48. Was General Grant good presidential material? Why did he win? 49. “The Man in the Moon . . . had to hold his nose when passing over America.” Explain. A few skunks can pollute a large area. Although the great majority of businesspeople and government officials continued to conduct their affairs with decency and honor, the whole postwar atmosphere was fetid. Thus the statement “The Man in the Moon . . . had to hold his nose when passing over America” was born. This statement refers to the fact that corruption had become all too common in the post-Civil War years. The corruption often came via the railroads, meddling with stock prices, and through corrupt judges. Of special note were the abuses of "Jubilee" Jim Fisk and his partner Jay Gould. These two came up with, and nearly pulled off, a scheme in 1869 to corner the gold market to themselves. They tried, unsuccessfully, to get President Grant involved as well as his brother-in-law. Another notable scam occurred in New York City, where Boss Tweed ran Tammany Hall, a local political district. Boss Tweed used bribes, graft, and rigged elections to mooch money and ensure continual power for himself and his buddies. 50. Describe two major scandals that directly involved the Grant administration. President Grant was an honest man but there was much corruption underneath his administration. He either wasn't aware of it or failed to properly deal with it. Many in the Dent family, his in-laws, obtained government "jobs" for themselves. One of the worst situations was the Crédit Mobilier scandal. The company that was constructing the trans-continental railroad had effectively sub-hired itself to get paid double. They also gave stock to Congressmen in order to avoid getting busted. A newspaper finally exposed the scandal, two Congressmen went down, and the Vice President of the U.S. had even taken payments. Though uninvolved, Grant's name was scarred. The so-called "Whiskey Ring" also looked bad for Grant. Folks stole whiskey tax money from the government. Grant's own secretary was involved and, despite him saying "Let no guilty man escape," Grant helped let the thief off the hook. Lastly, the
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- Fall '12
- AP US History, Democrats, President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, Chester A. Arthur