Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States and the first westerner to be elected president. His election marked an end of a political era dominated by the planter aristocracy of Virginia and the commercial aristocracy of New England. He fought his way to leadership and wealth in a frontier society, and his success established a bond between him and the common people that was never broken. Small farmers, laborers, mechanics, and many other Americans struggling to better themselves looked to Jackson for leadership.
Prior to his presidency, Jackson was very active in war and politics. At the tender age of thirteen he became an orderly and messenger in the mounted militia of South Carolina where he took part in the battle of Hanging Rock against the British. By age fourteen and without any immediate family he took his $300 inheritance from his grandfather and went to Charleston, South Carolina. With his money he studied law and was admitted to practice in 1787. The next year he was appointed solicitor general. In 1790 Jackson was appointed as North Carolina's prosecuting attorney. In 1796 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. After one year in the house, Jackson was elected to fill out an unexpired term in the U.S. senate. He served from September 1797 to April 1798. He served as judge of the state superior court from 1798 to 1804. His decisions were said to be "short, untechnical, unlearned, sometimes ungrammatical, and generally right." After this he went into a brief retirement from politics. In this time he worked to improve his plantation, the Hermitage, where he owned 20 slaves and eventually 100 slaves. Jackson's hot temper got him in a number of feuds and duels, many of which were over remarks about his wife. In May 1814 Jackson was made a major general in the regular (federal) army. After his stint of general and the Battle of New Orleans he was a national hero.