When it comes to the discussion of the U.S. presidency, with the election of every new president, his policies and traits are compared to those characteristics of other presidents throughout history. Such a comparative analysis allows to find patterns in potus’ agendas, decision-making principles, and overall interaction between personality and style of governing. Since President Trump’s office was one of the most discussed, researched, and debated about, his presidency was compared to that of Andrew Jackson. This paper aims to compare and contrast the policy direction and character traits of President Donald Trump and President Andrew Jackson to identify differences and similarities.
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Similarities Between President Donald Trump and President Andrew Jackson
The context for discussing the similarities between Trump and Jackson arose due to the demonstrated preference of President Trump toward President Jackson. Indeed, as stated by Lomazoff (2017), “the president “has hung a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office,” which symbolized his sympathy with Andrew Jackson (p. 280). Indeed, many scholars and political experts identify several similar features between the two presidents.
Firstly, the similarity in presidential leadership style might be mentioned. They “both are considered populists” and used the style of leadership that was based on demonstrated care for people and connect with them (Killian, 2017, para. 6). For that matter, the communication styles are also similar and characterized by emotional language. Trump openly argued and initiated conflict with opponents, and Jackson participated in duels.
Moreover, there are multiple personality-related similarities between the discussed presidents. Both Trump and Jackson were “brash, abrasive, defensive and quick-tempered and both were described as vulgar and unfit to govern” (Killian, 2017, para. 3). Such a set of personal characteristics was reflected in both presidents’ election campaigns that were very personal and even aggressive. Moreover, like Jackson, Trump pursued second presidency elections with claims to eliminate Washington’s corruption.
Differences Between President Donald Trump and President Andrew Jackson
Despite some similarities, many scholars claim that Trump is not a new Andrew Jackson as many have assumed. For example, the experience in government is one of the differences between Jackson and Trump. Indeed, as stated by Killian (2017), “Jackson served as a judge, represented Tennessee in the House and Senate, was the first governor of Florida and was a hero in the War of 1812” (para. 5).
On the contrary, Donald Trump had no government experience before he became president. Moreover, the popular vote results for the two presidents also differed. Indeed, “unlike Trump, who lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by almost 3,000,000 votes, Jackson, in 1828, won the popular vote handily and secured every region of the nation except for New England” (Cheathem, 2021, para. 8). On a general context-related level, the difference between the contrasted presidents is in that they were in office in the Americas with and without slavery, which reflected on their presidency differently.
In summation, as the comparison of the two presidents showed, their characteristics have some similarities; however, the political contexts in which they governed caused some significant differences. They both had populism-based election campaigns and directed their political agenda at segregation and obstructed migration. Unlike Andrew Jackson, Donald Trump had no government experience, did not win the popular vote, and did not support slavery. Overall, the identified similar and different features provide a basis for a big-picture view on consistency and development in the American institution of the presidency.
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Cheathem, M. R. (2021). Donald Trump is not a twenty-first century Andrew Jackson. Organization of American Historians. Web.
Killian, L. J. (2017). The new old Hickory. U.S. News and World Report. Web.
Lomazoff, E. (2017). Why Donald Trump is not Andrew Jackson (and why that matters for American constitutional democracy). Maryland Law Review, 77(1), 280-290.