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Ulysses S. Grant

  • Max J. Skidmore
Chapter
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Part of the The Evolving American Presidency book series (EAP)

Abstract

Was Grant naïve and weak? He worked for the Fifteenth Amendment, pushed Congress to support civil rights and revise the Tenure-of-Office Act, winning on all. He reshaped the judiciary, used the veto vigorously and successfully, created the world’s first national park, won re-election in the biggest landslide between Jackson and Theodore Roosevelt, and prevented violence following the 1876 election. He sought a merit-based civil service, but Congress denied funding. He thwarted Jim Fisk and Jay Gould’s scheme to corner gold. Corruption existed, but has been exaggerated; much in fact predated his presidency. Reasonable people may disagree about Grant, but only by ignoring the record, or distorting it, could anyone argue that he was weak and naïve, or that he weakened the presidency.

Keywords

National Park Conventional Wisdom Attorney General Republican Party Electoral Vote 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, The Gilded Age, New York: Quill Pen Classics, 2008 [1873]; also available online for free use at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3178/3178-h/3178-h.htm.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jean Edward Smith, Grant, New York: Touchstone/Simon and Schuster, 2001.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Brooks Simpson, Let Us Have Peace: Ulysses S. Grant and the Politics of War and Reconstruction, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997; also The Reconstruction Presidents, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Joan Waugh, U.S. Grant: American Hero, American Myth, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Gary W. Gallagher and Alan T. Nolan, The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000.Google Scholar
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    Garry Wills, Henry Adams and the Making of America, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2005, pp. 74–75.Google Scholar
  7. 13.
    Jeffry D. Wert, “James Longstreet and the Lost Cause,” Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History, Gary Gallagher and Alan T. Nolan, eds., Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2000, pp. 127–146 (quotations on pp. 129–130).Google Scholar
  8. 16.
    Richard N. Current, “President Grant and the Continuing Civil War,” in David L. Wilson and John Y. Simon, eds., Ulysses S. Grant: Essays and Documents, Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1981; quoted Ibid., p. 114.Google Scholar
  9. 27.
    See H. W. Brands, The Man Who Saved the Union: U. S. Grant in War and Peace, New York: Doubleday, 2010, pp. 437–446.Google Scholar
  10. 32.
    Shirley Anne Warshaw, “The President’s Cabinet,” Thinking About the Presidency,” Gary L. Gregg II, ed., Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005, pp. 112–134; quotation on p. 113.Google Scholar
  11. 46.
    H. W. Brands, The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses S. Grant in War and Peace, New York: Doubleday, 2012, p. 469.Google Scholar
  12. 48.
    William J. Ridings, Jr., and Stuart B. McIver, Rating the Presidents: A Ranking of U.S. Leaders, From the Great and Honorable to the Dishonest and Incompetent, Rev. ed., New York: Citadel Press, 2000, p. 155.Google Scholar
  13. 50.
    Charles F. Faber and Richard B. Faber, The American Presidents Ranked by Performance, Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2000, p. 134.Google Scholar
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    James A. Garfield, Diary, March 5, 1877, quoted in Smith, Grant, p. 605.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Max J. Skidmore 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Max J. Skidmore
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of MissouriUSA

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