By Mark R. Cheathem
Many americans view Andrew Jackson as a frontiersman who fought duels, killed Indians, and stole one other man's spouse. Historians have often provided Jackson as a guy who struggled to beat the hindrances 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 a number of political and kinship networks that supplied him with entrée into society. in reality, Cheathem contends, Jackson had already began to imagine the features of a southern gentleman by the point he arrived in center Tennessee in 1788.
After relocating to Nashville, Jackson extra ensconced himself in an unique social order via marrying the daughter of 1 of the city's cofounders, carrying out land hypothesis, and major the country armed forces. 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 profession serious about removing the nation's enemies, together with Indians dwelling on land wanted by means of white southerners. Jackson's army good fortune finally propelled him onto the nationwide political level within the 1820s, the place he gained phrases as president. Jackson's years as leader govt proven the complexity of the expectancies of elite white southern males, as he earned the approval of many white southerners by way of carrying on with to pursue take place future and opposing the unfold of abolitionism, but earned their ire as a result of 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 appear future -- Cheathem's narrative bargains a daring new viewpoint on one of many 19th century's most famed and arguable presidents.
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