The rise of Donald Trump is nothing new when it comes to US presidents

President-elect Donald Trump
President-elect Donald Trump Credit: Drew Angerer /Getty Images

Who is this American president? He “stoops to gain the favor of the majority, but when he feels his popularity is secure, he overthrows all obstacles in the pursuit of the objects which the community approves”.

No, it’s not Donald Trump, but Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States of America, from 1829 - 37, as described by his disapproving contemporary, the historian Alexis de Tocqueville. Jackson was the first subject in Trump: the Presidential Precedents , a series running daily on Radio 4 all week. I recommend it strongly.

An undated portrait of the seventh U.S. President Andrew Jackson, (1829-1837) Credit: AP

The presenter is historian Adam Smith, the producer is Phil Tinline and the theme is the “zigs and zags” that outgoing US President Barack Obama perceives...

To continue reading this article

Start a 30-day free trial for unlimited access to Premium articles

  • Unlimited access to Premium articles 
  • Subscriber-only events and experiences
  • Cancel any time

Free for 30 days

then only £2 per week

Save 25% with an annual subscription

Just £75 per year


Register for free and access one Premium article per week

Only subscribers have unlimited access to Premium articles.
Register for free to continue reading this article
Or unlock all Premium articles.
Free for 30 days, then just £1 per week