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APUSH Andrew Jackson Project

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A. Castagna

on 9 November 2015

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Transcript of APUSH Andrew Jackson Project

Alyssa Castagna
Andrew Jackson Monument Perspectives

This monument--or statue--is mainly constructed out of white marble, as many classical statues are. The reasoning behind this was that a commoner in those times would see Jackson in a classically heroic light. Jackson, seen as a war hero by many at the time, is dressed in his military clothing. The base of the statue are disks cut from a hickory tree--a reference to Jackson's nickname "old hickory," and also a way to distinguish how his roots were those of a common man's. Seen as a protector of the country and its people, a map of the United States has been carved into the base. To add to the distinguishable look of the statue, there are gold accents throughout.
This statue is constructed of both white marble and dark stone. In a careful fashion, there is a divide down the middle of the figure, with one material constructing each side; this is recognizing that, while Jackson did many good deeds, there were many that could be seen as unfortunate. Instead of dressed in military attire, Jackson dons a dark cloak and a rather grim expression,piece of paper and pen in hand; this statue recognizes more of the political work that Jackson did than his military campaign.
Why the change?
While at first, the difference in the two statues are small, the details with in each reveal just how different the lenses Jackson was seen trough were.
There is a distinct sense of heroism in the monument from 1836. To many commoners of the time, Andrew Jackson was seen as a hero--not only in war, but a hero of the people. He reminded them that there was a chance that any common man could rise to greatness--the embodiment of the "American Dream."
The modern perspective, while it still shows respect and appreciation of Jackson's actions, this perspective criticizes some of his more controversial actions that, in modern day, seem appalling. Jackson's decision to exile Native Americans taints much of his reputation for the modern perspective. There is less heroism, and acknowledgment of his worse decisions.
In the end, there is no one that owns history; it is merely about perspective.
People choose to remember where there is change--the more controversial, the more memorable. The choice may also be related to how close it is to them personally--if it would affect them or a group they connect with, they will remember it stronger.
How can time change the way a historical figure is viewed? They can become heroes that were persecuted through their life, or they can become villains who were worshiped in their time. It is only time that can tell.
Andrew Jackson is one of the most well-known, yet controversial presidents the United States has ever had. He was a duelist with fierce temper, a war hero to many, and a champion of the common people. At the time, the elite despised him, but now he is looked back and admired for the bravery in acting against them, and being an example of the American Dream.
Perspectives are forever changing, depending on time period, class, gender, and beliefs. They are neither right nor wrong, merely different from each other.
Andrew Jackson was a very polarizing figure of history. He was despised and he was loved by many. Whatever the perspective is, however, there is no denying that he is one of the most important and interesting figures in American history.
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