Robert V. Remini’s book, The Jacksonian Era, contains valuable information during Andrew Jackson’s presidency. Some of the important themes that are discussed during Jackson’s presidency are slavery, the Bank War, the robed election, and some of Jackson’s past. Remini opens the book up in “A Hero For An Age” by discussing the battle of New Orleans and the importance of the engagement to the War of 1812. The American people soon realized what an accomplishment Jackson had achieved and in return gave their thanksgiving for him and his men’s victory. Remini discusses how after the Battle of New Orleans, Jackson or “Old Hickory” would be know as the “Hero of New Orleans.” The victory at New Orleans ultimately gave Jackson the presidency; no one could deny him of this.
The section continues with providing background information over Jackson and his growth as a child. Remini seemed to do this often and sometimes it seemed that every time he introduces a new character he took the time to pause and give a full biography. An example of this took place in the first chapter when introducing Jackson, which is understandable, but then it became repetitive with Martin Van Buren and Henry Clay. In both cases Remini almost gave a full biography in three-pages of each character and taking away from the main point of the section, which was if Jackson was qualified for taking the seat in the White House.
Jackson’s lack of education and experience in politics didn’t stop Calhoun and Van Buren with uniting in order to support Jackson for the 1828 election. Their organization led to the development of the Democratic Party. Both knew Jackson symbolized more than another candidate. Jackson past accomplishments turned him into a hero and someone who was the “man of the people,” who saved a nation from being over taken by Great Britain.
Towards the end of the first section Remini talked about the day of the inauguration and how spectacular it was. The way he described the inauguration with how spectacular and something that the people would never forget showed how liked Jackson was. Jackson was very committed to the idea of a democracy. His idea of democracy did not consist of a system of College Electors, where a small group of men could change the outcome of an election. Remini does a good job explaining how Jackson planned on changing the process and how he would go about amending the constitution in December 1829. What Jackson wanted for democracy was a majority rule During Jackson’s presidency there was a struggle to recharter the Second bank of the United States. Jackson’s hatred towards to BUS derived from bad early experiences as a young man. He believed that the BUS threatened individual liberty. The Bank War summed up was a power struggle between Jackson and Nicholas Biddle. Remini makes the point on whether or not the nation would be able to survive as a private democracy. His main point towards the end of the section was that the Bank War helped develop democracy within the country and Remini does a great job at explaining the situation his “The Jacksonian Era.”
One of the more important developments Remini discusses and that was part of the Jacksonian era “was the powerful urge to reform and improve society and the conditions developing from an increasingly industrial and materialistic nation.” All of the problems of the past soon faded away with the coming of the Mexican War and what it brought with it, manifest destiny. One of things that were enjoyable about the book was that Remini talked in-depth of Jackson’s goals. Jackson had a vision of an empire that would cover all of Spanish North America and he would take the initiative by seizing Florida, subduing the Indians along the southern border, and led to the negotiation of other territories.
Before Jackson’s death he had given warning to the dangers of slavery and what the consequences would be if the union broke under pressure. That it would take “oceans of blood and hundreds of millions of money to repair.” And shortly after two decades Jackson’s prediction came to life and solved with a horrifying civil war.
[ 1 ]. Ibid 18
[ 2 ]. Ibid 18
[ 3 ]. Ibid 21
[ 4 ]. Ibid 32
[ 5 ]. Ibid 39
[ 6 ]. Ibid 42
[ 7 ]. Ibid 73
[ 8 ]. Ibid 109
[ 9 ]. Ibid 121