S02e08 Tilden: The Corrupt Grant Administration

The Almost Presidents Podcast

The wildly popular Civil War hero, General Ulysses S. Grant, becomes President Ulysses S. Grant in the Election of 1868. His ascent to the presidency only serves to continue the string of Republican presidencies starting with Abraham Lincoln in 1861 that would continue until Grover Cleveland’s election in 1885!

But pretty quickly it becomes apparent that, while an able battlefield commander, Grant would not be as able and effective a president. While Grant remains honest, corruption runs rampant inside and outside of his administration. Some of the scandals even involving men who served with Grant in the Civil War. The term “Grantism” is even invented to refer to this rampant corruption.

Then, in 1873, an international economic catastrophe leads to a great depression that would profoundly impact Americans of all socio-economic classes for years to come.

With Republican corruption and an economic depression abound, the stage is now set for a man with a reputation for combatting corruption, even when it took place within his own party: Almost President Samuel Tilden.


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