What Are Some of the Bad Things That Andrew Jackson Did?

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The major negative thing Andrew Jackson is remembered for is the forced relocation of many Native Americans, particularly in the southeastern portion of the United States. He also triggered an economic depression by refusing to renew the charter of the Second Bank of the United States and then instituting inflation-control policies that triggered a panic, but that was primarily blamed on his successor, Martin Van Buren.

In 1830, Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which he had worked to push through Congress. This act allowed him to negotiate removal treaties with Native American tribes, whom the Supreme Court had ruled were not allowed to legally own their ancestral lands. Jackson believed that the Native Americans were inferior to white settlers and wanted to force them west of the Mississippi. He believed that the United States would not expand past that boundary, so the Native Americans could govern themselves.

The result was that many tribes were tricked or forced off their lands if they refused to go willingly, resulting in many deaths from skirmishes with soldiers as well as from starvation and disease. The Cherokee in particular were forced to undergo a forced march that became known as the Trail of Tears. They were forced off their land so quickly that they were not able to gather adequate supplies and over 4,000 Cherokees died from malnourishment and exposure. Jackson oversaw the removal of over 46,000 Native Americans from their lands.