Old Hickory

Old Hickory:

Distinctive Unit Insignia of the "Old Hickory" Brigade, 30th HBCT

Major Joel Leggett drops by to mention, in the comments to one of the posts below, an apparent Glenn Beck assault on Andrew Jackson. I don't watch TV or listen to the radio, so I tend to miss Mr. Beck unless his remarks get excerpted on a blog somewhere. This sounds fairly foolish.
I just happened to catch Beck’s announcement that he is putting together a special wherein he will lay the blame for America’s initial wrong turn on Andrew Jackson and the idea of Manifest Destiny, a concept Beck believes put us on the path to a secular man oriented world view vice the God centered idea of “Divine Providence.” What a load of crap.

To begin with, the term “Manifest Destiny” was not even coined until 1839, two years after Jackson’s administration ended. It did not even come into popular usage until the 1840s. How on earth could Andrew Jackson be responsible for the concept of Manifest Destiny as described by Beck. I guess it is possible that Beck thinks the Westward advancement that occurred under Jackson’s administration proves his point. But if that is the case why not blame Jefferson as the father of Manifest Destiny. It was Jefferson who was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase, the event credited with opening the West for settlement.
We can go back further than that, and ask about Mr. Washington's intentions. He dispatched generals Lachlan McIntosh and Daniel Brodhead west during the war to establish a line of forts designed to open the west to his forces, and allow them to attack British strongholds. Their successor, John Gibson, used those forts as a base for expansion into what is now Indiana, of which he became acting territorial governor and Secretary of the Territory under President John Adams. Why were we expanding into Indiana?

I'm also not sure where Mr. Beck is getting the idea that there was a Christian Age in pre-Jacksonian American politics. If anything, the reverse is true: Jackson rode the tide of a populist revolt into the White House. His small-town, backcountry supporters were much more likely to be intensely Christian than the Founding Fathers had been. Jackson himself was a Presbyterian, which in those days was still the stern, Scots-Irish, Calvinist sort of religion that it has largely ceased to be in the last generation. That was one of the complaints against him in 'polite society' during his administration; and indeed, it's fair to say that 'polite society' gave him more trouble than the British Army ever did.

No comments: