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Benjamin Harrison (American Presidents Series)

Benjamin Harrison (American Presidents Series)

4.5 4
by Charles W. Calhoun

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The scion of a political dynasty ushers in the era of big government

Politics was in Benjamin Harrison's blood. His great-grandfather signed the Declaration and his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, was the ninth president of the United States. Harrison, a leading Indiana lawyer, became a Republican Party champion, even taking a leave from the Civil War

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Benjamin Harrison 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Arminius1967 More than 1 year ago
Benjamin Harrison is the 23rd President of the United States from 1889 to 1893. His early career and family background helped him accelerate to a political thunderbolt. He started out as a lawyer in Indianapolis. While there he developed great writing skills and idea laced inspiring speeches. He also was the grandson of the hero of Tippecanoe. America’s 9th President William Henry Harrison. Old Tippecanoe was still fresh and very popular in the minds of Midwesterners in the 1880s. When the Civil War broke out in 1861 Benjamin quickly joined the cause. He raised troops and was appointed to the rank of General. As a military leader he found that he had a natural ability to lead men. And he participated bravely in many battles. In fact, he participated in more battles in one month than his much publicized grandfather had in his entire military career. President Harrison’s accomplishments: He created of a postal subsidy which paid steamships to carry mail to overseas locations. This helped foster trade. He also trumpeted and signed the Forest Reserve Act which set aside 13 million acres of nationally dedicated Forests. Signed a Reciprocal tariff where the U.S. and a trading partner could grant equally advantageous trade concessions to each other. He strongly supported the federal supervision of all congressional elections to protect recently freed slaves right to vote. However they were rejected numerous times by the congress. He protected pelagic seals off the coast of Alaska from Canadian and British fisherman by threatening to use American force. This act preserved a healthy seal population into the 20th Century. He signed legislation to provide pensions to Civil War veterans unable to work and widowers of war veterans. He governed over the annexation of Hawaii at the very end of his term. However the Senate chose to wait until President Cleveland was sworn in to ratify. Where he failed was at playing the political patronage game that was required at the time. Instead of hiring people that the local bosses offered, he hired people according to the quality of the individual. It alienating the people that helped him win the presidency in particular New York’s boss Thomas Platt and Pennsylvania’s political operative Mathew Qyay. There are a number of reasons why he lost reelection despite a vibrant economy and peace. First, the lack of support lost to his mishandling of patronage as mentioned earlier. Second, silver currency proponents sprung up in the West because of large recent Silver discoveries there and the President was an opponent of Silver currency. Third, his ardent support for black civil rights frightened southerners. Fourth, worker strikes broke out in various locations which left an indication that despite higher wages things still were not good. Most importantly however was that his wife had contracted tuberculosis a few months before the election. President Harrison spent this entire time caring for his wife. This prevented him from campaigning which was one of his great skills. My opinion of President Benjamin Harrison is that he was a very good President and an even better man. 1 like flag
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The American Presidents Series is a well thought out and published series. This book presented the life of President Harrison clearly and in a manner easily understood by the non-historian.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Right balance and level of detail for someone wanting an overview of a president's life and time in office.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew very little about Harrison before reading this book. This was very informative and well written.