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President Grover Cleveland

Updated on January 6, 2017

Stephen Grover Cleveland (1837-1908) was 22nd and 24th President of the United States.

Born in Caldwell, New Jersey in March 4, 1893.

In 1886 he married Frances Folsom; they had five children. A lawyer in Buffalo, N.Y., Cleveland was elected mayor of that city (1881). His reputation as a reformer led to his nomination and election as Democratic governor of New York. He quickly achieved a national reputation, and the Democrats chose him as their presidential candidate (1884). He won a narrow victory over James G. Blaine.

His first term was marked by an attempt to reform the civil service and by his advocacy of a low tariff; both issues had strong opponents in both parties. He ran for re-election in 1888 but was narrowly defeated by Benjamin Harrison, the Republican candidate and an advocate of a high tariff.

In 1892, he was nominated again, and this time he decisively defeated Harrison. The Panic of 1893 raised the issue of free coinage of silver, which was supported by the radical or free-silver Democrats. An economic conservative, Cleveland opposed free coinage and secured the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, which enraged the radical Democrats. In 1894, he broke the Pullman Strike in Chicago by the use of federal troops. The free-silver Democrats prevailed at the 1896 convention and nominated William Jennings Bryan. He was essentially a moderate in foreign policy.

Cleveland broadened the interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine in the Venezuela Boundary Dispute with Great Britain. He refused to annex Hawaii after a US-backed faction overthrew the monarchy, and he discouraged those who wanted to take Cuba from Spain.


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