The Age of Jackson

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionPDF versionPDF version

Introduction

Historians continue to debate the merits of the decisions and actions taken by President Andrew Jackson during his two terms in office. Living between the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, Jackson played a central role in virtually all of the controversial issues of his time-Indian removal, economic reform, states' rights, and slavery.

Overshadowed in popular culture by the Founding Fathers and even wartime Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, Jackson nonetheless played a pivotal role in America's development. In 1929, the Treasury Department replaced Grover Cleveland's portrait on the twenty-dollar bill with that of Jackson, a nice bit of irony considering Jackson's opposition to paper money. Today, some people advocate replacing Jackson's image with that of some other prominent American, such as Martin Luther King or even President Ronald Reagan.

Task

For this WebQuest, it is the 1920s and the Treasury Department is trying to determine whether Andrew Jackson's portrait should be placed on the twenty-dollar bill.  You are either a critic or supporter of Jackson, and you will engage in a debate to help the Treasury Department make up its mind.

Prepare a 2 to 4 paragraph essay that should praise or condemn specific policies and actions of Jackson. You will decide what to praise or condemn by considering the perspective of the individual or group you have been assigned to represent.

 

The roles include:

Chief John Ross and the Native Americans

http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/people/ross.html

Articles

Indian Removal: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/themes/indian_removal.html

Domestic Policy: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html#indianremoval

Primary Sources

Cherokee Phoenix: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/cherokeephoenix.pdf

Cherokee Constitution: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/cherokeeconstitution.pdf

Cherokee Phoenix on Farming Methods: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/cherokeephoenixonfarming.pdf

Cherokee Phoenix Introduction: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/cherokeephoenixintroduction.pdf

Chief John Ross: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/chiefross_portrait.pdf

Constitution of the Cherokee Nation: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/constitutionofcherokeenation.pdf

John Marshall's Decision on Worcester v. Georgia: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/worcestervgeorgia.pdf

Indian Removal: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/onindianremoval_stateofmorals.pdf

Secretary of War: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/secretarycassonindianremoval.pdf

Henry Clay and the National Republicans/Whig Party

Video: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=61&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Articles

1824 Election: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/campaignselections.html

1828 Election: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/campaignselections.html#1828

American System and Maysville Road Veto: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html#maysville

Bank Veto: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html#bankveto

Primary Sources

Henry Clay and the Native Americans: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/clayonnativeamericans.pdf

Henry Clay on Presidential Vetos: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/clayonpresidentialveto.pdf

King Andrew: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/kingandrew.pdf

"Symptoms of a Locked Jaw..." http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/symptomsoflockedjaw.pdf

John C. Calhoun and South Carolina

Videos:

Nullification Part 1: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=36&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Nullification Part 2: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=37&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Articles

American System and Maysville Road Veto: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html#maysville

Eaton Affair:http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html#eaton

The Nullification Crisis and Compromise of 1833: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html#nullcrisis

Primary Sources

John C. Calhoun Statement on Nullification: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/calhounonnullification.pdf

Speech on Nullification: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/hayneonnullification.pdf

Jackson's Proclamation on Nullification: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/jacksonproclamation.pdf

Nicholas Biddle and the Bank of the US

Videos

Bank Wars: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=18&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

The Corporations: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=25&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Scholar Debate- The Corporations: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=26&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Articles

Rise of the Corporations: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/themes/corporations.html

Bank Veto: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html#bankveto

Removal of Deposits: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html#deposits

Hard Money: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html#hardmoney

Primary Sources

The Downfall of the Mother Bank: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/downfallmotherbank.pdf

Henry Clay on Jackson's Veto: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/clayonbankveto.pdf

Bank War Statement: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/bankwarstatement.pdf

Jefferson's Opinion of the National Bank: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/jeffersononbank.pdf

Hamilton's Opinion of the National Bank: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/hamiltononbank.pdf

Martin Van Buren and the Democratic Party

Videos

Reinventing the Presidency Pt 1: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=29&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Reinventing the Presidency Pt 2: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=30&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Election of 1828: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=62&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Articles

Reinventing the Presidency: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/themes/reinventing_presidency.html

Campaigns and Elections: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/campaignselections.html

Jacksonian Democratic Party: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/democraticparty.html

 

The White Southern Farmer

The groups of Americans who most clearly benefited from the presidency of Andrew Jackson were white workers and farmers. Though a member of a landed elite, Jackson had humble beginnings and worked hard for economic and political success. Along with his military feats, he earned a reputation as a man of the people who worked on their behalf. He oversaw a significant rise in voting rights for white males and worked against those who posed a real or perceived threat to the livelihood of the common American, most notably corporations, the United States Bank, and Native Americans.

Videos

Battle of New Orleans: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=5&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Reinventing the Presidency Pt 1: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=29&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Reinventing the Presidency Pt 2: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=30&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

The Corporations: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=73&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Skilled Workers: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=33&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Minstrel Workers: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=17&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Articles

Domestic Policy: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html

American Franchise: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/americanfranchise.html

Jacksonian Democratic Party: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/democraticparty.html

Democratic Spirit of the Age: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/democraticparty.html#spirit

Impact and Legacy: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/impactlegacy.html

Frederick Douglass and African American Slaves

Videos

What Does America Owe the Slaves: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=19&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Scholar Debate- What Does American Owe the Slaves:http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=20&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

The Hermitage: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=63&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Abolition Movement: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=14&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Articles

What Does American Owe the Slaves: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/video_pop.html?id=14&KeepThis=true&TB_iframe=true&height=335&width=500

Slavery and Abolition: http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/domesticpolicy.html#slaveryabolition

Primary Sources

The Mean of July Fourth for the Slaves: http://www-tc.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/edu/meaningofjulyfourth.pdf

Process

For this WebQuest you must:

  1. Review the biography of your assigned individual or group to determine your specific perspective.
  2. On a sheet of paper, discuss the types of information you will probably need in order to prepare your speech.
  3. Visit your individual/group's page and read/watch your assigned resources, taking detailed notes on your findings. Make sure to indicate on your notes where you found the information. In addition to the items your group decided were important, also consider the following:
    • How did Jackson or his policies affect the life of your assigned individual or group?
    • In what way did your assigned individual or group specifically interact with Jackson or his policies?
    • At the end of his tenure in office, how did the life of your individual/group change? Was it for the better or for the worse?
    • Once you have finished researching, you must discuss and agree upon your stance on the key question of this WebQuest: Should Jackson's portrait be on the $20 bill? Decide on the best 3-5 arguments that support your position. Additionally, discuss potential visuals that would strengthen your argument.

 

Evaluation

Criteria5432
Research
  • Takes detailed notes from all provided sources.
  • Notes are clearly organized and cited.
  • Takes detailed notes from most of the provided sources.
  • Notes are organized and cited.
  • Takes notes from some of the sources provided.
  • Notes are not clearly organized and/or no citations.
  • Few notes are taken.
  • Notes lack detail.
  • No organization of the notes.
  • No citations included.
Argument Organization
  • Presents argument in a creative way.
  • Uses clear and appropriate language.
  • Employs relevant visuals that will help with his or her argument.
  • Presents argument in a creative way.
  • Presents sources in a clear manner.
  • Employs some visuals to help with his or her argument.
  • Presents argument in an uncreative way.
  • Argument is relatively clear.
  • Employs few visuals.
  • Argument presentation is not creative.
  • Argument is not clear.
  • Does not employ visuals.
Argument Effectiveness
  • Provides a concise and detailed background about the group's relation to the Jacksonian Era.
  • Makes an effective argument that draws heavily from the provided resources for or against Jackson on the $20 bill.
  • Provides a detailed background about the group's relation to the Jacksonian Era.
  • Makes an effective argument that draws heavily from the provided resources for or against Jackson on the $20 bill.
  • Background provided is brieg about the group's relation to the Jacksonian Era.
  • Argument is too general and lacks specifics.
  • Provides limited background or
  • information is completely irrelevant.
  • Argument is unclear or off topic.

Conclusion

Andrew Jackson played a significant role in democratizing American government and society. He increased the power of the president, sparked a significant increase in voting, and had a personal popularity not seen since George Washington. However, while promoting his agenda and gaining the respect of white workers and farmers, he ordered the removal of Native Americans from their ancestral lands and started a dramatic expansion of slavery. While there is no record of the process that placed him on the $20 bill in the early 1900's, his presence in our wallets continues to be controversial. Jackson was an enigma who enjoyed widespread popular support but always faced extreme criticism.