My Thoughts on Jackson and the $20 Bill

Here is the Tennessean editorial I wrote on the change to the $20 bill. Comments on the Jacksonian American Facebook page already reflect exactly what I was arguing against: We Americans can’t seem to find a way to understand our nation’s past without either vilifying or valorizing those who lived in it.

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3 Replies to “My Thoughts on Jackson and the $20 Bill”

  1. I favored the replacement of Jackson instead of Hamilton on currency, but not for the most “popular” reasons (like you, while I have huge problems with much of Jackson’s legacy, I have to respect the fact that he put the Union over sectional interests during the Nullification Crisis. If we’d had a president like Pierce or Buchanan then, the consequences for the survival of the nation could have been disastrous). In the case of Hamilton (and, no, not because he’s the subject of a hit Broadway musical, although I have seen it (BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER!!!!!) and it’s incredible!), it’s because of his status as the first Secretary of the Treasury and his central role in the financial survival of the new country and the establishment of his financial system. Of all the individuals on the currency, I strongly believe Hamilton has earned a permanent place. OTOH, to have Jackson on paper currency issued by a central federal institution is so in direct controvention to Jackson’s passionately held beliefs doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    BTW, I couldn’t locate any comments on the online editorial

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