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Bruce Catton’s essay “Grant and Lee: A Study in Contrasts,” is a reflection of the comparisons and differences between the characteristics and lives of two influential leaders, Grant and Lee. The two leaders were both tough and resilient and although they had very different views they managed to meet at the Appomattox Court House on 9th April 1865 and agreed upon ending the Civil War. After the war, America needed to start over and there was thus a wide call for equality and justice among the Americans. Basically, Lee, upheld traditional beliefs and thus, he widely held that America had to retain its traditions and cultural practices. Therefore, Lee had this belief that having unequal groups of individuals with different social classes would provide the society with an advantage. For that reason, Lee vied for the traditional aristocratic concept as the efficient system that would have ruled the American nation.
On the other hand, Grant, was brought up the “hard way” by his father on the Western frontier, and for that reason, he primarily concentrated on what the future held thus opposing Lee’s view of leadership. Therefore, Grant advocated for a system that would create a balanced social structure which would not discriminate against any citizen. Hence, Grant believed in the notion of competition and held that every citizen had the right to attain their limits.
As leaders, Grant and Lee had personal beliefs that conflicted thus creating numerous differences between them. Whereas Lee increasingly saw advocated for a more traditional and conservative way of life, Grant advocated for a more modern way of leadership that would give every citizen a chance to thrive. However, Catton also states that despite having numerous differences, the two leaders had a couple of similarities. For instance, both Grant and Lee were good fighters and showed high determination in their duties. Furthermore, the
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