Shadow And Custodial President

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Shadow and Custodial Presidents

Grant (1868) – Cleveland (1892)
Throughout the history of the world there have been many people remembered for their actions and a great deal more forgotten for no real reason. This does not exempt more recent history. After the American Civil War, six lesser-known Presidents, Grant, Hayes, Garfield, Arthur, Cleveland, and Harrison, have been given titles of either shadow or custodial presidents. A shadow, is a section of darkness, or a part that follows behind. Some of the Presidents seem to have fallen into the shadows of other events, people, and issues. Others put themselves there, just stepping out long enough to take care of a few urgent tasks then sink back into the unknown. “Custodial Presidents” a term implying that the man is there only to fix problems already out of hand. He does not create policies or change the course of the nation, just keeps it on its way. Truthfully, some of these men are deserving of these titles. Others may not be.
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant 1868-1876
Towards the end of President Johnson’s term in office, Johnson and Grant began to have public disagreements about the state of the Union. Due to these quarrels Grant aligned himself with the Radical Republican political party. Grant was already well known for his triumphs during the Civil War and was thus, the popular choice for Presidential Nominee.
Grant was the son of an Ohio tanner. He was educated at West Point, where he graduated 21st out of 39. Grant fought in both the Mexican and Civil Wars. In 1864 President Abraham Lincoln appointed Grant to the Position of General in Chief.
As President, grant had difficulty in making wise judgements. He was a man who tried, in most ways; to be honest, but still found himself in association to dishonest acts.
Grant was known to accept a considerable amount of gifts from political admirers. He was also seen with the speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk. Two men, who were planning to corner the market in gold. Grant did realize their plan, and he tried to put an abrupt halt to it. However his action caused a tremendous amount of fiduciary turmoil. Grant in no way curbed Radical Reconstruction, in the South. At times he aided it with military force.

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... of Presidency Harrison focused on was foreign policy. In 1889 the Pan American Congress met in Washington to establish an information center. Harrison also tried to annex Hawaii.
Within the country Harrison expanded the navy, made subsidies for steamships lines available, and signed bills for internal improvements. He also wanted to protect the American consumer from monopolies, so he signed the Sherman Anti-Trust act.
Harrison had great problem, the tariff, facing him. He tried to make revisions in the tariff. These revisions made it so the Treasury surplus was nonexistent before the end of his term in office. Along with the surplus went the prosperity of most of the working class.
Harrison mostly focused, in his presidency, on issues that were important at the moment, but not so important as to be memorable. His time as President has fallen into the shadows. No great travesties or victories occurred during his time and so he will remain a shadow president.
After is retirement in Indianapolis and marriage in 1869, Benjamin Harrison died in1901, a respected man.

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