Benjamin Harrison

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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With nicknames like Little Ben, and Kid Gloves, Benjamin Harrison was our twenty-third president. Although he received 100,000 less votes than his opponent Grover Cleveland, he won the electoral college 233 to 168. He promised the country a "Legal Deal", and named six lawyers and two businessman to his cabinet. Since there was a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, he won enactment of most of his legislative program.

The Sherman Anti-trust act, outlawing trusts and monopolies that hindered trade, me the demands from farmers and small businessman that controlled prices and monopolized the market. The Sherman Silver Purchase Act increased the amount of silver that could be coined so farmers wouldn't go bankrupt and have foreclosures on their farms. While in office, he passed the Dependent Pension Act, which gave pensions to all Civil War veterans who could not perform manual labor. That raised the pension cost from $88 million in 1889 to $159 million in 1893.

Harrison supported construction of a two-ocean Congress with a more-efficient merchant marine. He established connections with Central America, which led to the Pan-American games. He was one of the first presidents to succeed in foreign policy.

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