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The Contender
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Andrew Jackson was a Good President

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/23/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,059 times Debate No: 72220
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (0)




Round 1: Opening
Round 2: Rebuttal
Round 3: Closing
Rules: Cite sources
Drops are concessions

Andrew Jackson was a great president and leader. For this debate, I define "good president" as one that benefits their citizens.

Contention 1: Economy

Andrew Jackson helped the economy.First, he vetoed the National Bank. The National Bank was a corrupt organization run by aristocrats. The Bank answered only to private investors and wealthy, and would not answer to or loan to the common people. Jackson was right to veto it, and took all the money out of it, destroying the bank.
Secondly, Andrew Jackson is the ONLY president to make national debt zero. This is a phenomenal feat and allowed USA to be less dependent on other countries.
Thirdly, Andrew Jackson signed trade treaties with Russia, Spain, Turkey, Great Britain, and Siam. These reopened trade in some areas and allowed for economic expansion. American exports increased more than 75 percent and imports grew 250 percent during Jackson's presidency.
Therefore it can be concluded that Jackson increased the economy of the US.

Contention 2: Nullification Crisis

Andrew Jackson handled the Nullification Crisis extremely well. South Carolina threatened to secede over high tariffs during Jackson's presidency. To stop this, he introduced the Force Bill, allowing him to send in solders to stop the secession. Jackson, alone among politicians, stood with federal power over state's rights strongly.
This has the impact of keeping the United States together. Without Jackson, the Union could've seperated much earlier, and there could be a split USA today.

Contention 3: Jacksonian Democracy

Andrew Jackson introduced the system of Jacksoninan Democracy. In this, the common people have the supreme power, not the rich and powerful. Allowing the common to rule themselves is the essence of a true democracy. A democracy of the rich is no democracy at all. We must preserve Jackson's vision of a free America.

For these reason I urge a Pro ballot. Thank you for accepting and good luck!



C.1. Indian removal act
This is certainly one of the biggest flaws of Andrew Jackson. In this act Andrew Jackson can be equal to Hitler . My opponent described “good” as beneficial to its own people. However, the Native Americans were not considered citizens up 1924. But, citizens nevertheless. Andrew Jackson’s acts make it one of the most regrettable acts in history. His Indian removal act is now called the tear of trails which the migrants faced hunger, disease, and exhaustion on the forced march. Over 4,000 out of 15,000 of the Cherokees died. (1) Estimates of the pre-Columbian population vary widely, though uncontroversial studies place the figure for North, Central and South America at a combined 50 million to 100 million,with scholarly estimates of 2 million to 18 million for North America alone. An estimated 80% to 90% of this population died after the arrival of Europeans, overwhelmingly from factors beyond most human control — e.g., smallpox epidemics. (2)

C.2 Panic of 1837
This can be used as a rebuttal to my opponent’s argument. Andrew Jackson was a terrible economist. He paid off the national debt by blocking every spending bill. He vetoed programs to build national highways, building light-houses, light-boats, and monuments, placing buoys, and improving harbors and directing surveys. Jackson also vetoed bills to improve navigation out at harbor. You see, Jackson vetoed almost everything that would make the country a better place (3 and 4). Now, that he also vetoed the national bank (which was very useful in many cases throughout history), he also started selling off lands owned by the federal government. What’s more, the national debt did not even last more than a year.

He then placed all the money from the national bank into local banks. Jackson assumed that hurt the citizens by taking too much control of the economy. He was wrong. When the money was placed in the local banks, the local bank’s reckless credit policies eventually made many banks shut down, and many people lost their jobs. This led to the biggest financial crisis the United States had seen in their time. (4)

C.3. Andrew Jackson's contribution to the civil war
My opponent defines the act of Andrew Jackson as a beneficial act to our country. In some extent, this is true. However, Andrew Jackson’s method of dealing with the crisis is certainly regrettable. When Andrew Jackson handled the crisis he threatened South Carolina that he would bring his own personal army and kill his own citizens in South Carolina. (5) This eventually led to the question: Who had more power? The states or the government? The tension between the South and North grew stronger as Andrew Jackson denied the veto of the tariff. This incident would eventually lead to the civil war. (6)


Debate Round No. 1



C1:Indian Removal Act

" However, the Native Americans were not considered citizens up 1924. But, citizens nevertheless. "

This is not true. The Native Americans were their own sovereign people, NOT citizens of the United States. Also, Andrew Jackson cannot be compared to Adolf Hitler as the Jews were very much citizens of Germany, while the natives were not.
"As a result, in just a few years Jackson's administration negotiated more than seventy treaties, acquiring more than 100 million acres of Indian land east of the Mississippi River."

Andrew Jackson's policies were of efficient land use. He DIRECTLY improved the economy and the land of the America.
"An Indian chief explained that “[w]e must have a great deal of ground to live upon. A deer will serve us but a couple days, and a single deer must have a great deal of ground to put him in good condition. If we kill two or three hundred a year, ’tis
the same as to eat all the wood and grass of the land they live on, and this is a great deal” (qtd. in Lebergott 1984, 13). Stanley Lebergott calculates that in the early 1800s Indian tribes required almost two thousand acres (or three square miles) per person, but that the white population could meet its food (and whiskey) requirements on a couple acres per person. Thus, “European settlers required fantastically less land than the largely hunting and fishing peoples with whom they came into conflict”.
"During his eight years in office, the federal government sold almost 50 millionacres to the public.4 The Land Act of 1832 cut the minimum lot size sold by the government from 80 to 40 acres and held the minimum price at $1.25 per acre, an amount that a common laborer could earn in about one day (Atack and Passell 1994, 258).5 Robert Gallman estimates that 41 percent of capital formation in the United States in the 1830s came from land improvements—farmers clearing, breaking, fencing, draining, and irrigating their land—almost twice as high as during any other period in his study".

Thus, Andrew Jackson's lan acquisitions have a HUGE benefit to the American people. Because of the Acts he passed, land could be cheaply bought by poor farmers who put the land to better use than the Indians.

Contention 1 goes Pro.

C2: Panic of 1837
"Peter Temin (1969) pulls data together to argue that most of the macroeconomic instability in the United States during this period was due to international events that triggered flows of specie into and out of the American economy. The
inflation seems to have been caused by a combination of events for which Jackson cannot be blamed—including political instability in Mexico (which caused capital flight to the United States plus inflation-driven exports of silver), surging drug
addiction in China (which reduced silver flows to China as its imports of opium soared), payment of war reparations, and Europeans taking advantage of what they saw as investment opportunities in the United States.6 Then, right after Jackson left office, the Panic of 1837 hit, which Temin ties to the Bank of England’s decision toraise interest rates to stem the outward flow of specie. A survey of economic historians (Whaples 1995, 142) shows that the vast majority concur with Temin’s conclusion that “[t]he inflation and financial crisis of the 1830s had their origin in events largely beyond President Jackson’s control and would have taken place whether or not he had acted as he did vis-a`-vis the Second Bank of the U.S.” (1969, back cover).

My opponent also talks about infrastructure. HOwever, Jackson believed that local infrastructure should be funded locally, not paid for by the national government. Jackson also achieved some breakthrough trade agreements: ending restrictions on British ships coming from the West Indies in exchange for American trade access to the West Indies; gaining most-favored-nation status with Turkey; and signing trade treaties with Russia, Morocco, Mexico, Columbia, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Siam, and Muscat, benefiting American trade. (

So studies from various economic historians shows that the Panic of 1837 was NOT Jackson's fault, but international events.
This point must also go Pro because I have shown that the national debt was reduced to ZERO under Jackson, something no president has ever done. His good trade policies and strong economic policies benefited the economy.

C3: Nullification Crisis

My opponent has a claim that Jackson caused the civil war "This incident would eventually lead to the civil war. (6) ". This is not true in any way.
"President Jackson was tired of threats from the nullies, and disgusted by the idea that one state could nullify a federal law and secede from the union. His response was firm. He met their challenge by raising an army and sending it to South Carolina. Shortly after his re-election, in his annual message on December 4, 1832, Jackson stated his intention to enforce the tariff, although he too encouraged Congress to reduce the burdensome tariff rates.

Jackson followed his speech six days later with the Nullification Proclamation, which further denounced South Carolina’s action. With his army standing ready to enforce the tariff, Jackson called South Carolina’s bluff. He called upon Congress to develop a “Force Bill” to authorize his use of army personnel to enforce the tariff."

As CLEARLY shown, Jackson's strength in the Nullification Crisis kept the Union together. There was no one with the backbone to stand up to the seceders but Andrew Jackson. Any other president could not have kept the US together in that time.

My Contention 3

Jacksonian democracy is the rule of the proletariats, of the commoners, of WE THE PEOPLE. Before Jackson, elections were only of the wealthy and priveleged. Jacksonian democracy led to all people having a say in the government that we all live in.

Sources comparison

My main source this round was written by Robert Whaple, Professor of Economics. The opponent uses Wikapedia, rationalwiki, and a without any credibility. Vote Pro on Sources.


Because I have CLEARLY shown Jackson's positive effects in the aspects of economy, land, Jacksonian democracy, and Nullification Crisis, Pro wins the debate.

Thank you.



I thank my opponent for taking his time to create a rebuttal. However, my opponent’s attitude bothers me, since it is evident that my opponent comes across as almost boastful. I encourage my opponent to not make any claims of who won or who lost since it is too early in the debate to do so. Furthermore, it is best not to urge the voters to vote so early on, in this debate.

R.1 American Indians
My opponent attempts to completely ignore-and discard, my argument since the American Indians were not U.S citizens. However, as of 1924, they are citizens of the United States. That being said, my opponent never clarified whether it had to be the citizens of the past, my opponent only stated “beneficial to its citizens”. That being said, we can assume that the citizens had to be of any time period. Therefore, American Indians are counted as citizens in this debate.

In regards to the Indian chief, it is true that the Indians had more land. However, what would be the outcome? Currently in the Indian reserves, (including those that are in Georgia and are the product of the Indian removal) the living conditions are almost unbearable. The disparity for American Indians living below poverty on the reservations is even greater, reaching 38% to 63% The disparity for American Indians living below poverty on the reservations is even greater, reaching 38% to 63%.There is a housing crisis in Indian country. Despite the Indian Housing Authority's (IHAs) recent efforts, the need for adequate housing on reservations remains acute. One legislator deplored the fact that (1)

there are 90,000 homeless or underhoused Indian families, and that 30% of Indian housing is overcrowded and less than 50% of it is connected to a public sewer.”

My opponent drops the rest of my argument in regards to hunger, deaths, cruelty, etc. . .

R.2 Panic of 1837
Using my opponent’s own source, it states that

Jackson may be culpable for one additional cause of inflation—the Gold Coin Act of 1834, which devalued the gold dollar by 6.6 percent without altering the silver dollar. The objective of the act was to get a gold–silver ratio that would overvalue gold slightly at the mint in order to attract exports of gold from abroad (Timberlake 1997, 514).”(2)

It is no doubt that Jackson caused inflation due to the Gold Coin Act of 1834. While it is true that Jackson is not the sole cause of the panic of 1837, it is clear that he was a major contributor. Jackson’s Gold Coin Act of 1834 was one of the main reasons for the inflation. Other sources explain,

Within the United States, there were several contributing factors. In July 1832, President Andrew Jackson vetoed the bill to recharter the Second Bank of the United States (BUS), the nation's central bank and fiscal agent. As the BUS wound up its operations in the next four years, state-chartered banks in the West and South relaxed their lending standards, maintaining unsafe reserve ratios. (3)

R.3 Nullification crisis
I agree that that Andrew Jackson was a success in the nullification crisis, however his ways of dealing with the nullification crisis are regrettable and not showing much of a leadership initiative. While it is true that Andrew Jackson had little to nothing to do with the civil war, I am simply trying to advocate how the civil war had roots going down to the nullification crisis.

As my opponent stated, Andrew Jackson had his own personal army ready. Threatening to kill your own citizens is immoral and not the best way to handle a problem.

My opponent bashes on my sources since I used Wikipedia, RationalWiki, as well as one from google sites. Apparently none of these had credibility, however if you look for Wikipedia and RationalWiki, the sources/notes are clearly labeled on the bottom of the page with the citizations. Furthermore, I can cite my arguments from the main source if my opponent desired. I can go deeper into the nullification crisis by finding multiple sources supporting my argument.

I encourage my opponent not to “give himself points”, as it results in bad conduct. (E.g. This debate goes to pro)

I would like to point out that my opponent’s 5th source/link was not found. This is a bit hypocritical since my opponent bashes me of my sources, when his was not even there!

Thank you for your time.

3.Knodell, Jane (September 2006). "Rethinking the Jacksonian Economy: The Impact of the 1832 Bank Veto on Commercial Banking". The Journal of Economic History
Debate Round No. 2


First off, I would like to apologize if I come off as "boastful", as the Con claims, for stating a point goes Pro. However, it seems as a typical debate in which you claim points go your way.


American Indians
This argument is sufficiently rebutted. The natives were not citizens at the time, so Andrew Jackson did not have an obligation to help them out. However, my opponent extends the definition of citizens to ALL citizens, past and present. Andrew Jackson is certainly NOT responsible for all of the natives conditions, and the natives were compensated fairly for their land, similar to eminent domain. While the Trail of Tears had bad conditions, which I concede, Jackson was not responsible for those.


My opponent states that vetoing the Second Bank of the US was detrimental. However, the bankers were corrupt and only lent out money to their friends and associates, something gone unrefuted.

The Panic of 1837 WAS NOT Jackson's fault in any way.
"A survey of economic historians (Whaples 1995, 142) shows that the vast majority concur with Temin’s conclusion that “[t]he inflation and financial crisis of the 1830s had their origin in events largely beyond President Jackson’s control and would have taken place whether or not he had acted as he did vis-a`-vis the Second Bank of the U.S.” (1969, back cover)."

"Likewise, critics of Jackson have characterized the “free banking” era that emerged after the demise of the BUS as a chaotic free-for-all of rampant unregulated banking, but Hugh Rockoff (1974) shows that the cumulative losses to note holders due to bank failures during the decades after Jackson destroyed the BUS were miniscule—less than one one-hundredth of one percent of national income—largely because sensible state banking rules and the prudence of bankers and their customers meant that banks had high levels of equity (for example, specie) backing their operations. The gains to customers in terms of lower interest payments due to banking competition would have far exceeded such losses. "

My source ALSO states that the Second Bank of the US worsened the Panic of 1819, so vetoing it was a good decision by Jackson.

Nullification Crisis

My opponent states that Jackson threatened to kill his own citizens and the civil war had roots down to the Crisis. However, without any threats, South Carolina would've left the Union. They wouldn't have been citizens if Jackson were not such a strong leader. The civil war had roots FAR BEYOND the Nullification crisis, such as slavery.

Now that the Con case falls, the Pro case will be presented

Pro Case


There is a CLEAR consensus among economists and historians that Jackson benefited the economy. Remember voters, he is the ONLY president to lower national debt to zero, making him one of the greatests presidents of all time in terms of economics. My opponent attempts to refute this by saying it did not last. However, making the debt zero at any time is quite a feat. If it were so easy to lower the debt to zero, why couldn't a single other president do it?

Jackson acquired over 50 million acres of land to the United states. He single handedly expanded our borders, much like Thomas Jefferson. Andrew Jackson made the price of land cheaper also, as stated in Rebuttal. This goes unrefuted by Con.

Nullification Crisis

Con concedes this argument with "I agree that that Andrew Jackson was a success in the nullification crisis". However he tries to refute it with saying that threats are immoral. However, the situation called for a strong leader to take action. The Nullification Crisis was not a time for pretty words, it needed a strong man to lead, and Jackson did just that, keeping the USA together.

Jacksonian Democracy

Notice Con has dropped this argument, and as the rules CLEARLY say, drops are concessions. But I will extend it anyways. Before Jackson, all politics was done by the aristocrats, and the poor had no access to vote or have a fair say. But under Jackson, Jacksonian democracy went underway, saving the foundation on which this nation was made.


While it is true that ONE of my sources is not found, remember that my main source, Independent, was written by an Economics Professor. His main sources are googlesites, RationalWiki and Wikapedia. These are written by bloggers and any random person who pleases to write about whatever they wish.


My opponent stretches the definition of citizen to past and present, something I'll concede. But let's picture Andrew Jackson's effects on citizens, past and present day.
The USA now has large, expansive borders that allow for growth. Without Jackson, the US would still be far east of the Mississippi. Jackson created an economic powerhouse able to compete and trade with others in a globalized world. The country is still together and strong because of his leadership. But most importantly, all citizens nowadays have a fair vote and chance to speak up for themselves because of Andrew Jackson. We must preserve Jackson's vision of a free America led by We the People.



Thanks for the reply Pro

R.1 American Indians
While it is true to some extent that Andrew Jackson was not the sole cause of the conditions of the present day Indians, we can see how he was a major contributor to it. After the tear of trails (which was Jackson’s responsibility), the Native Americans had moved. However, what was the outcome from the trail? Unbearable living conditions exposed to the Native Americans. The events in the past impact the events from today, and the tear of trails and poor living conditions is one of them.

R.2 Economics
My opponent bases every detail off of the essay as truism, and the essay does not tell us about the survey in regards to Peter Termin. Furthermore, the essay states (this is my opponent’s own source)

However, the 64 percent increase in the money supply during this period can’t be attributed to unregulated banks increasing their loan-to-reserve ratios. Rather, more than all of the increase in the money supply from 1833 to 1836 was caused by an increase in specie (gold and silver) in circulation (Atack and Passell 1994, 100)


Jackson may be culpable for one additional cause of inflation—the Gold Coin Act of 1834, which devalued the gold dollar by 6.6 percent without altering the silver dollar”.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen. While other economists may argue that Jackson was not the sole cause of the inflation, the essay states that Jackson’s gold and silver act increased the money supply by 64%. On top of that,

“Following the credit crunch, the economy endured a bout of inflation—with prices rising 28 percent from 1833 to 1836, which critics of Jackson attributed to the easy-money policies of the banking sector, which was no longer required to practice sound money policies because the BUS was no longer there to rein it in

You see, using my opponent’s own source the BUS’ credit crunch (due to Jackson’s war with the bank) caused a bout of inflation. Critics attributed to the easy money policies only because the BUS was not able to rein on it. Therefore, since Jackson got rid of the BUS, it allowed the easy money policies, which lead to the panic of 1837.

Please do keep in mind that this is all based off my opponent’s own source.

R.3 Nullification crisis
My opponent makes the misinterpretation of the argument and believes that I dropped the fact that Jackson united South Carolina. This is not true since I accepted that Jackson united South carolina with regrettable ways. Now, I bring up how this is immoral and my opponent refutes it stating how it was the right thing to do or else it South Carolina would not have been with us right now.

However, my opponent needs to bring up how methods of peace, and without threats would not suffice, something he has not done. My opponent only makes the assumption that it was the right thing to do, while I point out that it was immoral.

R.4 National debt
I have said this before however, my opponent drops the argument of what cost the national debt was paid off. Keep in mind that the national debt only lasted a year. What cost did the National debt came in?

He paid off the national debt by blocking every spending bill. He vetoed programs to build national highways, building light-houses, light-boats, and monuments, placing buoys, and improving harbors and directing surveys. Jackson also vetoed bills to improve navigation out at harbor. You see, Jackson vetoed almost everything that would make the country a better place. (1)

This part of my argument, my opponent leaves untouched.

R.5 Jacksonian democracy
The reason why I dropped this argument is simply because it is irrelevant. A political party is completely irrelevant, and I may even argue how the democrats failed a lot. However, that is irrelevant and it is arguable that Jackson would not have agreed with everything of the modern democratic party.

Again, my opponent bashes my sources when they were cited/referenced to legitimate articles, studies, papers, etc… My google sites source came off irrelevant because even my opponent agreed how Jackson used death threats to unite South Carolina.
Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Commondebator 2 years ago
Oh yea definitely. Although you cant really call him a democrat, its kinda hard to define him
Posted by kingkd 2 years ago
Yeah, love how he beat his own assassin. Feel like he's the people's guy, a down to earth politician we could use today.
Posted by Commondebator 2 years ago
I love his attitude, how he handled the war of 1812, etc etc
Posted by Commondebator 2 years ago
lol ik ik
Posted by kingkd 2 years ago
You do? Must be hard to be doing Con then...
Posted by Commondebator 2 years ago
you too! I actually like jackson
Posted by kingkd 2 years ago
Good luck to Con! I intend to defend Jackson, whom I believe is a scapegoat to many.
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