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Why did Andrew Jackson hate John Calhoun?

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Quick Answer

Andrew Jackson had various scuffles with John Calhoun that arose from social and political origins. Jackson did not agree with the manner in which the wife of John Eaton, Jackson's war secretary, was treated by the cabinet officers' wives and daughters, including Calhoun's wife; they looked down on Eaton's wife and it reminded Jackson of the treatment his own wife, Rachel, had received from the same group. Politically, the two men disagreed on the issue of states' rights, with Calhoun and his states' rights party attempting to trap Jackson into supporting their views.

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Full Answer

The personal animosity between Jackson and Calhoun revolved around the maltreatment of his war secretary's wife. They also gossiped about her. This inflamed Jackson, as his wife was also treated as a lesser class person by the same social circle.

At a birthday celebration for Thomas Jefferson in 1832, Calhoun and others in his camp made toasts in an attempt to establish a connection between nullification and states rights' view of government. Jackson did not join in, but instead gave a toast to the federal union and noted that it must be preserved, and essentially humiliated Calhoun, who was his vice president, publicly. Calhoun eventually resigned his vice presidential post.

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