The presidency of Ulysses S. Grant

In the Presidential campaign of 1868 the Republican party nominated General Grant and Schuyler Colfax for President and Vice-President, while the Democratic nominees were Horatio Seymour and General Frank P. Blair. The Republican ticket was elected by a large majority. Of the events that occurred during this administration two were of the highest importance; the Chicago fire, and the settlement of the Alabama claims. These claims arose from the ravages on American commerce committed during the Civil War by the Alabama and other Confederate cruisers, which had been fitted out in English ports, and permitted to sail in disregard to the earnest protests of the United States minister to England. This default in international obligations produced such bitter feeling in this country that war might have resulted had not a peaceful means of settlement been found. The dispute was finally adjusted by arbitration, and board composed of commissioners from several nations meeting at Geneva, Switzerland, in 1872. The result of their deliberations was in favor of the United States, and it was awarded about $15,700,000, which sum Great Britain promptly paid. This event is of the highest interest, as being among the first settlements of a great international difficulty by the peaceful and economical method of arbitration instead of the costly and destructive one of war, Another question between the United States and England, that concerning the northwest boundary, was similarly adjusted, being submitted to the Emperor of Germany, who decided it in favor of the United States.

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