Much has been made of President Donald Trump’s apparent historical gaffe regarding Andrew Jackson and the American Civil War. Jackson, Trump said, was ‘really angry’ about the Civil War, apparently unaware that Jackson was dead 16 years before the beginning of the civil war. But was it just a silly mistake? Did Trump mistakenly name Jackson when he meant Andrew Johnson, the ‘war Democrat’ and former Governor of Tennessee who Lincoln named as his running mate and who succeeded Lincoln following his untimely assassination in April, 1865?

Of course, Jackson or Johnson, both comparisons don’t carry much water but in personality and politics as well as manner, it is the latter, Andrew Johnson, with whom strong comparisons with Trump can be drawn.

In his book, The Case for ImpeachmentAllan J. Lichtman, Distinguished Professor of History at American University in Washington, DC, tells how Johnson’s outrageous acts in the aftermath of the civil war almost led to his impeachment and draws a comparison between him and the present incumbent.

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  1. Interesting question. Trump is so ignorant about American history, it’s hard to decipher what he meant. But I presume he’s aware that Jackson was able to stamp out South Carolina’s attempt to nullify Federal laws during his presidency. That was the first serious attempt by a southern state to defy Federal authority. Decades later, all of the southern states seceded from the union as the result of Lincoln’s election. Trump shows absolutely no awareness that these were entirely different crises taking place in different eras. He probably thinks Jackson and Lincoln were contemporaries.

    • Lincoln and Johnson certainly were though and, when you look at Johnson’s character and the way he conducted himself once he became president, there are unsettling similarities between him and Trump

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