A Historical Precedent for Dumping a Presidential Candidate

The Republican party is set to nominate Donald J. Trump as its nominee this week. Most signs indicate that a plan to derail the New Yorker’s convention nomination by unbinding delegates, thus freeing them to vote for someone else, will come to naught. In 1844, another New Yorker discovered that going into a major party’sContinue reading “A Historical Precedent for Dumping a Presidential Candidate”

Here’s What the Trump/Jackson Comparisons Are Missing

The comparisons between Donald Trump and Andrew Jackson continue to appear. This recent one does a poor job of making its case, but as we discussed it in my Jacksonian America course this morning, it occurred to me that if commentators really wanted to use a Jackson comparison to Trump, they should focus on freeContinue reading “Here’s What the Trump/Jackson Comparisons Are Missing”

Are Conspiracy Theories Central to U.S. Political Debate?

Anne Applebaum’s piece in Slate argues that we have been blessed in recent history by a political system that has, for the most part, kept them [conspiracy theories] outside the mainstream of American political life. With the possible exception of the anti-masonic movement in the 19th century and some of the madder moments of theContinue reading “Are Conspiracy Theories Central to U.S. Political Debate?”

Is Donald Trump a Modern-Day Andrew Jackson? New Thoughts

While I have been wrapped up in launching The Papers of Martin Van Buren project this week, a couple of historians wondered what I thought of Steve Inskeep’s piece comparing Donald Trump to Andrew Jackson. I’ve written about this comparison previously, but Inskeep’s take prompted a different set of thoughts for me. One of the problems that I’ve hadContinue reading “Is Donald Trump a Modern-Day Andrew Jackson? New Thoughts”

Andrew Jackson’s Otherworldly Regrets

Betsy Phillips at the Nashville Scene has written an interesting piece on nineteenth-century Spiritualism’s treatment of Andrew Jackson. In particular, she noted the claims by Isaac and Amy Post, in their 1852 Voices from the Spirit World, that Jackson told them that he “was wrong in almost every thing” that he did during his lifetime. If you’re like me, you probablyContinue reading “Andrew Jackson’s Otherworldly Regrets”

Donald Trump: A Modern-Day Andrew Jackson?

In a recent Minnesota Star Tribune editorial, Stephen B. Young, global executive director of the Caux Round Table, calls Donald Trump a modern-day Andrew Jackson. His argument centers on an understanding of both men as populist tribal leaders defending the middle class against “the effete elite.” Some of Young’s analysis rings true, but he repeats someContinue reading “Donald Trump: A Modern-Day Andrew Jackson?”