When a Fiery Populist Inflamed the Nation—but His Political Rivals Won the War

Over Time, the Whig Party's Moderate, Modern Agenda Trumped Andrew Jackson's Imperial Presidency

Two centuries after he served as president, Andrew Jackson remains an enduring figure both in history—the 1820s and ’30s are known as “The Age of Jackson”—and in American political conversation, with Donald Trump associating himself with Old Hickory’s nationalism and populism.

Jackson’s contemporary notoriety, however, far exceeds his actual impact. To be sure, he remains well known for his “war” on the Second National Bank of the United States and for signing the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in the forcible eviction of thousands of Native Americans from their homes to …