Monday, December 5, 2022


      Nothing quite impacted Jackson like the American Revolution.  It destroyed his patriot family, left him an orphan, and shifted his loyalties decisively and forever from clan to country.  Just sixteen when the war concluded, Jackson saw service as a courier in the militia, attended to troops at the Battle of Hanging Rock fought in the chaotic South Carolina interior, and was later captured and help prisoner.  He remains the only POW to become president.  From these several and traumatic experiences he developed and abiding hate for Great Britain and, more generally, the hereditary underpinnings, casting peerage as the eternal enemy of the people, a resilient adversary that he recognized in the subsequent struggles including the Bank War, in which he denounced the offending national depository as a "dangerous aristocratic influence."  For Jackson, that is to say, the Revolution never really ended.  Long after independence, it continued to frame his way of reckoning with the world, offering a constant and convenient ideological rival to rail against.

-David S. Brown, The First Populist: The Defiant Life of Andrew Jackson

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