Ulysses S. Grantby Janet Riehecky
Ulvsses S. Grant was acclaimed as the most brilliant general of the era for his leadership of the Union armies that won the Civil War in 1865. After the near impeachment of Andrew Johnson, Grant was elected president in 1868 on a simple platform -- "let us have peace." He struggled for eight years with reform and reconstruction in the defeated South. Grant supported full civil rights for former slaves and enforced those rights with federal troops, but he was later forced to retreat in the face of Southern resistance and flagging public interest. Meanwhile, his administration was shaken by revelations that many of his appointees and associates were enriching themselves by manipalating government policy and selling government contracts and jobs. Grant's effectiveness as president was fatally compromised by the seandals, but personally he remained the most admired figure in the United States until his death in 1885.
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