Trump’s election overthrows or dramatically revises what we all took to be conservatism. Jackson did something similar. While his predecessor John Quincy Adams does not strike everyone as a conservative — Fred Kaplan’s recent Adams biography praises him in terms that make him almost a forerunner of Barack Obama — his disputes with social reformer Jeremy Bentham, his gradualism, and his concern for refining the genteel character of the nation’s future elite rhyme with the conservative ambitions in 19th century politics. They also made Adams an easy “low-energy” mark for Jackson’s populist ire…

Jackson’s White House also included all-consuming social and political feuds, much as Trump’s does today. Jackson detested Washington society, and especially the way the wives of his Cabinet members shunned Secretary of War John Eaton’s wife as sexually notorious. The infighting among Jackson’s Cabinet over this issue was epic, and consumed much of Jackson’s first year in office. Eaton himself issued two dueling challenges to other Cabinet members. Even if they do not come to physical blows, look for the fights between the members of the Republican old guard, like Reince Priebus, and Bannon to consume presidential attention. Similarly, Trump’s determination to see his daughter Ivanka and her husband Jared Kushner become power players in D.C. will create social friction.

Jackson’s presidency was partly swallowed by his feud with the national bank. Trump has already abandoned his earlier populist attacks on hedge funds and other Wall Streeters. But we are already seeing signs that Bannon will goad Trump into an all-out war with other institutions: namely, his own intelligence agencies and the media that covers the White House.