The Spoils System and “Kitchen Cabinet” of Andrew Jackson

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Jacksonian Democracy


Jackson's Spoils System and Kitchen Cabinet

Example



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Activity Overview


During Jackson's presidency, he had two cabinets advising him. One was the official president's cabinet, the other was his own group, commonly known as the "kitchen cabinet". Using a T Chart, students will compare and contrast what a true cabinet position does (and who held it) alongside who Jackson chose to listen to (and what their positions were). This will help them better understand the decisions made during Jackson's two terms and provide an easy reference for students to look back on.

Jackson's Presidential Cabinet

  • Vice President: John C. Calhoun
  • Secretary of State
  • Secretary of War: John Eaton
  • Secretary of Treasury

Jackson's Kitchen Cabinet

  • Martin van Buren
  • Francis Preston Blair
  • Amos Kendall
  • Duff Green

Extended Activity

Have students research and explain the evolution of the presidential cabinet, as it has grown from the beginning of American politics, and the position of the presidency. Examine the current presidential cabinet and what their roles are advising the president. Have students research if there are still any external influences on the president today.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Use a T Chart to compare and contrast Jackson's presidential cabinet with his "kitchen cabinet".

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In one column, identify the members of Jackson's Presidential Cabinet.
  3. In the other, identify the members of his "Kitchen Cabinet".
  4. In the description boxes, summarize the role of each cabinet position, their views, and whether or not they stayed in that position.
  5. Create an illustration for each cell using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  6. Save and submit your storyboard.
Title/Description T-Chart

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