Andrew Jackson should be removed from the 20 Dollar Bill
Debate Rounds (5)
(1) Andrew Jackson was a pioneer.
Andrew Jackson rose from the slums of a Scotch Irish settlement to become president of the United States, showing that anybody in America, no matter social or economic class, can become somebody of importance.
(2) Andrew Jackson redefined democracy.
Jacksonian democracy brought in a new age of politics that is still in use today. Before this kind of democracy, mostly rich, stereotypical white men participated in politics.
(3) Andrew Jackson strongly supported the common man.
Andrew Jackson was the first man to be elected by ordinary people as supposed to rich aristocrats, and Jackson continued to fight against big government and support the middle class.
(4) Andrew Jackson reduced the national debt to zero.
Andrew Jackson paid off all the debt from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and all of America's other debts. This feat has never been accomplished before, and has not been accomplished since.
(5) Andrew Jackson empowered the executive branch.
Jackson made the presidency strong, and created executive privileges that helped many other presidents accomplish what they needed to do.
(6) Andrew Jackson was a war hero.
Jackson fought bravely in the War of 1812 and helped defeat the British.
In conclusion, Andrew Jackson was a great man. He contains all of the necessary traits that other people on bills have, and is totally deserving of being the face of our nation.
Vote for con.
Contention One: Indian Removal
Andrew Jackson was a firm supporter of Indian removal policies; policies that took Native American tribes from the land they had lived on for centuries, often moving them west, thousands of miles away. Indian removal was a major Jackson policy, running through the entirety of his tenure as President. Jackson mentioned Indian removal in seven of his annual addresses to Congress (he made eight in total) , using language that made his policies sound voluntary and would allow for peaceful movement. This, however, was not seen in action. Under Jackson's administration, in 1830, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, allowing Jackson to negotiate removal treaties with the Native American nations. This act eventually led to the forced, westward migration of natives . This in turn led to the Trail of Tears, an infamous period where thousands of Natives (believed to be about four thousand) died . Since Jackson's policies led not only to the mass removal of people from their homeland, but thousands dead as well, Jackson should not be on the twenty-dollar bill.
Contention Two: Slavery
The Jackson administration was not only supportive of Native American removal, but supportive of slavery as well. In fact, one of the main reasons behind Indian removal was to have land for slavery . Jackson was a well-known member of the Democratic Party, which at the time was known for its pro-slavery stance. Jackson denounced abolitionists as "monsters" and asked for Congress to prohibit abolitionist documents from circulating in the South, after a violent episode in Charleston . Perhaps the biggest connection Jackson had to slavery was a personal one; Jackson was a major owner of slaves, totaling at 150 at the time of his death. Had it not been for slavery, then Jackson would not have made his wealth . Because Jackson not only removed Indians for the expansion of slavery, but condemned abolitionists and contributed to the practice of slavery himself, he should not be on the twenty-dollar bill.
In conclusion, Andrew Jackson should not be on the twenty-dollar bill due to horrific contributions to the practices of Indian removal and slavery, encouraging and allowing for the expansion of both. I strongly urge a ballot in affirmation of the resolution.
Sources:  http://www.synaptic.bc.ca...
Andrew Jackson was a product of his times. Any other president from his era on bills were also racists. It is unfair to judge a 19th century man with 21st century standards.
1. Indian Removal Act
First of all, it should be noted that Jackson was not wholely responsible for the trail of tears. Martin Van Buren, his sucessor, who was not a democrat, enacted Indian Removal. At the time, it was a popular belief that America should expand westward and push Indians as we go. Whilst now we can look back and see this is racist, it was a normal thing to think at the time.
2. Massive slave owner.
It should be noted that Thomas Jefferson had 650 slaves, George Washington had 250, etc etc. It was normal to have slaves back then. It does not make him a bad man.
If you get rid of Jackson from the bill, you might as well do away with everyone else in favor of someone "perfect" (aka nobody). JFK was a famous adulterer. Abraham Lincoln believed the black people should never vote, and so did all of his predecessors. All of the presidents had flaws and did bad things. This does not detract from their greatness.
I will address my opponent's contentions and then move on to my opponent's rebuttals of my own points.
My opponent's first contention deals with Andrew Jackson's status of being a pioneer; Jackson rose from the slums to become president, personifying the American Dream. While this is an inspiring story, that does not necessarily mean that his face should be placed on the twenty-dollar bill. J.K. Rowling had a very similar story; she went from someone living on welfare to one of the most richest and well-known women in the entire world, as well as writing one of the most popular children's book series of all time. Does that mean she should be placed on the pound in the United Kingdom? No, it doesn't. An inspiring story does not necessarily mean something like that.
My opponent's second contention talks about Andrew Jackson and his brand of democracy, Jacksonian democracy. This sounds good at first, until one truly examines what Jacksonian democracy is; democracy for the common, white man. While it is true that previously in history, democracy was for mainly rich, white men, Jacksonian democracy only truly applied to white men, but this time of all incomes . Women, African-Americans and Native Americans were all still excluded. Jacksonian democracy only applied to the white man. It should also be noted that quite a few of his supporters were wealthy landowners, bankers and businessmen .
My opponent's third contention talks about Andrew Jackson supporting the common man. As I have said previously, Jacksonian democracy only applied to the white man; African-Americans, Native Americans and women were still ignored by Jackson. It should also be noted that Jacksonian democracy actually expanded the powers of the executive branch , instead of Jackson fighting against big government as my opponent states.
My opponent's fourth contention deals with Jackson's reduction of the national debt. While it is true that Jackson was the first--and so far, only--President to pay off the national debt, it should be noted that Jackson's requirement that all government land sales be done with gold and silver in order to prevent a land bubble from collapsing was one of the main reasons why the country entered the longest depression in history . Ironically, it is also a main reason as to why we started having a national debt. Jackson paid off the debt--only to plunge the country into a depression and cause us to start spending again.
My opponent's fifth contention is that Andrew Jackson empowered the executive branch. This is contradictory to a previous statement my opponent made in his third contention, where he stated that Jackson fought against big government. Despite this, it is important to note that by expanding the executive branch, Jackson led into the Bank War, where he destroyed the Second Federal Bank of the United States. However, by doing this, he led into the Crash of 1837, the longest depression in the nation's history .
My opponent's sixth contention is that Andrew Jackson was a war hero, fighting against the British in the War of 1812. This is true; Jackson fought against the British and was considered a hero following his fighting. But being a war hero, again, does not deserve fame. Placing the other items into consideration--that Jackson supported removal of Native Americans and slavery, as well as causing one of the greatest economic crashes in US history--the fact that he fought against the British is rather insignificant.
Now I will address my opponent's rebuttals to my contentions, centering around Jackson's support of slavery and Indian removal.
The center of my opponent's rebuttals are that "Jackson was a product of his times". This does not excuse his actions whatsoever. It does not excuse the fact that he owned dozens of slaves and condemned those who went against slavery. If I, for instance, beat someone who was gay with my fists, in our divided climate dealing with gay rights, does the excuse that I was a product of my times excuse my action? It doesn't. Jackson's actions leading to the deaths of thousands of Native Americans cannot be excused with, "Jackson was a product of his times".
My opponent's rebuttals to my first contention center around, "Jackson was not wholely responsible for the trail of tears". Looking at history, the Indian Removal Act, passed in 1830, allowed Jackson to make treaties which forcefully removed the Indians from their land. This led directly to the Trail of Tears, resulting in thousands of Native Americans dying. Is it true that the Trail of Tears occurred after Jackson's tenure in office? Yes. But that doesn't excuse the fact that Jackson's actions led directly to that.
My opponent's rebuttal to my second contention is that other Presidents had slaves, even more than Jackson, so therefore it does not mean he was bad. This is fallacious thinking. My opponent stating that because people had more slaves than Jackson so Jackson isn't bad does not change that Jackson still owned over one hundred enslaved people. This rebuttal does not touch upon the fact that Jackson denounced abolitionists, nor does it touch upon the fact that Jackson asked Congress to restrict circulation of abolitionist texts.
My opponent ends his second round post with a comment remarking on the fact that all people are imperfect, and that JFK and Abraham Lincoln were not perfect people. No, they were not perfect people--no one is. But this does not excuse Jackson's actions. Keep in mind what Jackson did; he forcefully removed the Native Americans from the land they have lived on for centuries, supported the barbaric act of slavery and crashed the United States economy.
Should we have this man on our currency?
For these reasons, I strongly urge a ballot in affirmation of the resolution.
Sources:  http://en.citizendium.org...
Thank you for posting so lucidly. I would like to counter refute my oppoints refutations and then reaffirm by rebuttals.
My opponent says this being a pioneer does not mean greatness. This is totally false. I think that rising from poverty to greatness is a sure sign that someone is a good person. If JK Rowling had political importance than I think she would be a great person to be on a pound note.
My opponent said that Jacksonian democracy was only for white men, and not women and people of color. First of all, no one thought that women and people of color were equal to white people. Sure, some people thought that slavery was bad, but there were no political movements saying that they were equal. Jacksonian Democracy was the most advanced political party of the time. It evolved into the current democratic party. Jacksonian democracy is still used today and envelops people of all gender and nationality.
My opponent said that Andrew Jackson only supported the common man and not people of color and women. However, as I have stated in my last counter refutation, it was the belief of the time. Nobody supported women in the 1830s, so why should we judge Andrew Jackson for not doing so as well? All of his predecessors and many sucessors thought that women are less than men. Until very recently, many presidents were sexist.
My opponent said that the debt went back up after his time in office, however, it should be noted that Andrew Jackson removed 58$ million of debt and it raised 3.3$ million when he left, so an overall sucess. Also, it is completely false that Jackson is "solely responsible" for the panic of 1837. There were many factors that led into it. It happened during Martin Van Buren's presidency...
My opponent said that Jackson empowering the executive branch was contradictory to him supportin the common man, however, him empowering the executive branch helped the common man greatly. Before, rich aristrocrats in congress, the senate, and the court controlled most of America, but Jackson gave the presidency more power, which helped him support the common man against the rest of the government. Also, it should be noted that the bank of the United States was completely corrupt at the time and favored northern states over southern and western states. It put all of the nation's financial power into one privatize bank that could be easily abused by congress.
My opponent also said that being a war hero does not make someone great. However, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in that war and was awarded rank of major general for his bravery. George Washington was a great man for being general in the Revolution, Lincoln was a great man for being a major part in the civil war, all these great men on bills had military merit that made them great men.
I would like to reaffirm my rebuttals now.
1. Everyone had slaves at the time. We cannot judge him for sharing beliefs with millions of other people. As to the trail of tears, Jackson saw the native americans as adversaries. Many had supported the British in the war of 1812, and he saw it as a war over precious land with limited resources. We have modern sympathies and a historical perspective that makes it seem like the way the Indians were treated was horribly unfair, but that isn't how people saw this issue as it was unfolding. The sectional conflict between slave states vs. free labor states had already heated up, diffused temporarily by the Missouri Compromise of 1820. If new lands for cotton cultivation weren't added to the Union, Jackson feared the South might become scared the North was becoming too powerful in Congress and secede from the Union, as indeed happened eventually. Jackson was trying to protect the citizens.
2. WE CANNOT JUDGE A NINETEENTH CENTURY MAN BY TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY STANDARDS! That is what this debate comes down to! While we may be sympathetic for native americans now, at the time they were opposing us in a war. While slavery was bad, many great men were pro-slavery. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, the list goes on. All of them were amazing people, and we cannot say that they are bad just because they owned slaves along with everyone else.
Let us look at the arguments presented so far. The negation's arguments center around Jackson's being a pioneer, Jacksonian democracy, support of the common man, solution of the national debt, empowering the executive branch and being a war hero. The affirmation's arguments center around Jackson's support and emphasis of Indian removal and slavery. My opponent's rebuttal to my contention is simply this; that one cannot apply twenty-first century standards onto a nineteenth-century man. I find this curious, as my opponent is doing the exact same thing. My opponent is placing twenty-first century standards on Andrew Jackson, with the only difference between the two of us being that he is looking at "favorable" qualities, and I am looking at "unfavorable" qualities. Considering that both of us are doing this, you cannot look to this "rebuttal".
So with this in account, let's take a closer look to these contentions.
I am raising the hard facts that Andrew Jackson's actions led to the deaths of thousands of Native Americans and the suffering of thousands of enslaved Africans, as well as the crashing of the United States economy. My opponent is trying to say that several of these events occurred after Jackson's presidency, but this is irrelevant. Conclusive evidence, which I have provided, points to Jackson playing a major part in these events. Van Buren was in office for only a few months when the Trail of Tears and Crash of 1837 occurred; is it really likely that he caused these events only a few months into his tenure, or is more likely that the man before had actions that led to these events? You cannot look to any of what my opponent is saying. So what if he was a "pioneer", so what if he fought against the British, so what if he helped the common man (even when his supporters were rich, upper-class men)? His actions led to the deaths and suffering of thousands, as well as economic turmoil for years. Why should we let this man be on our currency?
My opponent wishes to take a closer look at this debate. He says that my only rebuttal for his trail of tears point was that we can't judge a 18th century man by twenty first century standards, but this is completely false. I also listed a long rebuttal on the political war between the native americans and Jackson and how that justifies westward expansion. I do also stand by the fact that Jackson should not be judged for owning slaves when his political greatness is so prominent. My opponent also says that I am appying 21st century standards to Jackson in positive ways and refuting his negative ways, thus I am a hypocrite, which is completely false. He said that I am looking at "favorable qualities" that are "twenty-first century" qualities, however he failed to a name a single contention of mine that is a "twenty first century standard". Being a war hero, rising from poor to rich, solving the national debt, deomcratic values, how are any of my points things that are only deemed favorable in our day and age?
Now he views his own contentions, which I will refute.
I have already refuted the Indian Removal Act point. As to "Andrew Jackson's actions led to the suffering of thousands of enslaved Africans," There is absolutely no source for this. Just because he didn't act on slavery like Abraham Lincoln doesn't mean he is responsible for all the slavery in America. He says that Jackson crashed the economy, however, Jackson actually solved the national debt.
To conclude my argument, we should let this man be on our currency because he redefined America and stood up for what's right with the common people. Also, if you take Jackson off the bill then there is a blank spot! My opponent has not mentioned one person who should replace him, and if he does, I will refute their choice.
But first, I will address some minor issues made by my opponent.
In my opponent's last post, my opponent stated that I needed to mention a person to replace Jackson on the twenty dollar bill. I see no reason as to why I have to do this. This debate is about the merits of Jackson, and whether or not the qualities of his character and Presidency deserve him being on currency. This is not a debate about who should be on the currency. It can be a bald eagle on the twenty-dollar bill, or the flag, or anything really; this debate should not hinge on this issue whatsoever.
There also appears to be something my opponent is misunderstanding as well; in rebuttal to his point about Jackson solving the national debt, I mentioned that Jackson's actions led to the longest economic depression in national history, and I even provided a source to add bearing to my claim. My opponent's rebuttal to this, as can be seen in his previous post, is that "Jackson actually solved the national debt". As I've said before, I agree with my opponent on this; Jackson did solve the national debt. Yet Jackson's actions eventually led to a long, frustrating economic depression. What should be weighed more in this round; solving the debt, or causing terrific economic turmoil? In my opinion, we should be looking to the latter.
I find a comment by my opponent to be rather curious; he states that he "already refuted the Indian Removal Act point", yet his rebuttal is that "Trail of Tears didn't happen under Jackson", "Jackson was not wholely responsible" and the rebuttal my opponent has been referring to this entire debate: "You can't judge a nineteenth-century man by modern standards". As I've established, the first rebuttal does not rebut anything; I've provided evidence and reasoning that connects Jackson's actions to the deaths of thousands of Native Americans. The second doesn't rebut either, because I've never stated anything along the lines of that and, again, I've provided conclusive evidence that shows his actions resulted in TToT. I will now address my opponent's third rebuttal, as it is arguably the major point of the round.
My opponent's only real major rebuttal to my points regarding slavery (where I've provided evidence--which he has not rebutted--that Jackson supported and owned slaves and prevented the progression of abolitionism) and Indian Removal (which, as I've previously mentioned, has rebuttals that fall flat) is that one cannot judge a nineteenth-century man with twenty-first century standards. This is my opponent's biggest rebuttal to my contentions as well as my rebuttals to his contentions, and it is easily the most flawed.
Imagine, for instance, that we are in the Deep South during the 1950s. Tensions over racial equality are escalating, and African-Americans are finding themselves facing more and more challenges in their path towards equality. In this scenario, I am a white person who believes in segregation. I have become increasingly annoyed by the attempts of African-Americans to gain rights, and I decide to take matters into my own hands. I go out, in the middle of the night, and kill a black family in their sleep. I'm arrested and tried for my crimes, and it seems most, conclusive evidence points to me committing the murders. However, I stand up and I say that I am simply a product of my town and family's racist views--it's not my fault that I killed that family! The court, listening to me, disregards the conclusive evidence and decides to let me go free.
Is that justice? Is that right? No. Evidence showed that I killed human beings, perfectly fine humans, and yet I get off by saying I am a product of my times-- is that right? No. And that it is the situation we have on our hands here. My opponent is attempting to use an excuse, a little, tiny excuse, to excuse the deaths of thousands and the continued support of an institution almost all nowadays condemn.
Is that right?
Keep in mind, this is what you are voting on this round. You, the judge, are voting between hard evidence pointing Jackson to the deaths of thousands and the continued suffering of many more Africans, and being a "war hero" and a "pioneer". Are you going to vote for the hard, conclusive facts or are you going to vote on something that is largely an opinion? Why should you, as a judge, vote for an excuse over hard reasoning and facts? You cannot look to the negation in this debate; I strongly urge you to vote for the affirmation.
I will now conclude this debate. I would like to thank my opponent for such lively and punctual rounds. It was a pleasure.
1. My opponent mentioned three of my rebuttals to his trail of tears point but left out my FOURTH AND FIFTH REBUTTAL, which he failed to counter refute, and that is that Jackson did this to protect the citizens and stop the south from seceding. See argument #3. THIS IS KEY. HE HAS NOT COUNTER REFUTED THESE REBUTTALS.
2. My opponent said that he doesn't have to mention who should be on the twenty dollar bill instead of Andrew Jackson, however he should completely do this if he wants to prove that Andrew Jackson is not worthy of being on the bill. I see it as completely necessary to show who would be on the bill instead of Jackson, because even if Jackson was bad, (which he is not) my opponent has named no one that is better than him. We are debating whether the United States Government should remove Andrew Jackson from the bill. They would need a replacement.
3. My opponent says that Jackson's actions led to a depression, however, his evidence is not conclusive. It is still unsure what caused the Panic of 1837. Jackson solved the national debt! Also, it is worth noting that my opponent has brought up the Specie Circular as well as the Vetoing of the Second National Bank as things that led to the depression, however Jackson did these things to stop the south from seceding, which he was successful in doing. For weight in this argument, it should be "solving the national debt and stopping the south from seceding, or a possible contribution to a recession."
4. I would like to restate my rebuttals for the Indian Removal Act, all five of them (two of them he has not counter refuted, and none he has counter refuted thoroughly or succesfully).
a. The Trail of Tears didn't happen under Jackson
b. Jackson was not wholely responsible
c. You can't judge a nineteenth-century man by twenty-first century standards.
d. Andrew Jackson saw the native americans as enemies because they supported the British in the war of 1812 and were holding precious land that both sides needed.
e. If new lands for cotton cultivation weren't added to the Union, Jackson feared the South might become scared the North was becoming too powerful and secede from the Union.
5. My opponent had a long and irrelevant allegory for Jackson, where Jackson "killed a family of black people"
This is a silly metaphor. Jackson did nothing to harm the slaves. He just didn't act on slavery like Abraham Lincoln. He tried to stop the circulation of abolitionist texts because they were conspiratorial towards the government. Jackson did not harm the slaves in any way.
In conclusion, men can't be judged by attitudes. Men can't be deemed "not great" because they didn't abolish slavery. When looking at this debate, look at all the amazing things Jackson accomplished during his presidency, all of the standards he set, all of the good deeds he did for this country, then look at my opponent's arguments. Jackson expanded American territory (I have completely justified this in my refutations), Jackson was racist (like every other president on bills and all of his contemporaries), Jackson may have contributed to recession (for reasons I have justified,).
You, the judge, have to properly weigh the arguments laid out in this round and determine who has the convincing arguments of this round. Let us look at some key issues where you should be voting for the affirmation. I will start by addressing the contentions as laid out by both sides before addressing the rebuttals laid out throughout this debate.
Allow me to review the contentions laid out by my opponent; that Jackson was a pioneer, that Jackson "redefined" democracy, that Jackson strongly supported the common man, that Jackson reduced the national debt, that Jackson empowered the executive branch and that Jackson was a war hero. Notice several flaws in my opponent's contentions.
The first is that my opponent, throughout this debate, does not quote a single source throughout his posts. Not one. We have no idea how Jackson supported the common man nor how Jackson "redefined" democracy. He has no backing for any of his arguments. It is impossible to look to my opponent's contentions as they are unsubstantiated, without proof.
Second, you will notice that five out of six of my opponent's contentions are ones based around opinion; for instance, it is of the opinion of the negation that Jackson was a pioneer, that Jackson redefined democracy and that Jackson was a war hero. On the contrary, the affirmation has provided hard facts that Jackson's actions led to the Trail of Tears and, in turn, three thousand deaths, and the support of slavery and continued suffering of Africans. You cannot weigh what is mainly opinion over hard fact; the affirmation has the more convincing arguments. The sixth contention that my opponent has, that Jackson solved the national debt, is one I will address in a separate topic.
Third, the affirmation's two contentions outweigh all six of the negation's contentions. Note what the affirmation's contentions deal with; hard facts about Jackson causing death and destruction. The negation's contentions deal with opinionated topics, about Jackson fighting the British in the War of 1812 and Jackson having a rag-to-riches story. These contentions, just based on the topic of the contentions alone, do not outweigh the affirmation's contentions. If the judge feels that neither side made a more convincing case, the judge must flow to the affirmation because the affirmation has more prominent contentions than the negation.
Zooming further into the topics of the contentions, let us look at the rebuttals laid out by either side in this debate. Note the main topics in this debate, dealing with Jackson and Indian removal and slavery as well as Jackson's role in the economy.
Looking at economy, the affirmation wins. The negation mentions that Jackson solved the national debt. The affirmation agreed with this. However, it is noteworthy that Jackson's actions of solving the national debt eventually led to the collapsing of the US economy and the longest depression in this nation's history. Note that I provide a source on this, while my opponent provides none. Yet, the negation states that the evidence is not sufficient! He further claims that the actions prevented the South from seceding! Yet the negation provides not a single source. The negation also seems to think that solving the national debt has more weight than crashing the United States economy. Is this really true? What should the judge weigh in this round? A claim backed by a source and logical evidence, or a claim with no evidence that ignores the first claim repeatedly? Economy flows to the affirmation.
Looking at lives/impact on Indian removal and slavery, the affirmation wins. Again, the negation leaves no sources or backing for any rebuttals and claims he makes, while the affirmation provided several sources showing that Jackson supported slavery and Indian removal and thus should be removed. This aside, looking at the negation's refutations, none are sufficient. Looking specifically at my opponent's refutations as he states them in his last round post, especially dealing with the Trail of Tears, a, b and c are irrelevant as previously established in this debate (a ignores hard fact, b is based on a claim that the affirmation has not made, and c ignores the hard facts and offers an excuse for the suffering of millions) and d and e are not supported by any backing or evidence.
In conclusion, the judge should be flowing to the affirmation for the following reasons; a.) None of the negation's contentions and arguments are supported by evidence, fact or reasoning, b.) The majority of the negation's contentions are based on opinion, not hard fact, c.) The major argumentative issues in this round (economy and lives/slavery/Trail of Tears) were better argued by the affirmation, d.) The negation's rebuttals are unsatisfactory and e.) The affirmation's contentions hold more relevance and bearing than the negations. Judge, vote for the affirmation and for Pro. Thank you.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ConservativePolitico 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con showed that no American politician was perfect and that flaws are part of people's character. He made a case pointing out the good and achievements in Jackson while showing how other people on money (Washington, Jefferson) have had similar flaws to what Pro pointed out. A solid argument by Con.
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