|Worksheet # 63|
| ANDREW JACKSON AND HIS CRITICS
Now, opinions of Jackson ranged from best to worst,
With his critics appalled by "King Andrew the First!"
Who indeed wielded power like an imperial sword
In cutting foes loose and taking supporters on board.
--'Twas hardly new, of course, to reward a man's loyals,
Or as his friend said: "To the victors go the spoils!"
Ah, but this practice would grow, and stink of corruption,
With men seeking money through power's seduction.
And Jackson's great blunder, which crashed down with a clank,
Was his shutting the doors of the National Bank.
Which he saw as the tool of rich city men,
Who made government work for no others but them!
So now cash in the country went to state banks called "pets,"
Which were prone to let farmers run dangerous debts.
While Misters Webster and Clay fumed with such rage,
That King Andrew succeeded and commanded the stage!
And while it seemed that Old Hickory favored the states,
He let tariffs be raised, and thus angered his mates.
Like John C. Calhoun, who then spear-headed the cause,
Of a state's right to reject any improper laws!
Yes, an argument of old, called nullification,
Which incensed this leader and much of the nation.
As a new threat to secede from South Carolina came,
And stirred the great fury in Jackson's lean frame!
With North and South now at odds over federal power,
Their discords did simmer, their dispositions did sour.
But the tariff was lowered and so it came not to pass
-- Though tensions still loomed like a beast in the grass!
Trying times, to be sure, but the Union sustained,
Though they left Andrew Jackson clearly quite pained.
His regrets, when asked, sang a bittermost tune:
"I didn't shoot Henry Clay! I didn't hang John C. Calhoun!"