Mock impeachment trial of president andrew jackson

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Cooperative Learning Activity:

OVERVIEW: The question we must ask is to whether Andrew Jackson should be removed from his office as President of the United States. Questions to consider include: Was he a reflection of the new democracy emerging in the country? How do we measure Jacksonian Democracy in light of his treatment of groups such as Native Americans? Did Jackson overstep his constitutional authority as an executive as evidenced by various domestic policies? Through participation in a mock impeachment trial of Andrew Jackson, students will analyze primary sources and participate in role-playing activities in an effort to judge whether or not Andrew Jackson should be removed from office.

1) Prosecution Team: will prosecute Jackson and argue that Jackson should be removed from office.

2) Defense Team: will defend Jackson and will argue that Jackson should remain office.

3) Judge: teacher will play this role

4) Jury: the jury will make the final decision as to whether Jackson should be removed from office or not.

5) Andrew Jackson: the President will testify on his own behalf in order to defend himself from these charges.

6) Witnesses: (suggestions include Native Americans, John Marshall, Davy Crockett, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, etc.) will testify on behalf of the prosecution and defense.

7) Reporters: will report on the testimonies and arguments from both sides, as well as concluding statements on the effect of the ruling on the nation.

***Each role player must use at least 2 quotes from relevant primary sources during the trial.

Mock Trial Format Sheet

1) Opening Statements: The prosecution followed by the defense team gives an opening statement. This should include their major arguments and the reason for calling particular witnesses.

2) Presentation of Evidence: The prosecution followed by the defense calls witnesses and presents evidence referencing primary source documents that will support their argument.

3) Questioning of Witnesses: Witnesses will be called to the stand to answer questions by the prosecution and the defense. All witnesses must use a minimum of two quotations during their questioning.

4) Rebuttal: Rebuttal of the points made by each team will be presented during this time. Additional evidence from the documents may be used to strengthen arguments.

5) Closing Statements: Each team will drive home their arguments and reiterate their strongest points.

6) Jury Deliberation: all jurors will fill out information based on opening statements, witness examination and testimony, rebuttals, and closing statements during the course of the trial and use the information during the deliberation. They will then write a verdict based on this information.

7) Verdict: the Judge will read the verdict to the court

8) Reporters summation of trial

TOPICS OF INTEREST: Students will focus on particular topics of relevance to the trial. They are as follows...

* Jackson's military background (character evidence)

* Jackson adopts Native boy (cv)

* Universal male suffrage

* Indian removal

* National Bank Veto

* Pet banks

* The Specie Circular

* Nullification Crisis

* Peggy Eaton Affair (aka Petticoat affair)

* Maysville Road Veto

* Spoils system

* Rotation of office holders
PRIMARY SOURCE DOCUMENTS: Students will search primary source documents to read that will assist them in their preparation for the trial and to serve as direct quotations during the trial (potential sources are attached below).

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