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Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, making him the only president to serve two…

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Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, making him the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. His presidency is noted for its emphasis on classical liberalism, economic conservatism, and a commitment to principles of honesty and reform.

Early Life and Career
Birth and Education: Grover Cleveland was born on March 18, 1837, in Caldwell, New Jersey. He was the fifth of nine children. His father, Richard Falley Cleveland, was a Presbyterian minister, and his mother was Ann Neal Cleveland. Grover did not attend college but received a thorough education from his father and later worked as a law clerk while studying to become a lawyer.
Law and Politics: Cleveland passed the bar in 1859 and began practicing law in Buffalo, New York. He entered politics as a Democrat, serving as the sheriff of Erie County (1870-1873), the mayor of Buffalo (1882), and then as the governor of New York (1883-1885).

First Presidency (1885-1889)
Election of 1884: Cleveland was elected president in 1884, defeating Republican James G. Blaine in a highly contentious election. He gained a reputation for honesty and fought against corruption.

Key Policies and Actions:
Civil Service Reform: Cleveland supported the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, advocating for merit-based appointments to government positions.
Vetoes: He used his veto power extensively, vetoing more than 300 bills during his first term, many of which were private pension bills for Civil War veterans that he believed were fraudulent.
Economic Policies: Cleveland opposed high tariffs and sought to reduce them, arguing they unfairly burdened consumers.
Election of 1888: Cleveland lost his bid for re-election to Republican Benjamin Harrison, despite winning the popular vote, due to the electoral vote distribution.

Second Presidency (1893-1897)
Election of 1892: Cleveland made a successful comeback in the 1892 election, defeating incumbent Benjamin Harrison.
Economic Challenges: His second term was marked by the Panic of 1893, a severe economic depression. Cleveland’s response included defending the gold standard and repealing the Sherman Silver Purchase Act to stabilize the currency.
Labor Unrest: The Pullman Strike of 1894 was a major labor conflict during his presidency. Cleveland intervened by sending federal troops to break the strike, which was controversial but deemed necessary to maintain order and mail service.
Foreign Policy: Cleveland’s foreign policy was characterized by non-interventionism. He notably opposed the annexation of Hawaii and sought arbitration in the boundary dispute between Venezuela and British Guiana.

Later Life and Legacy
Retirement: After leaving the presidency, Cleveland retired to Princeton, New Jersey, where he remained active in public affairs and served as a trustee of Princeton University.
Death: Grover Cleveland died on June 24, 1908, at the age of 71.
Legacy: Cleveland is remembered for his integrity, commitment to principles, and efforts to combat corruption. Historians often regard him as a champion of classical liberal values and an advocate for limited government.


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A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland
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Grover Cleveland, Again!: A Treasury of American Presidents
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Grover Cleveland, A Study in Courage
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  • 826 Pages - 09/06/2018 (Publication Date) - Ishi Press (Publisher)

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