RCC Honors History Project

Jackson’s Fourth Inaugural Address

Posted by sierralapoint on November 16, 2009

Didn’t post this Fourth one before, but after reading it, I felt the need to comment.  Hopefully you will too.

Here’s the link:


Here’s an excerpt:

“After a harassing warfare, prolonged by the nature of the country and by the difficulty of procuring subsistence, the Indians were entirely defeated, and the disaffected band dispersed or destroyed. The result has been creditable to the troops engaged in the service. Severe as is the lesson to the Indians, it was rendered necessary by their unprovoked aggressions, and it is to be hoped that its impression will be permanent and salutary.”

— Andrew Jackson December 4, 1832

okay, really…?  wow.  (compare/contrast this quotation to the language of those posted earlier — his first, second, and even third address are much more diplomatic sounding than this.   Apparently by the time 1832 rolled around, Jackson was feeling more proud of his defeat of an “unprovoked” people than empathetic for a people who, “when surrounded by a dense population and by mixing with the whites may be seen… deprived of political and civil rights, forbidden to make contracts, and subjected to guardians, dragging out a wretched existence, without excitement, without hope, and almost without thought.”

The above statement Jackson made about the same people just a year before, when less resistance and refusal to relocate had been encountered by military forces.  Still, the dramatic change in language, and thus political/social approach to this situation is more than minor.  Worth noting certainly.

your thoughts?


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