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A national hero? Or public enemy number one?
Historical figures are often controversial,
but few were as deified or vilified
in their lifetime
as the seventh President of the United States.
This is History vs. Andrew Jackson.
"Order, order, hm, uh, what were we...ah yes, Mr. Jackson!
You stand accused of degrading the office of the presidency,
causing financial collapse
and wanton cruelty against American Indians.
How do you plead?"
"Now, Your Honor, I am not a big city lawyer,
but I do know a few things.
And I know that President Jackson was
a self-made frontiersman,
a great general,
a real man of the people."
"Your Honor, this 'man of the people' was a gambler,
a drunk, and a brawler.
Why, I've heard it said that
he would fight at the drop of the hat
and then drop the hat himself.
I ask you,
was such a man fit for the most distinguished office in the nation?
Can we forget the debacle of his inauguration?
Who ever heard of inviting a drunken mob
into the White House?
It took ages to get the upholstery clean."
"That drunken mob, sir, was the American people,
and they deserve to celebrate their victory."
"Order, order! Now, did this celebration have pie?"
"Very well. Mr. Jackson, is it not the case
that immediately upon assuming office
you introduced the spoils system,
replacing hundreds of perfectly good federal employees
with incompetent party loyalists?"
"Your Honor, the President did no such thing.
He tried to institute rotation in office
to avoid any profiteering or funny business.
It was the rest of the party
who insisted on giving posts to their lackeys."
"But Mr. Jackson complied, did he not?"
"Now, uh, see here."
"Moving on.
Mr. Jackson, did you not help to cause
the financial Panic of 1837,
and the ensuing economic depression
with your obsessive war
against the Bank of the United States?
Was not vetoing its reauthorization,
as you did in 1832,
an act of irresponsible populace pandering
that made no economic sense?"
"Your Honor, the gentleman has quite the imagination.
That bank was just a way for rich Yanks
to get richer.
And all that money panic was caused
when British banks raised interest rates
and cut lending.
To blame it on the President is preposterous, I say."
"But if Mr. Jackson had not destroyed the National Bank,
it would have been able to lend to farmers
and businesses when other credit dried up,
would it not?"
"Hm, this is all highly speculative.
Can we move on?"
"Certainly, Your Honor.
We now come to Mr. Jackson's
most terrible offense:
forcing entire tribes out of their native lands
via the Indian Removal Act."
"I resent that accusation, sir.
The U.S. of A. bought that land from the Indians
fair and square."
"Do you call coercion and threats
by a nation with a far more powerful army
fair and square?
Or signing a treaty for removing the Cherokee
with a small group that didn't include
their actual leaders?
They didn't have time to properly
supply themselves before the army came
and forced them to march the Trail of Tears."
"Now, hold on a minute.
This was all Van Buren's doing
after President Jackson left office."
"But Mr. Jackson laid the groundwork
and made sure the treaty was ratified.
All President Van Buren had to do afterwards
was enforce it."
"Look here, Your Honor.
Our government's been purchasing
Indian land since the beginning,
and my client was negotiating these deals
even before he was President.
President Jackson truly believed
it was best for the Indians
to get compensated for their land
and move out West,
where there was plenty of space
for them to keep living
the way they were accustomed,
rather than stick around
and keep butting heads with the white settlers.
Some of whom, I remind our court,
wanted to exterminate them outright.
It was a different time."
"And yet, even in this different time,
there were many in Congress
and even the Supreme Court
who saw how wrong the Removal Act was
and loudly opposed it,
were there not?"
"My client was under a great deal of pressure.
I say, do you think it's easy
governing such a huge country
and keeping the Union together,
when states are fixing to nullify
federal laws?
President Jackson barely got South Carolina
to back down over those import tariffs,
and then Georgia had to go discover gold
and start grabbing up Cherokee land.
It was either get the Indians to move
or get in another fight with a state government."
"So, you admit that Mr. Jackson
sacrified moral principles to achieve
some political goals?"
"I do declare, show me one leader who hasn't."
As societies change and morals evolve,
yesterday's hero may become
tomorrow's villain, or vice versa.
History may be past,
but our understanding of it is always on trial.
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読み込み中…

【TED-Ed】History vs. Andrew Jackson - James Fester

2071 タグ追加 保存
稲葉白兎 2014 年 12 月 26 日 に公開
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