Rise of American Populism and its Role in Reviving the Jacksonian Tradition in Trump’s Foreign Policy


  • Ammar Ali Independent Researcher, International Relations, Islamabad. Pakistan. Email: alliiammar@outlook.com Author




Donald Trump, USA, Populism, Foreign Policy, Andrew Jacksonian Tradition, Globalism


Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential Elections firmly established the fact that populism was the new reality of American politics. This research explores the basic factors that drove this populist tide, and which led to the election of Trump as American president. It was not only the increasing economic inequality and lack of employment opportunities which resulted in strengthening the populist tide, but also the perceived lack of status by the American middle class and their fear of becoming a minority in their own country which drove them to Trump’s campaign. Trump also fully exploited the public’s discontent with the elite and promised them that he was their best chance of restoring America’s dignity and breaking it free from the ‘disastrous’ economic deals that his predecessors had signed which were supposedly the primary cause of the country’s economic woes. This research shows that most of Trump’s foreign policy decisions were in line with his populist rhetoric and the Jacksonian tradition of American foreign policy. This research takes a deeper look into some of Trump’s populist foreign policy decisions in the light of Jacksonianism.


Barry, S. H., Charles W. K, Edward W, & Gordon Hilton. (1973). The Ideology of American Foreign Policy: A Paradigm of Lockian Liberalism (Vol. 13). Sage Publications.

Council on Foreign Relations. (n.d.). NAFTA and the USMCA: Weighing the Impact of North American Trade. Retrieved from https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/naftas-economic-impact

Löfflmann, G. (2019). America First and the Populist Impact on US Foreign Policy. Survival, 61(6), 115–138 https://doi.org/10.1080/00396338.2019.1688573.

Little, L. B. (1972). Senator Albert J. Beveridge and the Politics of Imperialist Rationale.

Lyons, M. N. (2018). Insurgent Supremacists: The US Far Right’s Challenge to State and Empire. Turning the Tide, 30(5), 8.

McDougall, W. A. (1997). Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Mead, W. R. (2016). Andrew Jackson, Revenant. The American Interest, 17.

Mead, W. R. (2017). The Jacksonian Revolt: American Populism and the Liberal Order. Foreign Aff., 96(2), 2.

Mead, W. R. (1999). The Jacksonian Tradition: And American Foreign Policy. The National Interest, (58), 5–29.

Mead, W. R. (2011). The Tea Party and American Foreign Policy: What Populism Means for Globalism.

Foreign Affairs, 28–44.

Merrill, D., & Paterson, T. (2009). Major Problems in American Foreign Relations, Volume II: Since 1914. Cengage Learning.

Moffitt, B. (2020). The Global Rise of Populism. Stanford University Press.

Mudde, C., & Rovira Kaltwasser, C. (2013). Exclusionary vs. Inclusionary Populism: Comparing Contemporary Europe and Latin America. Government and Opposition, 48(2), 147–174. https://doi.org/10.1017/gov.2012.11.

Mueller, A. (2019). The Meaning of ‘Populism.’ Philosophy & Social Criticism, 45(9–10), 1025–1057. Mutz, D. C. (2018). Status Threat, Not Economic Hardship, Explains the 2016 Presidential Vote.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(19), E4330–E4339.

Nadia, U. (2019). Political Theory of Populism. Annual Review of Political Science, 22, 111–127. O’Sullivan, J. L. (1839). The Great Nation of Futurity. The United States Democratic Review, 6(23), 426–430.

Paterson, T. G. (1983). American Foreign Policy: A History. Since 1900. Vol. 2. Heath.

Pew Research Center. (2017). Millennial and Gen X Voter Turnout Increased in 2016...and among Millennials, Black Turnout Decreased. https://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/FT_17.05.12_VoterTurnout_Millennialnew.png

Pew     Research     Center.     (2021).     Public    Trust     in     Government:      1958-2021.     Poll. https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2021/05/17/public-trust-in-government-1958-2021/

Pew Research Center - U.S. Politics & Policy. (2013, December 3). Public Sees U.S. Power Declining as Support                       for           Global          Engagement           Slips.          Retrieved          from https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2013/12/03/public-sees-u-s-power-declining-as- support-for-global-engagement-slips/

Richter, A. (n.d.). American Populism During the Nineteenth-Century (p. 8).

Rohac, D., Kennedy, L., & Singh, V. (2018, May 10). Drivers of Authoritarian Populism in the United States. Center for American Progress, 27.

Sean, M. (2015). The Income Gap at the Polls. Politico, January 7, 2015. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/01/income-gap-at-the-polls-113997/.

Taggart, P. A. (2004). Populism and Representative Politics in Contemporary Europe. Journal of Political Ideologies, 9(3).

Taggart, P. A., & Parkin, F. (2000). Populism. Open University Press.

The Economist. (2021, May 22). White Americans Are Beginning to Realise That They Too Belong to a Race. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/special-report/2021/05/14/the-souls-of- white-folk

The New York Times. (2016, April 27). Transcript: Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Speech. Retrieved from                        https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/28/us/politics/transcript-trump-foreign- policy.html

The New York Times. (2016, July 21). Transcript: Donald Trump on NATO, Turkey’s Coup Attempt and the World. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/us/politics/donald- trump- foreign-policy-interview.html

The New York Times. (2016, March 27). Transcript: Donald Trump Expounds on His Foreign Policy Views. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/us/politics/donald-trump- transcript.html

The New York Times. (2016, July 22). Transcript: Donald Trump at the G.O.P. Convention. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/us/politics/trump-transcript-rnc-address.html

U.S. Embassy & Consulate in the Republic of Korea. (n.d.). Woodrow Wilson: Fourteen Points Speech (1918). Retrieved from https://kr.usembassy.gov/education-culture/infopedia-usa/living- documents-american-history-democracy/woodrow-wilson-fourteen-points-speech-1918/

U.S. Foreign Policy Traditions and the Middle East - Foreign Policy Research Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.fpri.org/article/2009/07/u-s-foreign-policy-traditions-and-the- middle- east/

Varg, P. A. (1964). Foreign Policies of the Founding Fathers. Michigan State UP.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Ammar Ali. (2024). Rise of American Populism and its Role in Reviving the Jacksonian Tradition in Trump’s Foreign Policy. Journalism, Politics and Society, 2(01), 56-68. https://doi.org/10.63067/v2w83y62

Similar Articles

1-10 of 16

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.