To be completely open and above board let me state from the start I have great differences of opinions with President Trump on Political and Philosophical grounds. That said, let me say that’s I an not in the least surprised that he personally ranks President Andrew Jackson as one of the great presidents. I, on the other hand, do not. To be honest, before I started reading both constitutional law and the history of the Native Tribes, I too thought he was a great General and President. Of course my opinion was formed from what I saw in “Davy Crocket: King of the Wild Frontier” (Disney) and “The Buccaneer ” but hey, I was a kid.
After digging into the history of Pres. Jackson, both before and during his Presidency, I decided I did not like the man. Some years later, as I got my degree in Political Science, I figured out that it was mostly because he was one of the first Populist of note. He was a firm believer in the Manifest Destiny of the United States, but only for white protestant men, the battle of New Orleans not withstanding.
As President he is mostly know for two things, the political battle over the 2nd Bank of the United States. I shan’t boor you by going into details of the fight, it is enough to say Pres. Jackson was against the Bank and did everything in his power to destroy it. It was in this battle that he started to but heads with the Supreme Court and it’s first Great Chief Justice, Justice Marshall. This is important because it was in the early 1800s that we as a nation decided that it was to be the body that would decide what was and was not Constitutional. An it happened mostly because of Justice Marshall’s work.
This is significant in that in the 1830’s was the start of the ‘Trail of Tears’ or Indian Removals from the south east. For me it is the Trail of the Cherokee and the case Worcester v. Georgia where the court ruled against Georgia and in favor of the Cherokees. A decision that was written by Justice Marshall. It is this decision that Pres. Jackson is supposed to have said “John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it!” An let the removal of the Cherokees and the other four nations begin. This not only resulted in the deaths of, at a minimum, of 25% of these nations it also was a harsh lesson to the Court that it did not have any means to enforce it decision if the executive does not cooperate.
That an Authoritarian like our current president admires Pres. Jackson does not surprise me, his entire adult life Donald Trump was free to act, and does act, in an Authoritarian manner. It kind of goes with being a multimillionaire (or billionaire) who has only worked in business that they own. He, like Pres. Jackson, is used to just giving orders and have them followed out. He has never, ever, really had to deal with being told “NO, you can’t do that.” So, people, get ready for the following…..
Someday, maybe someday soon, Pres. Trump will be told by the Courts, or the Congress, or someone, that he can’t do what he wants to do and he will just go ahead an try and do it. If it is with the Courts be ready for a Major Constitutional Crisis, if it is with Congress be ready for a Political Crisis that could destroy one or both of the major political parties. In any case be ready for a country that is not like the country we had just a few short years ago. An just like Pres. Jackson, Pres Trump will be used by Historians to make the point that the great change started.