Grant Themes

Ron Chernow
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Grant's Role in Advancing Racial Equality On Par With That of Lincoln

Chernow argues that Grant played a significant, if underappreciated role in advancing racial equality and black liberation throughout his career. He reinforces this characterization by explicitly tying Grant’s legacy to that of Abraham Lincoln. Like Lincoln, Grant’s earliest political attitudes suggest that he was anti-expansionist. He personally disdained the practice of slavery and wanted it barred from future U.S. states. However, he was hesitant to support complete emancipation and criticized those who did as radicals. This view, however, shifted throughout the Civil War. As the war continued and Grant played increasingly important roles in developing Union strategy, he came to see total abolition as a strategic imperative. Allowing slavery to continue in the South would only encourage future conflict. Importantly, however, he also considered abolition a moral imperative, believing that slavery was inherently unjust...

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This section contains 3,079 words
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Buy the Grant Study Guide
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