I had always predicted that the United States would enter a tough period in their political history whatever the result - this looks set to prove founded.

Brent Peterson of Las Vegas, watches results during an election night watch party hosted by the Neva

Brent Peterson of Las Vegas, watches results during an election night watch party hosted by the Nevada GOP, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, at South Point hotel-casino in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Ronda Churchill) - Credit: AP

Outside Trump Towers in New York the placards were raised - 'Not my president', 'Don't make America hate again'.

It was a Donald Trump supporter who told me in the run up to Election Day in the United States that if his man didn't win, he would take to the streets.

Instead - unexpectedly - it was Hillary Clinton's backers who felt motivated to leave their homes and gather in cities across the U.S. on Wednesday night.

Flags were burnt and effigies of Donald Trump raised high - but most of the violence was isolated.

The comparisons with the Brexit vote on our own shores are easy to make.

Like our referendum, in the United States there is a quiet majority who feel their duty ends at the ballot box - they will get behind the result.

But as in the UK - where thousands of 'the 48pc' who voted 'remain' gathered in cities across the UK in the days and weeks after Brexit - so there will be those who want to keep publicly voicing their opposition to Donald Trump, and what he stands for. They will rightly continue to make their case, and have a right to do so through peaceful means.

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Much had been made by the state officials and experts I met along the way during my seven days in the United States about the country's proud tradition of peaceful transitions of power.

Hillary Clinton graciously made the point in her concession speech.

In the group of 25 international journalists from around the world I spent seven touring with, this is not always the case in the areas they cover.

U.S. politics has always been deeply polarised - but the language which became acceptable during this campaign has seen US politics reach a new low.

As I leave the US and return to our shores, I see a nation more divided than ever.

The outlook of Trump voters in rural Wilmington, Ohio is a world apart from that of those just a few hours away in the northern city of Cleveland in the rust belt state and a universe from the majority in Manhattan.

If the rhetoric the new president unleashed during the campaign, and offence he caused during the election is anything to go by, the fears of those who took to the streets on Wednesday night may well be founded.

Just as some voters told me they would get behind their president and give him a chance, so Donald Trump will need to attempt to unite the nation.

The disquiet on the streets will be unsettling if he turns violent.

I had always predicted that the United States would enter a tough period in their political history whatever the result - this looks set to prove founded.

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