Restricted Debate Would Andrew Jackson support the Confederacy?

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I realize that Andrew Jackson died in 1845 and the Civil War started in 1861.

I realize that Old Hickory faced a South Carolina nullification crisis regarding J.C. Calhoun when Jackson was POTUS.

However, he married into the Donelson family in Tennessee. Earl Van Dorn and also the guy after whom Fort Donelson was named were both nephews of his late wife Rachel.

(I apologize for missing any previous threads on this. Whenever I do a search on Jackson, I find a bunch of results on Stonewall.)
 

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BlueandGrayl

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I don't believe that Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson would have ever lent his support to the Confederate States of America/Confederacy/South for starters Jackson opposed nullification in South Carolina between 1832-1833 as you mentioned and a full-on secession is not going to make him happy.

Even with that marriage of the Donelson family in Tennessee, Jackson was President of the United States prior and he won't join with the Donelsons in Confederate secession.
 

ForeverFree

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By now, most folks here are familiar with this, but you might not have seen it yet.

So, faced with a secession crisis, the president sent a detailed message to the people and leaders of South Carolina; excerpts are below:

The States severally have not retained their entire sovereignty. It has been shown that in becoming parts of a nation, not members of a league, they surrendered many of their essential parts of sovereignty. The right to make treaties, declare war, levy taxes, exercise exclusive judicial and legislative powers, were all functions of sovereign power. The States, then, for all these important purposes, were no longer sovereign. The allegiance of their citizens was transferred in the first instance to the government of the United States; they became American citizens, and owed obedience to the Constitution of the United States, and to laws made in conformity with the powers vested in Congress. This last position has not been, and cannot be, denied… it has been shown that in this sense the States are not sovereign, and that even if they were, and the national Constitution had been formed by compact, there would be no right in any one State to exonerate itself from the obligation.​
So obvious are the reasons which forbid this secession, that it is necessary only to allude to them. The Union was formed for the benefit of all. It was produced by mutual sacrifice of interest and opinions. Can those sacrifices be recalled? Can the States, who magnanimously surrendered their title to the territories of the West, recall the grant? Will the inhabitants of the inland States agree to pay the duties that may be imposed without their assent by those on the Atlantic or the Gulf, for their own benefit? Shall there be a free port in one State, and enormous duties in another? No one believes that any right exists in a single State to involve all the others in these and countless other evils, contrary to engagements solemnly made. Everyone must see that the other States, in self-defense, must oppose it at all hazards.​
Your pride was aroused by the assertions that a submission to these laws was a state of vassalage, and that resistance to them was equal, in patriotic merit, to the opposition our fathers offered to the oppressive laws of Great Britain. You were told that this opposition might be peaceably-might be constitutionally made-that you might enjoy all the advantages of the Union and bear none of its burdens. Eloquent appeals to your passions, to your State pride, to your native courage, to your sense of real injury, were used to prepare you for the period when the mask which concealed the hideous features of DISUNION should be taken off.​
But the dictates of a high duty oblige me solemnly to announce that you cannot succeed. The laws of the United States must be executed. I have no discretionary power on the subject-my duty is emphatically pronounced in the Constitution. Those who told you that you might peaceably prevent their execution, deceived you-they could not have been deceived themselves. They know that a forcible opposition could alone prevent the execution of the laws, and they know that such opposition must be repelled. Their object is disunion, but be not deceived by names; disunion, by armed force, is TREASON. Are you really ready to incur its guilt? (All bolding by ForeverFree)

So... when did Lincoln issue these comments? Actually, it's not Lincoln at all. It is president Andrew Jackson, in 1832, in response to the nullification and secession threat of South Carolina. (During the so-called Nullification Crisis, the South Carolina threatened to secede if it would not be allowed to nullify federal law.)

The above is a portion of Jackson's proclamation; the entire text is here. The key point is that in 1832 President Jackson stated that as a matter of US government policy, disunion by armed force - which describes Confederate secession - would be met with a military response. He was not engaging in a theoretical debate. He was prepared to put that policy into effect. I'm sure a LOT of people knew of Jackson's stance on this subject, even decades later.

If Jackson was to stay true to that stance, he would certainly have challenged the Fire Eaters' secession. The very first US facility that was captured - and several were captured before Sumter - would have enraged him to the point of war.

It's useful to note that in the wake of the Nullification Crisis, compromises were made, which did mollify SC. Meanwhile Jackson was pro-slavery. Maybe he could have reached an agreement on certain issues that eluded Lincoln and Congressional Republicans. Maybe Possibly Perhaps.

- Alan
 
Last edited:

Robin Lesjovitch

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409
By now, most folks here are familiar with this, but you might not have seen it yet.

So, faced with a secession crisis, the president sent a detailed message to the people and leaders of South Carolina; excerpts are below:

The States severally have not retained their entire sovereignty. It has been shown that in becoming parts of a nation, not members of a league, they surrendered many of their essential parts of sovereignty. The right to make treaties, declare war, levy taxes, exercise exclusive judicial and legislative powers, were all functions of sovereign power. The States, then, for all these important purposes, were no longer sovereign. The allegiance of their citizens was transferred in the first instance to the government of the United States; they became American citizens, and owed obedience to the Constitution of the United States, and to laws made in conformity with the powers vested in Congress. This last position has not been, and cannot be, denied… it has been shown that in this sense the States are not sovereign, and that even if they were, and the national Constitution had been formed by compact, there would be no right in any one State to exonerate itself from the obligation.​
So obvious are the reasons which forbid this secession, that it is necessary only to allude to them. The Union was formed for the benefit of all. It was produced by mutual sacrifice of interest and opinions. Can those sacrifices be recalled? Can the States, who magnanimously surrendered their title to the territories of the West, recall the grant? Will the inhabitants of the inland States agree to pay the duties that may be imposed without their assent by those on the Atlantic or the Gulf, for their own benefit? Shall there be a free port in one State, and enormous duties in another? No one believes that any right exists in a single State to involve all the others in these and countless other evils, contrary to engagements solemnly made. Everyone must see that the other States, in self-defense, must oppose it at all hazards.​
Your pride was aroused by the assertions that a submission to these laws was a state of vassalage, and that resistance to them was equal, in patriotic merit, to the opposition our fathers offered to the oppressive laws of Great Britain. You were told that this opposition might be peaceably-might be constitutionally made-that you might enjoy all the advantages of the Union and bear none of its burdens. Eloquent appeals to your passions, to your State pride, to your native courage, to your sense of real injury, were used to prepare you for the period when the mask which concealed the hideous features of DISUNION should be taken off.​
But the dictates of a high duty oblige me solemnly to announce that you cannot succeed. The laws of the United States must be executed. I have no discretionary power on the subject-my duty is emphatically pronounced in the Constitution. Those who told you that you might peaceably prevent their execution, deceived you-they could not have been deceived themselves. They know that a forcible opposition could alone prevent the execution of the laws, and they know that such opposition must be repelled. Their object is disunion, but be not deceived by names; disunion, by armed force, is TREASON. Are you really ready to incur its guilt? (All bolding by ForeverFree)

So... when did Lincoln issue these comments? Actually, it's not Lincoln at all. It is president Andrew Jackson, in 1832, in response to the nullification and secession threat of South Carolina. (During the so-called Nullification Crisis, the South Carolina threatened to secede if it would not be allowed to nullify federal law.)

The above is a portion of Jackson's proclamation; the entire text is here. The key point is that in 1832 President Jackson stated that as a matter of US government policy, disunion by armed force - which describes Confederate secession - would be met with a military response. He was not engaging in a theoretical debate. He was prepared to put that policy into effect. I'm sure a LOT of people knew of Jackson's stance on this subject, even decades later.

If Jackson was to stay true to that stance, he would certainly have challenged the Fire Eaters' secession. The very first US facility that was captured - and several were captured before Sumter - would have enraged him to the point of war.

It's useful to note that in the wake of the Nullification Crisis, compromises were made, which did mollify SC. Meanwhile Jackson was pro-slavery. Maybe he could have reached an agreement on certain issues that eluded Lincoln and Congressional Republicans. Maybe Possibly Perhaps.

- Alan
This is a very accurate portrait of Jackson, politically, in 1832.
But there is a flaw, not in this response, but in the original question.
Jackson would have been 93 at the point of SC's secession. He would have witnessed the collapse of National politics in the 1850's. He may have seen the Republican Party as a plague sent to visit him by the Ghost of Henry Clay.
Jackson surely would have tried to settle things short of conflict . So did John Tyler, and failed. Tyler was elected to the CSA Congress. Jackson in my opinion could not have endorsed the CSA, nor the US government as it was in 1861.
 

W. Richardson

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I don't believe that Andrew "Old Hickory" Jackson would have ever lent his support to the Confederate States of America/Confederacy/South for starters Jackson opposed nullification in South Carolina between 1832-1833 as you mentioned and a full-on secession is not going to make him happy.

Even with that marriage of the Donelson family in Tennessee, Jackson was President of the United States prior and he won't join with the Donelsons in Confederate secession.

I do concur with you. I am of the belief that Andy Jackson would not have supported the Confederacy and would have fully supported Old Abe Lincoln.

Respectfully,
William

One Nation,
Two countries
Confed-American Flag - Thumbnail.jpg
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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"If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword."

Andrew Jackson
@jackt62 ,

EXCELLENT quote and spot on for this thread.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 


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