Blog #1

It is easy to think that we are in a time of history with no parallel. I recently participated in a conversation about Donald Trump where the person I was talking to felt that Trump was unlike any other president we have had in history. Surly Donald is a unique individual, his loud boisterous action draws the attention of the entire nation.  But this isn’t the case, countries in general often turn to high personality political outsiders and they do tend to make big waves in the system. Andrew Jackson was a huge divisive force in American politics for his time. He expanded federal power despite opposing it, He often was very aggressive on issues that most politicians were more careful, and participated in many famous events like the trail of tears. It is appealing to the voter in turbulent times to choose someone who is less invested in the political process and instead is more of a powerful forceful personality. The reason I think this is important is that we often feel powerless in the face of these never before experienced events like for instance a president who seems beyond historical or that we are living in an age of unparalleled technological advancement. But the thing is that is exactly how people felt during Andrew Jackson’s time. The US was changing profoundly and people were afraid of rapidly expanding elite power so they choose Jackson the candidate who was a self-made man, a political outsider and rebel, and seen as a champion of the common people. If we see Trump as a typical example of a political outsider being elect as a head of state making big changes to the system in a short amount of time a situation that has happened before and will happen again. Not to say people shouldn’t be concerned for times of change for their political system but I know it helps me to understand and take assurance that this is not history being derailed but rather an example of the repeating cycles of history. It can be hard to see through the mythology of our past and realize our founding fathers were involved in scandals and battle just as sensational as they are today. We as students [and teacher] should consider ourselves learners attempting to  understand events and mechanisms beyond what they first appear to be. The sooner we can see ourselves less as people being ruled by current historical events and more as people living in a time of predictable yet changeable historical events the sooner we may shape history as we are also shaped by it.

John Green has a great Video about Jackson

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