Jackson was the first president who was neither a member of the economic or social elite, nor from the Eastern Seaboard states of Massachusetts or Virginia.
Born poor and orphaned at fifteen, Andrew Jackson was a self-made man-one who represented the south and the western frontier and its expansionist interests. He was elected largely by voters who were not previously a part of the political process. He was also the first and only president who carried in his body two bullets; one near his heart from a duel, and one in his shoulder from a shootout. He was indeed a change from the past.
Jackson was the personification of the average citizen, the one who worked for a living, unafraid to get his hands dirty, and a symbol of the "majesty" of the common man. As a general, he had required more of his men than any other general had before. He executed some and threatened to shoot others, but they loved him and fought and died for him. He reveled in his successes-yet always praised and credited his soldiers with the victories. His military greatness lies not so much in his being a brilliant tactician, but in being a natural born leader able to make decisions, usually successful, on the spot, and to do his duty as he saw it.
With seemingly no credentials other than a contentious iron will, a desire to improve his situation in life, and a belief in the power and greatness of the American citizen, he rose to become president of the United States. The leadership qualities developed by Jackson as he rose in station by hard work, a firm belief in his own abilities, sheer force of will, help from others, and perhaps a bit of luck, propelled him from an obscure rural village to the epitome of public office, and ushered in what one author labeled "The Age of Jackson," and fundamentally changed the paradigm of how Americans selected their leaders.