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Presidential historian Jon Meacham said Tuesday that President Donald Trump told him past year that he could have negotiated a deal to avert the Civil War.

Trump, who has at times shown a shaky grasp of USA history, questioned why issues couldn't have been settled to prevent the war that followed the secession of 11 Southern states from the Union and brought death to more than 600,000 Americans, North and South.

President Trump seems to think that if his slave-owning predecessor Andrew Jackson had lived a little longer, or at least been around a bit later, the Civil War could have been avoided. He was a really tough person, but he had a big heart.

President Trump's political hero, Andrew Jackson, possessed neither the temperament nor ability to stop a war that, for all its carnage, immeasurably transformed the nation and brought us toward a more ideal union.

The Civil War was decades in the making, stemming from disputes between the North and South about slavery and whether the union or the individual states had more power. Jackson supported James Polk for president in 1844, rather than his protege and vice president Martin Van Buren, because Polk was ready to go to war and Van Buren wasn't.

When he saw a slave auction block while touring the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Trump reportedly said, "Boy, that is just not good".

President Jackson died in 1845. And given Jackson's own willingness to use force to quell a secessionist movement, it's unlikely either could have done much to change the divided nation's fateful path. He's probably right. Indeed, any Democratic president of that era might well have prevented it.

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During a visit to The Hermitage in March, Trump laid a wreath on Jackson's tomb on his 250th birthday. "Why could that one not have been worked out?"

President Trump's assertion that Andrew Jackson, the ornery and uncompromising soldier-statesman who opened the White House to ordinary white male suffrage and made a reputation as a pacifier of Native American populations through extraordinary campaigns of violence, is as incredible as it is ahistorical.

That may be one reason why his historical analogies often come across as off key or at odds with the facts. "And unfortunately, it continues", Trump said. The miseducation of Donald Trump may be, not a joke for Civil War buffs, but a reminder to Americans that history bears watching the first time around. If Trump were referring to a growing recognition of Douglass' contributions to Black history, "Then the president's remarks were on the money", the Washington Post wrote.

Nonetheless, the president - who also hung a portrait of Jackson in his office - seemed determined to restate his opinion about his presidential fave and try to correct what appeared earlier to be a timeline gaffe.

No reason whatsoever! You know, besides the whole claim-to-the-very-same-holy-land thing. The Civil War began in 1861.

"The Civil War, as [secretary of state during the Civil War] William Seward said, was an irrepressible conflict", Meacham said Monday night in another MSNBC interview.


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