Andrew Jackson: Good or Bad President
Debate Rounds (5)
First off, those actions my opponent speaks of occurred while Monroe was the president of the United States. Secondarily Andrew Jackson's invasion of Florida along with his ease in securing the Spanish capitol were the primary reasons why the Spanish sold Florida to the United States in 1819. That move alone probably increased the quality of life for millions of American elderly people over the last 200 years.
Thus far the only relevant argument my opponent has made is, "he was stubborn and violent." I'll counter this by saying that Andrew Jackson could more accurately be characterized by the words, "opinionated" and "forceful". Two traits that are often prized in a leader. Andrew Jackson is also still considered one of the most epic presidents of all time. He allegedly fought in over 100 duels; during his notorious duel with Dickinson he took a bullet an inch above his heart, it remained lodged there until he died years later.
If my opponent, theTallest1 plans to win this debate he will have to make substantiated arguments that relate to Jackson's actual presidency (1829-1837). Since the burden of proof remains on the instigator, his failure to do this will result in an auto-loss. I look forward to round two.
While, yes, some of my previous events occurred while Monroe was president, they are significant. Andrew Jackson slaughtered over 1000 Indians during the Battle of Horse Shoe Bend and has been known as the 'Indian Slayer'.
My opponent should realize that I never said the events had to have happened while Andrew Jackson was president. Its the attention to detail that matters the most.
The resolution states, "Andrew Jackson: Good or Bad President". Thus to oppose the resolution, I must argue that he was a good president. My job is not to argue that he was a good husband, an upstanding member of society, or even that he treated other people well. In the same vein, my opponent must argue that Andrew Jackson was a bad president. Arguments about his personality, overall character, and actions are only meaningful in-so-far as they pertain to Andrew Jackson's presidency.
My opponents case:
1. My opponent states that Andrew Jackson slaughtered over 1000 Indians during the battle of horse shoe bend. If we assume that the battle lasted no longer than an hour (that's a pretty long battle), then Andrew Jackson would have to had been personally slaughtering an Indian every 3.6 seconds. I wouldn't like my opponent to offer a source suggesting that Andrew Jackson actually was capable of doing so. My knowledge of the time suggests that reloading a firearm took significantly longer than 3.6 seconds. However, it should also be noted that this battle occured in 1814  which suggests that it preceeded Andrew Jackson's presidency by over a decade.
2. My opponent next reveals that Andrew Jackson called Indians "savages" and degraded them to a very low class. I'll agree, Andrew Jackson was not a fan of Indian's during his presidency. Luckily for my case Indian's are not the only component of the American population.
3. Con argues that Andrew Jackson tried to outlaw abolitionist literature which violates the 1st ammendment. However, the key word here is "tried", his inability to do so had no detrimental impacts to the American people. As a president, his attempt did not hurt nor help the American people.
4. Finally I'll make an argument for my opponent. Legislation that Andrew Jackson signed directly lead to the trail of tears through the Indian Removal Act of 1830 . This displaced hundreds of thousands of Indians and killed many of them en route. It remains the largest black mark against Andrew Jackson's record.
1. I would like to start with a distinction. The resolution does not ask whether Andrew Jackson was knowingly a good president. In other words, whether or not Andrew Jackson intended for the results of his presidency has no bearing on the resolution. Just because Andrew Jackson didn't want X to happen, if his presidency lead to X happening then it is still a factor of his presidency.
2. The Nullification Crisis outweighs the Trail of Tears in every aspect. Andrew Jackson was the first president to rigoriously expand the powers of the executive. He was the first president to insist on national power over state power. Between 1828 and 1832 southern congressmen argued that high import tarrifs were unfairly effecting the plantation owners of the south. Their solution to this problem was to "nullify" their participation in the Union. On the brink of South Carolina's sucession from the Union, Andrew Jackson threatened to send the Army and accuse them of treason. His forceful personality was the deciding factor in Henry Clay resuming talks to lower the Tarrifs (the action which ultimately preserved the union) .
The impact of this argument is three-fold. First it is utterly unique to Jackson. Neither the founding fathers nor most diplomats of the times supported Jackson's outlook on national laws being greater than state rights. This viewpoint is epitomized by his own Vice President (John C. Calhoun) who resigned over the issue. Second, South Carolina's succession would likely have had a dominoe effect which would have lead to other southern states joining the cause. And third, a world in which the southern states had formed their own union would have had been pretty terrible for African American people. The Unites States enforced the emancipation proclamation in 1865 . If only the North had enforced the proclamation then millions of African American's would have remained in slavery. Over 12 million slaves were imported from Africa. The census of 1860 suggests that nearly 4 million slaves existed within the United States at the time. If Andrew Jackson had allowed the Union to dissolve, barring extreme international pressure, it is likely that the south would still have slavery today. I would suggest the perpetual dehumanization and death of millions of people significantly ouweighs the relocation of Indians. Although both events are characterized by the deaths of minority groups, slavery is longer lived and results in many more deaths.
3. The electoral college is the final argument I will make for Andrew Jackson. Andrew Jackson reformed how voting works in the United States. Instead of a few political elite choosing the presidency, he advocated for the population as a whole electing elctorates. This fundamentally modified power distribution within the United States. Had the action not been taken, the federal government would likely be much prescient to the needs of the elite rather than those of the people. I'll simply argue that this would degrade the quality of life for most Americans .
I await my opponents response.
Andrew Jackson had tried to make peoples voices heard and though he succeded at first, he began to become corrupt with power. He thought, whe he tried to outlaw abolitionist literature, he was doing the right thing. Instead Andrew Jackson violated the first amendment.
My opponent opens the 3rd round by expressing a neat but inaccurate opinion, "I do not believe wikipedia is a very reliable source." Studies indicating wikipedia's reliability first appeared in 2005 in Nature, where it was found that Wikipedia was nearly as good as Brittanica . Five years later a thorough assesment of technical topics indicated that Wikipedia was as accurate as a technically reviewed source . In fact the wikipedia article on its own reliability cites numerous sources which laud its accuracy and demonstrates the progression of social acceptance . Since I've only used wikipedia to cite well known historical events, there is a fairly high probability that my source is not mistaken.
As previously mentioned, Andrew Jackson failed to abolish abolitionist literature. Despite the fact that he believed it was the thing to do, his actions were of no consequence to the American people. Therefore his mentality, or corruption as my opponent suggests, is not an indication that Andrew Jackson was a bad president.
The Nullification Crisis:
Still saved millions of lives. Is still outweighing every argument my opponent has thus far made, and the arguments that I have made for him.
My opponent is correct in her assertions about Andrew Jackson's treatment of the Indians. I will not dispute that this is a definite black mark on his presidential record. In fact, I previously stated that it is the largest such mark. However... I have defined two positions which I believe outweigh my opponent's arguments. First I have articulated that Andrew Jackson's actions lead directly to preserving the Union which in turn meant that slavery was abolished in the South via the emancipation proclamation. This would not have happened in a world where the South had been allowed to secede, and so African American slaves would have suffered / died much more than the Indians. And Second, I have argued that Andrew Jackson wrested the voting system away from elites and allowed the general public to vote. Without this, I speculate that, the quality of life in the U.S. would be much much worse today. It would be a population completely focused on the elite, with absolute disregard for impoverished citizens.
I await my opponent's defense to these arguments.
I'll continue to agree with my opponent. The Indian's were veritably abused under Andrew Jackson. However, once again, I have highlighted two more important situations in which Andrew Jackson was a good president. So under the resolution, "Andrew Jackson: Good or Bad President" I urge a vote for good. Thank you for the debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Man-is-good 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: I should note that neither of the two debaters necessarily provided a full glimpse of the historical reality and context, which would have invoked greater questions of the underlying conception and impression of political discourse at that time. But this should not, since I am to merely confine my judgement to what was present, influence my verdict: Pro, on a first glance, was a bit more coherent in trying to weigh all particulars presented expressly related to Jackson's presidency on the basis of said future repercussions, as he sketches in a hypothetically grounded the potential aftermath of the Nullification Crisis, had Jackson not averted the secession of the southern states. Con is however correct in identifying a marked offense committed by Jackson, but fails to, in delving in irrelevancies that were never shown to be directly linked to Jackson's personage nor to outweigh the benefits that he procured in reference to the political climate or the mass enfranchisement that so...
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