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The life and the political career of the american president grover cleveland

See Article History Alternative Title: Cleveland distinguished himself as one of the few truly honest and principled politicians of the Gilded Age. For a discussion of the history and nature of the presidency, see presidency of the United States of America. Key events in the life of Grover Cleveland. During the Civil War he was drafted but hired a substitute so that he could care for his mother—an altogether legal procedure but one that would make him vulnerable to political attack in the future.

In 1863 he became assistant district attorney of Erie countyNew York, and in 1870—73 he served as county sheriff. With this slight political background and only modest success as a lawyer, the apparently unambitious Buffalo attorney launched one of the most meteoric rises in American politics.

In 1881, eight years after stepping down as sheriffCleveland was nominated for mayor by Buffalo Democrats who remembered his honest and efficient service in that office.

He won the election easily. As governor of New York, Cleveland again used the veto frequently, even to turn down measures that enjoyed wide public support. His devotion to principle and his unstinting opposition to Tammany Hall soon earned him a national reputation—particularly among Americans disgusted with the frequent scandals of Gilded Age politics. Thomas Nast cartoon picturing a Tammany Hall Tiger hampered by Grover Cleveland's uncompromising honesty and independence from political bosses.

Library of Congress, Washington, D. In 1884 the Democrats sought a presidential candidate who would contrast sharply with Republican nominee James G. Blainea longtime Washington insider whose reputation for dishonesty and financial impropriety prompted the Republican Mugwump faction to bolt their party.

As a result, Cleveland won the Democratic nomination with ease. Blaine, the continental liar from the state of Maine! Although Blaine was present when the fateful words were spoken, he did nothing to dissociate himself from the remark.

  • New-York Historical Society, X;
  • Frances Cleveland , 27 years younger than her husband, proved to be a very popular first lady.

The general election was determined by electoral votes from New York state, which Blaine lost to Cleveland by fewer than 1,200 votes. American presidential election, 1884Results of the American presidential election, 1884Sources: Presidency As president, Cleveland continued to act in the same negative capacity that had marked his tenures as mayor and governor. He nullified fraudulent grants to some 80 million acres 30 million hectares of Western public lands and vetoed hundreds of pension bills that would have sent federal funds to undeserving Civil War veterans.

He also received credit for two of the more significant measures enacted by the federal government in the 1880s: In 1886 Cleveland, a lifelong bachelor, married Frances Folsom, the daughter of his former law partner. Frances Cleveland27 years younger than her husband, proved to be a very popular first lady.

To all appearances the marriage was a happy one, though during the 1888 presidential campaign she was forced to publicly refute Republican-spread rumours that Cleveland had beaten her during drunken rages. Cleveland ran for reelection in 1888. The major issue of the presidential campaign was the protective tariff. Cleveland opposed the high tariff, calling it unnecessary taxation imposed upon American consumers, while Republican candidate Benjamin Harrison defended protectionism.

On election day, Cleveland won about 100,000 more popular votes than Harrison, evidence of the esteem in which the president was held and to the widespread desire for a lower tariff. Yet Harrison won the election by capturing a majority of votes in the electoral college 233 to 168largely as a result of lavish campaign contributions from pro-tariff business interests in the crucial states of New York and Indiana.

Grover Cleveland and Allen G. Thurman campaign handkerchief, c. Photograph by CJ Nye. New-York Historical Society, X. Winning a second term Cleveland spent the four years of the Harrison presidency in New York City, working for a prominent law firm. When the Republican-dominated Congress and the Harrison administration enacted the very high McKinley Tariff in 1890 and made the surplus in the treasury vanish in a massive spending spree, the path to a Democratic victory in 1892 seemed clear.

American presidential election, 1892Results of the American presidential election, 1892Sources: Cleveland believed that the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890—which required the secretary of the treasury to purchase 4.

He called Congress into special session and, over considerable opposition from Southern and Western members of his own party, forced the repeal of the act. Apart from assuring a sound—i.

Early life and career

His popularity sank even lower when—distraught over the diminishing quantity of gold in the treasury—he negotiated with a syndicate of bankers headed by John Pierpont Morgan to sell government bonds abroad for gold. Cleveland sent federal troops to Chicago to quell violence at George M.

  • As a result, Cleveland won the Democratic nomination with ease;
  • Apart from assuring a sound—i;
  • With this slight political background and only modest success as a lawyer, the apparently unambitious Buffalo attorney launched one of the most meteoric rises in American politics;
  • When William Jennings Bryan delivered his impassioned Cross of Gold speech , the delegates not only nominated the little-known Bryan for president but also repudiated Cleveland—the first and only president ever to be so repudiated by his own party.

The strike was broken within a week, and the president received the plaudits of the business community. However, he had severed whatever support he still had in the ranks of labour.

Grover Cleveland

In foreign policyCleveland displayed the same courageous righteousness that characterized much of his domestic policy. He withdrew from the Senate a treaty for the annexation of Hawaii when he learned how the Hawaiian leader, Queen Liliuokalanihad been overthrown in an American-led coup. He also refused to be swept along with popular sentiment for intervention on behalf of Cuban insurgents fighting for independence from Spain.

Yet he was not totally immune to the new spirit of American assertiveness on the international stage. By invoking the Monroe Doctrinefor example, he forced Britain to accept arbitration of a boundary dispute between its colony of British Guiana now Guyana and neighbouring Venezuela. When William Jennings Bryan delivered his impassioned Cross of Gold speechthe delegates not only nominated the little-known Bryan for president but also repudiated Cleveland—the first and only president ever to be so repudiated by his own party.

Cleveland retired to Princeton, New Jersey, where he became active in the affairs of Princeton University as a lecturer in public affairs and as a trustee 1901—08. As the rancour over the gold standard subsided with the return of prosperity, Cleveland regained much of the public admiration he had earlier enjoyed. Never again, however, would the Democratic Party adhere to the pro-business, limited-government views that so dominated his presidency, and Cleveland remains the most conservative Democrat to have occupied the White House since the Civil War.

Grover Cleveland The table provides a list of cabinet members in the administration of Pres.