The Trial of President Andrew Jackson Description



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The Trial of President Andrew Jackson
Description:

In order to learn more about Andrew Jackson, we will put on a fictional trial of this seminal figure.

Note: This assignment will count as a quiz (write-ups, exhibits, trial)
Basics of a Trial – how do trials work


  • Role of prosecutors, defense, expert witnesses and jury

  • Presumption of innocence

  • Beyond a reasonable doubt

  • Impeachment vs. criminal trial

  • *fictional trial, President Jackson was never actually on trial


Roles

President Jackson – places himself, sees himself as a strong president interested in a powerful presidency and obviously thinks he is innocent of all charges; works with defense attorneys

Prosecutors – Have the job of proving that President Jackson is guilty of all four charges

  • Should ask questions in a way that makes President Jackson look guilty

Defense attorneys – have the job of showing that there is insufficient evidence to find President Jackson guilty of the four charges

John Quincy Adams

John Calhoun

  • Nullification, states’ rights, 1828 Tariff of Abominations

  • “The South Carolina Exposition”, role of South Carolina

  • Secession, sectionalism

  • The Force Bill (1833)

Expert Witnesses:

Cherokee leader John Ross

  • Indian Removal Act

  • Trail of Tears

  • “five civilized tribes” (Cherokee, Choctaw, Seminole, Creek, Chickasaw)

  • Worcester v. Georgia (1832)

  • John Marshall

  • Treaty of New Echota

Kevin Collins, poor man named postal inspector by Jackson’s administration

  • Expansion of voting rights, opportunities

  • Spoils system

  • Democratic-Republican party

  • Whig party (Henry Clay, John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster)

Nicholas Biddle, War on the Bank



1. Andrew Jackson +

2. Prosecutor -

3. Defense +

4. Cherokee leader John Ross -

5. Jacksonian democracy +

6. Sectional tension, nullification, states’ rights, John Calhoun -

7. War on the Bank, Nicholas Biddle -

8. Supreme Court Marshall John Marshall-

  • Upset the balance of power between the judiciary and executive branches by stating that elected officials and not the Supreme Court had to judge the constitutionality of the law (going against the idea of judicial review)

  • Worcester v. Georgia (1832)



Order ofTrial

Prosecution: opening statement

Defense: opening statement

First witness: Jacksonian Democracy, prosecution

Cross-examination by defense

Second witness: Native American Policies, prosecution

Defense

Third witness: Sectional tension, prosecution



Defense

Fourth witness: War on the Bank

Prosecution: Closing statement

Defense: Closing statement

Jury Deliberation and decision

Discussion


Charges

  1. Violated civil rights of Native Americans through the Indian Removal Act and resulting Trail of Tears

  2. Worsened sectional tensions by aggressively opposing John Calhoun’s Doctrine of Nullification and the possibility of secession (states’ rights)

  3. Weakened American government through Jacksonian Democracy and the spoils system

  4. Upset the balance of power between the judiciary and executive branches by stating that elected officials and not the Supreme Court had to judge the constitutionality of the law (going against the idea of judicial review)


Assignment (Class work Friday. and Homework –DUE Tuesday)

President Jackson – Write a typed two page statement as to why you acted the way you did in these four areas and why you are innocent of each charge

Prosecutor

  1. Write a typed two page opening statement that summarizes the four charges and why President Jackson is guilty of each charge

  2. Write a typed list of questions for expert witnesses, at least three questions per witness in such a way to make President Jackson look guilty

Defense Attorney

  1. Write a one page opening statement that summarizes the four charges and why President Jackson is innocent of each charge

  2. Write a typed list of questions for expert witnesses, at least three per witness in such a way that President Jackson looks innocent

Expert Witnesses – typed two page summary of the charge

  • Introductory paragraph summarizes charge

  • One body paragraph explains President Jackson’s side (innocence)

  • One body paragraph explains why President Jackson is guilty

  • Note: be specific, you are the experts for this charge


2. Also, come up with two or three “exhibits” that might help your character make his or her point. These might be statistics (number of Native Americans that died on the Trail of Tears, growth in the number of men voting, images, maps, quotes, etc.).
Events/Issues to Consider in Preparation of Trial

  • Jackson’s military background (Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian battles)

  • Universal male suffrage

  • Indian removal

  • National Bank Veto

  • Pet banks

  • The Specie Circular

  • Nullification Crisis

  • Peggy Eaton Affair

  • Maysville Road

  • Spoil system

  • Rotation of office holders

Resources
Textbook 7.3 (The Age of Jackson), 7.4

ABC-CLIO

The Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s family home) http://www.thehermitage.com/

Understanding Andrew Jackson http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/alife/

Cherokee.org

Primary Sources – Indian Removal Act http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/Indian.html

Andrew Jackson: An Introduction http://www.pbs.org/kcet/andrewjackson/video/


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