Vindicating Grant's Presidency: An Economic, Foreign Policy and Civil Rights Review.

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lurid

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I always felt that Grant was a splendid general, who used the resources accordingly to put the squeeze of the Confederates, and that's how to fight an enemy that was/is dug in. Nevertheless, it's his presidency that is analyzed in a literary sense and not by any factual evidence, and I'm guilty of glossing over his presidency as well by stating he was mediocre to below average president. However, after scrutinizing his economic, foreign policy and domestic affairs I would have to state that Grant was a lot better president than accredited, perhaps a great president.

Economics:

1). Taxes went down by $300 million.

2). National Debt went down $435 million

3). Interest rates reduced by $30 million

4). Balance of trade was $130 million in the red when entered office to $120 million in the black when existed office.

5). In 1875 Grant also signed the Specie Resumption Act, which promised to redeem the Civil War greenbacks for gold. Grant committed the United States to a sound currency and fiscal restraint.

6). He vetoed an inflationary bill that would have increased the greenback supply by more than 10 percent.

7). Established free trade with Hawaii, incorporating the Pacific islands' sugar industry into the United States' economic sphere.


Foreign policy:

1). kept the US out of war with Great Britain over building Confederate warships. The Alabama was a Confederate raider ship built by GB that wreaked havoc on Union merchant ships, so there was a public outcry in the north to go to war with GB. Charles Sumner incited war or give the US Canada for reparations. Grant pushed the Treaty of Washington as an International incident, so a arbitration hearing was conducted at Geneva, Switzerland with a mediator. The verdict was $15.5 million in favor of the US for reparations.

The Treaty of Washington set the precedent for future International arbitration: Hague Tribunal, the League of Nation, World Court and United Nations.

2). Avoided war with Spain with diplomacy.

Civil Liberties:

1). Created the Justice Department.

2). Passed the Ku Klux Klan Act: which by 1872 the Klan collapsed.

Scandals:

It is unfair to blame Grant for the Whiskey Ring and the Credit Mobilier scandals because they started before he became president. Started under the Johnson Administration.

It appears, Grant was a way better president than people have given him credit for, and I suspect that his critics don't really know much about conservative economics, civil liberties or foreign policy, but read about him in literary sense. Depending on the medium, I would say Grant is definitely in top 15 best presidents of all time. He get's an (A) in Economics. An (B) in domestic affairs, he did well with squeezing the Klan but I have to read more about his Indian policy. Foreign Policy he deserves a (A).



— (2002). "Ulysses S. Grant". In Graff, Henry (ed.). The Presidents: A Reference History (7th ed.). pp. 245–260.

Author:Jean Edward Smith; Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana (Mississippi State University. Libraries)Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, ©2001.

Chernow, Ron (2017). Grant. New York: Penguin Press

Kaczorowski, Robert J. (1995). "Federal Enforcement of Civil Rights During the First Reconstruction". Fordham Urban Law Journal. 23
 

huskerblitz

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We have a thread where this has been hashed out before. The issue is when you get to the balance sheet. Yes, Grant's gets credit for some of those things you mention, but that has to be balanced against some of the scandals that did happen under his watch, and that's not counting Credit Mobiler. At the end of the day, he's ranked as a mediocre president because that's what he was.
 
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lurid

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We have a thread where this has been hashed out before. The issue is when you get to the balance sheet. Yes, Grant's gets credit for some of those things you mention, but that has to be balanced against some of the scandals that did happen under his watch, and that's not counting Credit Mobiler. At the end of the day, he's ranked as a mediocre president because that's what he was.
Compared to who? Give a medium and we'll do a compare and contrast.
 

5fish

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I would have to state that Grant was a lot better president than accredited,
You need to add the Civil Rights Act of 1875 which gave “equality of all men before the law” which in the coming years would be gutted by the Supreme Court... He was the first to give testimony in a criminal trial and he lied.... and he fired the Special Prosecutor to obstruct justice... which both are impeachable offenses...

I like to note your economic improvements are in truth fiscal improvements were because the war was over. The fiscal pressure for paying for war had passed... I think you forgot the Panic of 1873 to 1877(economic depression it was worldwide) since he was president he gets the blame...
 
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lurid

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You need to add the Civil Rights Act of 1875 which gave “equality of all men before the law” which in the coming years would be gutted by the Supreme Court... He was the first to give testimony in a criminal trial and he lied.... and he fired the Special Prosecutor to obstruct justice... which both are impeachable offenses...

I like to note your economic improvements are in truth fiscal improvements were because the war was over. The fiscal pressure for paying for war had passed... I think you forgot the Panic of 1873 to 1877(economic depression it was worldwide) since he was president he gets the blame...
So the worldwide depression was Grant's fault? The Germans had nothing to do with it? No, I didn't forget the Panic of 1873, you forgot that all of Grant's economic notables were during that time: the nation’s taxes and national debt were reduced by $300 million and $435 million, respectively, during Grant’s tenure in office. Annual interest rates were reduced by $30 million and one-fifth of the nation’s debt was eliminated. The resumption of specie-based payments led to substantial economic growth and greatly increased business activity in Gilded Age America during the 1880s. How do you explain that he passed that off during a depression? What about post war inflation, how was that handled?? How did Grant combat inflation?
 

lurid

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Um, well, since we're talking presidents pretty sure my statement was made compared to other presidents.
Which presidents? I'll throw you a bone: Grant was not as good as Washington, Jefferson, McKinley, Coolidge or Reagan. But he was better than a lot of others. Post up...
 

huskerblitz

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Which presidents? I'll throw you a bone: Grant was not as good as Washington, Jefferson, McKinley, Coolidge or Reagan. But he was better than a lot of others. Post up...
You can use these lists...you can select the aggregate poll to see the average of all of the polls.
 
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5fish

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So the worldwide depression was Grant's fault?
In the world of politics if you're president in the bad times you get the blame and if you're president in the good times you to the congrats...

I think you forget the pressure paying for war was over which frees up the Government to reduce taxation, could reverse our nation from being an import of war materials to an exporter of agricultural and consumer goods, interest payments come down because you are paying off war bonds and issuing new bonds at lower rates because the war is over, and etc...

You seem to overlook his part in covering up parts of the Whiskey Ring and obstruction of justice and his war on Native Americans...
 
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huskerblitz

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And any talk of presidents and economies should be taken with a grain of salt. Congress has more of a direct role in the economy than a president. That was true then, just as it is now.
 

huskerblitz

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Presidents can have some impact on the economy. Normally it's not as much as most people think and policies initiated by them generally takes a couple of years to see a change. But there are exceptions....like Jackson and the Panic of 1837. He wasn't in office, but the panic was his doing, not Van Buren's.
 
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5fish

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I'm just waiting for you to explain how the Grant Administration mustered up all economic wonders during a depression that you feel Grant caused?
All the improving fiscal numbers came during the postwar boom which lasts until 1873... The economy did constrict greatly in 1873 and it was called the "Great Depression" until the Depression of the 1930's... You can clean up your fiscal house even during an economic downturn only means you cut services to the masses or tighten the money supply. Grant did veto the Inflationary Bill to expand the money supply in the economy.

Here is a link about the Panic 1873... you will like for it has a conservative twist at the end...

https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/learning-lessons-from-the-panic-of-1873/

Panic of 1873 may have also brought Reconstruction to an end... from wiki

Poor economic conditions caused voters to turn against the Republican Party. In the 1874 congressional elections, the Democrats assumed control of the House. Public opinion made it difficult for the Grant administration to develop a coherent policy regarding the Southern states. The North began to steer away from Reconstruction. With the depression, ambitious railroad building programs crashed across the South, leaving most states deep in debt and burdened with heavy taxes. Retrenchment was a common response of southern states to state debts during the depression. One by one, each Southern state fell to the Democrats, and the Republicans lost power.
 

lurid

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All the improving fiscal numbers came during the postwar boom which lasts until 1873... The economy did constrict greatly in 1873 and it was called the "Great Depression" until the Depression of the 1930's... You can clean up your fiscal house even during an economic downturn only means you cut services to the masses or tighten the money supply. Grant did veto the Inflationary Bill to expand the money supply in the economy.

Here is a link about the Panic 1873... you will like for it has a conservative twist at the end...

https://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/14/learning-lessons-from-the-panic-of-1873/

Panic of 1873 may have also brought Reconstruction to an end... from wiki

Poor economic conditions caused voters to turn against the Republican Party. In the 1874 congressional elections, the Democrats assumed control of the House. Public opinion made it difficult for the Grant administration to develop a coherent policy regarding the Southern states. The North began to steer away from Reconstruction. With the depression, ambitious railroad building programs crashed across the South, leaving most states deep in debt and burdened with heavy taxes. Retrenchment was a common response of southern states to state debts during the depression. One by one, each Southern state fell to the Democrats, and the Republicans lost power.
Let's see, ending the CW caused the economic boom until 1873, then Grant's policies caused the world depression. Rather subjective, not remotely objective and kind of outlandish. Therefore, you are saying all Grant's economic policies were detrimental to the economy? Never said a government couldn't clean up in economic downturn, but it's difficult during a depression. However, Grant's veto of the Inflationary Bill forced the government into Gold Standard and that's good house cleaning, which is probably what combated the depression.
 

5fish

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Let's see, ending the CW caused the economic boom until 1873, then Grant's policies caused the world depression. Rather subjective, not remotely objective and kind of outlandish. Therefore, you are saying all Grant's economic policies were detrimental to the economy? Never said a government couldn't clean up in economic downturn, but it's difficult during a depression. However, Grant's veto of the Inflationary Bill forced the government into Gold Standard and that's good house cleaning, which is probably what combated the depression.
You obviously read nothing I wrote or read any link I offered you... You have construed and fantasy tale of your own making...
 
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Bruce Vail

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I always felt that Grant was a splendid general, who used the resources accordingly to put the squeeze of the Confederates, and that's how to fight an enemy that was/is dug in. Nevertheless, it's his presidency that is analyzed in a literary sense and not by any factual evidence, and I'm guilty of glossing over his presidency as well by stating he was mediocre to below average president. However, after scrutinizing his economic, foreign policy and domestic affairs I would have to state that Grant was a lot better president than accredited, perhaps a great president.

Economics:

1). Taxes went down by $300 million.

2). National Debt went down $435 million

3). Interest rates reduced by $30 million

4). Balance of trade was $130 million in the red when entered office to $120 million in the black when existed office.

5). In 1875 Grant also signed the Specie Resumption Act, which promised to redeem the Civil War greenbacks for gold. Grant committed the United States to a sound currency and fiscal restraint.

6). He vetoed an inflationary bill that would have increased the greenback supply by more than 10 percent.

7). Established free trade with Hawaii, incorporating the Pacific islands' sugar industry into the United States' economic sphere.


Foreign policy:

1). kept the US out of war with Great Britain over building Confederate warships. The Alabama was a Confederate raider ship built by GB that wreaked havoc on Union merchant ships, so there was a public outcry in the north to go to war with GB. Charles Sumner incited war or give the US Canada for reparations. Grant pushed the Treaty of Washington as an International incident, so a arbitration hearing was conducted at Geneva, Switzerland with a mediator. The verdict was $15.5 million in favor of the US for reparations.

The Treaty of Washington set the precedent for future International arbitration: Hague Tribunal, the League of Nation, World Court and United Nations.

2). Avoided war with Spain with diplomacy.

Civil Liberties:

1). Created the Justice Department.

2). Passed the Ku Klux Klan Act: which by 1872 the Klan collapsed.

Scandals:

It is unfair to blame Grant for the Whiskey Ring and the Credit Mobilier scandals because they started before he became president. Started under the Johnson Administration.

It appears, Grant was a way better president than people have given him credit for, and I suspect that his critics don't really know much about conservative economics, civil liberties or foreign policy, but read about him in literary sense. Depending on the medium, I would say Grant is definitely in top 15 best presidents of all time. He get's an (A) in Economics. An (B) in domestic affairs, he did well with squeezing the Klan but I have to read more about his Indian policy. Foreign Policy he deserves a (A).



— (2002). "Ulysses S. Grant". In Graff, Henry (ed.). The Presidents: A Reference History (7th ed.). pp. 245–260.

Author:Jean Edward Smith; Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana (Mississippi State University. Libraries)Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, ©2001.

Chernow, Ron (2017). Grant. New York: Penguin Press

Kaczorowski, Robert J. (1995). "Federal Enforcement of Civil Rights During the First Reconstruction". Fordham Urban Law Journal. 23
There have been a lot of threads on Grant the President here at CWT in the last couple of years, and a lot of commentary on the fact that historian surveys have been upgrading Grant's ranking in recent years, so you are far from alone in reevaluating President Grant.

I've done some reevaluation myself and am forced to admit that a lot of my negative impressions weren't really justified by the facts. I'm not joining the Sam Grant Fan Boy Club, but I am willing to admit that I was too quick to bash the guy in the past.
 

lurid

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There have been a lot of threads on Grant the President here at CWT in the last couple of years, and a lot of commentary on the fact that historian surveys have been upgrading Grant's ranking in recent years, so you are far from alone in reevaluating President Grant.

I've done some reevaluation myself and am forced to admit that a lot of my negative impressions weren't really justified by the facts. I'm not joining the Sam Grant Fan Boy Club, but I am willing to admit that I was too quick to bash the guy in the past.
What difference does it make? It's either talk about Grant for 1,000th time or argue over secession and slavery for 10,000th time. Yes, I'm guilty of reading about Grant in a literary sense myself...
 
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5fish

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Pure speculation.
No, The postwar boom was charged by the issuing of bonds to build railroads and other projects the overcapacity cause many bonds to be defaulted on... if had read my link you would know... giving us the Panic of 1873... Edited.
 

Krieger

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Somewhere in the middle suits Grant pretty well. I doubt if he'll go up much further than that, and if he did it's hard to see what that would be based on. I think that, especially in today's climate, if you told someone that Grant crushed the original KKK during his presidency his favorability ratings would be pretty high though.
 
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