I was born for a storm, and a calm does not suit me.
"Andrew Jackson was a patriot and a traitor. He was the greatest of generals, and wholly ignorant of the art of war. He was the most candid of men, and capable of the profoundest dissimulation. He was a democratic autocrat, an urbane savage, an atrocious saint."
- James Parton, Jackson's first biographer, 1859
Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil, and the Presidency tells the story of one of America's most controversial presidents, Andrew Jackson. In this two-hour television event, beautiful re-enactments, lithographs, letters and the insights of distinguished scholars transport us into the world of America's seventh president who, in one of the boldest political strokes in history, founded the Democratic party - and yet was viewed by his enemies as an American Napoleon. Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil, and the Presidency is narrated by Emmy Award-winning actor Martin Sheen and tells a story with startling relevance to the modern presidency by bringing to life one of the most remarkable, yet divisive presidents in our history.
The first president with a nickname, "Old Hickory" was born in a log cabin, and was an orphan by the age of 13, but rose to become a major general in the United States Army, and the seventh President of the United States. Andrew Jackson was a man who had strong opinions and equally as strong opposition during his eight years in political office. That he even made it to the White House surprised and shocked many, more polished, politicians. His campaign style and tenure as president were turning points in American politics. He was the first president to open the doors of the White House to blue collar Americans and he shook up the glossy world of Washington, D.C., with his common man methods and ideals. But he also oversaw one of the most controversial events in American history: the forced removal of Indian tribes, including the Cherokees, from their homes.
"Is he a president we should celebrate or a president we should apologize for? It's a question that could certainly spark a fierce debate about our current chief executive," notes Carl Byker, executive producer and writer of this monumental project. "But of all the presidents who Americans have had conflicting feelings about, the one who's been simultaneously adored and reviled with the most intensity is Andrew Jackson."
This documentary reveals that Jackson fought in the Revolutionary War when he was just 13 years old - then used what he learned to kill a man over a gambling debt; that Jackson led the American army to the most surprising victory in its history in the Battle of New Orleans - but also launched an unauthorized invasion of Florida; that Jackson was the first great champion of the common white man - but "owned" over a hundred black Americans; and that Jackson dramatically expanded the United States - but did it by brutally wrestling vast regions of the south from Native Americans.
This presidential biography contains penetrating insights from a distinguished and diverse group of historians and scholars. Visit Featured Historians, Authors and Contributors to learn more.