860), vol. II, ch. XXVI (Houghton Mifflin and Co., 1888), page 354. Parton cites his source as H.M. Brackenridge, Letters, page 8.

„It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government.“

— Andrew Jackson
Context: It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes. Distinctions in society will always exist under every just government. Equality of talents, of education, or of wealth can not be produced by human institutions. In the full enjoyment of the gifts of Heaven and the fruits of superior industry, economy, and virtue, every man is equally entitled to protection by law; but when the laws undertake to add to these natural and just advantages artificial distinctions, to grant titles, gratuities, and exclusive privileges, to make the rich richer and the potent more powerful, the humble members of society — the farmers, mechanics, and laborers — who have neither the time nor the means of securing like favors to themselves, have a right to complain of the injustice of their government. There are no necessary evils in government. Its evils exist only in its abuses. If it would confine itself to equal protection, and, as Heaven does its rains, shower its favors alike on the high and the low, the rich and the poor, it would be an unqualified blessing. Veto Mesage Regarding the Bank of the United States [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/ajveto01.asp] (10 July 1832).

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„I am constrained to decline the designation of any period or mode as proper for the public manifestation of this reliance. I could not do otherwise without transcending the limits prescribed by the Constitution for the President and without feeling that I might in some degree disturb the security which religion nowadays enjoys in this country in its complete separation from the political concerns of the General Government.“

— Andrew Jackson
Context: While I concur with the Synod in the efficacy of prayer, and in the hope that our country may be preserved from the attacks of pestilence "and that the judgments now abroad in the earth may be sanctified to the nations," I am constrained to decline the designation of any period or mode as proper for the public manifestation of this reliance. I could not do otherwise without transcending the limits prescribed by the Constitution for the President and without feeling that I might in some degree disturb the security which religion nowadays enjoys in this country in its complete separation from the political concerns of the General Government. Response to request from a church organization of New York, on refusing to proclaim a national day of fasting and prayer, in relation to an outbreak of cholera. Correspondence 4:447 (1832); quoted in [http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/lhbtn:@field(DOCID+@lit(lhbtn0265adiv14)) A Subaltern's Furlough : Descriptive of Scenes in Various Parts of the United States, Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia during the Summer and Autumn of 1832 (1833) by Edward Thomas Coke, Ch. 9, p. 145]

„To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that the United States are not a nation“

— Andrew Jackson
Context: To say that any State may at pleasure secede from the Union, is to say that the United States are not a nation because it would be a solecism to contend that any part of a nation might dissolve its connection with the other parts, to their injury or ruin, without committing any offense. Secession, like any other revolutionary act, may be morally justified by the extremity of oppression; but to call it a constitutional right, is confounding the meaning of terms, and can only be done through gross error, or to deceive those who are willing to assert a right, but would pause before they made a revolution, or incur the penalties consequent upon a failure. Proclamation against the Nullification Ordinance of South Carolina (11 December 1832)

„But if they have other power to regulate the currency, it was conferred to be exercised by themselves, and not to be transferred to a corporation.“

— Andrew Jackson
Context: It is maintained by some that the bank is a means of executing the constitutional power “to coin money and regulate the value thereof.” Congress have established a mint to coin money and passed laws to regulate the value thereof. The money so coined, with its value so regulated, and such foreign coins as Congress may adopt are the only currency known to the Constitution. But if they have other power to regulate the currency, it was conferred to be exercised by themselves, and not to be transferred to a corporation. If the bank be established for that purpose, with a charter unalterable without its consent, Congress have parted with their power for a term of years, during which the Constitution is a dead letter. It is neither necessary nor proper to transfer its legislative power to such a bank, and therefore unconstitutional. Veto Message Regarding the Bank of the United States [http://avalon.law.yale.edu/19th_century/ajveto01.asp] (10 July 1832) Often paraphrased as: If Congress has the right under the constitution to issue paper money, it was given them to be used by themselves, not to be delegated to individuals or corporations.

„Every good citizen makes his country's honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred.“

— Andrew Jackson
Context: Every good citizen makes his country's honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and is conscious that he gains protection while he gives it. Excellent Quotations for Home and School Selected for the use of Teachers and Pupils (1890) by Julia B. Hoitt, p. 218.

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„Hemans gallows ought to be the fate of all such ambitious men who would involve their country in civil wars“

— Andrew Jackson
Context: Hemans gallows ought to be the fate of all such ambitious men who would involve their country in civil wars, and all the evils in its train that they might reign & ride on its whirlwinds & direct the Storm — The free people of these United States have spoken, and consigned these wicked demagogues to their proper doom. Regarding the resolution of the Nullification Crisis, in a letter to Andrew I. Crawford (1 May 1833).

„One man with courage makes a majority.“

— Andrew Jackson
However, see also the attributed quote "desperate courage makes One a majority." Attributed to Jackson by Robert F. Kennedy in his "Foreword" to the "Young Readers Memorial Edition" of John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage, and by Ronald Reagan in nominating Robert Bork to the US Supreme Court, this has never been found in Jackson's writings, and there is no record of him having declared it. Somewhat similar statements are known to have been made by others:

„To the victors belong the spoils.“

— Andrew Jackson
Reported as a misattribution in Paul F. Boller, Jr., and John George, They Never Said It: A Book of Fake Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions (1989), p. 54; Boller and George report that this was actually said by New York Senator William L. Marcy (January 1832).

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