Home / General / If Only Andrew Jackson Had Been President In 1860 We Wouldn’t Have Had Any of These Problems

If Only Andrew Jackson Had Been President In 1860 We Wouldn’t Have Had Any of These Problems



Donald Trump is a very serious man:

President Donald Trump kicked off this week by talking about how the slave-owning, ethnic-cleansing seventh president of the United States could have saved the country from plunging into a bloody civil war.

In an interview with Salena Zito for “Main Street Meets the Beltway” on SiriusXM P.O.T.U.S. that published Monday, Trump returned to an earlier habit of heaping praise upon President Andrew Jackson—and, of course, discussing how Trump himself is Andrew Jackson 2.0.

“They said my campaign is most like, my campaign and win, was most like Andrew Jackson with his campaign,” Trump boasted, talking up Jackson the “swashbuckler,” as Trump characterized the controversial figure.

He then went on a somewhat bizarre tangent about the Civil War and Jackson’s supposed deal-making prowess and compassion.

“Had Andrew Jackson been a little later you wouldn’t have had the Civil War,” Trump said. “He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. And he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War, [and] he said, ‘There’s no reason for this.’ People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War, if you think about it—why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?”

The short answer is, of course, slavery. And other U.S. politicians have asked that question in recent years, such as libertarian and Tea Party figure Ron Paul, who argues that the United States could have ended slavery without waging war.

The punchline is that despite his comprehensive ignorance Trump is actually 100% correct that Jackson is much more of a precursor of Trumpism than the New Deal. It would be nice if we could take the hint to stop taking Schlesinger’s fake history of Jacksonianism seriously.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • DrDick

    Hell the man could not pass a middle school academic achievement test. This just gets more depressing by the day.

    • Junipermo

      You would think that by now I’d have lost the ability to be gobsmacked over the weapons grade idiocy that Trump keeps spewing. But, no. I just can’t even.

      • Gregor Sansa

        weapons grade idiocy

        Reality shows are the new centrifuges.

  • El Guapo

    I find Trump’s interest/obsession with Andrew Jackson pretty surprising. What are the chance Trump knew anything about him prior to campaigning as the StormFront Candidate — other than Jackson being the guy on one of those bills, one of the small change ones.

    This is Bannon/Miller telling Trump he needs to adopt Jackson as his Spirit Animal to appeal to the base, right?

    • UserGoogol

      It seems fairly likely that he picked this up from some advisor, but I don’t think it’s just something he’s doing to “appeal to his base.” The sort of nationalist machismo which Andrew Jackson represents has been something that Trump has been very fond of even when he was theoretically a Democrat. Of course, in principle that too may have been something he did to “appeal to his base” in that it was part of projecting his whole blustery real estate developer image, but at some point you have to figure that’s just how he is.

      • CrunchyFrog

        Yes, but forget about “adviser”. It’s been clear since 2015 that he has spent significant time browsing twitter feeds of some of the worst racist organizations on the planet and absorbed their viewpoints on all kinds of things. That’s where his world view comes from. This stuff he spouted about the civil war, although batshit crazy, is bog standard batshit crazy thinking – it’s exactly the stuff they say to each other at wingnut-only bars.

    • Crusty

      I imagine he was watching tv when he heard someone on the tv say he was like Andrew Jackson, and the teavee person meant it as a negative, but Trump didn’t know that and then later he asked Ivanka if she knew anything about Andrew Jackson, and she said, hmmm, let me check, and she googled him or went to wikipedia and told him, “it looks like he killed a bunch of indians” and he thought to himself nice, I like it. And was proud to go with the Jackson comparison after that. Also, Jackson is one of the presidents who had an easy name, so he can remember that.

      I have a strong feeling that Trump can name the following presidents and only these-

      Teddy Roosevelt
      the black guy

      • wjts

        I am dubious about Adams and Hoover.

        ETA: Though I suspect he could name presidents Hamilton and Franklin, so maybe that balances out.

        • Gregor Sansa

          Though I suspect he could name presidents Hamilton and Franklin

          That’s one more thing to worry about.

        • Crusty

          You’re probably right about Hamilton and Franklin.

          The reason I included Hoover is because it might have gotten stuck who was president when the stock market crashed, i.e., he learned which president is a loser and is most unlike him.

          • wjts

            Yeah, maybe. It’s also possible that he thinks Samuel Adams was once president, so your list may well be correct.

            • Crusty

              Terrific company, Samuel Adams, I did an episode of the apprentice where the contestants had to design a kiosk to give free beer out to people in a park. Tremendous company.

          • Hogan

            He was president AND he invented the vacuum cleaner. Tremendous man. Just tremendous.

            • wjts

              He also founded the FBI.

          • CrunchyFrog

            included Hoover is because it might have gotten stuck who was president when the stock market crashed, i.e., he learned which president is a loser and is most unlike him.

            No. He likely “knows” Hoover (who “we could use a man like” again) was unfairly treated by the liberal media of his day and liberal academics since, and the real cause of the great depression was FDR’s new deal.

            I am not making his up. Wingnut Theory 102.

        • Manny Kant

          I’d think he’s more likely to remember LBJ and Gerald Ford, whom he lived through, than Adams or Hoover.

      • eclare

        That list seems fairly optimistic.

      • Murc

        I remember that King of the Hill episode where Khan was yelling at Hank about his citizenship test. It was something like “Try and name all the Presidents, I dare you! That stretch between Grant and Roosevelt, it ruin strong men!”

        • Joseph Slater

          See also The Simpsons “Mediocre Presidents” song.

          • Hogan

            “I died in thirty days!”

    • JKTH

      A lot of people seem to like Jackson because he’s the best example of a strongman asshole President as we’ve had, and those people are predisposed to strongman assholes.

      • Rob in CT

        That’s my take too. The details aren’t important. Strongman asshole is.

        • (((max)))

          That’s my take too. The details aren’t important. Strongman asshole is.

          Yes. Lots of white Southerners identified with Jackson precisely because of that, in spite of King Andrew’s love of luxury while in the White House. It shouldn’t be surprising that a certain kind of white guy bonds with Trump at rallies because Jackson had the equivalent effect.

          The details aren’t important.

          Further to that, Jackson went after the Bank of the United States because it was a tool of federal oppression (according to him), so he moved all the gold in the Treasury into state banks because they were his cronies.

          Then Jackson was upset because all those banks printed lots and lots of dollars (setting off a speculative boom that collapsed into a depression) instead of doing what they were supposed to do, which was mint gold and silver coins.

          I can’t imagine a really old Andrew Jackson, living at the Hermitage with his slaves, not losing his mind at the prospect of Lincoln’s election and supposed unleashing of a reign ‘of negro terror’. (Consider John Tyler’s reaction for example.)

          People are saying Jackson wouldn’t have tolerated secession, and he didn’t, when he was President, regarding it as a personal insult. But his opponent in the 1830’s was Calhoun, who rather notably was just fine with tariffs because of the war of 1812, and also opposed to the threat of secession from the North during that war.

          Calhoun changed his mind rather dramatically, without much admitting it, and I don’t doubt Jackson would’ve been the same. (And for the same reason: they wouldn’t have put up with their ox getting gored.)

          [‘Mitch McConnell and Trump both have lots of precedents for massive flipflops based on personal political interest.’]

          • AdamPShort

            In mild defense of Jackson’s terrible economic policies, economics in the United states before FDR were, as a rule, a shitshow. Jackson was really, really bad but he wasn’t, like, in a different universe than the other guys.

            Bank panics were a regular feature of American life until the Banking Act of 1933. Jackson’s was worse mainly because he caused it more or less intentionally, and then lobbied his successor not to do anything to help because it would make him look bad, but banking crises and bankrupt states are going to happen when your monetary system isn’t designed properly.

    • gupwalla

      He moved Jackson’s portrait to the Oval fairly early on…you can see it in his royal decree signings.

      I suspect it is a reflexive thing due to the $20 bill portrait change. That’s exactly the sort of thing that riles up the far right enough to read an actual history book.

      • Julia Grey

        I suspect it is a reflexive thing due to the $20 bill portrait change.

        Ding ding ding!

        Replaced by a black woman?

        He has to be redeemed from such an incredible insult.

  • NewishLawyer

    There is no bottom to this man’s profound ignorance and to a substantial minority of American’s who are too proud of their profound ignorance.

    To be slightly fair, I didn’t know who Ja Rule was until Friday which is another kind of ignorance but…

    Speaking of Banon, there was an article about his time in Los Angeles in the New Yorker along with the interesting profile of Dreher. It turns out that he might not be as wealthy as he states, might not be getting Seinfeld royalities and he seems to drift from job to job because of his volatile temper. The New Yorker article also mentioned that no real consideration might have been paid when Societe Generale purchased Banon & Co.

    So like Trump, he is a lot less successful than he imagines himself to be.

    • Speaking of Bannon, have you heard of this yet?

      Trump’s closest adviser once wrote a Shakespeare-inspired hip-hop musical about the 1992 LA Riots. Really.


      • NewishLawyer

        He was also apparently an executive producer on Julie Taymor’s adaptation of Titus Adronicus and wanted it to be more about the racial angle.

        The New Yorker article said that everyone knew Banon was a Republican but he tried to keep his politics down. I suspect a lot of his rage comes from not being as big a player as he wanted to be.

  • David Hunt

    “Mr. Madison Trump, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul”

    • corporatecake

      Is this quote ever not appropriate where Trump is concerned?

    • Ahenobarbus

      Took me a moment to figure out that “Mr. Madison” isn’t James.

      • N__B

        It’s Ashley.

  • Nobdy

    Are people finding this more painful because Trump is a racist who more or less is siding with the supporters of slavery in this statement, or because he is a proudly ignorant moron who says things so profoundly ignorant of American history that even heads of other states, like Angela Merkel or Xi Jinping probably know more about U.S. history than he does?

    For me the second actually reduces the pain of the first. Trump is so stupid and ignorant that he doesn’t know or understand that Jackson was a proud slave holder OR the implications of that regarding the civil war. While being a casual racist is a serious sin, being proudly ignorant is more painful for me.

    I got so used to Obama representing the America I want us to aspire to be, tolerant, smart, informed, even NERDY, that watching us be revealed as a nation led by an ignorant moron who isn’t even embarassed by that ignorance is almost physically painful.

    I guess that’s a privileged position, since the racism probably has more policy implications, especially with Sessions grinding away like a malevolent little elf who got loose from Krampus’ workshop, but man, it hurts.

    It hurts.

    • Junipermo

      They are both very painful. The racism/siding with slaveholders doesn’t surprise me, though it is outrageous, and offensive, and vile. But for some reason, the level of Trump’s ignorance astounds and embarrasses me every time.

    • CP

      Trump is so stupid and ignorant that he doesn’t know or understand that Jackson was a proud slave holder OR the implications of that regarding the civil war.

      1) Judging by the Nullification thing, if Jackson had been president when South Carolina did its Fort Sumter thing, he would’ve burned the place to the ground until even Sherman was going “dude, dial it back.”

      2) Of course, if Jackson had been president, South Carolina would never have done the Fort Sumter thing in the first place, since it would’ve had a pro-slavery friend in the White House.

    • jccolorado

      Trump is not stupid. If Trump, a billionaire who became the POTUS against all odds, is stupid, then what makes us everyday people? I don’t have nearly as much money and I would never become the POTUS. Oh and that racism allegation. I am sick of it.

      • Rob in CT

        what makes us everyday people?

        His marks. At least in your case, apparently.

        • wjts

          Actually, Rob, everyday people are made when a mommy everyday person and a daddy everyday person love each other very much.

          • lizzie

            ‘Twas on this very blog that I got the helpful suggestion that I could explain Trump to my children as follows: “Sometimes, when a baboon loves a bottle of sulfuric acid very much…”

          • (((max)))

            And after nine months, voila! a box arrives from Amazon* with a baby in it!

            [”So, remember kid, you’re still in the return window and I could send you back.’]

            * delivered by a turnip truck

        • Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
          My own beliefs are in my song
          The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
          Makes no difference what group I’m in
          I am everyday people, yeah yeah

          • Rob in CT

            I’m just a regular Joe with a regular job
            I’m your average white suburbanite slob
            I like football and porno and books about war

            I’ve got an average house with a nice hardwood floor
            My wife and my job, my kids and my car
            My feet on my table and a Cuban cigar

            But sometimes that just ain’t enough
            To keep a man like me interested
            (Oh no)
            No way

            No, I’ve gotta go out and have fun
            At someone else’s expense
            (Oh yeah)
            Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

            I drive really slow in the ultrafast lane
            While people behind me are going insane

            I’m an asshole
            (He’s an asshole, what an asshole)
            I’m an asshole
            (He’s an asshole, such an asshole)

        • Joseph Slater

          Sly Stone?

      • wjts

        If Trump, a billionaire who became the POTUS against all odds, is stupid, then what makes us everyday people?

        Very stupid?

        • Hogan

          Too honest for our own good?

      • cleek

        If Trump, a billionaire who became the POTUS against all odds, is stupid, then what makes us everyday people?

        less than 19% of all Americans voted for Trump.

        it’s entirely possible that all of them came from the left side of the bell curve.

      • Bruce B.

        Trump may well not be a billionaire – he’s done nothing to support the claim, nor anything to refute/disprove the reasons to believe he isn’t. In any event, he inherited a huge sum of money and has done several times worse with it than if he’d plowed it into a index fund and left it alone. That is, Trump is not a little but a lot less clever than the market-engaged public at large.

        So, of course, are most of us, but then most of us don’t claim to be money-making geniuses with so little justification. So in addition to being a liar and not that good at the things he lies about, he’s less adept at self-appraisal.

      • Mr. Fred

        Trump is stupid. And that means everyone who voted for him is stupid….more stupid than he is. Does that answer your question?

  • cleek

    sounds like Trump skims summaries of books, forgets 90% of what he read, and then assumes he’s an expert on the topic. add that to his inability to stick to a subject for more than two sentences and, voila!

    i wonder if he tutored Miss South Carolina 2007:

    “I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uhmmm, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and uh, I believe that our, I, education like such as uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and I believe that they should, uhhh, our education over here in the US should help the US, uh, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for us.”

    • Crusty

      If by “tutored” you mean pretended to accidentally walk in on her while she was changing clothes, then yes, he probably tutored her.

    • CrunchyFrog

      Skims summaries of books? Seriously?

      He gets his info and world view from right wing twitter feeds.

  • PunditusMaximus

    Just a quick note that I’m so old I actually got the Trent Lott / Strom Thurmond reference.

    • q-tip

      Okay, you trolled me into pointing out that this is unimpressive for this particular commentariat — good job, I guess.

  • Sifu Snafu

    I’m pretty sure that Donald is referring to Andrew Jackson’s ghost, who he is best friends with. They solve mysteries together.

    • Nobdy


      The solution is always “the black guy and/or injun done it” even or especially if there were no black or Native American people in the county when the crime took place.

      Jeff Sessions has just recommended the Justice Department stop observing the Jackson/Trump Detective Agency.

      • Sifu Snafu

        Their Hanna-Barbera cartoon show is going to be called “Orange and Old Hickory”.

        • (((max)))

          “Fat Man and the Asshole”.

          [‘Hey, kids, LOOK! GENOCIDE!’]

      • wjts

        The solution is always “the black guy and/or injun done it” even or especially if there were no black or Native American people in the county when the crime took place.

        That reminded me of something I wrote in a pastiche of EW Hornung’s stupid Raffles stories, which I have taken the liberty of posting for the handful of people I suspect might find it amusing:

        It has been my considerable privilege to have enjoyed the company of any number of curious characters over the course of my life, but I fancy that none have enjoyed as much notoriety or occasioned as much public interest as the (dis)Honourable J.M.C. Cadogan, former MP, amateur footballer, and gentleman thief. His fame in this last occupation has only recently outstripped that which he had previously enjoyed in the first two, but his career as a thief is at least as long and storied as his careers in politics and on the pitch. I speak with some authority on this matter as my acquaintance with “Cad” goes back to our shared school days and I have had the dubious honour of observing several of his exploits at first-hand as a witness, accomplice and, in one memorable instance, as a victim. Because the details of his various thefts, or “jobs” as he invariably called them, have excited such interest in the popular press following his recent trial and incarceration, it occurs to me that my own account of an as-yet-untold “job” of Cad’s might provide some few moments of idle amusement for those who have graciously deigned to peruse these unworthy memoirs.

        Cad and I, along with several others, had been invited to the stately home of some local worthy in Staffordshire, he because he knew the good burgher from a shared acquaintance in the footballing world and I for having performed some small service for that same gentleman in front of H.M. Criminal Court in my capacity as a barrister, for a week of fishing, shooting, and, depending on one’s predilections, Uranian debaucheries in a specially-designed hedge maze or vigorous deflowerings of various chambermaids and local clergymen’s daughters in the stately home’s numerous bedrooms and inexplicably equally numerous sculleries. The exact composition of the party is of no great significance, but two members must be enumerated at the outset for they loom large in the events of this brief narrative: the celebrated and implacable thief-taker Inspector Hamish MacMenemy of the Yard and Lady Caroline Stirrup, the celebrated and beautiful owner of the celebrated and beautiful Stirrup Opals. These opals, half a dozen in all, each the size of a robin’s egg, had been fashioned into a particularly fetching necklace which, as a matter of course, reposed upon the shapely breasts of Lady Caroline, two in all, each substantially larger than a robin’s egg. But in the course of the week’s revelries, an errant snooker ball combined in an unlikely and unfortunate fashion with a laudanum-addled curate to break the necklace’s delicate clasp, and the celebrated and beautiful Stirrup Opals were subsequently confined to the Lady’s bedroom until such time as a jeweler could be found to rectify the situation.

        But that time would never come. The following afternoon, subsequent to a most satisfactory luncheon and, for myself, an equally satisfactory dalliance with the eldest daughter of the aforementioned laudanum-addled curate, the whole of the household was roused to action by a series of hues and cries, coupled with alarums and excursions. After I had divested myself of my milkmaid’s costume and my post-luncheon companion had secured certain implements in a locking traveler’s valise she had had custom-built to contain them, we joined the crowd assembling itself outside of Lady Caroline’s bedroom. Our arrival preceded that of Inspector MacMenemy by mere moments, and the gentleman immediately set to ascertaining the nature of the disturbance.
        “My opal necklace!” cried a visibly distraught Lady Caroline. “It has been stolen!”

        “Stolen jewels, eh?” the burly thief-taker grumbled. “And when did you discover this theft?”

        “Just now,” the lady responded, “upon my return from observing the afternoon’s goings-on in the hedge maze.”

        “Sounds a rum business,” the Inspector observed, sucking his teeth, “but I have no doubt a solution can be easily found. In my experience, it’s usually one of the shiftier servants.” He pointed an imperious finger at a footman loitering at the far end of the corridor. “That fellow, I should think.”

        The footman started. “Beggin’ your pardon, sir, but it’s nowt to do with me.” He began turning out his pockets in a most ostentatious fashion. “No jewels on me, sir. And you’re quite welcome to search my room as well. I’ve nowt to hide.”

        “Laddie, searching your room would take valuable police time that would be better spent in catching trout, or being flogged silly by a buxom chambermaid, given you’re so patently guilty,” the Inspector barked. And so the servant was taken off to the local constabulary to be formally charged and the Inspector was taken off to the nearest scullery to be formally flogged. (I seem to recall hearing that the servant died in prison some years later, though that may have been the Duke of Clarence.) Lady Caroline declined offers of assistance in locating the purloined necklace on the grounds that she should never be able to comfortably wear again after such a fellow as the footman had had his “grubby ape paws” all over it.

        The remainder of the week passed without any incidents of comparable drama, saving perhaps the deaths of one of Wales’ more minor bishops in a grouse hunting mishap and of a judge of the assizes from catamite-related overexertions. And so on Monday Cad and I took leave of our gracious host, giving heartfelt thanks on the station platform for such an interesting and invigorating week in the country air. Some hours into our return trip to London, I remarked to Cad that the business of the jewels seemed rather queer to my eye. “It strikes me as the sort of thing,” I said, “that would fit more naturally into your wheelhouse than that of a shifty looking footman.”

        “You know me too well, old friend,” he laughed, and produced from his jacket pocket a small clamshell case which, when opened, proved to contain the Stirrup Opals. “I am indeed the brigand responsible for their theft.”

        “But how on earth did you accomplish the deed without even the shadow of suspicion falling upon you?” I gaped.

        “It was, if you’ll forgive the immodesty, really rather clever of me. You see, I decided, after careful consideration, to steal the necklace when no one was looking.”

        “But surely even a plan so clever as that could not have been sufficient for such a daring ‘job’!” I cried. “How did you gain access to Lady Caroline’s chamber? And then locate the necklace?”

        “You have, as is your custom, put your finger on the most obvious difficulties. As to the first, I surmounted that particular difficulty by opening the lady’s bedroom door. And as to the second, I looked around the room until I saw the necklace, which was sitting atop the lady’s dressing table. I flatter myself that twenty years in the burglary business have given me some small skills in these regards. After that, it was simply a matter of escaping the scene of the crime and concealing the evidence, which I accomplished by ascending the stairs to my room and then placing the necklace in my pocket. My escape made good, I then merely needed to avoid resembling the shiftier sort of servant and trust in the results of Inspector MacMenemy’s investigation.”

        I could not help but shake my head and laugh at my friend’s audacity and skill. “I say, Cad, I don’t know that anything could top this particular ‘job’.”

        In response, he gave only an enigmatic smile and a non-committal, “I suppose we shall see,” before turning his attention to the morning’s paper.

  • The short answer is, of course, slavery. And other U.S. politicians have asked that question in recent years, such as libertarian and Tea Party figure Ron Paul, who argues that the United States could have ended slavery without waging war.

    I mean really, all we had to do was relabel the slaves as contractors and, voila! War averted!

    • Hereditary permenent internships

      • PunditusMaximus

        Somewhere, a libertarian has an erection just knowing that that phrase exists now.

    • efgoldman

      all we had to do was relabel the slaves as contractors

      And then he could have stiffed them for 3/4 of what they were due. Win/win!

      • NBarnes

        3/5ths, surely.

  • FlipYrWhig

    Yeah, why weren’t there any attempted compromises about slavery before the Civil War? It’s like, someone should have kept trying to pull that off, and get lionized for it as, let’s say, “Great.”

    • corporatecake

      I’m pretty sure that “Andrew Jackson was president around then” compromises Donald Trump’s entire knowledge of American history between approximately 1812 and 1861.

      • efgoldman

        Donald Trump’s entire knowledge of American history between approximately 1812 and 1861.

        Correcting for factiness.

        • corporatecake

          Maybe I give him too much credit for having a view of American history that goes something like this:

          –1776- British tyranny. FREEDOM.
          –Freedom wins
          –I was told there was a war of 1812.
          –Andrew Jackson is 2nd best president after me
          –Civil War happens. Lincoln frees slaves.
          –MLK Jr personally forgives all of America’s racial sins. America no longer racist.
          –Clintons + Obama ruin America
          –Greatest election ever. So good. Much winning.

          • ChrisS

            He may know that there must have been a WWI before WWII, but I doubt he could tell you the whys or the hows.

            • corporatecake

              I ascribe no more knowledge to Trump than that both world wars were things that happened, and possibly that we “saved Europe’s ass” twice.

            • CrunchyFrog

              Yeah, I would have dropped the reference to WW1 but added an item about Saint Reagan.

  • FlipYrWhig

    BTW, is Andrew Jackson known for his “big heart”?

    • cleek

      it was congenital

  • osceola

    Wouldn’t have had the Civil War?? Jackson threatened to send the army into South Carolina over Nullification.

    The best that can be said about Jackson is that he would have shot Trump in a duel by now.

    They never taught us in school that he let Jean Lafitte fight with him at New Orleans. How can you leave pirates out? That’s the coolest part of the story!

    • CP

      Wouldn’t have had the Civil War?? Jackson threatened to send the army into South Carolina over Nullification.

      Yeah, it’s weird not to hear this brought up in a discussion of Andrew Jackson and the Civil War. Well, maybe not so weird, considering the source.

    • kped

      I actually think he is correct. The secession of the southern states didn’t happen because the North did anything, but because the South feared that Lincoln eventually might. They wouldn’t fear that with slave holding Jackson, who would likely continue aggressive wars of expansion and wouldn’t prevent those states from holding slaves.

    • (((max)))

      Wouldn’t have had the Civil War?? Jackson threatened to send the army into South Carolina over Nullification.

      Sure, Andrew Jackson was President and someone was defying him.

      But if Jackson had lived so long, how would he have reacted to Lincoln becoming President? Or rather, how do you think his reaction would have differed from base Republicans’ reaction to Obama being elected President?

      [‘Trump is a pale orange carbon copy of Jackson.’]

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        I’ve been thinking Jackson would have told Robert E Lee “wait up, I’m coming with!”

  • Murc

    Trump manages to kinda be right by accident.

    Say what you will about Jackson, but he had no truck with nullifiers or secessionists, none at all. If he had been the outgoing president in 1860, he would not have done as Buchanan did; at the first hint of secession there’d have been a vigorous response at all levels of government. Officers making their prettified resignations from the U.S Army in order to “go south” would not have been allowed to do so; they’d have been dragged to the stockades and then shot as traitors.

    After this salutary purging of traitors, which would also have denied the south many experienced military minds, he’d have mobilized strongly and either nipped the rebellion in the bud, or handed a muschrooming army over to Lincoln.

    • Rob in CT

      This is one possibility, though it seems to me that Jackson’s distaste for nullifiers or secessionists just might’ve clashed with his love of slavery. The thing about the 1830s nullification crisis is that it was over the thing neoconfederates like to claim the Civil War was about: tariffs.

      Also, regarding has response to nullifiers, consider that in this scenario he’s President as the North reacted to the Fugitive Slave Law. Ugh.

      • Murc

        Also, regarding has response to nullifiers, consider that in this scenario he’s President as the North reacted to the Fugitive Slave Law. Ugh.

        Ooo, yeah, good point.

    • Hogan

      That sounds . . . not unlike a civil war.

  • Rob in CT

    OT/not OT, seen in the park this early afternoon: a car with two bumper stickers next to each other:

    1) Trump/Pence
    2) Prayer is our best defense against evil.

    • efgoldman

      1) Trump/Pence
      2) Prayer is our best defense against evil.

      Damn, if those contradictions were any more heightened….

      • so-in-so

        Clearly not praying hard enough…

  • Ronan

    Megan mccardle is live tweeting her thoughts on this


    It’s fascinating

    • kped

      What interests me is “Why was the north willing to invade another country over slavery?” Mobilizing a huge population for altruism is rare.

      Uhh…they didn’t agree it was another country…and the South fired on Fort Sumter to start the war. Christ, does this person know anything? How has she not gotten a job in Trumps administration?

      • Ronan

        Well, in fairness, she pointed to other examples of altruism in foreign policy, such as when the colonial powers just let their colonies go


        • Hogan

          [Kipling] could not understand what was happening, because he had never had any grasp of the economic forces underlying imperial expansion. It is notable that Kipling does not seem to realize, any more than the average soldier or colonial administrator, that an empire is primarily a money-making concern. Imperialism as he sees it is a sort of forcible evangelizing. You turn a Gatling gun on a mob of unarmed ‘natives’, and then you establish ‘the Law’, which includes roads, railways and a court-house. He could not foresee, therefore, that the same motives which brought the Empire into existence would end by destroying it. It was the same motive, for example, that caused the Malayan jungles to be cleared for rubber estates, and which now causes those estates to be handed over intact to the Japanese.

          George Orwell

    • wjts

      Nor was there any particular personal or economic gain to be had from invading the south.

      I stopped reading here, but I assume the next tweets were:

      “As the mills of New England spun their finished cloth from rainbows and the contented sighs of happy puppies.”

      “And New Orleans played no role in shipping agricultural products from the midwest to the east.”

      • Ronan

        She really surpassed all expectations on this one.

    • John Revolta

      You people are way braver than I am. I can feel my IQ dropping just from knowing she’s doing this.

  • DAS

    I suspect there is a mangled WSJ talking point in here somewhere. I know a Sensible Sentrist, who is a dyed in the wool Democratic voter, who said “if only Romney would have ran a better campaign in 2012, we wouldn’t have Trump in the White House”. Said Sensible Sentrist reads the WSJ religiously; he may have gotten that talking point from the WSJ (or maybe Slate … Sensible Sentrist loves him some Slate-pitched writing) — which no doubt Kushner, et al., read as well. So maybe there is some talking point we liberals missed that, by the time it got through the game of telephone that is communication within the White House nowadays, turned into “what if Jackson won the Presidency in 1860?”.

    • John Revolta

      So really, this is all Obama’s fault, for beating Romney. Makes sensible sense.

      • Rob in CT

        See, we MADE them hit us (and themselves).

    • lahtiji

      Sensible Sentrist will have a very sensual salad, with low-cal sensual dressing.

  • Timurid

    Trump knows two things about Jackson:

    He owned black people.
    He killed brown people.

    That’s all he needs to know to revere Jackson as a hero.

    • Bruce B.

      Just about certain that Trump would phrase this as “He killed red people.”

  • paulgottlieb

    For all of Andrew Jackson’s seemingly endless list of faults, he was a pretty ferocious believer in a strong national government. He may have been a slave-holder, but everything in his history says he would have made pretty short work of the secessionists. This is the guy, after all, whose greatest regret was that he failed to hang John C. Calhoun. It’s one of my greatest regrets too!

    • Murc

      For all of Andrew Jackson’s seemingly endless list of faults, he was a pretty ferocious believer in a strong national government.

      Well, to be fair… this is also a fault.

      Basically it seems like Jackson thought we should elect a king every four years.

      • so-in-so

        And tRump is only now learning we don’t!

        IMG, THEY are the same!

    • Mayur

      Actually, the regret is that he didn’t hang Henry Clay. He regretted that he didn’t shoot Calhoun.

      • Mayur

        Oops I got that wrong. never mind. It was shoot Henry Clay, hang Calhoun.

        • Hogan

          Trump, on the other hand, is all about corrupt bargains.

        • paulgottlieb

          Important to get these details right. You shoot your equals and you hang treasonous scum

    • For all of Andrew Jackson’s seemingly endless list of faults, he was a pretty ferocious believer in a strong national government.

      To a certain extent. This is also the guy who shot a hole in the bottom of the nation’s economy by burning down several decades of slow centralization and modernization.

  • Rob in CT

    Heh, Drum’s response:


    Ladies and gentlemen, your liberal media at work:

    Can you spot the smarmy white guy saying that liberals just like playing the race card over the Civil War? Can you spot the actual historian with the furrowed brow? Can you spot the black guy who’s so disgusted he can’t even? And of course, the chipper CNN host who thanks everyone for a fascinating debate at the end.

    I’m going to lunch now. I can’t promise that I’ll be back.

    • Mutombo

      Interesting discussion. We’re going to have to leave it there.

    • Hogan

      You know you’re news, right? Come on! But every time I watch CNN, it feels like you’re assigning me homework. “Is Trump a Russian spy? I don’t know, you tell me! Tweet us @AC360.” No, you tell me! I’m watching the news!

      But it feels like I’m watching CNN watch the news.

  • Bruce Vail

    If Jackson had been president in 1861 he would have pursued a hard war against the nullifiers and secessionists — while making sure to keep slavery on an expansionist track.

    Sort of like George McClellan — but really bloodthirsty.

    • A nation that would have elected a Jackson in 1860 would not be a nation that the Southern states felt compelled to secede from. They were terrified of Lincoln and what he represented.

      • Bruce Vail

        Yes. What Trump doesn’t seem to realize is that Jackson was such a partisan for slavery that he could never be an honest broker in reaching a compromise,

        The Donald doesn’t know very much about American history, but I guess everybody here already knows that.

  • Breadbaker

    You can actually understate what a window this is on Trump’s soul. Andrew Jackson, the one on the $20 bill, the one he vaguely remembers as a hero from his 8th grade American History class, is exactly who he thinks he is and how he wants to be remembered.

    That Jackson was the man of the people (opening the White House to throngs on Inauguration Day), the tough guy who make South Carolina back down and talked smack to John Marshall, made Indians leave “our land”, and the guy who led troops in battle and won the Battle of New Orleans.

    We who actually read stuff after 8th grade know the flip side of all that. That the most consequential thing Trump has done in office so far is to fill a lot of Canadian hotel rooms this summer while leaving American ones bare he interprets as a media-created lie. Don’t you dare point out the Battle of New Orleans was literally inconsequential (except to the dead) because the war was already over and the peace signed. He’s won the ACA fight, too, just you wait.

  • Woodrowfan

    to be fair a zombie Andrew Jackson WOULD have scared the south….

  • Richard Gadsden

    Of course Jackson as President would have prevented the Civil War. He’d have enforced Dred Scott to extend slavery to the territories, and then Lemmon to force the free states to allow slaves too.

    Would the free states have seceded?

It is main inner container footer text