Trump on Civil War: Why couldn't they have worked that out?

02 May, 2017, 23:14 | Author: Michele Stevens
  • AP Explains: Could the Civil War have been 'worked out?'

Trump faced immediate backlash on Monday for his comments on the Civil War during an interview with the Washington Examiner.

"I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little bit later, you wouldn't have had the civil war". Trump did not mention that Jackson was a slaveowner nor that he died 16 years before the war.

Speaking to MSNBC's "Morning Joe", the famous historian dismissed Trump's argument as a "projection of the president's fundamental and enveloping narcissism", and recalled an interview with Trump a year ago during which the then-Republican presidential candidate mentioned the Civil War.

The American Civil War was not a problem that could have been made to go away by an executive order, particularly one that would probably have been unconstitutional anyway. Why could that one not have been worked out?

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Trump told Fox News's Tucker Carlson in March that he was "reading a book on Andrew Jackson" during his visit to Jackson's former plantation, The Hermitage, in Nashville, Tenn. Trump has expressed an affinity for the seventh USA president, to whom he referred during his visit to Tennessee as the "people's president" (a designation he also applies to himself). There was a fundamental difference between the North and the South as the South feared for the future of slavery.

It's equally hard to envision how Andrew Jackson, a southern slave owner, could have supported, much less brokered, such a compromise between North and South. The governor of that State has recommended to the legislature the raising of an army to carry the secession into effect, and that he may be empowered to give clearances to vessels in the name of the State.

It would have been tough for Jackson to be "very angry" about the Civil War considering he died over a decade before it began. Some people do, and that's why we call them as great presidents.

The only other possibility is that Trump does does understand the Civil War was fought over slavery - and that he'd have been willing to "cut a deal" on slavery were he President at the time.

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