Civil War Institute
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.
This is the author's version of the work. This publication appears in Gettysburg College's institutional repository by permission of the copyright owner for personal use, not for redistribution.
Lauck, Jeffrey L., "No, Trump’s Election Does Not “Feel Like the Fall of Reconstruction”" (2017). The Gettysburg Compiler: On the Front Lines of History. 250.