Andrew Jackson: Three Presidents—Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant—were the most important political figures amid the three great political transformations of the mid-nineteenth century: the rise of party democracy, the triumph of an American nationalism that repudiated secession, and the abolition of slavery and pursuit of interracial democracy. All three men contributed to advancing the democratic nationalism that brought about slavery’s eradication and the experiment of Reconstruction. This opening lecture lays out these propositions and then examines Jackson’s connections to democracy, nationalism, and slavery, culminating in the nullification crisis of 1832-33.
A short reading accompanying this lecture is available here: Jackson, Proclamation 43.
The Annual Humanities Lectures Series, jointly sponsored by the Center for the Humanities and IPH, will feature three lectures on U.S. presidents by noted Princeton historian Sean Wilentz to be given during the week of February 21, 2011. Wilentz is the author of The Rise of American Democracy: Jefferson to Lincoln (2005), The Age of Reagan: A History, 1974-2008 (2008), Chants Democratic: New York City and the Rise of the American Working Class, 1788-1850 (1984), Andrew Jackson, part of the American Presidents’ series edited by the late Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (2005), and most recently, Bob Dylan in America (2010).