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Rutherford B. Hayes

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  • Pages: 7
  • Word count: 1665
  • Category: War

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Rutherford B. Hayes was the nineteenth President of the United States. President Hayes believed in a meritocratic government, equal treatment, and having America improve through education. Rutherford B. Hayes was known as a truthful and unprejudiced man. Hayes brought to the White House dignity, honesty, and reform. Republicans believed that Hayes is what their party needed to win back the support of voters. Hayes led the United States according to his own beliefs, even if it went against his own political party. President Hayes was a reformer who began the achievements that led to service reform and tried to bring together the divisions that led to the previous American Civil War. When he was president, he managed to end the Reconstruction. Hayes practiced law in Fremont, Ohio and then when the Civil War began he ended his political career and joined the Union Army. After the war, he then served in the United States Congress as a Republican.

Rutherford B. Hayes left Congress to run for Governor of Ohio and served three terms as a governor. Hayes was elected President in 1876 in one of the most belligerent elections in American history. He won the election by electoral votes with the Compromise of 1877. This compromised consisted of Hayes promising the Democrats to end military occupation of the South. President Rutherford B. Hayes had many strong view points and he pushed his views throughout his administration. Rutherford B. Hayes was famous for approaching reforms in the civil service by giving federal jobs to people openhandedly based on their amount of value. Their merit was determined through an assessment that each person much take. This modification was a complete turn-around from the previous system of engagement, where sponsorship and effectiveness as political organizers were the foundation for receiving a position as a government employee. This caused rage and disagreement with politicians including the Republican Party, which was not consulted with political appointments Rutherford B. Hayes, asked his secretaries, Carl Schurz and William Evarts, to outline certain bylaws and rules on appointments for federal positions.

Following this was internal investigations on dishonesty of different federal bureaus for instance, the New York Custom House and the Postal Service. These investigations were brought about by civil servants being more successful in organizing political events than doing their federal jobs, and have a high inclination for fraud and accepting bribes for the sake of the political party or personal gains (“Totallyhistory,” 2011). Rutherford B. Hayes demanded that his meetings must be made on worthiness, rather than political concentration. President Hayes chose men of high capability for his Cabinet. Rutherford B. Hayes selection of Cabinet members offended many Republicans because one of the Cabinet members was formerly a Confederate and another member had dropped out of the party as a Liberal Republican in 1872 (“Rutherford b. hayes,” 2011). Hayes, as a Republican and a previous anti-slavery Whig, many of his approaches towards the extreme issue of southern reconstruction were influenced by his own personal ideas. His philosophy was to give southern blacks more rights.

When Rutherford B. Hayes took over as President, southern reconstruction was already coming to an end. Troops that were sent to the southern states to enforce unbiased elections and uphold the government’s establishments by Republicans were being pulled out and the Democratic government was starting to rise up again. President Hayes promised the states, which had military presence, that he would emphasize voting rights that is stated in the fifteenth amendment and would also end reconstruction. (McPhee, 2008) Rutherford B. Hayes did this because he realized that our government did not have the adequate resources needed to return to radical form of reconstruction by bringing the troops back to the south. The southern states made the agreement with Hayes and Hayes kept his promise to them. However, the new Democratic governments did not keep to their promise and dictatorship slowly returned shortly after. Hayes’ attempts at reconstruction as a whole are seen as a failure in some American’s eyes. Although his actions tried to bring the North and the South back together, some members of his political party were outraged by his actions.

Chinese workers immigrated to the United States in the 1850s and were the first to work in the gold mines, obtain factory jobs, and agricultural jobs. While the numbers of Chinese laborers increased, the strength of the anti-Chinese belief did as well for workers in the American economy. This resulted in legislation to limit future immigration of Chinese laborers to the United States. In 1879, supporters of restricting Chinese immigration succeeded in passing legislation in Congress by limiting the number of Chinese arriving on ships or vessels in America. President Rutherford B. Hayes vetoes this bill because it went against United States treaty agreements with China. The Democrats supported all-out elimination of Chinese immigration, while Republicans were committed to having free immigration. In order to satisfy the Democratic states in the west without antagonizing China, President Hayes revised the Burlingame-Seward Treaty, in which China had agreed to limit the number of immigrants coming into the United States.

In 1880, the Secretary of State was told by President Hayes to create a pact with China, which restricted Chinese immigration into the United States due to the anti-Chinese movement in the west. The Secretary of State negotiated a new treaty with China, known as the Angell Treaty, which allowed the United States to limit, but not fully prohibit Chinese immigration. Then in 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Exclusion Act postponed the immigration of Chinese laborers for the matter of ten years. This act also required each Chinese person to carry with them a certificated identifying them as a laborer, scholar, diplomat, or merchant (“Office of the Historian”). Hayes was also assigned to approach the economic issues that were left by the previous president, Ulysses S. Grant, and also the Civil War. During the Civil War, the national debt had increased a high percentage. This conflict had been financed by long-term bonds that committed the government to repay investors the principle with substantial interest.

A debate caused commotion between laborers, farmers, and businessmen on currency coinage between silver and gold. The Bland Allison-Act in 1878 caused confusion between which metal had the most value and the mix by the desire of people to exchange “greenbacks” (paper money) to gold (coins). Reactions to this act were predictable. Mining and debtor interests believed the Bland-Allison Act did not go deep enough and should have unlimited and free coinage of silver. The conservative forces believed the opposite, and wanted to repeal the Bland-Allison Act because they believed the economy could only be restored with the gold standard. President Rutherford B. Hayes pushed for restoration of the gold standard, which meant that all paper money made by the federal government had to be backed by the gold in the federal reserves. Hayes preferred coins (hard money) rather than greenbacks (soft money) (“Totallyhistory,” 2011). By returning to a gold standard system it would put a stop to inflation and bring the nation’s economy back on its feet.

However, there was an unlimited coinage of silver, which would knock out gold from being produced and eliminate the chances of switching to a gold standard system. President Rutherford B. Hayes vetoed this act based on the beliefs of the industrial and banking interests. Congress then overrode Hayes’ veto. Hayes’ administration undermined the law and went through with purchasing the minimum amount of silver each month in order to create more coins. Their idea was to increase the availability of money would help out farmers and debtors. This had a very small impact on the economy growth. Hayes was able to stop this from taking place and he brought back the gold standard system.

The Bland- Allison Act served as a halting return to gold and silver backing the currency (“Rutherford b. hayes,” 2011). Gold remained a higher feature than silver. President Hayes’ money policy helped make business and make the industry grow stronger. Bringing back the gold standard quickly brought the nation back to financial wealth (McPhee, 2008). Rutherford B. Hayes started to improve the economy and his changes were slowly obtaining approval, but he kept his promise to the American people and refused to run again for presidency in 1880. Hayes is linked as a legacy since he is counted to be one of the most honest presidents. He proclaimed himself as a conservative Republican, but developed into a social liberal and made multiple contributions to government reform and minority affairs. His legacy as a president who surpassed most people with his morals and values of being respectable, truthful, and having the willingness to change will never be forgotten.

Annotated Bibliography

1. McPhee, I. (2008, May 05). The rutherford b. hayes presidency. Retrieved from http://isaacmmcphee.suite101.com/the-rutherford-b-hayes-presidency-a52957 ➢ This source offered information of the reconstruction and how Hayes used his own idea to go about the issue even if his party did not agree with his actions. 2. Office of the historian. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://history.state.gov/milestones/1866-1898/ChineseImmigration ➢ This source offered points on the Chinese Immigration and how Hayes went about the Treaty to try and use the Democrats beliefs and the Republicans beliefs and make a compromise. 3. Rutherford b. hayes. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/rutherfordbhayes) ➢ This
source offered me insight on how Hayes insisted that his appointment were made by merits and not the normal way of doing it. 4. Santella, A. (2004). Rutherford b. hayes. Minnesota: Book ➢ This source helped me with the background of President Hayes’ life. 5. TotallyHistory (2011). Rutherford birchard hayes. Retrieved from http://totallyhistory.com/rutherford-birchard-hayes/ ➢ This source offered on how Hayes was famous for pushing reforms and giving several jobs based on worthiness. 6. Willams, C. (1928). The life of rutherford birchard hayes. (Vol. 1). Columbus: Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society. ➢ This source offered me more information on Hayes’ life as a president.

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