Friday, May 27, 2011

"It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes..."


So said Andrew Jackson. The irony is that today Jackson's portrait is on the $20 bill - yet during his Presidency he abolished the 2nd Central Bank of America and was the last President to pay off the national debt. Just what you'd expect from a man with Ulster-Scots parents, who grew up in an Ulster-Scots emigrant society on the other side of the Atlantic.


Jenny said...

Jackson's got a funny reputation down South. On the one hand, all the backwoods no-nonsense "stick it to the aristocratic snobs" goes over well.

On the other... most of my mom's side of the family still pretty much spit out his name because of the Trail of Tears.

There was not a little intermarriage with the Cherokee then, and quite a bit of romantization since. (one of the things Sen. Webb gets very right, I think, is the tendency of modern rural southerners especially to identify with idealized images of tribal societies, be they tartan-clad highlanders or Cherokee family trees )

I'm sure many of our ancestors at the time were all for it, but the Removal has been a pretty bitter pill ever since.