After reading Rich Lowry’s book The Case for Nationalism, I came away from it stimulated with an idea for a new project. What was American Nationalism like when we controlled the idea of America? Southerners ruled America from Washington through Lincoln.
The following excerpt comes from Mark Cheathem’s book Andrew Jackson, Southerner:
“Although most scholars describe Old Hickory as a westerner, as representative of the trans-Appalachian frontier, Jackson was truly a southerner. He was born and raised in the Waxhaws regions of the most southern of states, South Carolina, where he learned the path to success included building an influential social network, choosing a career in law, and acquiring land and slave property. In Tennessee, Jackson worked toward becoming a southern planter and gentleman, although his enemies would have disputed the latter. His desire to live as part of the gentry was ever present, even as he defeated the British at New Orleans in 1815, ascended to the presidency in 1828, and built the Democratic Party in the 1830s and 1840s. Jackson’s propensity toward violence, defense of honor, enslavement of African-Americans, embrace of kinship, and pursuit of Manifest Destiny created a southern identity to which many contemporary white southerners, elite and non-elite, could relate. …”
Andrew Jackson was an Ulster Scot from the South Carolina Upcountry which is ethnically and culturally one of the most deeply Scots-Irish regions of the United States. John C. Calhoun, who was Jackson’s Vice President and rival, was from the same region and background. Jackson and Polk were America’s Scots-Irish presidents from Greater Appalachia and both spent their careers fighting off calumnies from Yankees who were bitterly opposed to national expansion that benefited the South and who were not in charge of America at that time.
“Had not James Hamilton, Jr., one of the prime agitators, stated publicly that he supported Jackson because he was “a Southern man, with Southern interests and Southern feelings?” …”
The capital of Mississippi is named after Andrew Jackson. Jacksonville in Florida is named after Andrew Jackson in honor of the role he played in the annexation of Florida. There is an equestrian statue of Jackson mounted on horseback in Jackson Square in New Orleans which honors the role he played in the Battle of New Orleans at the end of the War of 1812. There are counties and cities named after General Jackson all over the South who removed the Indians to what is now Oklahoma to clear the path to White settlement. He broke the Creek Indians at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend here in Alabama. No wonder he is hated by True Conservatives.
“Despite the political assaults that came his way during the presidential campaign, Jackson won a resounding victory. His electoral vote total of 178 swamped Adam’s 83; the 56 percent of voters who supported Jackson with their ballot also spoke to his undeniable triumph. The South gave Jackson a clean electoral sweep. After having secured only 42.2 percent of the southern popular vote in 1824, his percentage increased to 70.6 percent in 1828. In three of the five Lower South states (Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi), Jackson won no less than 81.1 percent of the popular vote. (The South Carolina legislature gave its electoral votes to the Jackson-Calhoun ticket, while the unique nature of Louisiana’s politics garnered Jackson only 53 percent of the popular vote.) In the Upper South, Jackson performed least well in Maryland (49.8 percent) and Kentucky (55.5 percent) but scored significant victories in Virginia (69 percent), Missouri (70.6 percent), North Carolina (73.1 percent), and Tennessee (95.2 percent).”
Jackson was hugely popular in the Old Southwest due to Indian Removal which Rich Lowry describes in his books as one of our great “national sins.” According to conservative liberalism, things like race, ethnicity, culture, religion and especially “identity politics” are qualities which do not matter which is pure ahistorical nonsense. These things are decisive.
America used to be a White Man’s Country until the War Between the States and that was because our ancestors controlled it. The institutional expression of this sentiment was the Democratic Party. It all came crashing down due to abolitionist agitation and we got the Reconstruction amendments when the Black Republicans took over Congress and dissolved our states and placed the South under military rule. This huge change was entirely due to the shift in power from one ethnic group to another in Washington. It would have never happened otherwise.
Note: Food for thought.
Is it Andrew Jackson’s party or Abraham Lincoln’s? Jefferson’s or Hamilton’s? The Republican establishment and Conservatism, Inc. are out of touch with their base. Why is that?