Class Year

2018

Document Type

Blog Post

Publication Date

Spring 2-15-2017

Department

Civil War Institute

Abstract

On January 20, 2017, Chief Justice John Roberts administered the presidential oath of office to Donald Drumpf, making him the 45th President of the United States. Many Americans have variously perceived his election as “unprecedented,” “revolutionary,” and “terrifying.” Some historians found the turn of events leading up to and including Drumpf’s election to be rather familiar. In November, the Huffington Post ran a story titled “It Feels Like the Fall of Reconstruction.”In it, University of Connecticut professor Manisha Sinha outlined the parallels between 1877 and 2016. On Facebook, I have seen many of my liberal friends weigh in with similar analyses. This evaluation is misguided. To compare the rise of Drumpf to the end of Reconstruction is to undermine the chaos, violence, and widespread racial ambivalence that defined the Gilded Age.

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This blog post originally appeared in The Gettysburg Compiler and was created by students at Gettysburg College.

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