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|I am not quite so convinced about Grant's perspective on freedmen and equality. I would want to see a solid list of his contributions. I saw one opinion that stated that he did very little. Well, it is my opinion that as President, Grant did very little about anything, not just freedmen. Pretty good general, not all that great as president.
Regarding states rights vs. slavery, it is so hard to see anything else because of the constant drive to maintain the congressional balance. The compromising that occurred in the 30's, 40's, and 50's had reduced the regional issues to purely academic status. It was so vital to maintain that senate balance that admitting a state as slave or free overrode all other concerns. A few sited quotes by Clay, Webster, and Calhoun would be nice. If I have time to crack some books tonight, I will do a bit of research.