Andrew Jackson Biography
Andrew Jackson, or Old Hickory as he was known, was the victor of the Battle of New Orleans on 8 January 1815. He was regarded for some time as the “Savior of America,” and 8 January for many decades was a day of national celebration in the USA on a par with 4 July.
Taking command in New Orleans at the beginning of December 1814, he had only a matter of weeks to organise defences in the city before the British invasion force attempted to capture it. When the first British troops landed within striking distance, he launched a ferocious night attack on 23 December which prevented the British from advancing further and gaining valuable time to bolster the defences of New Orleans.
President Jackson was acutely aware of the significance of his victory for the future development of the United States. Celebrating the admission of the state of Arkansas into the Union in 1836, he plainly stated that “if there had been a disaster, instead of victory, at New Orleans, there would never have been a state of Arkansas.” He was convinced that the British would have claimed the Louisiana Purchase and blocked the westward development of the USA and the important trade route via the Mississippi.
Jackson is widely regarded as the best American general of the War of 1812 and owed his election as president to his victory at New Orleans. Of Irish parentage, he is known as the first in a long line of Scots Irish presidents.