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Articles on Andrew Jackson

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt, standing at center and facing left just above the eagle, takes the presidential oath of office for the third time in 1941. FDR Presidential Library and Museum via Flickr

Has any US president ever served more than eight years?

Only one president has done so – Franklin Delano Roosevelt – but others considered it, and even tried.
Both Andrew Jackson, left, and Donald Trump presented themselves as men of the people. Jackson, Library of Congress; Trump, Drew Angerer/Getty Images

All American presidents have made spectacles of themselves – and there’s nothing wrong with that

A president’s persona is always a public act. In that way, Trump’s shtick – vulgar man of the people – was not exceptional. And every president has had to invent his version of the role.
Trump put a portrait of Andrew Jackson in the Oval Office when he was president. Oliver Contreras-Pool/Getty Images

Trump wasn’t the first president to try to politicize the civil service – which remains at risk of returning to Jackson’s ‘spoils system’

For decades, presidents beginning with Andrew Jackson routinely replaced large swaths of the government workforce, often requiring them to pay fees to political parties in exchange for their jobs.
Republican nominee Gov. Mike Pence and Democratic nominee Sen. Tim Kaine stand after the vice-presidential debate in Farmville, Va., Oct. 4, 2016. Joe Raedle/Pool via AP

A brief history of presidents snubbing their successors – and why the founders favored civility instead

‘Mind your manners’ isn’t just something your mother told you. Manners – and civility – are an essential component of how things get done in government, and the Founding Fathers knew it.
Trump falsely declaring a win in the early hours of Nov. 4, 2020, the day after the US election, as ballot counting continued in Pennsylvania and other battleground states. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

History tells us that a contested election won’t destroy American democracy

Five of the six disputed presidential elections in US history were resolved and the country moved on – but one ended in civil war. What will happen if the 2020 election is contested?
This combination of Sept. 29, 2020, file photos show President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

20/20 vision needed in 2020: How this U.S. election compares to other tumultuous votes

The U.S. presidential election is again serving as a symptom and a symbol of a troubled society. Whatever the outcome, history suggests anything but a quick resolution to deeply rooted problems.
Voters in Nashville, Tennessee, faced long lines in March 2020. AP Photo/Mark Humphrey

The right to vote is not in the Constitution

The framers of the Constitution never mentioned a right to vote. They didn’t forget. They intentionally left it out.
Soldiers and African American workers standing near caskets and dead bodies covered with cloths during Grant’s Overland Campaign. Matthew Brady/Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

1864 elections went on during the Civil War – even though Lincoln thought it would be a disaster for himself and the Republican Party

Lincoln’s chances of reelection in 1864 were dim. He was presiding over a bloody civil war, and the public was losing confidence in him. But he steadfastly rejected pleas to postpone the election.
Election fraud is not usually as obvious as this. Victor Moussa/Shutterstock.com

‘Stolen’ elections open wounds that may never heal

When the electoral process was helped along by practices that either were or appeared to be underhanded, the resulting wounds took a long time to heal – and may not ever have healed.
The Mueller report reveals that Trump and his campaign did all kinds of ethically questionable activities to smear Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential election, including asking Russia to hack Clinton’s email. According to Attorney General William Barr, nothing Trump did was illegal. Reuters/David Becker

Trump’s dirty tricks: Unethical, even illegal campaign tactics are an American tradition

Amid all the Mueller report uncertainty, one thing is clear: Donald Trump did some wildly improper things to win the presidency. So did Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, JFK and George W. Bush.
The nation’s political chasm – already wide – has grown even more since 2012. 'Partisanship' via www.shutterstock.com

Can America’s deep political divide be traced back to 1832?

Elected officials and the media are in cahoots. Both have succumbed to a two-party system that treats voters not as independent thinkers, but as blind partisans.

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