Thomas B. Reed

Thomas B. Reed

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Thomas B. Reed

Thomas B. Reed

Read FREE!

Excerpt

It is inevitable that one writing the Life of Thomas B. Reed should be drawn into a discussion of the most important questions before Congress during his long period of service; yet I have made the consideration of them entirely secondary to the recording of his course upon them, and have endeavored to permit him to present his own view in his speeches, letters, and other writings. The great questions before the country while he was in Congress were the Southern and race issues, the Greenback and silver questions, the procedure of the House (and especially obstruction), and civil-service reform and the settlement of the monetary standard. Through perhaps half of the Congresses there was a dead level of routine legislation, hardly relieved, although accompanied by the perennial discussion of the tariff. This routine, while not appealing to the imagination, presents much of importance in the development of the country and the shaping of its practical processes of government, and it cannot be neglected.

Reed was the most powerful figure in either House of Congress during his time, or at least after he had opportunity to establish himself as he did in the first few years of his service; and his contribution to the settlement of every great issue before the country was in-

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