Age of Jackson and the Art of American Power, 1815-1848
As William Nester asserts in The Age of Jackson, it takes quite a leader to personify an age. A political titan for thirty-three years (1815–1848), Andrew Jackson possessed character, beliefs, and acts that dominated American politics. Although Jackson returned to his Tennessee plantation in March 1837 after serving eight years as president, he continued to overshadow American politics. Two of his protégés, Martin “the Magician” van Buren and James “Young Hickory” Polk, followed him to the White House and pursued his agenda. Jackson provoked firestorms of political passions throughout his era. Far more people loved than hated him, but the fervor was just as pitched either way. Although the passions have subsided, the debate lingers. Historians are split over Jackson’s legacy.