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Ulysses S. Grant and The Gilded Age - Essay Example

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This essay describes the Gilded Age, that was marked by rapid economic and industrial advances, as well as racial tension and corruption and is one of the most noteworthy periods in American History with the center of this movement was general-turned-president, Ulysses S. Grant. …
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Ulysses S. Grant and The Gilded Age
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Download file to see previous pages To be fair, keeping up with such expansion would have been a difficult task for any man. The challenges seem mind-boggling, even by contemporary standards.
After the Civil War the United States was saddled with a huge national debt, the South's economy was virtually destroyed, the West was being opened up at a rapid pace (despite the increasingly desperate resistance of those whom Grant called "the original occupants of the land"), and the industrialization would very shortly make U.S. productivity soar above that of the United Kingdom. New inventions small and large were changing American life at a dizzying pace: the telegraph, the vast expansion of the railroads, gaslight, the iron-hulled, steam-engined ocean liner and battleship, new agricultural machinery, the safety razor, the repeating rifle, the fountain pen-there seemed no end to American invention and ingenuity-while at the same time the cities of the Northeast and Midwest expanded at breakneck speed to accommodate millions of new immigrants, creating a building boom and sending land prices sky high.4
Faced with all of these challenges, Grant took an unheard of approach in selecting members for his cabinet. He had long since made known his disdain for the political games of Washington. And rather than appoint public officials well-versed the problems of the day, Grant opted to appoint a collection of personal acquaintances and former military connections. Of course, "traditional interpretations of the Grant administration assert that the president-elect erred in not consulting broadly among the nation's political leaders before selecting his cabinet."5 The Senate, initially stunned by...
This essay starts with a discussion of the general-turned-president, Ulysses S. Grant. While history cannot help but respect Grant’s morals and ethics in dealing with highly sensitive issues, the corruption that flourished during his terms, and even in his own administration, often casts a more memorable shadow over the era. Indeed, although an entire book could be dedicated to said corruption, and some have, this essay focuses in Grant’s rise to the presidency and his administration’s dealings in: The Gold Ring, Native American Population, The Whiskey Ring, and technology and labor advances following his terms. Fresh off landmark victories in the Civil War, Grant was quite possibly the most popular man in America. He was a landslide winner for the Republican Party without even making a single stumping speech. Grant was noted for his steadfast determination to meet resistance and pound away until he emerged victorious. Abraham Lincoln, when asked why he liked Grant responded, simply, “He fights.” It can surely be said that for eight years, Grant swam against the tide of public opinion in hopes for peaceful Indian assimilation. With the economy on the upswing, Reconstruction slowly working, Indian assimilation in progress, and rapid expansion into the West, Grant was a landslide winner for a second term. His second term, however, would be much more troublesome than the first. In addition to the rise to prominence of the Klu Klux Klan, Grant’s primary focus was on eliminating corruption from big business. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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