On April 27, 1822, Ulysses S. Grant was born.
Grant was the 18th President of the United States, and Commanding General of the Army at the end of the Civil War. Grant was never considered as great a general as his counterpart, Robert E. Lee. And he is generally considered an average president. He governed during difficult times, and had the responsibility, both as general and later as president, of trying to unite the deeply split country. As such, he was responsible for three civil rights acts, sought to suppress the Ku Klux Klan, and make peace with Native Americans. He appointed African- and Jewish Americans to federal offices, and pursued a non-aggressive foreign policy.
- How do you think the South ought to have been treated following the Civil War?
- Today, we spend a lot of time judging past leaders by the morality of our time. Grant seems to be an example of a president who was ahead of his. How should we judge him? What, in general, should be the standard by which we judge the values and principles of people from the past?
- In the video clip, representatives of the South seem to be trying to hold on to a definition of the country that sees it as separate parts. Do you think we are better off with one country? Or, assuming that slavery had come to an end in the South, as well, would we be better off as two (or more) countries?
18, April 2018, Ulysses S. Grant [Digital photograph]. Retrieve from <history.com>.