The Age of Jackson, 1824-1833
With the entrance of Andrew Jackson into the national political arena, the party press revived as new divisions appeared between those who supported Jackson and those who opposed him. Jackson's rise to power resulted in a new political party system in the United States, one that was once more strongly supported by partisan publications throughout the country. The return of partisanship to the press encouraged growth. When Jackson finally won election as president in 1828, 863 newspapers existed in the United States. Five years later, as Jackson entered his second term in office in 1833, the number of publications stood at approximately 1,200. 1
Jackson first became a nationally known figure during the War of 1812. As a general in the American army, he successfully defended New Orleans in 1815 and defeated the British army. Although this military action actually took place after the signing of the peace treaty at Ghent, news of the war's end had not yet crossed the Atlantic. Thus, Jackson became "the Hero of New Orleans," a beloved figure who won the only major military victory of the war. Following the War of 1812, Jackson remained in the army, primarily fighting Indians throughout the southeastern United States. As noted earlier, in 1818, he got into trouble for following a group of renegade Seminole Indians into Florida and, while there, executing two British subjects as spies. Jackson escaped court martial for this incident, primarily because it helped give the U.S. government reason to pressure Spain into selling Florida. Jackson's image, however, was tarnished, and it appeared that his public career might be over.
Nevertheless, by 1823, his reputation had revived, and he embarked on a national political career. When the. Tennessee state legislature nominated him for president as a "favorite son" in 1822, many expressed surprise to find out that Jackson had a real chance to win the 1824 election. 2