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tv   Born for a Storm Exhibit  CSPAN  August 21, 2018 11:51pm-12:12am EDT

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>> the entry foundation ceo and president wants us through the andrew jackson born for a storm exhibit. he tells the story of president jackson's upbringing of a relative orphan in america's frontier to the national rise after his win against the british in the battle of new orleans. the exhibit is in andrew jackson's hermitage in nashville, tennessee. >> we are in the museum in the andrew jackson center. about the life of andrew jackson is born for the storm. it's the largest most expensive exhibit we have done on his life in our 127 years at the museum. the title comes from a jackson quote. the full quote is, i was born for a storm and the calm to --
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did not suit me, which could not better encapsulate the life of andrew jackson. we have entered into the exhibit and i am standing next to the model of two log buildings here for a specific purpose. the smaller of the buildings is reminiscent of the kind of house jackson may have been born in in south carolina in 1767. what's interesting about this is the larger log building next to it that has opened up to see the inside are two buildings here at the hermitage. the larger building is the one that andrew and rachel lived in for the first 17 years that they owned hermitage. it was built in 19 -- 19 -- 1797. the smaller building andrew and
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rachel built after they moved here in 1804, half of it was the kitchen for the log house. the other half was a slave quarter where the cook lived. over here, the large panel lays out jackson's early life. jackson was our first president who was the son of immigrants. his parents came to north america from northern ireland in 1765. jackson was born in 1767. his father died just a couple of weeks before jackson was born. he never knew his father. he was raised with his mother and two brothers in and aunts and uncles home and in many ways treated somewhat like a servant. that contributed to his stripper us nature. he was largely self taught. he was a
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forceful writer and very direct. he was not eloquent but a forceful writer with greater clarity. the two panels you are seeing here are talking about the origin of the war of 1812. that war gave jackson the opportunity to put himself onto the national stage. before 1812, jackson had achieved a level of prominence in tennessee. he helped to write the first tennessee state constitution and was our first congressman from tennessee. it was the war of 1812 that was a springboard for him to national recognition. the war of 1812 was perhaps not the best conceived war in our nations history. as the panel here very graphically shows, it was a grudge match between
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great britain and the united states the panel you see here is from a political cartoon at the time. president monroe is punching out king george of england and king george has a black eye and blood he knows. this panel gave me great pause when it was proposed that we use it. people love it because it's so graphically illustrate what the americans intention was with that war. the purpose of this panel is to help remind americans today that in that the 18 teens new orleans was a vitally important city to the growing america. as the united states was developing in the 18 teens the mountains ran along parallel to the east coast for all the settlement and the people moving into the air between the
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allegheny mountains and mississippi river. new orleans became the exit point for all the goods they produce. new orleans was a checkpoint. it was a point of exit and entry. he was a great importance to the growth of the country. as thomas jefferson said in his request for congress to approve the louisiana purchase, i'm paraphrasing, whoever owns new orleans is our enemy. by late 1814, america's interest and focus as well as the british focus was on new orleans and waiting to see what was going to happen. as the british were sailing across the gulf of mexico to new orleans, jackson was moving his troops to new orleans and assembling a ragtag army of american regulars, volunteer militia men from tennessee and kentucky, creoles, native new orleans who were not certain
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which country they had an allegiance to yet. freed black men, slaves and pirates. on the early morning of january 8, 1815 , the battle takes place. through some miscommunications by the british, they are put into a vulnerable position of having to attack jackson's fortifications. in a battle that lasted somewhere between 35 and 50 minutes, jackson's severely outnumbered troops have a stunning victory. jackson had almost 5400 men altogether. the british had almost 8500 men at that battle. jackson ended up with a total number of casualties of 71 men, 13 of whom had died. the british casualties were in excess of 2000. the disparity in casualties stunned the nation.
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it reaffirmed america's belief that this country existed because of the hand of divine providence, yet again reaching in and ensuring the country would survive. it also gave the europeans a newfound respect for what they had up until then considered kind of a fly-by-night experiment in self-government. when we design the exhibit, we wanted to give young people a sense of how popular jackson was. we use that term rockstar. there was no other word we could come up with that better characterize him in the modern mind. as soon as the war was over, jackson is given a tremendous number of honors. metals are struck in his honor. jackson is given a number of ceremonial sorts that would be
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the highest type of recognition and military -- a military man at the time could receive. you see in the case one of the ceremonial sorts. rachel was given jewelry, pamphlets, songs and poems written about jackson in the battle of new orleans. we are looking at a panel here that depicts jackson's first presidential campaign which was in 1824. there were four principal candidates in the campaign. andrew jackson, john quincy adams, william crawford and henry clay. jackson and clay, it's fair to say they hated each other. through the remainder of each other's lives -- in the election jackson won the most number of popular votes about 48 percent but he did not win the majority of votes. the remainder of them were divided between johnson quincy adams, number two and henry clay
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number three. crawford was number four. there was not a majority opinion from the electoral college. the decision went to the house of representatives. in the process henry clay and john quincy adams did some horsetrading. it's called the corrupt bargaining where clay supposedly approached adams and said, i will give you my vote if you promise to make me secretary of state if you get elected president. the tray took place. the house of representatives elected john quincy adams as president and jackson lost out. jackson was furious. he felt that the will of the people, the majority of people, the most number of people had voted for him as opposed to the other candidates and as a result of this horsetrading,
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the people's will had been circumvented by a seesaw aristocratic interest of washington. by 1828, jackson was prepared to go to combat with john quincy adams for the presidency. this part of the exhibit is called the political circus.
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