Andrew Jackson was America's worst 'great' president

If you dislike what the presidency has become, blame Old Hickory

Andrew Jackson on the twenty dollar bill.
(Image credit: (Illustration by Lauren Hansen | Image courtesy iStock))

Andrew Jackson is one of America's "great" presidents. At least that's what the federal notes in my wallet and the annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraiser for the Democratic Party tell me. My high school history textbook catechized me on an "Age of Jackson" and the bold inauguration of "Jacksonian democracy."

I don't deny the bark-chewing, bloody-axe awe that his life story inspires. Jackson grew up in log-cabin Carolinian poverty, became an orphan during the Revolutionary War, and then rose into a kind of frontier aristocracy, making his fortune in Tennessee at the turn of the century. He was a plantation owner, who bought and sold slaves. He served in the House and briefly in the Senate.

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