Ulysses S. Grant Dbq

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Andy Poon AP United States History Mrs. McBride September 6, 2016 Ulysses S Grant was an iconic figure in the Civil War and was well known for his astounding feats throughout the war. However, while he may have been a prodigious general who won the Civil War for the Union, Grant was a substandard president. He won the Election of 1868 by a landslide after the highly unpopular Andrew Johnson’s retirement, and served two terms before retiring absolutely broke. As a president of both the historical Reconstruction Era and the Gilded Age, Grant was in a difficult position. Based on his incompetence in maneuvering the political economy which left America crippled with scandals and poverty, Grant deserves a five out of ten on the rating scale. Grant …show more content…

On October 1873, the cataclysmic Panic of 1873 began and did not end until March 1879. Grant’s inability to take care of the depression led to it being dragged out until it was called the “longest recorded economic downturn in modern history”. He was unable to decisively choose between “greenbacks”- paper money- or specie-gold and silver. Congress bounced between passing out laws trying to increase the value of the American dollar and trying to replace the dollar with gold. Finally, Grant vetoed the inflation bill, which would have put more greenbacks in circulation, but approved of the Specie Resumption Act of 1875. Typical of when money and credit circulation decreases, prices went up. The Panic had exposed the cruelty and injustice of economic inequality in America. Workers, upset over inflation and layoffs, went on strike. People who had money were able to expand and become wealthier. Unable to make a living in the filthy, overpopulated manufacturing cities, many Americans moved westward, invading the lands of the Native Americans. In the working poor’s opinions, everything was to be blamed on Republican Grant’s corrupt administration. It cannot be said that Grant did nothing to try to ease the Panic. He sided with business leaders and adopted their policies. This established the Republican Party as the party of economic conservation and fiscal restraint. It also abolished …show more content…

Grant is a five. He had good intentions and grand goals, but accomplished very few of them. Many of his cabinet members were incompetent and corrupt, doing nothing more than tarnishing his reputation. His inaction left an economically ruined America. As the last Reconstruction president, he tried to finish what Presidents Lincoln and Johnson started. As the first Gilded Age president, he sowed and grew the seeds of corruption and social disparity. Even after retiring, Grant suffered. It seems that America’s 18th president was just unlucky in his later

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