The Education of a President
The ambiguities and nuances in the various Jacksonian messages worked themselves out in three singularly sequenced Presidential positions taken as the year 1832 unfolded. In March came a thrusting Jacksonian denial -- effected by an inaction which spoke louder than words, although words there were-of the Supreme Court's role as the ultimate expositor of the Constitution. In July, the implied became explicit with the positive denial asserted in a ringing veto. Yet in December came not only an assertion of the Supreme Court's unique constitutional competence but an expressed willingness to defend that status by force and arms, if need be.
The Indian question which had partially underlain the Great Debate was most acute, not on the territorial frontier, but in the original states, and there with respect to the most civilized tribes. Its specific focus was the Cherokees, who, readily adopting the white men's ways in everything from the alphabet to slavery, had even dabbled in realpolitik by taking the American side against the Creeks in 1812 and serving as Jackson's valued allies in his great victory at Horseshoe Bend. In July of 1827 at their tribal capital of New Echota they went further yet. Combining a