Citizens of the United States of America are very proud of their heritage; the country is known as the "land of opportunity" because of some self-made men who made a go of themselves in the country. When comparing the country to other places in the world, the United States is still a young country and was built on immigrants and disadvantaged people rising to the top and shaping the country into what it is today. Many of the early "founding fathers" and the subsequent two generations that followed solidified this belief that America was a place where a man could redefine himself and make himself into somebody great.
"Great" is obviously a relative term; one person may see greatness in a historical figure, while others may see infamy. The topic of this essay fits that mold - a man who was great because of the accomplishments he managed to obtain in his lifetime, but was also infamous for many of the decisions he made while in power. Historical figures often fall in this gray area; no person is without their skeletons in their respective closets. Andrew Jackson committed many acts that today would be viewed as borderline evil, but he also embodied the early republic and was living proof of the American story.
History in 30: The Life of Andrew Jackson provides a quick but comprehensive look at the life of one of America's most controversial presidents.