View random article

50 Best Andrew Jackson Quotes


Andrew Jackson was the seventh President of the United States and the eponym of the Jacksonian Democracy. Jackson was born on March 15, 1767 in Waxhaw, North Carolina, or Lancaster, South Carolina, as the border between the states had not been resolved at the time of his birth. Jackson was born to Scottish-Irish immigrant parents Andrew Jackson, Sr. and Elizabeth Hutchinson and received little formal education. During Jackson's teen years, he studied law and began a career as a Tennessee based lawyer. Jackson also served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War with his Brother Robert. Jackson and Robert were captured and held as prisoners by the British. Jackson and his brother refused to shine the boots of the British and an officer hit and wounded Jackson with a saber, causing a lifelong hatred for the British. During the war, Jackson survived a smallpox outbreak but his brother fell victim and passed away.

Jackson's service in the army expanded his reputation, earning him the nickname "Old Hickory," and rendered him a national hero following the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. Jackson also participated in the Creek Wars and Seminole War in Florida and in 1819 became Florida's military governor. In the years following, Jackson built a mansion known as Hermitage in the outskirts of Nashville, Tennessee and also bought slaves. Jackson furthered his political career by becoming the first Tennessean elected to the House of Representatives. Jackson also briefly served in the Senate and was elected as President in 1824. Jackson won the election with a landslide win of popular and electoral votes but lacked the majority of votes and the House of Representatives awarded the spot to John Quincy Adams. Jackson began a campaign in protest of his defeat and won the 1828 election by majority, thereby taking the office as President in 1829. The 1828 election was overshadowed by a scandal regarding Jackson's marriage to divorcee Rachel Robards who, after marrying Jackson, realized her divorce was not finalized. The pair separated until the divorce was final and later legally married. The marriage was cut short by Rachel's death on on December 22, 1828 shortly after Jackson took office. Jackson placed the blame of Rachel's death on Adams due to "mudslinging" gossip during the election and in 1806 during a duel over Rachel's honor with Charles Dickinson, Jackson shot and killed his opponent.

In the political arena, Jackson lived up to his reputation. Jackson instituted the "spoils" system, or rotation of office, reconfigured many federal positions by employing many of his campaign supporters, promoted the spread of democracy, and engaged his constituency with political processes. Jackson also managed the nullification crisis from 1828 until 1832 between the southern colonies and the north. The nullification crisis sprung from high tariffs and political disunity between Jackson and Vice President John C. Calhoun. A compromise settlement was reached in 1833 but rivalry between Jackson and Calhoun increased with Jackson's support of federalism. Additionally, Jackson enacted the Indian Removal Act of 1830 involving the Cherokee, Seminole, Choctaw, Creek, and Chickasaw Native American Tribes. The tribes were relocated from their homelands in the south to the Indian Territory of what is now Oklahoma, with many lives claimed by death and disease en route along the Trail of Tears. Five years later, Jackson was the target of an assassination attempt when Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot him at point blank range with a pistol. When the pistol misfired, Lawrence attempted to use a second pistol, which also misfired, and Jackson not only confronted his assailant but also beat Lawrence with his cane.

Jackson left office in 1837 and retired to Nashville. Eight years later, on June 8, 1845, Jackson passed away at his estate, the Hermitage, due to chronic tuberculosis, dropsy, and heart failure. Jackson left behind the majority of his estate to his adopted son, Andrew Jackson, Jr., and a few of his possessions to other family members and friends.

Jackson's legacy as powerful protector of democracy and individual liberty is overshadowed by his questionable support of slavery and Indian removal, rendering him one of the most fascinating Presidents of the U.S. Here are the 50 Best Andrew Jackson Quotes:

1. "All the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous Judiciary."

2. "Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission."

3. "Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error."

4. "As long as our government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of persons and of property, liberty of conscience and of the press, it will be worth defending."

5. "Democracy shows not only its power in reforming governments, but in regenerating a race of men and this is the greatest blessing of free governments."

6. "Disunion by force is treason."

7. "Elevate those guns a little lower."

8. "Every diminution of the public burdens arising from taxation gives to individual enterprise increased power and furnishes to all the members of our happy confederacy new motives for patriotic affection and support."

9. "Every good citizen makes his country's honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and its conscious that he gains protection while he gives it."

10. "Fear not, the people may be deluded for a moment, but cannot be corrupted."

11. "I am a Senator against my wishes and feelings, which I regret more than any other of my life."

12. "I cannot consent that my mortal body shall be laid in a repository prepared for an Emperor or King my republican feelings and principles forbid it the simplicity of our system of government forbids it."

13. "I feel in the depths of my soul that it is the highest, most sacred, and most irreversible part of my obligation to preserve the union of these states, although it may cost me my life."

14. "I have always been afraid of banks."

15. "I weep for the liberty of my country when I see at this early day of its successful experiment that corruption has been imputed to many members of the House of Representatives, and the rights of the people have been bartered for promises of office."

16. "I would sincerely regret, and which never shall happen whilst I am in office, a military guard around the President."

17. "I've got big shoes to fill. This is my chance to do something. I have to seize the moment."

18. "If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by sword."

19. "In England the judges should have independence to protect the people against the crown. Here the judges should not be independent of the people, but be appointed for not more than seven years. The people would always re-elect the good judges."

20. "It is a damn poor mind indeed which can't think of at least two ways to spell any word."

21. "It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their own selfish purposes."

22. "It was settled by the Constitution, the laws, and the whole practice of the government that the entire executive power is vested in the President of the United States."

23. "Mischief springs from the power which the moneyed interest derives from a paper currency which they are able to control, from the multitude of corporations with exclusive privileges...which are employed altogether for their benefit."

24. "Money is power, and in that government which pays all the public officers of the states will all political power be substantially concentrated."

25. "Mr. Van Buren, your friends may be leaving you but my friends never leave me."

26. "Never take counsel of your fears."

27. "No one need think that the world can be ruled without blood. The civil sword shall and must be red and bloody."

28. "Nullification means insurrection and war; and the other states have a right to put it down."

29. "One man with courage makes a majority."

30. "Our government is founded upon the intelligence of the people. I for one do not despair of the republic. I have great confidence in the virtue of the great majority of the people, and I cannot fear the result."

31. "Peace, above all things, is to be desired, but blood must sometimes be spilled obtain it on equable and lasting terms."

32. "Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in."

33. "The Bible is the rock on which this Republic rests."

34. "The brave man inattentive to his duty, is worth little more to his country than the coward who deserts in the hour of danger."

35. "The Constitution and the laws are supreme and the Union indissoluble."

36. "The duty of government is to leave commerce to its own capital and credit as well as all other branches of business, protecting all in their legal pursuits, granting exclusive privileges to none."

37. "The duty of government is to leave commerce to its own capital and credit as well as all other branches of business, protecting all in their legal pursuits granting exclusive privileges to none."

38. "The great constitutional corrective in the hands of the people against usurpation of power, or corruption by their agents is the right of suffrage; and this when used with calmness and deliberation will prove strong enough."

39. "The people are the government, administering it by their agents; they are the government, the sovereign power."

40. "The planter, the farmer, the mechanic, and the laborer...form the great body of the people of the United States they are the bone and sinew of the country men who love liberty and desire nothing but equal rights and equal laws."

41. "The safety of the republic being the supreme law, and Texas having offered us the key to the safety of our country from all foreign intrigues and diplomacy, I saw accept the key...and bolt the door at once."

42. "The wisdom of man never yet contrived a system of taxation that would operate with perfect equality."

43. "There are no necessary evils in government. Its evil exist only in its abuse."

44. "There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it."

45. "There is nothing that I shudder at more than the idea of a separation of the Union. Should such an event ever happen, which I fervently pray God to avert, from that date I view our liberty gone."

46. "To the victors belong the spoils."

47. "Unless you become more watchful in your states and check the spirit of monopoly and thirst for exclusive privileges you will in the end find that...the control over your dearest interests has passed into the hands of these corporations."

48. "War is a blessing compared with national degradation."

49. "You must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing."

50. "Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there."

Featured in Politics