December 17, 2007

No Jackson, no Trail of Tears

Killed in a Duel, Then Lost in the EarthThe grave is largely a footnote in Jackson’s legacy, but Mr. Dickinson’s place in history presents a dizzying set of what-ifs: had the marksman killed the future president on May 30, 1806, instead of just wounding him, would the United States have won the Battle of New Orleans? Would executive power have evolved without President Jackson? Would the Trail of Tears have taken place?

“The ball that Charles Dickinson shot into Jackson, it was only about an inch or two from his heart,” said Paul Clements, a historian. “Clearly, it was a matter of inches that American history unfolded the way it did.”
Comment:  Jackson was almost singlehandedly responsible for violating the Supreme Court's pro-Indian rulings. Without him, American history might've taken a very different course.

For more on the subject, see Was Native Defeat Inevitable?

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