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Ulysses S. Grant. American Warrior, American President, American Hero. At the end of the Civil War, who was the most popular American ? . A) Abraham Lincoln B) William Tecumseh Sherman C) Ulysses S. Grant D) Charles Sumner . Ulysses S. Grant!. Background Information .

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Ulysses S. Grant

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Ulysses S. Grant

American Warrior, American President,

American Hero

At the end of the Civil War, who was the most popular American ?

  • A) Abraham Lincoln

  • B) William Tecumseh Sherman

  • C) Ulysses S. Grant

  • D) Charles Sumner

Ulysses S. Grant!

Background Information

  • Born in Ohio; April 27, 1822

  • Fought in the Mexican-American War

  • Commander of all U.S. Armies in the Civil War

  • 18th President of the United States: 1869-1877

  • President during Reconstruction and a time of rapid industrialization

  • Died: July 23, 1885

Fun Facts

  • Ulysses S. Grant’s original name was Hiram Ulysses Grant (changed upon entering West Point)

  • Only one of two Presidents to attend West Point

  • Grant had a persistent drinking problem

  • Grant received the title of Commander of all U.S. Armies during the Civil War (first since George Washington)

  • Youngest President to assume office until Theodore Roosevelt (he was 46 years old)

  • As President, Grant was pulled over for a speeding violation on 16th Street in Washington D.C. (Grant paid the fine and walked home to the White House).

Election of 1868

  • The election was essentially a referendum on Reconstruction

  • Democrats ran a campaign to fight back against Reconstruction

  • Grant ran as a Republican on a campaign of reconciliation

  • Democrats nominated Horatio Seymour, Governor of NY

  • Electoral Vote: 214-80

  • Popular Vote: 52.7%-47.3%

Grant and Reconstruction

  • Grant wanted to preserve the rights the Civil War had won for African-Americans

  • He wanted to bring about the end of Reconstruction in a way that would reconcile the country and preserve the Union’s victories

  • Restore order in the South

Map of the South

Annexing Santo Domingo

  • Grant wanted to annex the modern day Dominican Republic

  • Wanted it to become a state and safe haven for African-Americans

  • Grant believed that it would…

    • allow blacks to escape from discrimination

    • convince whites to treat blacks better, so they could keep their labor

    • convince more Latin American countries to end slavery

  • Grant also believed it would help the economy

  • Defeated by Charles Sumner of MA in 1870

Ku Klux Klan—Confederate Terrorists

  • White Supremacist Secret Society

  • Led by a former confederate general named Nathaniel Bedford Forest

  • “Midnight Rides”—men dressed in white robes would attack black communities (and carpetbaggers)

  • Not only made up by “rednecks” but diverse demographics

    • Police officers

    • Firemen

    • Other respected men in society

Klan Cartoon to scare Carpetbaggers

Grant vs. the Klan

  • Enforcement Acts (or Ku Klux Klan Acts)

    • Passed 1870 and 1871

    • Prohibited states from discriminating voters based on race

    • Gave the federal gov’t the power to prosecute violators

      • First time the federal gov’t could prosecute criminals under federal law

    • Authorized Grant to use the military to protect civil rights and suspend the right of habeas corpus

    • Grant used the acts against nine counties in South Carolina in October 1871

  • By 1872, Grant had succeeded in ending the Klan

Grant vs. Louisiana

  • Jan. 1875, Democrats stormed the state assembly to install five white legislators in disputed seats

  • Grant sent Phil Sheridan with troops to New Orleans to forcibly remove the legislators and support the Republican state gov’t

  • Both the South and North responded in outrage. Saw it as an overreach of the federal gov’t

  • In the future, Grant would back down from using troops

  • Reconstruction was ending

Grant and Native Americans

  • "When I said ‘Let us have peace,’ I meant it. I want peace on the Plains as everywhere else."

  • Grant disagreed with former colleague William Tecumseh Sherman, who wanted a policy of extermination

  • He believed Native Americans were the original occupants and wanted them to be treated with respect

  • Grant supported the reservation system and wanted to give Native Americans citizen-status and provide them education

  • Unfortunately, Grant’s dreams were dashed by Western expansionists

Election of 1872

  • Liberal Republicans split from the party in opposition to “Grantism”

  • Democrats joined them to nominate Horace Greeley from the New York Tribune

  • Grant won in one of the biggest landslides in American history

  • Electoral Vote: 286-66

  • Popular Vote: 56%-44%

Scandals of the Grant Administration

  • Many scandals major and minor came to light during the campaign of 1872

  • Crédit Mobilier

    • French company that used its power to seize fraudulent gov. contracts

    • Sold stock to high-profile Republicans to prevent an investigation

    • 1872—Congress did investigate

    • Haunts the Rep. Party for decades

  • “Whiskey Ring”

    • officials in the Treasury Department were cheating the gov. out of tax revenue

  • William W. Belknap, Secretary of War

    • accepted kickbacks to retain an Indian-post trader

  • “Grantism” came to represent corruption

The Panic of 1873

  • Four-year depression

  • Caused by Jay Cooke and Company’s overinvestment in postwar railroad building

  • Derailed Reconstruction by moving focus toward the economy

  • Opened up the “Greenback” or Currency Question, which became a major issue in the last quarter of the 1800s

  • Specie Resumption Act of 1879—replaced greenbacks with currency pegged to gold, which helped creditors but hurt debtors

Alabama Claims

  • Alabama Claims—claim that England had violated neutrality laws by allowing ships to be built for the Confederacy in England and that they needed to pay for it

  • Solved by Hamilton Fish—U.S. Secretary of State under Grant

  • Treaty of Washington of 1871

    • Britain expressed regret for what had happened

    • Resolved many disputes over international law

Grant’s Presidential Ranking

Sources Used

  • American History: A Survey by Alan Brinkley

  • American Experience: Ulysses S. Grant

  • American Experience: Reconstruction—The Second Civil War

  • C-SPAN—Presidential Rankings

  • Images:

    • Wikimedia

    • PBS

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