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Research paper topic: Ulysses S Grant - 1324 words
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.. nd the Confederates fled into Georgia(Ulysses S. Grant 2). All Tennessee was now captured, and the power of the Confederacy was effectively broken. In the final battle of the Civil War, Grant found himself up against Robert E.
Lee. Lee was the only general left in the south who had a chance of beating Grant and the North. With troops outnumbering Lee's two to one, Grant sought out to destroy the Southern army. Grant's strategy was simply to send all his men into battle at once, never letting them rest until victory prevailed. Lee saw that Grant wouldn't back down, so he surrendered in order to save lives of the all ready bloodthirsty war(Krick 26). Grant went to Washington to disband the army.
In April 1866 congress revived for him the rank of full general, a title not used since George Washington had held it(The Civil War). The pay gave Grant financial security, and he became a familiar figure in the streets in his light buggy, driving a spirited horse. Gifts were showered on him. Galena and Philadelphia both presented houses to him. New York City gave him $100,000(Ulysses S.
Grant 1). Grant had never been interested in politics and belonged to no political party. President Johnson hoped to put through Lincoln's mild plan of "reconstructing" the seceded states(Ulysses S. Grant 1). The Radical Republicans in Congress demanded a harsh policy. Johnson hoped to have Grant's support, but Grant quarreled with him and was won over by the Radicals. While the Senate was impeaching Johnson, the Republican convention in Chicago unanimously nominated Grant for president, with Schuyler Colfax of Indiana for vice- president.
Grant received 214 electoral votes as against 80 for the Democratic candidate, Horatio Seymour(Ulysses S. Grant 1). Grant received great support from the black people in the Southern states. Grant moved into the White House with Julia and his beautiful daughter Nellie. His sons were also there from time to time, and his old father, now a postmaster in Covington, Kentucky, made brief visits.
Grant's brothers stayed with their business and were too busy to visit him(Ulysses S. Grant 2). Serious problems confronted the nation. The war had brought poverty and desolation to the South, but it brought the North prosperity. There was widespread corruption in both political and business life.
Grant's presidency contributed to corruption in politics. In 1869 two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk, attempted to corner gold and brought pressure on Grant to keep the United States treasury from selling it(Ulysses S. Grant 1). Foreign trade was almost stopped. On Black Friday, September. 24, 1869, the United States treasury, with Grant's approval, suddenly put 4 million dollars in gold up for sale(Ulysses S.
Grant 2). The price plunged, causing the ruin of many speculators. In 1870, the Radical Republicans hoped to gain Black votes in the South by adding the 15th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged .. on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude"(Ulysses S. Grant). The immediate result of the amendment was an increase of terroristic acts against Blacks to prevent their voting.
Led by Carl Schurz and other reformers, a group in the Republican party set out to defeat Grant for reelection. They organized the Liberal Republican party, which called for civil service reform, an end to corruption in government, and the withdrawal of troops from the South(The Civil War). The Democratic party joined with them in supporting Horace Greeley, founder of the New York Tribune, for the presidency . The regular Republicans, renominated Grant. Grant received 286 electoral votes(Ulysses S.
Grant 2). Greeley died shortly after the election, and his 63 electoral votes were divided among other candidates(Ulysses S. Grant 1). Grant's popularity declined as evidence of serious political corruption came to light. The government had given money and land grants to the new railways in the West. In 1873 it was found that certain members of Congress had been bribed to vote in the interests of the Union Pacific Railroad(Krick 32).
The bribes were in the form of stock in a railway construction company, the Credit Mobilier. In 1874 the Whiskey Ring scandal was uncovered. The ring was a combination of distillers and tax officers who defrauded the treasury of the revenue tax on whiskey(Ulysses S. Grant 2). Grant was not personally implicated in the scandals, but he gave appointments to unfit people and stood by them after they had been shown to be dishonest.
The wartime boom ended with the great panic of 1873. Five years of hard times followed. Businessmen urged the government to return to a sound currency and call in the "greenbacks"--paper money issued during the Civil War. The greenbacks were not based on gold or silver in the treasury and had therefore declined in value, causing a steep rise in prices(The Civil War). Grant vetoed a bill calling for more paper currency. In 1875 he signed the Specie Resumption Act, which made greenbacks redeemable in gold or silver coin(Ulysses S Grant 1).
Grant reluctantly announced that he would not be a candidate for a third term because he knew that the scandals of his administration had turned the voters against him. Both the Republicans and the Democrats nominated "reform" candidates(Ulysses S. Grant 2). The election was so close that the results were disputed until March 2, when a Congressional committee decided in favor of Rutherford B. Hayes .
For the next two years Grant, with his wife and son Jesse, toured Europe and Asia. He returned home with many gifts, but his money was nearly gone. In 1880 the Republicans tried to have him nominated for a third term, but the Democrats prevailed and nominated James A. Garfield(Ulysses S. Grant 2). Grant, however, was still the people's hero, and his friends raised a large fund for him by popular subscription.
Grant went to New York City and bought a house with the money. Grant's children had become adults and been successful in living their lives. Nellie, had been married at the White House to a wealthy Englishman. Frederick was a lieutenant colonel in the army, Jesse was a lawyer, and Ulysses, Jr., was in a Wall Street brokerage firm, Grant and Ward(Ulysses S. Grant 2).
Grant unwisely invested all his money in Grant and Ward. He paid no attention to its operations, and his son apparently knew little about the business. Ferdinand Ward was a dishonest speculator. The firm crashed in 1884 and left Grant penniless and humiliated(Ulysses S. Grant 1).
Ward was sent to the state penitentiary. To earn money, Grant turned to writing. Samuel L. Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, was then a subscription book publisher. He offered Grant a high royalty for his memoirs, and in 1885 Grant began to dictate them(Ulysses S. Grant 1).
A pain in his throat was finally diagnosed as cancer, but Grant went on, writing with a pen, to provide for his wife after he was gone. In the summer of 1885 Mrs. Grant took her husband to the Adirondacks near Saratoga. There he finished his `Personal Memoirs' about a week before he died on July 23(Krick 12). Written frankly, the work ranks high among military biographies.
It was so popular that Mrs. Grant received nearly $450,000 from its sale(Krick 12). A granite tomb to Grant's memory was built on Riverside Drive in New York City, in 1959 it became a national memorial(Krick 45). Grant's life was like a roller coster, in the beginning he started low and was regarded as a failure. He worked his way to the top, became the most honored general in the U.S., and was elected President of the United States. Then suddenly his life went downhill, his firm crashed, he developed cancer and died bankrupt.
Works Cited The Civil War. Videocassettes. PBS. PBS Documentary, date unknown. 6 hours Krick, Robert.
Civil War Chronicles. 1994, 64 pages "Ulysses S. Grant." Compton's Multimedia Encyclopedia. Compton's. Newsmedia, Inc., 1994 (1) "Ulysses S. Grant." Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia.
Grolier Electronic Publishing Inc. 1994 (2).
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