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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Donald Trump, Andrew Jackson, Lebensraum, and Manifest Destiny


President Donald Trump's admiration of President Andrew Jackson evokes a discussion of parallels between their ideologies, including a reluctance to repudiate white supremacy and a disregard for the rule of law. These attitudes are reflected both in Jackson's authorship of the Indian Removal Act (1830) and his refusal to acknowledge a judgment by the US Supreme Court in favor of the Cherokee Nation that might have averted the Trail of Tears. Jackson's advocacy of American exceptionalism (“America first” to Trump) also provokes an analysis of what later was cast in popular discourse as Manifest Destiny. United States history--its “race law” in particular--is described here through the admiring eyes of Adolph Hitler, who likened Germany's expansion before and during World War II to United States “westward movement” during the nineteenth century.

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