Grover Cleveland Biography
Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18, 1837 – June 24, 1908) He was born in Caldwell, New Jersey, United States. Lawyer and American politician elected as president of the United States of America on two non-consecutive occasions (1885-1889; 1893-1897). He studied law in the 1850s. He began his career as an alternate prosecutor for Erie County (1863) and was later elected Mayor of Buffalo (1881). With liberal and progressive ideas, he earned the respect and appreciation of the electors and the Democratic party, which chose him as a candidate for the presidency in 1884. His mandates were characterized by the search for economic stability and the use of the Doctrine Monroe concerning international politics.
FAMILY AND STUDIES
Born into a Protestant family, Cleveland was the fifth son of Presbyterian Minister Richard Cleveland and his wife Anne Neal. Due to his father’s work as a pastor, he had to move on several occasions during his childhood. He lived and studied elementary and primary school in Fayetteville and Clinton, New York. After the death of his father in 1853, he moved to Buffalo (New York), where he began working as an administrator in a law firm, thanks to his uncle’s advice. Interested in the world of law and jurisprudence, he quit his job to study law in the course of the 1850s, graduating in 1858.
At the end of the 1850s, he began to practice his profession in New York, gradually gaining recognition. For his talent and good work, he was appointed Deputy Prosecutor of Erie County (New York) in 1863 and seven years after Sheriff of Erie County (1870). While serving as chief of police, Cleveland became known for his fight against corruption in the institution and municipal policy. He introduced a series of reforms and abolished the usual corrupt practices in county policy. His outstanding work in the police led the Democrats to see him as the ideal candidate for mayor of Buffalo, a position he held between 1881 and 1882. From that moment he began his vertiginous rise in US politics.
He began his political career in the 1880s, serving as mayor of Buffalo (1881-1882), with the support of the Democratic Party. During his administration, Cleveland reorganized all the dependencies that were in his charge, ending once and for all with corruption and the system of privileges with political positions that had been taken by the municipality’s policy. He monitored how political representatives were chosen and applied a program of budget cuts, which allowed him to eliminate superfluous expenses and direct money to more important projects, gradually cleaning up the situation in which the municipal coffers were located.
His successful administration led to him being chosen as the Democratic candidate for the elections to the governor of New York in 1882, a political contest in which he faced Republican candidate Charles J. Folger, Secretary of the Treasury of President Chester Alan Arthur. At the end of the voting, Cleveland was elected Governor of New York with a wide margin of votes. He held this position between 1883 and 1885, with his characteristic honesty and rectitude, seeking to reduce the high rates of corruption of the State.
The reforms he proposed led him to confront various Republican politicians and the Democratic political organization Tammany Hall, which was known in the State for choosing the candidates and figures that would control the political scene in New York. Although he faced the great figures of his party, he was chosen as a presidential candidate in the National Convention of the Democrats of 1884.
During his campaign he learned to take advantage of the internal problems that the Republican Party was going through, gaining the support of the independent and reformist Republicans, who were against the candidate chosen by the party, James G. Blaine. Thanks to the support of the Democrats and the group of Republican dissidents, Cleveland was elected president of the United States of America in 1884, with a margin of 23,000 votes.
GOVERNMENT OF GROVER CLEVELAND (1885-1889 AND 1893-1897)
After accessing the position in March 1885, Cleveland initiated a series of political reforms aimed at ending the system of privileges and granting political positions among like-minded supporters, as was common at the time. Cleveland abolished several laws enacted in previous administrations, which limited the president’s actions in various matters, such as the dismissal of public officials without the consent of the Senate. Although he had to give in to his party’s pressure to elect his officials, Cleveland tried to keep his administration away from corruption linked to such practices.
During his government, he favored the growth of national companies and sought to keep the country away from protectionism. He avoided superfluous expenses and controlled the budget he invested in the various sectors of the country. He rejected several bills such as the Dependent Pension Law and the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, which had the support of the Senate, the army and the country’s industries. His economical and rigid economic action cost him re-election, which is why he only ruled until 1889, as established. In 1886, he married Frances Folsom, a 28-year-old who became the youngest first lady in history.
After the failure in the elections of 1888, Cleveland dedicated himself to the legal profession until he was again launched as a candidate for the presidency in 1892 by the Democratic Party. He defeated candidates Benjamin Harrison and James B. Weaver by a narrow margin and took office as president in March 1893. In his second term, Cleveland had to face various problems linked to the economic depression that was going through the country, such as the bankruptcy of too many banks and the high unemployment rate. To stimulate the economy of the country, he revoked the Sherman Law on the purchase of silver, creating a great demand for gold from the Public Treasury, which was solved with the help of the New York banking consortium, ending the crisis in 1896.
By the end of his term, Cleveland had lost the support of the majority of his supporters and voters due to the problems he had with the workers and the violently repressed strikes by the authorities. These circumstances led to him losing in the National Convention of Democrats to William Jennings Bryan, who in turn lost the presidential elections to Republican candidate William McKinley. At the end of his term, Cleveland moved away from politics, to dedicate himself to lecturing in Princeton, between 1901 and 1908. This prominent American politician died on June 24, 1908, in Princeton, at age 71.