Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > American History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

American History American History Forum - United States, Canada, Mexico, Central and South America


View Poll Results: Who do you vote for as President in 1884?
Grover Cleveland 7 77.78%
James G. Blaine 2 22.22%
Other (specify) 0 0%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old June 26th, 2018, 03:16 PM   #11

nuclearguy165's Avatar
Snake's Eye
 
Joined: Nov 2011
From: Ohio, USA
Posts: 4,555

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
I'll throw this out there again, apologies for repetition from the OP; other than tariff policy, is there a whole lot that distinguishes Cleveland and Blaine on policy, in the view of everyone else here? On the whole, I don't see it; only the wing of the Democrats that gets increasingly influenced by populist ideas stands out much from mainline Republicans on most policy issues, and they're largely not around yet here.
Generally, the Democrats (in this age, at least) tend to be somewhat more laissez-faire in their vision of federal-to-state rights, taxation, etc. Though I think in this particular election the primary focus was on corruption and the personality and character of the 2 respective candidates, as well as their qualifications. Aside from corruption, no particular issue or platform was the focus this year.
nuclearguy165 is online now  
Remove Ads
Old June 26th, 2018, 03:21 PM   #12
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2017
From: Connecticut
Posts: 2,011

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrivateInThePotomac View Post
I don't mean to take anything away from Secretary of State Blaine, he was, without question, a remarkable gentleman who would have made a fine President. However, I disagree that he was more qualified than President Cleveland. In addition to his public office work, Cleveland was also an accomplished lawman, which brings with him invaluable experience to the executive branch and affairs with the legislative and judicial.

President Arthur's loss in the convention was primarily due to his ailing health, nobody gave him a fighting chance and, in fact, he died 2 years after the election unfortunately.

I will yield to you that Blaine may have had the better economic policy agenda, but President Cleveland's relationship with Congress makes it difficult to tell what exactly the scope of his policy could have been.
The resume comparison is very lopsided here. But hey Cleveland had more executive experience and I know there's a popular belief among some governors make the best presidents, but even then Cleveland has little of that experience.

Blaine
US Secretary of State 1881
US Senator 1876-1881
Speaker of the House 1869-1875
US Representative 1862-1875

Cleveland
Governor, New York 1883-1885
Mayor,Buffalo 1882
Sheriff, Erie County 1871-1873

I do agree that the nature of US politics makes it difficult to decipher a President's effectiveness.

Arthur it's tricky because no VP who'd been made President had ever received their party's nomination before and Arthur who even today might still be the least qualified President in US History depending on how you look at it had alienated both the people who had gotten him the Vice Presidency and the people whose side he had betrayed them for didn't trust him and would prefer their patron Blaine who was going for President for the third straight time.
Emperor of Wurttemburg 43 is offline  
Old June 26th, 2018, 03:28 PM   #13
Historian
 
Joined: Jun 2017
From: Connecticut
Posts: 2,011

Quote:
Originally Posted by nuclearguy165 View Post
That is true, even in the Executive Branch but especially in the Legislative, the period of 1856-1932 was largely dominated by Republicans, just as the period from 1828-1856 was dominated more often than not by Jacksonian Democrats, though none of the latter held technically held the EB 24 years straight. This just goes to show that balancing it out by alternating the EB rather than one party holding it 2 decades in a row makes sense. There might not have been a lot of balance in this period, but the closer one can get to it, the better.

Good point about the 'Rebellion' R, but I don't know how much one can attribute that to the DP 2 decades after the Civil War (and by only a certain faction of the Democrats at that), ESPECIALLY considering that the Democrat nominee 4 years earlier was one of the more renowned UNION generals.

The thing about 'spoilers' (as per your 1892 and 1912 comments) is that if they take more votes away from one candidate than they do for another, then it's the 'victimized' candidates own problem in being unsatisfactory to a decisive number of voters. This is especially true if they are incumbents, as in both of these cases. I say this and heck, I probably would have voted for Harrison in 1892.

Yeah, again with tariffs, even if I'm opposed to them on principle, I do admit that they make sense at certain points in time and that it is a complex issue. Credit to Blaine for being more nuanced and less gung-ho about them than those other 2 (though McKinley's attitude towards tariffs shifted downwards during the last year of his Presidency/life). Still wouldn't have voted for him though.

About the toxic campaign, I think this was actually a difference between the campaigns of Blaine on the one hand, and those of Garfield and Harrison on the other. The latter 2 put more emphasis on substance over style whereas the former did largely the reverse. Even by the standards of that day, the Blaine campaign tactics comprised of a lot of petty invectives against Grover (to which Grover responded in an unusually honest and patient manner for a politician). It's little surprise that the toxix 'R, R, and R' comment got mixed into the Blaine campaign and probably cost him the election.
Hardest thing to understand about US politics in this era(or IMO about american politcal parties in general) is how different they are from today's. Parties were both pan-ideological and they were more identity based, if your parents were Democrats you could be anything ideology wise and you'd be a Democrat and would fight the ideological battles within your party and if successful would get nominee who agreed with you and a platform plank that agreed with you and if not you could just go and see if the other party had someone who better represented you though locally this was very different and it would become more pronounced after the spoils system died for many reasons. You can't give the entire party credit for nominating someone one election because the next they could elect a polar opposite figure because people from all aspects of the spectrum were in the party(the most extreme case of this was later on AA's and the KKK sharing the same party). For example contrast McKinley against TR or Bryan against Cleveland and Parker. Democrats were largely able to avoid this until Bryan with their 67% rule but that also led to a lot of chaotic conventions. Scott's nomination could also be seen as an attempt to neutralize a Republican advantage.

This can be best explained two ways in what they meant for Presidential elections. One this is why conventions were important and so fierce because the two wings needed to placate each other and it was entirely possible for the lesser of two evils to(clearly for most of one wing) be the other candidate unlike today where everyone left of a certain point is mostly in one party and right the other. This lead to landslides being more possible in the occasions one candidate could appeal to a large wing of the second party that negated the voters he alienated in his own by a considerable margin. For example the Dems and Repubs both had pro and anti patronage camps they both had pro gold and pro silver camps etc etc. Tariffs were the closest to being an exception where Republicans/Whigs had always been pro tariff and Republicans had always been opposed this was a rare exception with civil rights being a more short lasting one.

Last edited by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43; June 26th, 2018 at 03:36 PM.
Emperor of Wurttemburg 43 is offline  
Old June 26th, 2018, 03:30 PM   #14

nuclearguy165's Avatar
Snake's Eye
 
Joined: Nov 2011
From: Ohio, USA
Posts: 4,555

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43 View Post
The resume comparison is very lopsided here. But hey Cleveland had more executive experience and I know there's a popular belief among some governors make the best presidents, but even then Cleveland has little of that experience.

Blaine
US Secretary of State 1881
US Senator 1876-1881
Speaker of the House 1869-1875
US Representative 1862-1875

Cleveland
Governor, New York 1883-1885
Mayor,Buffalo 1882
Sheriff, Erie County 1871-1873

I do agree that the nature of US politics makes it difficult to decipher a President's effectiveness.

Arthur it's tricky because no VP who'd been made President had ever received their party's nomination before and Arthur who even today might still be the least qualified President in US History depending on how you look at it had alienated both the people who had gotten him the Vice Presidency and the people whose side he had betrayed them for didn't trust him and would prefer their patron Blaine who was going for President for the third straight time.
Yeah, you basically have one with entirely executive experience on the one hand and one with entirely legislative on the other (and more of it). I suppose I prefer even a shorter executive experience but that's just me. Blaine's 7-month stint as SOS is too short to judge but I suppose it's better than nothing in regard to foreign affairs.

Last edited by nuclearguy165; June 26th, 2018 at 03:44 PM.
nuclearguy165 is online now  
Old June 26th, 2018, 03:40 PM   #15

nuclearguy165's Avatar
Snake's Eye
 
Joined: Nov 2011
From: Ohio, USA
Posts: 4,555

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor of Wurttemburg 43 View Post
Hardest thing to understand about US politics in this era(or IMO about american politcal parties in general) is how different they are from today's. Parties were both pan-ideological and they were more identity based, if your parents were Democrats you could be anything ideology wise and you'd be a Democrat and would fight the ideological battles within your party and if successful would get nominee who agreed with you and a platform plank that agreed with you and if not you could just go and see if the other party had someone who better represented you though locally this was very different and it would become more pronounced after the spoils system died for many reasons. You can't give the entire party credit for nominating someone one election because the next they could elect a polar opposite figure because people from all aspects of the spectrum were in the party(the most extreme case of this was later on AA's and the KKK sharing the same party). For example contrast McKinley against TR or Bryan against Cleveland and Parker.

This can be best explained two ways in what they meant for Presidential elections. One this is why conventions were important and so fierce because the two wings needed to placate each other and it was entirely possible for the lesser of two evils to(clearly for most of one wing) be the other candidate unlike today where everyone left of a certain point is mostly in one party and right the other. This lead to landslides being more possible in the occasions one candidate could appeal to a large wing of the second party that negated the voters he alienated in his own by a considerable margin. For example the Dems and Repubs both had pro and anti patronage camps they both had pro gold and pro silver camps etc etc. Tariffs were the closest to being an exception where Republicans/Whigs had always been pro tariff and Republicans had always been opposed this was a rare exception with civil rights being a more short lasting one.
Very true, and especially with the point about the different camps within a party back then being even more polarized than they are today, which is saying something. Rather than just being views that are divided by simply the extent to which they hold hem like today, there were more sharply divided and discernible camps back then, between which it was difficult to find much consistency. Someone who was as sharply at odds with the main faction as WJB was back in his day could hardly have been as successful at his party conventions as he was. Not to mention, and as you implied, conventions were the main system of nominee selection instead of primaries or state caucuses like we have today. Then again, back then you didn't even have direct, popular election of senators.

My point about the Democratic nomination of Hancock is that, him being of that party as well as a famous and dedicated Union Civil War general, it was a sign of renewed unity in purely national terms (as opposed to political/party), where the divisive wounds of the Civil War could be mended the more time passed on. Sure, the old Republican-Democrat platform divisions by 1860 had contributed to the out-break of the CW, but that was now in the past. Therefore, it was deeply unfair for the Blaine campaign to still call the party for which nearly half (probably in the area of 40 percent of northern voters) of even the northern population and states such as Indiana and New York voted the 'Party of Rebellion.'

Last edited by nuclearguy165; June 26th, 2018 at 04:06 PM.
nuclearguy165 is online now  
Old June 26th, 2018, 04:09 PM   #16

Viperlord's Avatar
Tilting at Windmills
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: VA
Posts: 7,892
Blog Entries: 22

Thanks for your responses, guys, good discussion. I'll comment more whenever I cast my vote.
Viperlord is offline  
Old June 26th, 2018, 04:13 PM   #17

Futurist's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: May 2014
From: SoCal
Posts: 12,093
Blog Entries: 8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
I'll throw this out there again, apologies for repetition from the OP; other than tariff policy, is there a whole lot that distinguishes Cleveland and Blaine on policy, in the view of everyone else here? On the whole, I don't see it; only the wing of the Democrats that gets increasingly influenced by populist ideas stands out much from mainline Republicans on most policy issues, and they're largely not around yet here.
Wasn't Blaine more eager to get involved in foreign affairs than Cleveland was?

After all, I seem to recall him trying to arbitrate and serve as a mediator in the War of the Pacific in 1881 back when he was President Garfield's Secretary of State. Also, Blaine appears to have been a supporter of Hawaiian annexation as early as 1854-1855! :

https://books.google.com/books?id=qc...hawaii&f=false
Futurist is offline  
Old June 26th, 2018, 04:17 PM   #18

Viperlord's Avatar
Tilting at Windmills
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: VA
Posts: 7,892
Blog Entries: 22

Quote:
Originally Posted by Futurist View Post
Wasn't Blaine more eager to get involved in foreign affairs than Cleveland was?

After all, I seem to recall him trying to arbitrate and serve as a mediator in the War of the Pacific in 1881 back when he was President Garfield's Secretary of State. Also, Blaine appears to have been a supporter of Hawaiian annexation as early as 1854-1855! :

https://books.google.com/books?id=qc...hawaii&f=false

Cleveland was mildly anti-imperialist, yes, though the position wasn't necessarily a party-wide one. Like a lot of anti-imperialists of the time it was partly over not wanting to add non-whites into the body politic, but well, it's something, certainly.
Viperlord is offline  
Old June 26th, 2018, 04:29 PM   #19

Viperlord's Avatar
Tilting at Windmills
 
Joined: Aug 2010
From: VA
Posts: 7,892
Blog Entries: 22

I will comment that Cleveland's fiscal conservatism extending to giving the middle finger to farmers affected by drought doesn't particularly impress me. Additionally, on his vetoes of pensions for veterans, no doubt the GAR was pushing a bit far, but it really seems like that should have been an issue it was possible to find a compromise on.
Viperlord is offline  
Old June 26th, 2018, 05:05 PM   #20

Futurist's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: May 2014
From: SoCal
Posts: 12,093
Blog Entries: 8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viperlord View Post
Cleveland was mildly anti-imperialist, yes, though the position wasn't necessarily a party-wide one. Like a lot of anti-imperialists of the time it was partly over not wanting to add non-whites into the body politic, but well, it's something, certainly.
The population of territories such as Hawaii was extremely small in comparison to the population of the U.S., though.

Also, wasn't Latin America considered to be White back then?
Futurist is offline  
Reply

  Historum > World History Forum > American History

Tags
1884, election, presidential



Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Presidential Election: 1824 Viperlord American History 32 June 11th, 2018 01:59 PM
1876 Presidential Election okamido American History 5 June 28th, 2012 03:48 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.