Andrew Jackson and His Tennessee Lieutenants: A Study in Political Culture

By Lorman A. Ratner | Go to book overview

their own self-interest were the same. Jackson saw himself as a father figure to those Indians, ready to treat them as children who did not know what was best for themselves. 8 Jackson and his group were convinced that only by moving the tribes beyond the bounds of white settlement could the Indians maintain their culture. At the same time, the removal did much to enhance the wealth of many of the Jackson group and was readily rationalized as consistent with what was expected of the gentry. As historians writing in recent years have argued, the traditional premodern world of revolutionary America may have been placed in jeopardy by the force of a more modern commercial life, but for the men who are the subject of this study, the two fit nicely together. Commercial opportunity in the Tennessee country brought to reality dreams that were the products of struggles for a better life that began with earlier generations in Ulster and the Scottish lowlands. The culture of the fathers provided the dreams for the sons and for some Tennessee became the land of opportunity.


NOTES
1.
See Lorman Ratner, James K. Paulding: The Last Republican (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992).
2.
The critical and fascinating evolution of American society from a simple agricultural one to a complex commercial one has been studied carefully and well by a number of historians. Among those works, I have benefitted especially from Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1964); Charles Sellers, The Market Revolution ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1991); Joyce Appleby, Liberalism and Republicanism in the Historical Imagination ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992) and Capitalism and a New Social Order ( New York: New York University Press, 1984); Karl Polanyi , The Great Transformation ( New York: Rinehart Press, 1944).
3.
My understanding of what I have called the "world of the fathers" is derived primarily from the following studies: Henry James Ford, The Scotch-Irish in America ( Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1915); Ian Charles Cargill Graham , Colonists from Scotland ( Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1956); R. J. Dickson, Ulster Emigration to Colonial America 1718-1775 ( London: Routledge & Keegan, 1966); William C. Lehman, Scottish and Scotch-Irish Contributions to Early American Life and Culture ( Port Washington, NY: Kennekat Press, 1978); and David Dobson, Scottish Emigration to Colonial America 1607-1785 ( Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994).
4.
Dickson, Ulster Emigration, 9, 11.
5.
Dickson, Ulster Emigration, 49.

-16-

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