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Daniel Feller, a professor in the Department of History and director of The Papers of Andrew Jackson, spoke with several media outlets about President Donald Trump’s dip into American history and what his fascination with Jackson may mean.

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently interviewed Feller about Trump’s recent comments about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War, which occurred 16 years after Jackson’s death.

President Trump, a noted fan of Andrew Jackson, has some unresolved questions about problems that followed the seventh president’s leadership, such as the Civil War. In a recent interview with the Washington Examiner, Trump asked why the country had fought the Civil War when talking about Jackson’s legacy and stated that he believed Jackson would not have let the war occur. 

Feller, however, does not entirely agree with this assertion.

In an interview with the Chronicle, Feller said, “First we are in the area of things that would have happened or might have happened. At best this is airy speculation. What’s missing is any recognition by the president of what the Civil War was about. It makes it sound like being tough or having a big heart was going to solve this problem. The problem was slavery.”

He continued to say that there were a lot of tough people and people with big hearts who had been trying to solve that crisis for generations, and none of them succeeded, and that includes Jackson. View the complete interview online.

Feller also expressed similar comments in an interview with and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (minute 3).