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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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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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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