Frasi di Ulysses Simpson Grant

Ulysses Simpson Grant photo
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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

„Though I have been trained as a soldier, and participated in many battles, there never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword. I look forward to an epoch when a court, recognized by all nations, will settle international differences, instead of keeping large standing armies as they do in Europe.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

As quoted in "International Arbitration" by W. H. Dellenback in The Commencement Annual, University of Michigan (30 June 1892) and in A Half Century of International Problems: A Lawyer's Views (1954) by Frederic René Coudert, p. 180

„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.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

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
1860s

„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.'“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

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.

Ch. 41
1880s, Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant (1885)

„I feel that we are on the eve of a new era, when there is to be great harmony between the Federal and Confederate. I cannot stay to be a living witness to the correctness of this prophecy; but I feel it within me that it is to be so. The universally kind feeling expressed for me at a time when it was supposed that each day would prove my last, seemed to me the beginning of the answer to "Let us have peace."“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

The expression of these kindly feelings were not restricted to a section of the country, nor to a division of the people. They came from individual citizens of all nationalities; from all denominations — the Protestant, the Catholic, and the Jew; and from the various societies of the land — scientific, educational, religious or otherwise. Politics did not enter into the matter at all.
I am not egotist enough to suppose all this significance should be given because I was the object of it. But the war between the States was a very bloody and a very costly war. One side or the other had to yield principles they deemed dearer than life before it could be brought to an end. I commanded the whole of the mighty host engaged on the victorious side. I was, no matter whether deservedly so or not, a representative of that side of the controversy. It is a significant and gratifying fact that Confederates should have joined heartily in this spontaneous move. I hope the good feeling inaugurated may continue to the end.

Conclusion
1880s, Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant (1885)

„I rise only to say that I do not intend to say anything. I thank you for your hearty welcomes and good cheers.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

U.S. Grant's "perfect speech" which he used on several occasions beginning in 1865, as quoted in Grant: A Biography (1982) by William S. McFeely, p. 234
1860s

„The Republican party is a party of progress and of liberality toward its opponents. It encourages the poor to strive to better their children, to enable them to compete successfully with their more fortunate associates, and, in fine, it secures an entire equality before the law of every citizen, no matter what his race, nationality, or previous condition. It tolerates no privileged class. Every one has the opportunity to make himself all he is capable of.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

Ulysses S. Grant, as quoted in Words of Our Hero, Ulysses S. Grant https://books.google.com/books?id=wqJBAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=%22the+one+thing+i+never+wanted+to+see+again+was+a+military+parade%22&source=bl&ots=zH525oYpJn&sig=ACfU3U0GLPNgij-FmXIDwgWp_Kg8zDskWg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj4uc7PzKniAhUq1lkKHWhlBfQQ6AEwBXoECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22the%20one%20thing%20i%20never%20wanted%20to%20see%20again%20was%20a%20military%20parade%22&f=false, by Jeremiah Chaplin, p. 59
1880s, Speech at Warren, Ohio (1880)

„I am a Republican for many other reasons. The Republican party assures protection to life and property, the public credit and the payment of the debts of the Government, State, county, or municipality so far as it can control. The Democratic party does not promise this; if it does, it has broken its promises to the extent of hundreds of millions, as many Northern Democrats can testify to their sorrow.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

As quoted in Words of Our Hero, Ulysses S. Grant https://books.google.com/books?id=wqJBAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=%22the+one+thing+i+never+wanted+to+see+again+was+a+military+parade%22&source=bl&ots=zH525oYpJn&sig=ACfU3U0GLPNgij-FmXIDwgWp_Kg8zDskWg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj4uc7PzKniAhUq1lkKHWhlBfQQ6AEwBXoECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22the%20one%20thing%20i%20never%20wanted%20to%20see%20again%20was%20a%20military%20parade%22&f=false, by Jeremiah Chaplin, p. 58
1880s, Speech at Warren, Ohio (1880)

„I am a Republican, as the two great political parties as now divided, because the Republican party is a National party, seeking the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens. There is not a precinct in this vast Nation where a Democrat cannot cast his ballot and have it counted as cast. No matter what the prominence of the opposite party, he can proclaim his political opinions, even if he is only one among a thousand, without fear and without proscription on account of his opinions.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

As quoted in Words of Our Hero, Ulysses S. Grant https://books.google.com/books?id=wqJBAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=%22the+one+thing+i+never+wanted+to+see+again+was+a+military+parade%22&source=bl&ots=zH525oYpJn&sig=ACfU3U0GLPNgij-FmXIDwgWp_Kg8zDskWg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj4uc7PzKniAhUq1lkKHWhlBfQQ6AEwBXoECAUQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22the%20one%20thing%20i%20never%20wanted%20to%20see%20again%20was%20a%20military%20parade%22&f=false, by Jeremiah Chaplin, p. 57
1880s, Speech at Warren, Ohio (1880)

„The Mexicans are a good people. They live on little and work hard. They suffer from the influence of the Church, which, while I was in Mexico at least, was as bad as could be. The Mexicans were good soldiers, but badly commanded. The country is rich, and if the people could be assured a good government, they would prosper. See what we have made of Texas and California — empires. There are the same materials for new empires in Mexico. I have always had a deep interest in Mexico and her people, and have always wished them well. I suppose the fact that I served there as a young man, and the impressions the country made upon my young mind, have a good deal to do with this. When I was in London, talking with Lord Beaconsfield, he spoke of Mexico. He said he wished to heaven we had taken the country, that England would not like anything better than to see the United States annex it. I suppose that will be the future of the country. Now that slavery is out of the way there could be no better future for Mexico than absorption in the United States. But it would have to come, as San Domingo tried to come, by the free will of the people. I would not fire a gun to annex territory. I consider it too great a privilege to belong to the United States for us to go around gunning for new territories. Then the question of annexation means the question of suffrage, and that becomes more and more serious every day with us. That is one of the grave problems of our future.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

On Mexicans and Mexico's future, pp. 448–449 https://archive.org/details/aroundworldgrant02younuoft/page/n4
1870s, Around the World with General Grant (1879)

„With a soldier the flag is paramount. I know the struggle with my conscience during the Mexican War. I have never altogether forgiven myself for going into that. I had very strong opinions on the subject. I do not think there was ever a more wicked war than that waged by the United States on Mexico. I thought so at the time, when I was a youngster, only I had not moral courage enough to resign. I had taken an oath to serve eight years, unless sooner discharged, and I considered my supreme duty was to my flag. I had a horror of the Mexican War, and I have always believed that it was on our part most unjust. The wickedness was not in the way our soldiers conducted it, but in the conduct of our government in declaring war. The troops behaved well in Mexico, and the government acted handsomely about the peace. We had no claim on Mexico. Texas had no claim beyond the Nueces River, and yet we pushed on to the Rio Grande and crossed it. I am always ashamed of my country when I think of that invasion. Once in Mexico, however, and the people, those who had property, were our friends. We could have held Mexico, and made it a permanent section of the Union with the consent of all classes whose consent was worth having. Overtures were made to Scott and Worth to remain in the country with their armies.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

On the Mexican–American War, p. 448 https://archive.org/details/aroundworldgrant02younuoft/page/n4
1870s, Around the World with General Grant (1879)

„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.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant

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)

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