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Exporting Reconstruction

Ulysses S. Grant and a New Empire of Liberty

Ryan P. Semmes



Published: Nov 21 2024


Published: Nov 21 2024

OA Ebook
Published: Nov 21 2024


The inclusion of this book in the Open Carolina collection is made possible by the generous funding of

How Reconstruction-era political battles reflected global struggles over the era's core ideals

Exporting Reconstruction examines Ulysses S. Grant's Reconstruction-era policy, both foreign and domestic, as an integrated whole. Grant's vision for America's international role in the aftermath of the Civil War was best articulated in his 1869 memorandum, considering whether the United States should annex the Dominican Republic. Grant envisioned a combined domestic and foreign policy of Reconstruction, one predicated on spreading the values of liberty, equality, and the rights of citizenship to not only the Dominican Republic but also other Caribbean nations as well as to Native Americans and Chinese immigrants living in the United States but seen as aliens within the nation.

Author Ryan P. Semmes interprets the Grant-era policy of Reconstruction as an all-encompassing agenda that imagined the United States as the arbiter of civil rights for the Western Hemisphere. Exporting Reconstruction shows readers that, unlike presidents before and after his administration, Grant hoped to increase not only the United States's imperial reach but also extend freedom and liberty to people beyond the borders of North America.

Ryan P. Semmes is professor and director of research at the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, housed at Mississippi State University.

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