Andrew Jackson was elected President of the United States in 1828 and
quickly made his mark upon American political life. While his predecessor
John Quincy Adams boasted ties to the nation's Founding Fathers, Jackson
presented himself as a man of the people. Rejecting Adams' policy of coordinated
national economic development, Jackson forced the dissolution of the powerful
Bank of the United States, a publicly-chartered private institution that
served to regulate the nation's financial institutions. He also proved
himself a strong nationalist in crushing South Carolina's attempt to assert
a single state's right to nullify federal policies, namely a high tariff
that damaged the agricultural South's export prospects. Jackson's popularity
and success led many Americans to fear that the former general sought
a dictatorship. These opponents banded together around the principles
of a weak executive, coordinated national development, and individuals'
and society's moral improvement in the Whig Party.