Divide the class up into SIX groups [one each, pro and con, for each of the three impeachment articles].  You could add more impeachment articles, if you wish, and that would require the creation of two additional groups per added article.  However, this would extend the project further.  It's up to you. 

One problem that might occur may come from the students assigned to the group defending Jackson's Indian policy.  They may feel uncomfortable in doing so.  Therefore, I tell all students that they must step out of their 21c mind-set and moral code and put themselves in the shoes of a 19c antebellum politician.  That gives them all intellectual/moral "cover."

If you teach in a block schedule, then the entire "trial" could take one block;  otherwise, it should take two, 40-45 minute class periods.  The teacher will act as the Speaker of the House to facilitate the proceedings.

All worksheets necessary are included in .pdf file format ["Discussion Sheets" and the "Evaluation Sheet"].  I expect all students to print out these sheets either in school or at home and have them in class when the "trial" begins.  Five points will be deducted from their total final grade if these sheets are not brought to class.  This is an on-going caveat that I give my students on any assignments that require them to print material from my web site.  I hope to instill in them a sense of personal responsibility and organization.

Teachers are free to use this impeachment trial model for other presidents.  Besides the usual "suspects" [like Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton], John Adams, James K. Polk, Franklin Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, and the current president, George W. Bush are all possible candidates.


Step #1: The class will be divided into SIX groups [one for each of the three impeachment articles]. One group per article will represent House Judiciary Committee members who will attempt to persuade the rest of the House to indict President Andrew Jackson on that impeachment article.  One group will represent Jackson's supporters in the House who will argue against an impeachment indictment on that article.
Step #2: ALL students will read these primary/secondary source documents as background for the "trial:"
bullet Andrew Jackson is Accused of Serious Crimes
bullet First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1829)
bullet Second Inaugural Address (March 4, 1833)
Step #3: Each group will then research their particular impeachment article topic by starting with the web links below:
  Information for ALL Indictments Can be Found Here [These are just ADDITIONAL sites.  You do NOT have to read any or all of them, but some may add weight to your arguments.]:  
bullet Jackson's First Annual Address to Congress - 1829
bullet Jackson's Second Annual Address to Congress - 1830
bullet Jackson's Third Annual Address to Congress - 1831
bullet Jackson's Fourth Annual Address to Congress - 1832
bullet Jackson's Fifth Annual Address to Congress - 1833
bullet Jackson's Sixth Annual Address to Congress - 1834
bullet Jackson's Seventh Annual Address to Congress - 1835
bullet Jackson's Eighth Annual Address to Congress - 1836
bullet The Presidency of Andrew Jackson. Digital History.
  "Indictment" 1:  President Jackson has violated the separation of powers in his actions to destroy the Bank of the United States.
bullet "Andrew Jackson and the Bank War" - Tony D'Urso (essay). From Revolution
to Reconstruction
bullet Letter from Nicholas Biddle to Samuel Smith about President Jackson's message of 1829 - 1830
bullet Letter to Nicholas Biddle from Henry Clay - advises Biddle not to seek re-charter - 1831
bullet Henry Clay's Speech on Jackson's Bank Veto - 1832
bullet Jackson's Bank Veto Message - 1832
  "Indictment" 2:  President Jackson violated states rights in his dealings with South Carolina in the nullification crisis.
bullet Veto of the Maysville Road Bill - 1830
bullet Webster-Hayne Debate - 1830
bullet "Jackson and the Nullifiers" - song lyrics - 1832
bullet Jackson's Proclamation Regarding Nullification - 1832
bullet Force Bill - 1833
bullet Letter from Jackson to Van Buren Concerning Nullification - 1833
  "Indictment" 3:  President Jackson violated laws, treaties, and court orders in his dealings with Native Americans.
bullet Andrew Jackson Speaks:  Indian Removal. The eJournal Website.
bullet Cherokee Indian Removal Debate - 1830
bullet Indian Removal Act - 1830
bullet Cherokee Nation v The State of Georgia - 1831
bullet Worcester v The State of Georgia - 1832
You may use any other documents that you feel are pertinent to your position from my main web links page [Topic 7 Web Links] or from any other LEGITIMATE SOURCES that you may find on the web which will support your position in the "trial."
Step #4: Decide amongst the other members of your group how you wish to divide your presentation on the day of the "trial"--who will present the argument, who will challenge/ask questions of the other side, who will respond to questions/challenges by the other side to your group, etc.  Each individual group member will create a "position outline" [a 1 1/2 to 2 page, single-spaced, typed outline of their argument, including quotes from appropriate primary sources], that they will use in their part of the group presentation of their position, pro or con, on a particular impeachment indictment.
Step #5: Come to class prepared with all required printouts! Make sure that you know your role within the group.
Step #6: Each group will be given up to 4 MINUTES to make their presentation and up to 2 MINUTES for questioning by the other side.
Step #7: While the other groups are making their presentations, you will be taking notes on those presentations and will fill out the "Discussion Sheets" [PRINT OUT 3 COPIES of these sheets and bring them to class!].  They will be handed in at the end of the "trial."
Step #8: When all of the arguments, pro and con, have been made, the full "House of Representatives" [the entire class] will vote on each article of impeachment.
Step #9: Each student will PRINT OUT the "Evaluation Sheet," fill out the "Self-Evaluation" columns, and hand it in along with their individual position outline and discussion sheets for a grade.