Ever since Donald Trump won the presidency last November, a number of his supporters and other commentators have reached all the way back to 1828, when Andrew Jackson defeated the incumbent, President John Quincy Adams, for a historical precedent. In both cases, it has been suggested, the election represented a triumph of populism over the establishment, the “common man” over entrenched interests.
How valid are the analogies between the seventh and forty-fifth U.S. presidents? To answer that question, we recently turned to David Waldstreicher, the editor of our new two-volume edition of John Quincy Adams’s diaries and the Distinguished Professor of History at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
For Waldstreicher, it’s “not an accident” that President Trump and his handlers claim the Jacksonian mantle. Watch the video above to learn why.