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 generally offered 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 industry. Jackson then moved to North Carolina, the place he joined quite a few political and kinship networks that supplied him with entrée into society. actually, Cheathem contends, Jackson had already began to suppose 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 by way of marrying the daughter of 1 of the city's cofounders, carrying out land hypothesis, and major the country military. Cheathem notes that via those ventures Jackson grew to possess a number of plantations and cultivated them with the exertions of virtually 200 slaves. His prestige additionally enabled him to construct an army occupation desirous about removing the nation's enemies, together with Indians living on land wanted through white southerners. Jackson's army luck finally propelled him onto the nationwide political degree within the 1820s, the place he received phrases as president. Jackson's years as leader govt tested the complexity of the expectancies of elite white southern males, as he earned the approval of many white southerners through 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 id -- characterised by way of violence, honor, kinship, slavery, and take place future -- Cheathem's narrative bargains a daring new standpoint on one of many 19th century's most famed and debatable presidents.
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