Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Jackson
Abraham Lincoln had an ability to influence people. He knew how to pursue people and therefore they were doing what he wanted them to do. “”Lincoln felt the power a men feels when he knows he can stir other men.” He fought for his friends to maintain justice. He was an unselfish person. This personal quality brought him many friends , because he was able to yield his good credit for other people. “This was leadership quality ,beating up the “ ruffling” and then giving the credit for the prowess to his friend.”
In the election of 1860 Abraham Lincoln was not the person who was expected to become the Republican President of the United States of America. However, the events in his political party helped him to reach the presidential position “Abraham Lincoln, first Republican President of the United States was not the popular candidate. He was not the people’s choice. Moreover the election was won for him by the campaign work of his personal enemies within his own party”. In addition, the split in Democratic Party weakened chances of the Democrats to win the election. “When the Democrats met in Baltimore the rift widened. At a moment when unanimity was imperative the Democrats were hopelessly divided”.
Short after Lincoln was elected, he had to face two tasks as the President.The First was organizing a new government and the second was to hold discontent states together. “From November 1860 to March 1861 ,Lincoln was preoccupied with a twofold tasks. He had to organize a new government and at the same time hold a dividing nation together.”
He had to decide how he was going to approach to the slavery. “True, Lincoln was deeply opposed to slavery .” However he did not want to bring more wood into the fire that was splitting the nation. Another big obstacle stood in front of him. “He must combat the Copperhead Democrats ,the Radical Republicans, and a shifting group of amoral operators out for the profits possible in the danger and confusion.” Not only mobilizing armies and a navy but mobilizing a political party could conquer the obstacle.
Some people in the government did not trust Lincoln in the beginning of his presidency.But as time had passed he gained respect that belonged to him.
“In pursuing his ambitions as a politico he held his reputation high.”
Lincoln picked really carefully the men for his Cabinet. He knew that future of the nation would depend on the selection. “His success would depend in part on how he went about organizing his Administration.” A new and very strong cabinet emerged when Lincoln was finished with the appointing. “The Cabinet also was strong as political body. Most of its members were themselves powerful in politics. “
He could meet his goals only in case that he would have strong support from his cabinet. The members of the cabinet would look for the same priorities and pull together. “But Lincoln succeeded in making himself master of his own house. “
The most important Lincoln’s goal was keeping the states of the Union together. “But he succeeded in holding the border of states ,uniting the North, and preparing the way for eventual reunion of the entire country.” He was prepared to do everything to fulfill this mission. The Civil war was the result. This struggle within the nation brought a lot of sacrificing on the both sides. Eventually the Confederacy surrendered under pressure of the strength of the Union. “The Confederacy was first blockaded and then conquered by the giant nutcracker operation of Grant and Sherman. “ After the war Lincoln was ready to end up with the slavery. However it was not given to him to see it done.” Lincoln died on April 15.He did not see the thirteen amendment finally ratified… But no one could doubt that it was a Lincoln masterpiece.”
The bloodiest war in the nation happened during Lincoln’s presidency. “Lincoln, by organizing the government as he did , failed to prevent the Civil war.”
It brought nightmares into the people’s minds. Even Lincoln was safely far away from the battles and from all of these dangers, big burden of responsibility lied on his back .The nights with no sleep and days full of worries reflected on his appearance.
Lincoln was a person with amazing personality. Even the time during his presidency was extremely harsh and difficult he was able to retain being polite and keep the right approach toward people. People who know how to treat others are surely winners . “ For the supreme political art is the capacity to speak the people’s thoughts in such terms that they can recognize them as theirs. Such master politicians truly belong to the ages.”
Jackson was not only good politician but also he was experienced military leader. These two capabilities made him real leader of the time. “Like George Washington, Jackson uniquely combined the art of seasoned politician with the decision-making ability of a successful general.” He was able to get to higher positions thanks to his ability to remain reliable and holding standpoints. “His tenacious loyalty toward his friends was matched by an equally unquenchable enmity for anyone who insulted or betrayed him”
Good collaboration within his party contributed to his win in the election. When the House chose John Quincy Adams president, and Adams in turn appointed Henry Clay secretary of state. The Jacksonians charged Adam for making dishonest deals in which Clay used his influence in the House to swing the vote against Jackson. “The Jacksonians harassed the Adams administration incessantly and effectively. Profiting from the excellent organization of the new Democratic party and its masterful electoral tactics, Jackson won a great victory in 1828”
Jackson determined his first main goals when he became the President. The national debt was one of country’s barrier that slowed down developing of country’s economy. “Upon Jackson ‘s inauguration … the new President called for “extinguishment of the national debt”. He realized that federal office held many ineffectual and dishonest officers. Therefore his other goal was aimed on job-housecleaning. “He promised “reform” to remove federal offices from ” unfaithful or incompetent hands”. ”
Two other tasks emerged during his second presidential term “They are the preservation of the rights of the several States and the integrity of the Union”
His beloved wife died just as she and Jackson were ready to leave for Washington. “Looking older than his sixty-one years , Jackson was in poor shape to assume the burdens of the presidency in 1829.” He was racked by tuberculosis and the bullets he still carried in his body added to his weak health. “Many of his friends believed he would never live to complete his first term.” The beginnings were particularly harsh for him and it reflected on his function. “ the first years of his presidency were chaotic and unproductive.”
Jackson’s presidential campaign manager later appointed Secretary of War had a love affair that was brought up by some society’s leaders to denounce Jackson.
“For several years Tennessee senator John Eaton , Jackson ‘s presidential campaign manager had been carrying on a dalliance was dealing with the pretty , married daughter of the owner of a Washington boarding house where Eaton lived“
“…Jackson appointed Eaton Secretary of War …”
Jackson promised on his inauguration to reduce the national debt. He even succeeded in paying off the debt. “On January 8 , 1835 - the twentieth anniversary of the battle of New Orleans – the federal government completely paid off the national debt for the first time in its history.” During his presidency Texas got free from control of Mexico. Jackson focused on setting the stage for future annexation. “Jackson played an important role in secret negotiations with Sam Houston to achieve the annexation of Texas”
Jackson did not support Indians’ affairs at all. He fought against some Indian tribes before he became the President. “Jackson left a black record in Indians affairs. During his administration he forced most of the eastern Indian tribes to give up their lands to white settlers and move west of the Mississippi into Indian Territory, now Oklahoma.”
In my opinion Jackson was very strong with his standpoints. There are no doubts that he was gifted with a quality of leadership. He worked hard and planned carefully to achieve his goals. Before he became the President, he had different professions. The professions gave him a lot of experiences that he used in his presidency. Today’s leaders need to understand and also work with issues of society. However, Jackson did focus much more on country’s issues than people’s problems. Nowadays the President is expected to be also sociable and have the characteristics that are well liked by citizens- voters. Therefore he would have very hard time in being as a president.
Lincoln and Jackson could read at pretty young age. It was one of things that differed them from ordinary people. Because of this ability they were able to educate themselves. As young people they used to read newspaper for illiterate people. Probably that is the time when they started shaping their leadership. As time was passing they were getting into higher and higher positions. They gained a lot of experiences during their lives. These experiences served them on the way toward presidency and eventually in the presidency.
If I could say which of them was better President I would prefer Lincoln rather than Jackson. Even though Jackson took some good actions as paying off the national debt I would not rank him among the most successful leaders. Lincoln did everything to hold the nation together he realized how important it is for future generations. His actions and behavior seems to me very astonishing. Even a lot of people did not agree with his actions taken during his presidency, next generations approved him as true leader of the country.