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Andrew Jackson is considered by historians to be the first modern President. He truly represented the common man, and was elected with high public support. Born in the backwoods of the Carolinas, he overcame his modest background and became a successful lawyer and businessman in Tennessee. He was the first man elected from Tennessee to the House of Representatives, and he served briefly in the Senate. A major general in the War of 1812, Jackson became a national hero when he defeated the British at New Orleans. He became President in 1829, and was reelected with a massive popular support and almost five times as many electoral votes as his opponent.
Andrew Jackson was a pragmatic leader who worked within the patronage-oriented political system that existed then. He was much more focused on domestic politics than foreign policy. Though he could use force — Jackson became a national hero when he defeated the British at New Orleans during the War of 1812 — he was a consummate diplomat and skilled negotiator. He was one of the most skillful political leaders of his generation and is credited with reviving the two-party system in this country. Personally, he was boisterous and fiercely jealous of his honor. He engaged in brawls, and in a duel killed a man who insulted his wife.