A Precedent for Presidential Censure

In his remarks on Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial, Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) called for his fellow legislators to censure the president. "Censure would allow this body to unite across party lines," Manchin argued, "and as an equal branch of government to formally denounce the President's actions and hold him accountable." While there appears …

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Review of A Stranger Here Below

Earlier this fall, author Charles Fergus offered to send me a copy of his newest book, A Stranger Here Below, which is set in the Jacksonian period. There's not a lot of fiction that focuses on this period, so I agreed to read the book and write a short review about it here. A Stranger …

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A Primer on Presidential Impeachment

As I wrap up teaching the first part of the U.S. survey, we’ve been talking about President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment. Because of the current impeachment inquiry into President Trump, my students were very interested in learning more about the impeachment process. I wanted to share some of what we’ve been talking about. The first thing …

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Books for Spring 2020

Jacksonian Democracy Patrick H. Breen, The Land Shall Be Deluged in Blood: A New History of the Nat Turner Revolt (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016) ISBN 9780190055615 Mark R. Cheathem, Andrew Jackson, Southerner (LSU Press, 2013) ISBN 9780807150986 Cassandra Good, Founding Friendships: Friendships between Men and Women in the Early American Republic (Oxford Univ. Press, 2015) ISBN 9780199376179 Amy Greenberg, A Wicked …

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Alcohol at SHEAR

An exchange with an old grad student buddy unexpectedly prompted an interesting Twitter discussion of alcohol at academic conferences, specifically SHEAR. I wanted to provide my email to SHEAR president Annette Gordon-Reed, sent earlier this year, for context on my request. Annette (if I may), I don't know that we've met in person, but we've emailed …

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Thoughts on Andrew Jackson’s Place on the $20 Bill

Note: This post is an adaptation of a Twitter thread I wrote earlier this week. Several years ago, a publisher asked me to write an essay defending Jackson's place on the $20 for a book on debating political reform. Each set of essays took a pro or con position. I was given the intellectual exercise …

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John Quincy Adams’ Take on Trump’s Wall

I came across a quote recently that piqued my curiosity. In discussing immigration, the author credited John Quincy Adams with writing the following statement while secretary of state: The American Republic invites nobody to come. We will keep out nobody. Arrivals will suffer no disadvantages as aliens. But they can expect no advantages either. Native-born …

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