But this August dignity I treat of, is not the dignity of kings and robes, but that abounding dignity which has no robed investiture. Thou shalt see it shining in the arm that wields a pick or drives a spike; that democratic dignity which, on all hands, radiates without end from God; Himself! The great God absolute! The centre and circumference of all democracy! His omnipresence, our divine equality!
If, then, to meanest mariners, and renegades, and castaways, I shall hereafter ascribe high qualities, though dark...then against all mortal critics bear me out in it, thou just Spirit of Equality, which hast spread one royal mantle of humanity over all my kind! Bear me out in it, thou great democratic God!...Thou who didst pick up Andrew Jackson from the pebbles; who didst hurl him upon a war-horse; who didst thunder him higher than a throne! Thou who, in all Thy mighty, earthly marchings, ever cullest Thy selectest champions from the kingly commons; bear me out in it, O God!
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
Andrew Jackson, surrounded by myth and image, is a compact symbol representing the ideology of an entire generation. Jackson exemplified the common man, the farmer politician, military prowess and democracy for his time. His name and his philosophy define an age in American history. Andrew Jackson's glorification was a direct result of the desires and anxieties of society. His image was disseminated through society by the rhetoric of his day and later altered through time in the collective memory of America.