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“King Andrew the First,” 1833

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The political cartoon “King Andrew The First” depicts President Andrew Jackson as royalty, wearing the crown and robe of a monarch, holding a scepter and the veto power while stepping on the tattered Constitution and two bills proposed by Congress.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Weitenkampf, 1833


The caricature is of Andrew Jackson as a despotic monarch, probably issued during the fall of 1833 in response to the president's September order to remove federal deposits from the Bank of the United States. The print is dated a year earlier by Weitenkampf and related to Jackson's controversial veto of Congress's bill to recharter the Bank in July 1832. However, the charge, implicit in the print, of Jackson exceeding the president's constitutional power, however, was most widely advanced in connection not with the veto but with the 1833 removal order, on which the President was strongly criticized for acting without congressional approval. Jackson, in regal costume, stands before a throne in a frontal pose reminiscent of a playing-card king. He holds a "veto" in his left hand and a scepter in his right. The U.S. Constitution and the arms of Pennsylvania (the United States Bank was located in Philadelphia) lie in tatters under his feet. A book "Judiciary of the U.S. States" lies nearby. Around the border of the print are the words: "Of Veto Memory", "Born to Command" and "Had I Been Consulted."

Transcript of "King Andrew the First" Cartoon

Source-Dependent Questions

  • How does the artist portray President Andrew Jackson? What does the artist include in the drawing to achieve this portrayal?
  • According to the cartoonist, is President Andrew Jackson respecting the separation of powers among the three branches of government? Provide evidence from the cartoon that led you to your decision.
  • Consider the reasons for independence from British rule as listed in the Declaration of Independence. From the perspective of the artist, how do Jackson’s actions contradict those reasons?

Citation Information

Weitenkampf, 1833. Courtesy of Library of Congress