Published: Wed, May 03, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Trump wrong about Andrew Jackson's 'big heart'

Yesterday, Trump claimed in a radio interview that President Andrew Jackson could have avoided the Civil War, on account of his "strength".

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 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. "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".

He later clarified on Twitter Monday night that he definitely knew Jackson was no longer alive when the Civil War began.

Donald Trump has not been able to "do a deal" to get any legislation passed in his first 100 Days, but he thinks he could have stopped the bloodiest war in American history from taking place despite his complete lack of knowledge on either the subject or that period of history.

After four years and more than 600,000 soldiers dead, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865, at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia. Trump asked in the interview with The Washington Examiner. People don't ask that question, but why was there a civil war?

Historians argue that the causes of the Civil War are frequently discussed, from middle school classrooms to university lecture halls and in books.

Jackson, who died in 1845, was a slave-holding plantation owner.

Trump told historian Jon Meacham past year he believes he could have used his negotiating skills to avert the Civil War.

The crisis, which began in 1832, was a conflict between the federal government and SC, a Southern state that would later be instrumental in the movement for secession. Why could that one not have been worked out?' .

Meacham told "Morning Joe" that Trump is confusing history.

Had Jackson been alive at the start of the Civil War, Meacham said, it would be hard to predict his reaction. "Second, there's an overwhelming consensus among historians that the Civil War came about because of slavery". That's the only way a conflict between the Union and Confederacy could have been averted. As Meacham succinctly described it, Lincoln was willing to let southern states maintain slavery, but opposed allowing it to expand it to new states.

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