Frasi di Ulysses Simpson Grant
Ulysses Simpson Grant
Data di nascita: 27. Aprile 1822
Data di morte: 23. Luglio 1885
Ulysses Simpson Grant, all'anagrafe Hiram Ulysses Grant , è stato un generale e politico statunitense.
Fu generale unionista nella Guerra di secessione americana e 18º Presidente degli Stati Uniti d'America . Fu un generale di successo, eroe e tra i principali artefici della vittoria nordista nella guerra di secessione, mentre è considerato da molti storici come uno dei peggiori presidenti statunitensi, a capo di un'amministrazione afflitta da gravi scandali e corruzione. Gli storici concordano che Grant non fu corrotto, ma lo furono i suoi subordinati nelle posizioni esecutive. Grant è in genere criticato per non aver preso una posizione decisa contro la corruzione e non aver agito per fermarla. La sua presidenza risentì, inoltre, della grave depressione economica del 1873, che proseguì anche durante il suo secondo mandato. Al termine della sua Presidenza, i conservatori sudisti ripresero il controllo di tutti gli stati del Sud e ciò causò il totale fallimento delle politiche per i diritti civili dei neri.
Militare di carriera, diplomatosi nella celebre Accademia Militare degli Stati Uniti di West Point, si distinse nella Guerra messicana. Durante la guerra civile americana guidò le truppe federali in una fondamentale serie di successi lungo il Teatro Occidentale, culminati con la presa di Vicksburg che concludeva vittoriosamente l'omonima campagna. Assicurato all'Unione il pieno controllo del Mississippi e tagliata in due la Confederazione, Grant si sposto sul Teatro Orientale e, alla fine del 1863, il Presidente Abraham Lincoln lo nominò luogotenente generale e comandante di tutti gli eserciti dell'Unione. Come comandante generale dell'esercito, Grant fronteggiò e sconfisse il temuto Generale Lee dopo una serie di sanguinose battaglie concluse con l'Assedio di Petersburg. Nell'aprile 1865 Lee si arrese a Grant ad Appomattox ponendo de facto fine alla guerra di secessione. La maggior parte degli storici è concorde nel riconoscere la grandezza del genio militare di Grant, sebbene le forze confederate lo denunciassero come un macellaio senza scrupoli.
Come presidente, promosse la ricostruzione del paese, facendo rispettare le leggi sui diritti civili e lottando contro la violenza del Ku Klux Klan da lui sciolto nel 1871. Nel 1870 fece ratificare il XV emendamento, concedendo la protezione costituzionale per il diritto di voto degli afro-americani. Impiegò l'esercito per costruire il Partito Repubblicano nel Sud, sulla base di elettori neri, di immigrati del Nord e simpatizzanti bianchi del sud . Negli 8 anni di presidenza Grant, 14 deputati e 2 senatori entrarono a far parte del Congresso degli Stati Uniti.
In politica estera di Grant si distinse per il successo nell'arbitrato internazionale relativo alle Rivendicazioni dell'Alabama con le quali gli Stati Uniti riuscirono ad ottenere dalla Gran Bretagna un risarcimento per gli aiuti forniti alla Confederazione durante la guerra civile. Riuscì ad evitare la guerra con la Spagna dopo l'Affare Virginius, un contenzioso internazionale in cui gli Stati Uniti vennero accusati di favoreggiamento nel tentativo indipendentista cubano durante la Guerra dei dieci anni. Fallì invece il tentativo di Grant di annessione della Repubblica Dominicana.
Sul piano economico Grant fu totalmente incapace nel dare una risposta al Panico del 1873 e la grave depressione che ne seguì fu devastante per il paese. Dilagò la corruzione su larga scala nel settore pubblico. Nel 1875 scoppiò lo scandalo del Whiskey Ring, nel quale oltre 3 milioni di dollari di tasse furono sottratti al governo federale, il che danneggiò ulteriormente la sua reputazione. Nel 1880 tentò, senza successo, la corsa per un terzo mandato presidenziale.
Frasi Ulysses Simpson Grant
As quoted in The New York Times http://www.granthomepage.com/intlongstreet.htm (24 July 1885).
„On the 7th of June our little force of colored and white troops across the Mississippi, at Milliken's Bend, were attacked by about 3,000 men from Richard Taylor's trans-Mississippi command. With the aid of the gunboats they were speedily repelled. I sent Mower's brigade over with instructions to drive the enemy beyond the Tensas Bayou; and we had no further trouble in that quarter during the siege. This was the first important engagement of the war in which colored troops were under fire. These men were very raw, having all been enlisted since the beginning of the siege, but they behaved well.“
Origine: 1880s, Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant (1885), Ch. 37.
„I. The Jews, as a class, violating every regulation of trade established by the Treasury Department, and also Department orders, are hereby expelled from the Department.
II. Within twenty-four hours from the receipt of this order by Post Commanders, they will see that all of this class of people are furnished with passes and required to leave, and any one returning after such notification, will be arrested and held in confinement until an opportunity occurs of sending them out as prisoners unless furnished with permits from these Head Quarters.
III. No permits will be given these people to visit Head Quarters for the purpose of making personal application for trade permits.“
General Order Number 11 (17 December 1862); Abraham Lincoln on learning of this order drafted a note to his General-in-Chief of the Army, Henry Wager Halleck instructing him to rescind it. Halleck wrote to Grant:
It may be proper to give you some explanation of the revocation of your order expelling all Jews from your Dept. The President has no objection to your expelling traders & Jew pedlars, which I suppose was the object of your order, but as it in terms prescribed an entire religious class, some of whom are fighting in our ranks, the President deemed it necessary to revoke it.
North and South, Book II https://listenonrepeat.com/watch/?v=ofQMGAatVJ8 (1986).
In fiction, <span class="plainlinks"> North and South, Book II http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090490/fullcredits?ref_=tt_cl_sm#cast (1986)</span>
„I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse.“
Origine: 1880s, Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant (1885), Ch. 67.
Contesto: I had known General Lee in the old army, and had served with him in the Mexican War; but did not suppose, owing to the difference in our age and rank, that he would remember me, while I would more naturally remember him distinctly, because he was the chief of staff of General Scott in the Mexican War.
When I had left camp that morning I had not expected so soon the result that was then taking place, and consequently was in rough garb. I was without a sword, as I usually was when on horseback on the field, and wore a soldier's blouse for a coat, with the shoulder straps of my rank to indicate to the army who I was. When I went into the house I found General Lee. We greeted each other, and after shaking hands took our seats. I had my staff with me, a good portion of whom were in the room during the whole of the interview.
What General Lee's feelings were I do not know. As he was a man of much dignity, with an impassible face, it was impossible to say whether he felt inwardly glad that the end had finally come, or felt sad over the result, and was too manly to show it. Whatever his feelings, they were entirely concealed from my observation; but my own feelings, which had been quite jubilant on the receipt of his letter, were sad and depressed. I felt like anything rather than rejoicing at the downfall of a foe who had fought so long and valiantly, and had suffered so much for a cause, though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. I do not question, however, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were opposed to us.
„Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace.“
Speech in London, as quoted in Memorial Life of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (1889) Edited by y Stephen Merrill Allen, p. 95.
„The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times.“
Origine: 1880s, Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant (1885), Ch. 3
„For the present, and so long as there are living witnesses of the great war of sections, there will be people who will not be consoled for the loss of a cause which they believed to be holy. As time passes, people, even of the South, will begin to wonder how it was possible that their ancestors ever fought for or justified institutions which acknowledged the right of property in man.“
Origine: 1880s, Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant (1885), Ch. 12.
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„There had to be an end of slavery. Then we were fighting an enemy with whom we could not make a peace. We had to destroy him. No convention, no treaty was possible. Only destruction.“
To Otto von Bismarck in June 1878, as quoted in Around the World with General Grant http://www.granthomepage.com/grantslavery.htm (1879), by John Russell Young, The American News Company, New York, vol. 7, p. 416.
1870s, Around the World with General Grant (1879)
As quoted in "Campaigning with Grant" http://books.google.com/books?id=Y7TPAAAAMAAJ&q="Oh+I+am+heartily+tired+of+hearing+about+what+Lee+is+going+to+do+Some+of+you+always+seem+to+think+he+is+suddenly+going+to+turn+a+double+somersault+and+land+in+our+rear+and+on+both+of+our+flanks+at+the+same+time+Go+back+to+your+command+and+try+to+think+what+we+are+going+to+do+ourselves+instead+of+what+Lee+is+going+to+do"&pg=PA230#v=onepage (December 1896), by General Horace Porter, The Century Magazine.
Contesto: Oh, I am heartily tired of hearing about what Lee is going to do. Some of you always seem to think he is suddenly going to turn a double somersault, and land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. Go back to your command, and try to think what we are going to do ourselves, instead of what Lee is going to do.
To Isaac N. Morris (1868), as quoted in The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: July 1, 1868–October 31, 1869 https://books.google.com/books?id=JXn2Bq8KpDEC&pg=PA37&dq=%22I+have+no+prejudice+against+sect+or+race,+but+want+each+individual+to+be+judged+by+his+own+merit.%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=eucJVYHXK4SxggSXj4S4BQ&ved=0CCQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q&f=false, by Ulysses S. Grant, p. 37. Also quoted in Grant http://books.google.com/books?id=TssAXSdPTi4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=GrantJean+E.+Smith&hl=en&sa=X&ei=MVrWU7qCI47lsATyroKADg&ved=0CCcQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=prejudice%20against%20sect&f=false (2001), by Jean Edward Smith, pp. 459–460.
1860s, Letter to Isaac N. Morris (1868)
Contesto: Give Mister Moses assurances that I have no prejudice against sect or race, but want each individual to be judged by his own merit. Order No. 11 does not sustain this statement, I amidt, but then I do not sustain that order. It never would have been issued if it had not been telegraphed the moment penned, without one moment's reflection.
„The present difficulty, in bringing all parts of the United States to a happy unity and love of country grows out of the prejudice to color. The prejudice is a senseless one, but it exists.“
Memorandum: Reasons why Santo Domingo should be annexed to the United States http://books.google.com/books?id=h2ETxC83sdsC&pg=PA74&lpg=PA74&dq=%22and+he+would+soon+receive+such+recognition+as+to+induce+him+to+stay%22&source=bl&ots=0bCUbNud-b&sig=SUGBB2pV8Ob_jR_KTJvQ2kenxKM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=B-9kU7-8DtXesAT_4YGQBA&ved=0CDoQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=%22and%20he%20would%20soon%20receive%20such%20recognition%20as%20to%20induce%20him%20to%20stay%22&f=false (1869-1870?).
Contesto: Caste has no foothold in Santo Domingo. It is capable of supporting the entire colored population of the United States, should it choose to emigrate. The present difficulty, in bringing all parts of the United States to a happy unity and love of country grows out of the prejudice to color. The prejudice is a senseless one, but it exists. The colored man cannot be spared until his place is supplied, but with a refuge like San Domingo his worth here would soon be discovered, and he would soon receive such recognition to induce him to stay; or if Providence designed that the two races should not live to-gether he would find his home in the Antilles.
„I repeat that the adoption of the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution completes the greatest civil change and constitutes the most important event that has occurred since the nation came into life. The change will be beneficial in proportion to the heed that is given to the urgent recommendations of Washington.“
1870s, Message to the Senate and House of Representatives (1870)
Contesto: In his first annual message to Congress the same views are forcibly presented, and are again urged in his eighth message. I repeat that the adoption of the fifteenth amendment to the Constitution completes the greatest civil change and constitutes the most important event that has occurred since the nation came into life. The change will be beneficial in proportion to the heed that is given to the urgent recommendations of Washington. If these recommendations were important then, with a population of but a few millions, how much more important now, with a population of 40,000,000, and increasing in a rapid ratio.
1870s, Speech to the Society of the Army of Tennessee (1875)
Contesto: Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar of money shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian school. Resolve that neither the state nor nation, or both combined, shall support institutions of learning other than those sufficient to afford every child growing up in the land the opportunity of a good common school education, unmixed with sectarian, Pagan, or Atheistical tenets. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and the state forever separate. With these safeguards, I believe the battles which created the Army of the Tennessee will not have been fought in vain.
„I can assure you that these colored troops are regularly mustered into the service of the United States“
Regarding Confederate executions of captured Union prisoners of war at Milliken's Bend by hanging Letter to Richard Taylor at Vicksburg (1863) https://archive.org/stream/wordsofourheroul00gran/wordsofourheroul00gran_djvu.txt
Contesto: I feel no inclination to retaliate for the offences of irresponsible persons; but if it is the policy of any General intrusted with the command of troops to show no quarter, or to punish with death prisoners taken in battle, I will accept the issue. It may be you propose a different line of policy towards black troops, and officers commanding them, to that practiced towards white troops. So, I can assure you that these colored troops are regularly mustered into the service of the United States. The Government, and all officers under the Government, are bound to give the same protection to these troops that they do to any other troops.
„I suggest for your earnest consideration, and most earnestly recommend it, that a constitutional amendment be submitted to the legislatures of the several States for ratification, making it the duty of each of the several States to establish and forever maintain free public schools adequate to the education of all the children in the rudimentary branches within their respective limits, irrespective of sex, color, birthplace, or religions“
1870s, Seventh State of the Union Address (1875)
Contesto: As the primary step, therefore, to our advancement in all that has marked our progress in the past century, I suggest for your earnest consideration, and most earnestly recommend it, that a constitutional amendment be submitted to the legislatures of the several States for ratification, making it the duty of each of the several States to establish and forever maintain free public schools adequate to the education of all the children in the rudimentary branches within their respective limits, irrespective of sex, color, birthplace, or religions; forbidding the teaching in said schools of religious, atheistic, or pagan tenets; and prohibiting the granting of any school funds or school taxes, or any part thereof, either by legislative, municipal, or other authority, for the benefit or in aid, directly or indirectly, of any religious sect or denomination, or in aid or for the benefit of any other object of any nature or kind whatever.
„There was no time during the rebellion when I did not think, and often say, that the South was more to be benefited by its defeat than the North. The latter had the people, the institutions, and the territory to make a great and prosperous nation. The former was burdened with an institution abhorrent to all civilized people not brought up under it, and one which degraded labor, kept it in ignorance, and enervated the governing class.“
Origine: 1880s, Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant (1885), Ch. 41.
Contesto: There was no time during the rebellion when I did not think, and often say, that the South was more to be benefited by its defeat than the North. The latter had the people, the institutions, and the territory to make a great and prosperous nation. The former was burdened with an institution abhorrent to all civilized people not brought up under it, and one which degraded labor, kept it in ignorance, and enervated the governing class. With the outside world at war with this institution, they could not have extended their territory. The labor of the country was not skilled, nor allowed to become so. The whites could not toil without becoming degraded, and those who did were denominated 'poor white trash.' The system of labor would have soon exhausted the soil and left the people poor. The non-slaveholders would have left the country, and the small slaveholder must have sold out to his more fortunate neighbor. Soon the slaves would have outnumbered the masters, and, not being in sympathy with them, would have risen in their might and exterminated them. The war was expensive to the South as well as to the North, both in blood and treasure, but it was worth all it cost.
Origine: 1880s, Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant (1885), Ch. 67.
Contesto: Our conversation grew so pleasant that I almost forgot the object of our meeting. After the conversation had run on in this style for some time, General Lee called my attention to the object of our meeting, and said that he had asked for this interview for the purpose of getting from me the terms I proposed to give his army. I said that I meant merely that his army should lay down their arms, not to take them up again during the continuance of the war unless duly and properly exchanged. He said that he had so understood my letter.