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History vs. Andrew Jackson - James Fester

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Andrew Jackson was both beloved and loathed during his presidency. In this imaginary courtroom, you get to be the jury, considering and weighing Jackson’s part in the spoils system, economic depression, and the Indian Removal Act, as well as his patriotism and the pressures of the presidency. James Fester explores how time shapes our relationship to controversial historical figures.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

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  • Educator James Fester
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Andrew Jackson’s life has always been a subject of controversy for historians. Jackson’s first biographer James Parton said, “Andrew Jackson, I am given to understand, was a patriot and a traitor.” Today, historians continue to discuss the reasons for this controversy by examining and re-examining his life story.
Click this link to learn more about his life.
Jackson wore many hats during his tumultuous lifetime - general, senator, businessman, and eventually chief executive. A product of his western birthplace, Jackson was right there as we asserted our place as an independent nation. He too moved west as we stretched the limits of our western borders. He also found himself at the head of the storm as we roiled with ourselves over the issue of slavery. In many astonishing ways, Jackson’s life mirrored that of our young nation.
In his own time, Jackson and his supporters were under almost constant assault from the opposition for his new unorthodox approach to running the federal government. But today, many of the these same practices are commonly accepted as executive privilege
Click this link to read more about how Jackson changed and modernized the presidency.
This process of reanalyzing historical facts and reconsidering the motivations behind our opinions is called Historical Revisionism. It is an important an ever-changing part of our nation’s story, and the reason why it will never be possible to etch an opinion of someone as complex as Andrew Jackson in stone. History, and therefore the story of our nation and its people, is constantly under review and revision. Maybe someone like you will write the next chapter!
Click this link to more information about the role revisionism plays in modern historical thought.

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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator James Fester
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

Share

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