The eyebrows shall rise again


Historians see a dark underside to Trump's Civil War riff

“The Civil War, if you think about it, why? People don’t ask the question but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?” Trump added.

Trump for months has riled up history buffs with a range of eyebrow-raising comments, including his claim that not many people knew Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, his apparent ignorance that famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass died many years ago, and his question about whether anyone had heard of Susan B. Anthony.

And the fact that he wasn’t aware of the extensive literature about the cause of the Civil War is now added to the list...

...Jackson, who was a slaveholder, threatened to use federal military force against South Carolina when the state sought to nullify federal tariffs. He died in 1845, 16 years before the Civil War erupted at Fort Sumter.

“What I saw in that comment was his belief, his attraction to a kind of strongman history,” said David Blight, a Civil War historian at Yale University. “It’s so completely out of any knowledge or context to suggest that somehow Jackson would have headed off the Civil War.”

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