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The Age of Jackson

            General Andrew Jackson emerged as a military hero to most Americans after the Wars of Independence and the War of 1812. He waged several campaigns against the Native Americans in the War of 1812, expelling a great amount of energy in putting down rebellions and uprisings. He won national acclaim after his defeat of the British at the Battle of New Orleans. Jackson was a Tennessee man who held both land and property. After his resignation of his commission from the military, he began to make frequent forays into the political arena, and it is there that Jackson has left an indelible mark. The period of his leadership is justly known as the Age of Jackson, not only because he dominated its politics, but also because he dominated the thinking of both his friends and his enemies for most of the period between the end of the War of 1812 and the Mexican War in 1848. However, the height of Andrew Jackson's prominence in American politics took place between the era of his first nomination for the presidency in 1824 and the defeat of the Democrats in 1840.
             Jackson's rise to popularity was aided by the Panic of 1819. In this era, the U.S. was experiencing a financial boom. The Napoleonic Wars in Europe had laid waste to much of the agricultural land. As a result, the Atlantic trade with the U.S. began to flourish. European nations traded eagerly in the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, while cheap land, easy credit, and high prices for farm products stimulated an American land boom that state banks happily fuelled with generous issue of notes. Most state banks began lending indiscriminately without the specie to back it up. Specie was the value of the bank's paper money, held in gold and silver in its vaults. Nonetheless, this period of financial excess could not have been expected to last forever, and the first sign of trouble emerged as European agriculture began to recover.
             As economic recovery began to take place in Europe, the American market was flooded with imports.

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