Andrew Jackson Kitchen Cabinet

Kitchen Cabinet History for kidsThe Kitchen Cabinet history revolved around the scandal known as the Petticoat affair or the Peggy Eaton affair. Peggy Eaton had married John Eaton, the Secretary of War. The marriage, and the morals of Peggy Eaton, were highly criticized by the highest society in Washington D.C. including the Cabinet social circle and even his niece and First Lady Emily Donelson. Andrew Jackson supported the Eaton’s and was furious at the gossip and the bad publicity which had become a liability for the Democrats. The President asked for the resignations of his disloyal cabinet, including that of his vice president John C. Calhoun. Secretary of State, Martin Van Buren, emerged unscathed, he was the only unmarried cabinet member and was not involved in the scandal. Why did Jackson have a Kitchen Cabinet?Andrew Jackson had had enough of the vicious tongues in Washington. His recently deceased wife, Rachel Donelson Jackson, had also suffered due to the spiteful, wagging tongues of Washington society had accused her of adultery and bigamy. He abandoned official cabinet meetings and used the heads of departments solely to execute their departmental duties. Instead, he sought the advice of old personal friends from Tennessee and loyal newspaper editors. Andrew Jackson believed that only the President could be trusted to stand for the will of the working people against the upper-class Congress and used his power of veto more often than all six previous Presidents combined. Their meetings were informal, they smoked their pipes together and formed his “kitchen cabinet.” He rarely called an official cabinet meeting and when he did it was usually to tell the members what he had decided to do. The official cabinet was given the nickname of the “parlor cabinet”. Who made up Jackson’s Kitchen Cabinet?Andrew Jackson’s Kitchen Cabinet consisted of his loyal friends, journalists and newspaper editors. The term “Kitchen Cabinet” might sound cozy and friendly but its members were all extremely powerful and clever men. The names of the most influential members of the Kitchen Cabinet were:Martin Van Buren who had supported Jackson through the Peggy Eaton scandalJohn Eaton who had been the subject of the gossipFrancis Preston Blair, editor of the Washington GlobeDuff Green, editor of the highly influent United States Telegraph (he later supported Calhoun)Amos Kendall a lawyer, journalist and editor-in-chief of the Argus of Western AmericaImportant William Berkeley Lewis who had served as quartermaster under General Andrew JacksonIsaac Hill a politician and editor of the New Hampshire Patriot newspaperGeneral Roger B. Taney, politician, Attorney General and Chief Justice
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Andrew Jackson Kitchen Cabinet

The Kitchen Cabinet was a mocking term applied to an official circle of advisers to President Andrew Jackson. The term has endured through many decades, and now generally refers to a politician's informal circle of advisers. When Jackson came into office after the bruising election of 1828, he was very distrustful of official Washington. As part of his anti-establish actions, he tended to dismiss government officials who had held the same jobs for years. And in an apparent effort to ensure that power rested with the president, not other people in the government, Jackson appointed fairly obscure or ineffectual men to most of the posts in his cabinet.The only man considered to possess any real political stature in Jackson's cabinet was Martin Van Buren, who was appointed secretary of state. )Van Buren had been a very influential figure in politics in New York State, and his ability to bring northern voters in line with Jackson's frontier appeal helped Jackson win the presidency.)The real power in Jackson's administration rested with a circle of friends and political cronies who often did not hold official office.As Jackson was always a controversial figure, thanks largely to his violent past and mercurial temperament. And opposition newspapers, implying there was something nefarious about the president receiving much unofficial advice, came up with the play on words, Kitchen Cabinet, to describe the informal group. The official cabinet was sometimes called the Parlor Cabinet.The Kitchen Cabinet included newspaper editors, political supporters, and old friends of Jackson's. They tended to support him in such efforts as the Bank War, and the implementation of the Spoils System.Jackson's informal group of advisers became more powerful as Jackson tended to become estranged from people within his own administration. His own vice president, John C. Calhoun, for example, rebelled against Jackson's policies and resigned.In later presidential administrations the term Kitchen Cabinet took on a less derisive meaning, and simply came to be used to denote a president's informal advisers. In modern usage, the kitchen cabinet has lost any suggestion of impropriety, as modern presidents are generally expected to rely on a wide range of individuals for advice.
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Andrew Jackson Kitchen Cabinet

President Andrew Jackson and the “Kitchen Cabinet” (1829–1831) When President Andrew Jackson took office in 1829, his official Cabinet was fractured by factional disputes, largely resulting from the fierce rivalry between Vice President John C. Calhoun and Secretary of State Martin Van Buren. The infighting was so pronounced that the Cabinet became virtually ineffectual, and Jackson stopped holding Cabinet meetings. He turned instead to an unofficial group of trusted friends and advisors, mocked in the rival press as the “Kitchen Cabinet.” Francis Preston Blair was a valued member. The Kitchen Cabinet played an important role in the Jackson administration until 1831. That year, controversy within the official Cabinet provoked the resignation of Van Buren and Secretary of War John Eaton, which allowed Jackson to request the resignations of all of the remaining members. The Kitchen Cabinet gradually declined with the success of his next official Cabinet, but Jackson’s bond with Blair remained strong to the President’s death in 1842. Explore historical events with the navigation above right.
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Andrew Jackson Kitchen Cabinet

President Andrew Jackson and the “Kitchen Cabinet” (1829–1831) When President Andrew Jackson took office in 1829, his official Cabinet was fractured by factional disputes, largely resulting from the fierce rivalry between Vice President John C. Calhoun and Secretary of State Martin Van Buren. The infighting was so pronounced that the Cabinet became virtually ineffectual, and Jackson stopped holding Cabinet meetings. He turned instead to an unofficial group of trusted friends and advisors, mocked in the rival press as the “Kitchen Cabinet.” Francis Preston Blair was a valued member. The Kitchen Cabinet played an important role in the Jackson administration until 1831. That year, controversy within the official Cabinet provoked the resignation of Van Buren and Secretary of War John Eaton, which allowed Jackson to request the resignations of all of the remaining members. The Kitchen Cabinet gradually declined with the success of his next official Cabinet, but Jackson’s bond with Blair remained strong to the President’s death in 1842.
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Andrew Jackson Kitchen Cabinet

Why did Jackson have a Kitchen Cabinet?Andrew Jackson had had enough of the vicious tongues in Washington. His recently deceased wife, Rachel Donelson Jackson, had also suffered due to the spiteful, wagging tongues of Washington society had accused her of adultery and bigamy. He abandoned official cabinet meetings and used the heads of departments solely to execute their departmental duties. Instead, he sought the advice of old personal friends from Tennessee and loyal newspaper editors. Andrew Jackson believed that only the President could be trusted to stand for the will of the working people against the upper-class Congress and used his power of veto more often than all six previous Presidents combined. Their meetings were informal, they smoked their pipes together and formed his “kitchen cabinet.” He rarely called an official cabinet meeting and when he did it was usually to tell the members what he had decided to do. The official cabinet was given the nickname of the “parlor cabinet”.
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Andrew Jackson Kitchen Cabinet

Summary and Definition of The Kitchen CabinetDefinition and Summary: The ‘Kitchen Cabinet’ was the name given to close, unofficial advisers of President Jackson. Early in the Jackson administration a scandal erupted referred to as the Petticoat affair (aka the Peggy Eaton affair) that involved members of the official presidential Cabinet of Andrew Jackson and their gossiping wives. The affair led to the forced resignation of almost the entire cabinet, including the vice president. Andrew Jackson then abandoned official cabinet meetings for meetings with his friends, that was called the Kitchen Cabinet.
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Andrew Jackson Kitchen Cabinet

        The Kitchen Cabinet was a term used by political opponents of U.S. President Andrew Jackson to describe the collection of unofficial advisors.  The kitchen cabinet reached its peak following his purge of the cabinet at the end of the Eaton Affair and his break with Vice President John Calhoun in 1831. Jackson wanted people who were actually living in the world, not careerists without perspective.         Jackson’s Kitchen Cabinet included his longtime political allies Martin Van Buren, Francis Preston Blair, Amos Kendall, William B. Lewis, Andrew Donelson, John Overton, and his new attorney general Roger Brooke Taney. As newspapermen, Blair and Kendall were given particular notice by rival papers.         The first known appearance of the term is in December 1831 correspondence by Bank of the United States head Nicholas Biddle, who wrote of the presidential advisors that “the kitchen . . . predominate over the Parlor.” Many people opposed the kitchen cabinet, feeling that they could not make decisions as good as the pro forma cabinet.

Andrew Jackson Kitchen Cabinet