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Historical Assesment Of Grant's Presidency


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#21 Mikel2

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Posted 11 February 2018 - 2042 PM

 

 

Much much better than Woodrow Wilson's presidency.  Grant actually was not that bad compared to others.  

 

From a black civil rights point of view, how many presidents surpass Grant in terms of effort? I think he deserves a lot more recognition in that regard.

 

A Black civil rights point of view doesn't seem to be one that many historians, even though they seem to lean Left, take into account.  I'm not aware of what Grant did, though this thread has me interested in picking up a biography or two about him, but the aforementioned Wilson was a racist even by early 1900s standards.  The author I mentioned above also noted that FDR, another progressive champion, apparently only got much of the New Deal passed because of concessions to Southern politicians (Southern Democrats probably?  My US political history of the era is hazy.) that promised New Deal initiatives either directly ignored Blacks or made it easy for them to be overlooked/bypassed.  Both of these Presidents tend to be high on the 'best of' lists but seem to fail miserably from the perspective of advancing Black civil rights.

 

 

Ron Chernow talks in this interview about Grant's role in reconstruction, at the 20min mark.

 


Edited by Mikel2, 11 February 2018 - 2103 PM.

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#22 Richard Lindquist

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Posted 13 February 2018 - 2003 PM

I have read the articles of secession from a few states and all state slavery as one of, if not the, primary reasons for secession.

and it was written into the Confederate States constitution


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#23 Rick

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Posted 14 February 2018 - 0025 AM

 

I have read the articles of secession from a few states and all state slavery as one of, if not the, primary reasons for secession.

and it was written into the Confederate States constitution

 

Glad to see your posting.


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#24 Skywalkre

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 1339 PM

 

 

 

Much much better than Woodrow Wilson's presidency.  Grant actually was not that bad compared to others.  

 

From a black civil rights point of view, how many presidents surpass Grant in terms of effort? I think he deserves a lot more recognition in that regard.

 

A Black civil rights point of view doesn't seem to be one that many historians, even though they seem to lean Left, take into account.  I'm not aware of what Grant did, though this thread has me interested in picking up a biography or two about him, but the aforementioned Wilson was a racist even by early 1900s standards.  The author I mentioned above also noted that FDR, another progressive champion, apparently only got much of the New Deal passed because of concessions to Southern politicians (Southern Democrats probably?  My US political history of the era is hazy.) that promised New Deal initiatives either directly ignored Blacks or made it easy for them to be overlooked/bypassed.  Both of these Presidents tend to be high on the 'best of' lists but seem to fail miserably from the perspective of advancing Black civil rights.

 

 

Ron Chernow talks in this interview about Grant's role in reconstruction, at the 20min mark.

 

 

Thanks.  That bit leaves me with more questions than answers.  While the author attributes Grant with the bravery to push against Southerners opposed to integration as well as Northerners of his own party weary of Reconstruction he also mentions how Grant's actions ultimately failed because Blacks were still eventually placed in an alternative form of second-class citizenship in the South.

 

He does bring up a great point about how Reconstruction seems to get the short end of the stick in American History.  In my courses in college slavery was given a lot of attention, rightfully so, but not so much Reconstruction (there was almost this view of 'we won, it was abolished, everything is good' even thought it wasn't).


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#25 Mikel2

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Posted 16 February 2018 - 1732 PM

Thanks.  That bit leaves me with more questions than answers.  While the author attributes Grant with the bravery to push against Southerners opposed to integration as well as Northerners of his own party weary of Reconstruction he also mentions how Grant's actions ultimately failed because Blacks were still eventually placed in an alternative form of second-class citizenship in the South.

 

He does bring up a great point about how Reconstruction seems to get the short end of the stick in American History.  In my courses in college slavery was given a lot of attention, rightfully so, but not so much Reconstruction (there was almost this view of 'we won, it was abolished, everything is good' even thought it wasn't).

 

 

I think Reconstruction was doomed to fail, at least as envisioned by the radical republicans, who wanted to smash the old regime in the South, specially when it came to enfranchising blacks. We have to remember how the enlightened North was back then - Yes, there was an active and vociferous abolitionist minority, but several Northern states allowed slavery and IIRC in 1860 in only six Northern states blacks were allowed to vote. Not that many people in the North were losing sleep over the rights of Southern blacks. There were also blunders like Sheridan's intervention in 1872 to prevent democrats from unlawfully claiming disputed seats in the Louisiana state legislature, which ended up with cries of "bayonet rule" all over the nation.  It is not surprising that the Radical Republicans ended up losing the battle in DC by the middle of the decade.

 

The only time Reconstruction was mentioned in my academic life was in high school, circa 1994, in Texas. From what I remember, while it wasn't "The Birth of a Nation", Reconstruction was portrayed in a less than positive light, highlighting the carpetbaggers, scalawags and military occupation. Grant's presidency was mainly corruption, robber barons and the excesses of the Gilded Age. I don't recall much on his support for the enforcement in the south of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, or the various civil rights laws that he signed.

 

 It is interesting how a certain version of history has been so prevalent for so many years. Now the pendulum is swinging to the other extreme, which is just as unfair.

 

 

 I find it fascinating that one full century before the modern civil rights struggle, there had been many black state legislators in the South and some even in the US congress, representing Southern states. It is a great disservice to those people that they are forgotten. It is as if the civil rights struggle began in the 1950s and 60s.

 

1006-first-colored-senator-and-represent


Edited by Mikel2, 16 February 2018 - 1817 PM.

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