His is a legacy of a successful experiment in collective leadership, great initiatives in establishing a strong executive branch, and the formulation of innovative and lasting economic and foreign policies. James MacGregor Burns and Susan Dunn also trace the arc of Washington's increasing dissatisfaction with public life and the seeds of dissent and political parties that, ironically, grew from his insistence on consensus.
In this compelling and balanced biography, Burns and Dunn give us a rich portrait of the man behind the carefully crafted mythology. Account Options Sign in. Top Charts. New Arrivals. The Gilded Age bon vivant who became America's unlikeliest chief executive-and who presided over a sweeping reform of the system that nurtured him Chester Alan Arthur never dreamed that one day he would be president of the United States. Reviews Review Policy. Published on.
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Flowing text, Original pages. Best For. Web, Tablet, Phone, eReader. Content Protection. Read Aloud. Learn More. Flag as inappropriate. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders. Similar ebooks. See more. Zachary Karabell. To placate the Stalwart faction, the convention nominated Chester A. Arthur of New York for vice president. Garfield , and Arthur was nominated vice president as a conciliatory gesture to Conkling and the Stalwarts.
Garfield defeated Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock. Garfield , 20th president of the United States. Although first lady for only a few months, she was one of the most interesting women to have held that job, and some of her early achievements and choices presage those of her 20th-century successors. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice.
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James A. Garfield
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There his interest in politics was sparked and he embraced the abolitionist movement. Debates over a number of current events entered his daily ruminations. His graduation from a sophisticated Eastern college made him a man of distinction and substance back in rural Ohio where he came back to teach. Within a year, he was elevated to the presidency of the Eclectic Institute where he had started his studies.
He used this as a stepping stone to a life in the nascent Republican Party. He was an effective Republican Party spokesman and his reward for his service was election to the state Senate in the youngest in the Senate In he married his childhood sweetheart Lucretia Rudolph. A year and a half later, he became a father. He was admitted to the Ohio bar after self-study of law books and an examination.
He anticipated a short, bloody war and began to familiarize himself with the military treatises and campaigns of Napoleon and Wellington. Knowing how military leaders Washington, Jackson, Harrison, Taylor, etc commanded political respect, he sought out a position as an officer in the army. He offered his services to the Ohio governor and was commissioned a Lt Col. He was quickly promoted to Colonel of the 42d Ohio Volunteers, a regiment he largely recruited from his former students After drilling for 4 months, they were ordered to Louisville to drive out the Confederate troops recruiting this side of the Cumberland Mountains.
The Sandy Valley campaign was a minor affair with no substantive barring on the war. The governor agreed and he was made a brigadier general. Despite this promotion, he feared that as the war dragged on he would be lost in the mix of the growing number of state-appointed generals. With his health in decline dysentery, etc and frustrated with the prosecution of the war he returned home on furlough and sought the nomination of a congressional seat.
There he was befriended by the powerful Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase Chase proved an invaluable mentor and ally. In November, he was elected to the House. In , the Union suffered an embarrassing defeat at Fredericksburg. This drew Garfield back to the battlefield and in he was ordered to the Army of the Cumberland in Murfreesboro, TN.
General Rosecrans aggressive style appealed to Garfield and he was offered the option of commanding a division or serving as his chief of staff.
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One offered battlefield glory, the other an option to influence the course of the campaign from the headquarters. With string opinions on how the war should be fought he chose the latter. They went on to outflank the Confederates at Shelbyville and Tullahoma capturing much of Middle Tennessee. But then Rosecrans suddenly became hesitant and demanding additional troops before pressing the attack further. Frustrated, he wrote a pointed letter to his old mentor Secretary Chase.
This letter created quite a stir and by September , the Army of the Cumberland was on the move again. Moving into unfamiliar territory, the Confederates eventually broke through at the Battle of Chickamauga and routed the Yankees. Garfield worked beside Rosecrans and even undertook a dangerous ride through enemy lines to scout the situation. The defeat led Lincoln to relieve Rosecrans and recall Garfield to Washington to be promoted.
There he met Lincoln and was told the President needed men with military experience in the House and needed every vote he could get. He was given a choice seat on the Committee of Military Affairs where he became deeply involved in running the business of the army The radical Republicans thought Lincoln should back a policy of confiscation, giving southern possessions over to northerners since by seceding they had forfeited their legal rights and were to be regarded as conquered territory Speaking at the Republican nominating convention, he boldly laid out his position as one of the Presidents severest in-house critics and argued he could not return to Congress unless free to act on his sincere beliefs.
Viewing Johnson as a Southern sympathizer, he did everything he could to defeat his program. Voting rights for Southern blacks was a top priority to help solidify the results of the military victory, but that was not a universal Northern sentiment Despite lukewarm public opinion, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of The rift widened and when Johnson allegedly broke some of the restrictions Congress passed to limit his power, impeachment proceedings began. Garfield supported the resolution of impeachment When his mentor, Salmon Chase presided over the trial as Chief Justice, Garfield felt he favored the defense and turned on him as well.
With the fighting over, Congress had to deal with the financial measures put in place to fund the war: massive debt, monetary policy, fiat greenbacks, etc.
James A. Garfield | Biography, Facts, & Assassination | revolexituju.tk
He sought and won a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee as well as the chairmanship of the Committee on Banking and Currency On the principal issue of paper money, he believed the supply of Greenbacks should be reduced and those still in circulation backed by gold. His stance made him a leader of the fiscally conservative side of the political debate. As he hoped, this gave him national exposure. When he tried to occupy the middle ground between protectionists and free traders, his waffling cost him a chance at securing the chairmanship of Ways and Means The early s were his most influential in Congress where he remained the fiscal watchdog of the House.
Several scandals at this time also put his reputation at risk. And 3 a conflict of interest when he represented a company on a public works project in D. Garfield campaigned relentlessly in to counter these accusations and was reelected despite the Democrats taking the House. Surviving the election, he became one of the more powerful Republicans in Washington and heavily involved in the presidential election of and the selection of Hayes. Congress established a 15 member commission to resolve this Constitutional crisis.
After several weeks of intrigue, they voted on partisan lines and Hayes was elected President When Democrats threatened to filibuster the report, secret negotiations resulted in a compromise: Hayes would be acknowledged as President and all Federal troops would be removed from the South, bring Reconstruction to an end They were a large, tight knit family with 7 kids 5 lived to adulthood.
He was remarkably well read, and spent more time in the Library of Congress than any other congressman. He was extremely sensitive to criticism for a public figure. Three candidates were frontrunners in Grant, Blaine, and Sherman Garfield threw his support behind fellow Ohioan Sherman. In return, Sherman agreed to throw his support behind Garfield should the convention deadlock. With the rabid hostility between the pro-Grant Stalwarts, and the reformist Half-breeds, he had positioned himself as the most visible compromise candidate.
Though not a Half-Breed, he was a leader of the anti-Grant forces. After 34 ballots, WI shifted their 16 votes to Garfield starting a wave. Sherman stuck in third acquiesced and threw his votes to Garfield and he won on the 36th ballot The final vote was Garfield , Grant , Blaine 42, it was clear the Stalwarts remained defiant.
To appease that faction, Chester Arthur was chosen for VP. Garfield traveled to NY to further mend a fractured party but risked looking weak trying to appease the NY Party boss Conkling. From the time of his election to inauguration, he was embroiled in political haggling over the formation of his cabinet.
Blaine harbored ambitions of his own, but agreed to curtail them when he was selected for Secretary of State. When word of his appointment leaked, it enraged Conkling and the Stalwarts who demanded that the Treasury and the patronage it controlled be reserved for one of their own faction which he ignored. None of the Stalwart candidates passed muster with Blaine and he worked to influence Garfield against dividing his cabinet.
His life was one of irksome negotiations. Hoping to have some stalwart representation, he offered Thomas James Postmaster General. His inaugural address was unremarkable. In those days, office seekers could go right into the White House and plead their case one-on-one with the President. One such man was the unstable Guiteau who demanded an appointment to Paris. Rural postal routes in the West had charged exorbitant sums to the government for next to no deliveries The battle between Garfield and Conkling became daily news as Garfield attempted to humble Conkling and oppose boss rule.
Conkling took the drastic step of resigning from the Senate, thinking his speedy reelection would humiliate Garfield and solidify his rule in NY. But Guiteau grew more disturbed, thinking Garfield a traitor and the Stalwarts the only safeguard against Democrats assuming control and starting a second Civil War. By June, he bought himself a. The following morning, he shot Garfield twice, one grazing him but the other striking him in the back. Nobody knew what to do. As doctors arrived, they would repeatedly probe the wound with unwashed and dirty hands some covered in manure from their horses.
He was moved to the White House. Arthur sought out his mentor Conkling, as the assassin had clear political motive that cast them as potential conspirators.
More than a dozen different people would probe the wound over the coming months furthering the risk of infection. His temperature spiked every evening, today known as a clear sign of an abscess or brewing infection Ultimately the infection would metastasize to the whole body leading to irreversible sepsis. As he grew sicker, his primary doctor Bliss acted more like an autocrat, prohibiting visitors and controlling and scripting the release of information.
Garfield lived on for 80 excruciating days. Bliss attempted surgery to find the bullet and help drain out the puss pocket growing in his back. This too was accomplished with dirty hands and tools. Over the next 6 weeks, he endured numerous surgical drainages of abscesses, all the while the press releases painted an intentionally deceptive picture of recovery. Disputes between other physicians and Bliss raged. He was literally starving to death and was rotting from the inside out. On July 29, he presided over a sham cabinet meeting.
He grew frustrated and asked to leave Washington. He was conveyed to the New Jersey coast, 3, feet of temporary railroad track laid for the final stretch to his sea-side cottage. He died painfully on Sept 19th a few weeks short of his 50th birthday. The autopsy showed no major organs damaged…it was the infection that killed him. Had the wound been bandaged and left alone, he would have lived. Guiteau was a wildly successful assassin. His favored Stalwart faction would rise to power under Arthur.
A small scandal erupted when Bliss and the other doctors asked for compensation for their work. Grief for Garfield was short lived. By the s the Stalwarts and Half-breeds would disappear. With modern methods, he was in surgery within hours and recovered within 11 days. Sep 19, Steven Peterson rated it really liked it. James Garfield is probably best known for being assassinated early in his presidency and then suffering a lingering death. It is a shame that this person is so little known.
His story is that of an American success Horatio Alger spoke of him as a model of "poor boy makes good". But we will never know how good or mediocre he would have been as president. There are signs that he could have been another in a long line of mediocrities he seemed sometimes loath to make people unhappy and appears James Garfield is probably best known for being assassinated early in his presidency and then suffering a lingering death. There are signs that he could have been another in a long line of mediocrities he seemed sometimes loath to make people unhappy and appears to have sometimes caved to pressure.
Still, he also had some strengths good knowledge of budget and finances. The book opens by noting his background, coming from poor circumstances, working as a canal boatman for awhile. Going to school and "pulling himself up by the boot straps. He became interested in politics at that point.
After a brief stint as a teacher, he was elected to the Ohio Senate in the youngest member as a Republican. When the Civil War broke out, he volunteered and ended up being William Rosecrans' Chief of Staff, where he performed capably. During his military service, he was nominated to run for Congress as a Republican from Ohio.
After the disaster at Chickamauga, he ran and won the election and ended his military career he ended up being promoted to major general at the end of his service, pretty remarkable--and a sign of the political connections he had developed, for instance, with Salmon Chase. He was a radical Republican and often at odds with President Lincoln. He became a leader in the House for the Republican Party.
He worked hard. There were a few times that he stumbled into ethically compromising situations, but the author tends to think that he was sometimes blind to appearances and was not, in fact, corrupt. There follows the story of his rise in the party, his nomination in as the Republican candidate as a "dark horse," when the leading figures could not get enough votes to garner the nomination. Then, his election.
He agonized over selecting his Cabinet, and the process was ugly, with him sometimes giving in to pressure and other times exerting himself. He managed a very nice fiscal triumph. However, after only a handful of months in office, he was shot by Charles Guiteau. And then--what a story.
Medical incompetence led to a slowly deteriorating condition, where he suffered for months until he expired. Part of the strength of this work is the American medical profession at a turning point--with old-line doctors not keeping up with developments in medical science such as antiseptic treatment of wounds versus junior physicians adopting new methods, Unhappily, Garfield was treated by old-line doctors who contributed mightily to his death. Another brief biography in the American Presidents series.
Don't know anything about James Garfield? Here's a nice brief introduction to his career. May 08, Andy Miller rated it liked it. Because of the shortness of Garfield's Presidency, this biography focuses on Garfield's pre Presidential life, his assassination and the controversial medical treatment that followed the shooting. The book is written by a professor of surgery and has excellent sections on the development of modern medicine and how the mistreatment of Garfield helped spark our country's acceptance of the importance of preventing and fighting infection--it was repeated probes into Garfield's wound by unwashed doct Because of the shortness of Garfield's Presidency, this biography focuses on Garfield's pre Presidential life, his assassination and the controversial medical treatment that followed the shooting.
The book is written by a professor of surgery and has excellent sections on the development of modern medicine and how the mistreatment of Garfield helped spark our country's acceptance of the importance of preventing and fighting infection--it was repeated probes into Garfield's wound by unwashed doctors' fingers that caused Garfield's death--as well as the widespread development of nursing schools One footnote to Garfield's political story is the contrast to his predecessor, Rutherford Hayes.
It confirms that it was Hayes who set the stage for eventual civil service reform and exercised leadership that was in many ways ahead of his time and that Garfield benefited from the reaction against Hayes putting merit above spoils in hiring federal employees Mar 25, Dave rated it really liked it.
Related James A. Garfield: The American Presidents Series: The 20th President, 1881
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