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Department 1

Civil War Era Studies


Some humid, summer evening, go out and listen to the swamp. It chirps, it keens, it hoots, it chitters. It is both quiet and restless, serene and ominous. It is alive, full of bats’ wings, copperheads, and clouds of insects. Imagine how it will respond when it learns you plan to drain it.

That thought has some political parallels as Donald Trump finds himself at odds with the bureaucracy of the federal government in an effort to “drain the swamp” of the so-called Deep State. Thomas Jefferson did a good deal of swamp-draining after his victory over Federalist John Adams in 1800. (excerpt)