After Lee's surrender at Appomattox, he rose in popularity and was loved in the North and respected in the South. Grant seemed to be the best person to watch over Reconstruction.
Historians have a mixed view of Grant as a President. Some view him as corrupt, while others say he was underrated. Regardless, he was much better than former President Andrew Johnson and seemed to bring stability to a chaotic situation.
March 4, 1869: Ulysses S. Grant is inaugurated as the 18th President of the United States.
March 18, 1869: The Public Credit Act was passed with Grant's blessing. Grant supported a return to "hard money" that was backed by gold.
May 10, 1869: The First Transcontinental Railroad was completed when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific meet at the Promontory Summit in Utah.
September 24, 1869: Black Friday occurs when the gold market collapses.
November 29, 1869: Grant's private secretary, Orville Babcock, signs the Treaty to Annex Santo Domingo. The move was unpopular in the Senate, and they would reject the annexation the following year.
December 6, 1869: In his annual message to Congress, Grant calls for quick action to stabilize the currency.
January 26, 1870: Virginia is readmitted into the Union.
February 3, 1870: The 15th Amendment is passed, which gives African Americans the right to vote.
February 23, 1870: Mississippi is readmitted to the Union
March 30, 1870: Texas is readmitted into the Union.
May 24, 1870: Grant condemns the Fenian Brotherhood. They were an Irish-American group that launched an attack on Canada in order to put pressure on Great Britain to free Ireland. They ignored Grant's condemnation and attack Canada again the next day, but were easily defeated.
May 31, 1870: Congress passes the First Enforcement Act. This was done on the recommendation of Grant, who wanted to make it illegal to interfere with a citizen's right to vote. This was aimed at protecting African Americans.
June 22, 1870: Congress created the Department of Justice and expanded the role of the Attorney General, who oversees it.
July 14, 1870: Grant expands the interpretation of the Monroe Doctrine by saying that a European Power cannot transfer its territory in the Western Hemisphere to another European Power. This allowed Santo Domingo to fall under American power instead of Spanish.
July 15, 1870: Georgia is readmitted to the Union
December 5, 1870: In his second State of the Union, President Grant speaks about Santo Domingo's importance and civil service reform. This would be the first time that Congress convened with representatives from every state prior to the Civil War.
February 28, 1871: Congress passes the Federal Election Law, which would be the second enforcement act. These acts were aimed at protecting the African-American right to vote.
March 3, 1871: Native American tribes are no longer recognized as legitimate powers and are declared wards of the state. After centuries of treaties being broken, their land being taken, and wars being lost, they had finally lost all power. This would lead to many Indian Wars in the West.
March 4, 1871: Grant places George William Curtis in charge of the first Civil Service Commission, which aimed to reform the civil service. Congress forces Curtis to resign.
April 20, 1871: A Third Enforcement Act is passed, which disallows the wearing of disguises, conspiracies, and intimidating officials. This was aimed at the Ku Klux Klan, which had been gaining support in the South.
May 8, 1871: The United States signs the Treaty of Washington with Great Britain. This settled many of the disputes that occurred during the Civil War and fishing access to Canadian-American waterways.
July 8, 1871: The New York Times exposes the Tweed Ring that was controlling much of New York City's government and budget.
March 1, 1872: Congress passes an act that makes Yellowstone National Park which is the first national park in the world.
March 2, 1872: Samoan High Chief Margua of Pago Pago allows the United States to establish a naval station. However, the Senate fails to ratify the treaty.
March 10, 1872: President Grant named a special Interoceanic Canal Commission to look for a route to connect the Caribbean with the Pacific Ocean.
May 22, 1872: Congress passes the Amnesty Act that restores political rights to southerners. The exceptions were various Confederate leaders.
June 5-6, 1872: Grant is nominated for the Republican Party to run for a second term.
June 6, 1872: The Tariff Act of 1872 is adopted.
June 9, 1872: Horace Greeley is nominated as the Democratic candidate for president.
September 4, 1872: The Grant Administrator has another scandal that is named the Credit Mobilier Scandal.
September 14, 1872: The tribunal established during the Treaty of Washington orders Britain to pay $15.5 million to the United States for its involvement with the naval ship Alabama during the Civil War.
October 21, 1872: Emporer William I awards the San Juan Islands to the United States.
November 5, 1872: Despite the scandals, President Grant was re-elected in a landslide. The landslide mainly occurs due to the death of Horace Greeley prior to the electoral votes being cast.
February 12, 1873: Congress passes the Coinage Act, which makes gold the only monetary standard. This angers silver investors.
March 3, 1873: Congress grants a salary increase for its members, Supreme Court justices, and other federal officials. It also authorizes federal postage stamps and passed a bill banning obscene literature, which had been lobbied by the Society for the Suppression of Vice.
March 4, 1873: President Grant is inaugurated for the 2nd time.
September 18, 1873: The Panic of 73 begins and would lead to a six-year depression.
October 31, 1873: The Virginius is captured by the Spanish cruiser Tornado. The American ship was carrying weapons for Cuban revolutionaries. The Spanish reacted by executing 53 men, including 8 American citizens. In fear of American retaliation, Spain returns the remaining American prisoners and pays damages.
January 13, 1874: The Tompkins Square Riot occurs in New York. It results in hundreds of casualties.
January 20, 1874: Congress repeals the raises that were given to themselves and other government officials. Supreme Court justices, the President, and some others are left untouched.
April 22, 1874: Grant vetoes a bill that would put $400 million of paper money in circulation.
September 15, 1874: Grant sends 5,000 troops and three gunboats to New Orleans to put down a rebellion by the White League. The White League was made up of former Confederate soldiers and elite businessmen of New Orleans who did not like the freedom of African Americans. The White League had seized government buildings and killed 24 black and 3 white supporters of the Republican Party. Grant's response put down the rebellion, and was criticized for overreacting. However, his response was effective and showed that he was not afraid to use federal power to control the nation.
November 1874: The House is flipped in favor of the Democrats, and the Senate picks up 10 seats. This occurs due to the public growing tired of the many Grant scandals.
January 10, 1875: The Hawaiian Reciprocity Treaty would be signed.
January 14, 1875: The Specie Resumption Act is passed and signed.
March 1, 1875: Grant signs the first Civil Rights Act. However, the law was never enforced and was declared unconstitutional in 1883.
May 10, 1875: The Whiskey Ring Scandal is uncovered and is yet another stain on Grant's record as President.
November 22, 1875: Vice President Henry Wilson dies.
December 7, 1875: In his annual message to Congress, President Grant pushes for separation of church and state, mandatory public education, the elimination of polygamy, and the enactment of stable currency laws.
December 15, 1875: After considering a third term, the House passes a resolution asking Grant not to seek a third term.
April 4, 1876: Secretary of War William W. Belknap and his wife are charged with accepting bribes from businessmen in the West looking to set up Native American trading posts.
May 10, 1876: International Centennial Exposition is opened in Philadelphia. It commemorates the 100th anniversary of the independence that will occur on July 4.
May 18, 1876: The National Greenback Party was formed to advocate for the use of paper money.
June 14-16, 1876: Rutherford B. Hayes is nominated for President by the Republican Party.
June 25, 1876: The Battle of Little Big Horn takes place, and the Federal Army is defeated by the Native Americans. General Custer is killed.
June 27-29, 1876: Samuel J. Tilden is nominated by the Democratic Party as their Presidential Candidate.
August 1, 1876: Colorado is admitted as the 38th state to the Union.
November 7, 1876: Tilden appears to win the election, but the Republicans dispute the claim.
January 29, 1877: President Ulysses S. Grant creates a bipartisan election commission to sort through the disputed election
March 2, 1877: After a much-disputed election and a compromise to end Reconstruction in the South, Rutherford B. Hayes is elected by Congress as President.