You are on page 1of 6

Name: ______________________________________


Socratic Seminar Preparation

Early US History
Tomorrow our class will have a Socratic seminar. The topic will be Andrew Jackson and his role in the United
States as a leader. We will also examine how Andrew Jackson connects to presidential candidates today.
Todays Assignment:
You will need to complete the information below using your worksheets from the past two classes and the sources
from today. This will help you to format the information so you can add your voice to the conversation tomorrow.
Our Socratic Seminar will be based on 5 topics/questions listed below:
1. Connections to present day candidates: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump
1) Based on the reading, what are the three major similarities between Donald Trump and Andrew Jackson? Which
one is the MOST important and why?

2) EXTENSION QUESTION (EXTRA CREDIT): Based on the reading and what you may know about
Bernie Sanders, what are the three major similarities between Andrew Jackson and Bernie Sanders? Which one is
the most important and why?

2. Leadership
How did his leadership style help or hurt his presidency? (Use your resources from the our classroom work to
find at least TWO examples to defend your answer)
Answer in 5-10 complete sentences

3. Indian Removal
How does this shape Jacksons Legacy? (Use your resources from the our classroom work to find at least TWO
examples to defend your answer)
Answer in 5-10 complete sentences

4. TICKET TO LEAVE-- Overall Question

Should Andrew Jackson be on the $20 dollar bill? Why or Why not?
Answer in 10-15 complete sentences. Use TWO pieces of evidence from the source included (think about the
United states today, what does it mean to have his face on a widely used piece of currency? What does this tell you
about the state of the nation?)

ARTICLE ONE: Historians compare Trump's rise to that of Andrew Jackson in 1828
By Mike Ward - The New York Times
An outspoken and highly successful businessman, he has been described as an egotistical and irascible outsider who
bristled at the political establishment, saying things not repeated in polite society while claiming to be the defender
of average Americans during his unconventional run for president.
Donald Trump?
Try Andrew Jackson in 1828, the year the rough-cut Tennessean was elected to the White House after a nasty
campaign that spun from one personal attack to another, seemingly on much the same track the current GOP
slugfest has taken.
The Jackson parallel
In an emerging lesson from history, as billionaire real estate mogul Trump continues his push to capture the
Republican nomination, political observers and experts liken the current break-the-mold race to Jackson's rise to the
presidency 188 years ago.
"He was a boorish guy at a time when that was not tolerated in politics, who said what he thought and said whoever
disagreed with him was wrong," said Brandon Rottinghaus, a political scientist at the University of Houston who
specializes in presidential governance. "At times, when voters have elected an outsider, it has been a candidate who
has been famous, a celebrity, who has the ability to command an audience. Andrew Jackson did that."
'The first populist'
Jackson, a famous general in the War of 1812, served as a governor, congressman and senator before unsuccessfully
running for president in 1824, losing to John Quincy Adams, the well-educated son of the nation's second
Jackson came back four years later, backed by populist support to oust Adams after a nasty campaign marked by
charges that his wife was a bigamist because she married Jackson years before her divorce which she thought had
been finalized was complete. He also was criticized as a slave owner and for executing British soldiers while he
was military governor of Florida.
The legend of 'Old Hickory'
A man of quick temper known for his fits of vengeance, Jackson president from 1829 to 1837 was once a
social outcast and was legendary for brawling and dueling, including one duel in 1806 over his wife's honor where a
bullet lodged too close to his heart to ever be removed. Though wounded, he shot and killed his opponent.
As he left Washington, he listed two regrets that reflected his blunt personal style: that he was "unable to shoot
Henry Clay or to hang John C. Calhoun" referring to two political opponents in Congress.
"Jackson's appeal was to less-educated people, the people who felt excluded and disenfranchised from the political
establishment," said Michael Mezey, a political science professor at Chicago's DePaul University who is completing
a book on presidential campaigns. "Jackson was the first of what was considered to be modern campaigning, where
they went around handing out free booze and food and did rabble rousing to get elected. Trump has a populist
message. Jackson may have been the first populist. He struck fear into the hearts of the establishment in
Washington, and so does Trump."
Historical comparisons
In recent times, some scholars have also likened Trump's appeal to that of George McGovern, the Democratic
Party nominee in 1972 who bested the party establishment with populist support, and to Ronald Reagan's
unsuccessful 1976 run for the GOP nomination.
"The party establishment thought he was too extreme, and four years later the establishment thought he would pull

the train off the rails, and that's why Bush was the establishment candidate," Rottinghaus said. "But Reagan beat
him in New Hampshire ... and went on to win."
'Chickens coming home to roost'
Jeffrey Engle, director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, noted:
"What's happening now is amazing: So much of the Republican Party has been about trickle down and improving
the middle class, and that success with the middle class is now driving the anger that is helping Trump.
"It's like the chickens are coming home to roost," he said, "and Trump is hijacking the party."
When Jackson was elected as the seventh U.S. president in 1828, he was accused by the establishment of hijacking
American politics. He's been the face on the front of the twenty-dollar bill since 1928.

ARTICLE TWO: Why is Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill? The answer may be lost to
No really, we checked. The Treasury Department, which has the authority to determine who appears on what bills
(so long as that individual is already dead), says on its Web site that its own historical records "do not suggest" why
certain presidents ended up on certain bills during a blitz of portrait selections in 1928.
Howard J. Kittell, CEO of the Hermitage, a historical museum devoted to preserving and teaching Jackson's legacy,
told The Post by phone that "it's a mystery to us as well." The museum's historian "did a lot of research" for a new
exhibition on Jackson's legacy and ran into the same dead end. "The Treasury Department doesn't have clear
documentation," Kittell said.
We also asked Daniel Feller, a University of Tennessee history professor who edited "The Papers of Andrew
Jackson." He didn't know either.
There are more $20 bills in circulation than there are people on Earth, according to Federal Reserve data about
8.1 billion in all. Only the $1 and the $100 exist in larger quantities. The choice of Jackson for that popular bill has
long been a source of controversy particularly among the Native American tribes who were forced to relocate to
Oklahoma and give their land to white Southerners under the Indian Removal Act. That forced migration during
Jackson's presidency is known as the Trail of Tears.
Jackson's place of honor became a big topic once again this week after a nonprofit group called Women on 20's
suggested that it was time to retire the Jackson $20 and replace it with a bill featuring one of several prominent
women from American history. The group's suggested replacements include Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman
and Rosa Parks.
Although not everyone has agreed with the campaign or over who, if anyone, should have the honor of replacing
Jackson it's easy to find reasons to suggest that he is overdue for retirement from the $20. His passionate
support of the measure that led to the Trail of Tears and anti-Native American policies is first among them. He was
a slave owner, and he made his fortune on their labor.
There's also Jackson's opposition to paper money in the first place (he preferred gold and silver), and his long,

ultimately triumphant fight in the Bank Wars during his presidency. In other words, Jackson himself would
probably hate the fact that his face is on a paper bill.
But Feller, the "Papers of Andrew Jackson" editor, said it's not surprising that the Treasury Department of 1928
would see Jackson as someone worthy of the honor."It's actually astonishing how completely the generalized public
image has changed and how rapidly it changed," the historian said of Jackson's legacy. From the late 19th century
through the 1960s, Feller said, Jackson was seen by most Americans as a "champion of the common man, a symbol
of democracy," and "second only to Abraham Lincoln as the champion of the perpetual union" of the United States
of America. In fact, Feller notes: "Abraham loved to quote [Jackson]" during the Civil War, because of "Jackson's
striking proclamation against nullification" of the Union.
In that context, Feller said, "who deserves more to be on American currency?" When Jackson was placed on the
$20, "it was unproblematic" to say that Jackson was a hero.
It is not so today, Feller noted and for good reason. Other voices can now speak more loudly in the historical
record, including advocates for the Native American tribes who were brutally displaced during Jackson's presidency
and the slaves who worked at his Tennessee plantation. (There were 150 slaves at the time of his death, and the
stories of only a few are known, the Hermitage notes.) We have a better historical understanding now of how those
policies and structures continue to impact our society. Jackson's legacy can and should contain that.

1882 series Gold Certificate bill, featuring Andrew Jackson. (Kurt/Wikimedia Commons)
It didn't, really, for much of American history. It was one of Jackson's better sides that led to what appears to be the
first time Jackson's portrait was placed on a postage stamp, in 1863, the Hermitage's Kittell noted.
It could be Jackson's popularity as a stamp portrait selection that helps explain how he ended up on so much
currency through the decades. By Kittell's count, Jackson has appeared on 18 pieces of currency, including a $5 bill,
a $10, a $50 and a $10,000.
In 1928, most Americans wouldn't think about the Trail of Tears when they thought about Jackson. In Arthur M.
Schlesinger's New-Deal era biography of Jackson, Feller said, the Trail of Tears was barely mentioned. Instead,
Jackson was more of a populist figure, seen as a "champion of the working class against the business community."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, like many of his time who championed populist and progressive ideals, was a fan of

Feller, who knows many of Jackson's most famous speeches by heart, said he hears the president's rhetoric today in,
for instance, some of what Elizabeth Warren says. He's heard "whole sentences" in her statements that are "almost
directly quoted" from Jackson, including his famous bank-veto document. Feller guesses the resonance isn't
intentional. But in 1928, Wall Street critics like Warren would have had Jacksonian written all over them.
That said, Jackson never had a perfect reputation. His difficult personality has been notoriously hard for his
biographers to capture. The first stab at an impartial biography of the president makes that pretty clear. Jackson was
a "patriot and a traitor," James Parton, the biographer of record for his time, famously wrote in 1888.
Parton went on:
He was one of the greatest of generals, and wholly ignorant of the art of war. A writer brilliant, elegant, eloquent, without being able to
compose a correct sentence, or spell words of four syllables. The first of statesman, he never devised, he never framed a measure. He was
the most candid of men, and was capable of the profoundest dissimulation. A most law-defying, law-obeying citizen. A stickler for
discipline, he never hesitated to disobey his superior. A democratic autocrat. An urbane savage. An atrocious saint.
So, does the "atrocious saint" still belong on the $20? For his part, Feller is a "complete agnostic." But, he said: "I
think the debate is healthy."
"One thing that it can lead to is an understanding that some of these things are more complicated," Feller said. "It's
all for the good. Let 'em fight it out."