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How Andrew Jackson Stood Up to Unaccountable Elites

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Andrew Jacksonby Jarrett Stepman, The Daily Signal

What Andrew Jackson and his followers of the 1820s and 1830s left us was the “democratic” creed in the American bloodstream. It was populist but principled, as oxymoronic as that may sound.

Jackson had surrounded himself with thinking men — like Martin Van Buren, Francis Preston Blair, Amos Kendall, a few eccentric “Locofocos” (precursors to modern libertarians), and other leading lights of his day — who gave political and policy form to his Jeffersonian instincts.

Jackson embraced the Jeffersonian notion that the government needed to get out of people’s way, but he abandoned Thomas Jefferson’s more utopian ideas. Jackson once said of Jefferson that he was “the best Republican in theory and the worst in practice.”

While Jackson was not the political theorist and wordsmith that Jefferson was, he did offer a coherent worldview to the American people. And in many ways, he was a far greater leader of men.

The basic outline of the Jacksonian creed was simple, but it had a lasting impact on the course of the nation.

The first plank of Jackson’s political philosophy was that entrenched interests in places of power can become dangerous to the liberties of the American people.

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© 2019 The Heritage Foundation

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