Gilded Age Cato: The Life of Walter Q. Gresham

Front Cover
University Press of Kentucky, Jan 13, 2015 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
0 Reviews

Union general, federal judge, presidential contender, and cabinet officer -- Walter Q. Gresham of Indiana stands as an enigmatic character in the politics of the Gilded Age, one who never seemed comfortable in the offices he sought. This first scholarly biography not only follows the turns of his career but seeks also to find the roots of his disaffection.

Entering politics as a Whig, Gresham shortly turned to help organize the new Republican Party and was a contender for its presidential nomination in the 1880s. But he became popular with labor and with the Populists and closed his political career by serving as secretary of state under Grover Cleveland.

In reviewing Gresham's conduct of foreign affairs, Charles W. Calhoun disputes the widely held view that he was an economic expansionist who paved the way for imperialism. Gresham, instead, is seen here as a traditionalist who tried to steer the country away from entanglements abroad. It is this traditionalism that Calhoun finds to be the clue to Gresham's career. Troubled with self-doubt, Gresham, like the Cato of old, sought strength in a return to the republican virtues of the Revolutionary generation.

Based on a thorough use of the available resources, this will stand as the definitive biography of an important figure in American political and diplomatic history, and in its portrayal of a man out of step with his times it sheds a different light on the politics of the Gilded Age.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
1
Mission of Great Responsibility
8
Something for Myself
20
Cultivate Contentment
41
No Tranquillity or Happiness
65
Not Anxious for the Honor
85
The Patriotism of Our Revolutionary Sires
106
Proper Views of Things
121
Affairs That Do Not Specially Concern Us
162
No Departure from the Wise Policy
172
The Consistent Policy Pursued
186
The Clouds Had About All Cleared
213
ABBREVIATIONS
223
NOTES
225
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY
264
INDEX
269

There Is Such a Thing as International Morality
145

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2015)

Charles W. Calhoun is chairman of the department of history at Austin Peay State University.

Bibliographic information