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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Brief Review: Joshua Green, The Devil’s Bargain

If you want a quick, readable overview that explains how Donald Trump won the presidency, I highly recommend Joshua Green's Devil's Bargain. It's an even-handed take, offering criticism of nearly everyone: Bannon, Trump, Clinton, etc. I kept pretty close tabs on the campaign, but even I didn't realize how all of the pieces came together …

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Would Andrew Jackson Have Prevented the Civil War?

Yesterday, I addressed Donald Trump's statements about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. A lot of other historians since then have jumped in to lament Trump's historical ignorance, a view I sympathize with. Trump wasn't satisfied to let the criticism go and took to the Twitter machine to reinforce his historical analysis: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/859209801175269376 Whether Jackson would …

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Is Donald Trump Right About Andrew Jackson and the Civil War?

In an interview with Salena Zito airing today, President Donald Trump makes a couple of curious observations about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. As others have observed, Trump has trouble with verb tenses, and his grasp of history is rudimentary and often grossly inaccurate (here, here, and here). Both of these weaknesses are apparent in this interview. …

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Trump’s Visit to The Hermitage

I had the good fortune of spending a couple of days at The Hermitage this week. On Tuesday evening, the Andrew Jackson Foundation premiered its new visitor film. It is a much more visually exciting film than the previous version, and it generally treats Old Hickory positively. On Wednesday, I returned to the site to …

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Donald Trump Is Not a Twenty-First Century Andrew Jackson

I've written about the Trump-Jackson comparison several times (here, here, and here), so when I was asked to contribute a piece on it to the OAH's The American Historian, I took the opportunity to bring together my thoughts into something more coherent than a blog post. You can read the entire American Historian piece, but …

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