Jackson was nicknamed "Old Hickory" because of his toughness and aggressive personality; he fought in duels, some fatal to his opponents. He was a wealthy slaveholder. He fought politically against what he denounced as a closed, undemocratic aristocracy, adding to his appeal to common citizens. He expanded the spoils system during his presidency to strengthen his political base.
Elected president in 1828, Jackson supported a small and limited federal government. He strengthened the power of the presidency, which he saw as spokesman for the entire population, as opposed to Congressmen from a specific small district. He was supportive ofstates' rights, but during the Nullification Crisis, declared that states do not have the right to nullify federal laws. Strongly against thenational bank, he vetoed the renewal of its charter and ensured its collapse. Whigs and moralists denounced his aggressive enforcement of the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in the forced relocation of thousands of Native Americans to Indian Territory (nowOklahoma). Historians acknowledge his protection of popular democracy and individual liberty for United States citizens, but criticize him for his support for slavery and for his role in Indian removal.
Jackson was born on March 15, 1767. His parents were Scots-Irish colonists Andrew and Elizabeth Hutchinson Jackson, Presbyterians who had emigrated from Ireland two years earlier. Jackson's father was born in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, in current-day Northern Ireland, around 1738.Jackson's parents lived in the village of Boneybefore, also in County Antrim. Their former house is preserved as the Andrew Jackson Centre and is open to the public. A rumor of Jackson having "colored blood", meaning having "Negro" ancestry, was unproven. He referred to a charge that his "Mother ... [was] held to public scorn as a prostitute who intermarried with a Negro, and [that his] ... eldest brother [was] sold as a slave in Carolina."
When they emigrated to America in 1765, Jackson's parents…