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tv   To Rescue the Republic With Bret Baier  FOX News  October 10, 2021 10:00pm-11:00pm PDT

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wrong with our system. everyone can see it, that is why it is powerful lisa great to see you, you nailed it, thank you. >> thank you for watching set your dvr, see you next sunday when the next revolution will be televised. ♪ ♪ >> it was a year when racial violence and civil strive threatened to cast drought on legitimacy of a presidential election. both parties agreed on the stakes, the future of the republic itself. the election was chaotic. no winner declared that night. before it was finally settled, an electoral college controversy sparked a wild, worrisome scene at
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u.s. capitol. >> we have the right to peaceful asystem bem. brett: i covered 2020 turmoil as a journalist, anchor of special report, i was writing a new book about another president, another era, another political crisis, i was drawn to the clear parallels between then and now. ♪ ♪ i'm here at tomb of grant in new york city, story of his great heroics as civil war general is well-known. but his story as president grant not so well-known, i gripping drama courage,
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bleed shed and statesman ship, and still resonates today, some of history's towery figures always seem destin for greatest ins grant of the not one. >> no one seeing him growing up would have predicted he would he or she the height rgt he reached, his father was a tanner, his mother a devout methodist. >> his father swung an apartment for his son to u.s. military academy. grant did not want to go to westpoint. he thought if my father wants me to go, i will do it he graduated 21 in class of 39. brett: and he caught in mexican-american war, and when it ended he married julia dent, daughter
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of a slave holding missouri planter. >> grant after mexican-american war is looking for his place, looking for a way to earn a living and support his family. brett: drinking got him drummed out of peacetime army, civilian life dealt him one failure after the other. >> he trying farming and real estate and a variety of jobs, never very successful. >> grants was peddling fire wood on the streets of st. louis. brett: he was driven a slave by -- given a slave by his father-in-law but freed him. >> in 1858 or 59 or 60, would not bet he would be a great lead. brett: his fortunes changed with civil war. there is a point in his life he is at the bottom. down in dumps in 4 years he is the central figure,
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that icon in american history. >> at the beginning of civil war there is a desperation for officers. they are taking a tiny warmer and they are expanding it to a continentalnary. army. he gets to a good size unit. >> he rose through the ranks while union general in east foundered against elee. grant won battles out west. president lincoln summoned grant east to finish off lee, that grant did. >> grant embarked on the campaign one of bold quick pursuits in military history that winds of trapping lee at the courthouse. and securing his surrender in april 9, 1865.
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brett: lee expected grant might make him prisoner, instead grant let lee and his men return home on their promise to not take up arms against the union again. >> there was at least some warm feelings he treated in victory of south justly. the way in which grant sought to encourage confederate soldiers to take a mule home to start farming, officers able to take a gun home, really sense of treating lee with great dignity. brett: it was not capstone of grant's career as a soldier but start of his second act as a statesman, for his surrender terms followed a blueprint for a reconstruction of the union that lincoln had sketched out much southern states would be welcomed back if -- if they
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pledged loyalty to union, just 5 days after a single pistol shot at ford theater changed everything for the republic and the general who had done so much to save it. >> assassination of lincoln put nation back on brink. grant feared new president might undoe everything gained in civil wash. that is next.
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♪ ♪ brett: welcome back to this fox news special based on my new book in -- about ulysses s. grant. >> settled little. rebellion was defeated, slaves were freed. but could the nation permanently secure the gains that lincoln, grant and the union army won in the war? then an assassin bullet elevated johnson to the presidency. he was a former slave holder and a racist. like many, who sacrificed in the war, grant was worried.
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>> after lincoln's assassination you have andrew johnson to office of president. and all that does is create turmoil in the u.s. because of johnson's approach to thing. brett: a congressional recess. johnson granted southern states amnesty and allowed them to hold election. >> reestablish a southern legitimacy. he is reestablish people with two characteristics, one, they were traitors, two many were slave holders. reporter: brett: leaders of the confederacy including vice president stephens were poised to join congress as democrats in good standing, this distress the nation's top general. >> he tried hard at first to be difference shall to johnson, it does not take
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long before he realizes he cannot be. >> he said, we need to do something to make sure that victory that was won in combat is preserved for nation in civil society post wash. brett: when congress returned for recess, incensed republicans refused to -- >> they passed a bunch of laws that were discriminatory and tried to return former slave to a status that was close as possible to slavery. >> some so-called black coves let african-americans work only as farmers or servants, others banned them from owning property, votes or jury duty, local police could arrest unemployed blacks and send them back to their masters. all with a nod from the president. who rejected the very notion of black equality.
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>> he believes that black people should not play a major role in american society. and the result is that he does some things that grant does not agree with. brett: >> johnson drove grant toward a more radical view about slavery and race, it became clear that if the north did not intervene, that southern whites would reestablish some form of serddom. brett: grant agrowed with radical republicans in congress who pushed for abolition and equal rights. no state would be allowed back in the union unless it gave blacks citizenship and equal protection under the law,
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congress imposed martial law on the south, giving grant power, but made his balancing act trickier. >> grant's role as commander general to oversee the military reconstruction. he did not engage in open conflict with andrew johnson, but it was more difficult for him. brett: johnson wanted federal troops out of the south even as violent escalated against african-americans, just one example, a night raid in memphis burned churches and schools. washington was a buzz with speculation that johnson might order grant to shut down congress. >> during this period, grant's conflict with johnson is becoming more visible. grant is seen more and more by republicans in congress as someone who will defend equality. brett: they both needed granted and agreed to
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give him a fourth star and promotion to general of army of united states, only george washington held such a rank, washington was the . >> johnson consulted grand before he fired his war secretary. >> andrew johnson triggered a battle royal with congress when he fired stanton, secretary of war, that violated tenure of office act that congress passed dubious constitutional grounds. brett: congress impeached johnson for violating the law, everyone knew the real issue is who would control the fate of the fried slaves -- free slaves. >> grant is a war hero, but in 1868 he is not a
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political partisan, yet republicans nominate him. >> he is the war hero. >> the obvious leader to become candidate in 1868, the military leader, he is in the eyes of the people successor of lincoln. brett: grant's resolve in aftermath of war created conditions for once unimaginable change. blacks making up majority of some conventions. alabama giving ballot to former slaves. and almost 90 years before rosa parks, louisiana approving integrated public transportation. >> he believes he is the only person in american society that can actually make the civil war work. if someone else takes it, it will fall apart and we're back to where we were.
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brett: democrat candidate under scores that. new york governor -- seem or opposed war in 1868 ran the most racists campaign in american history. >> this is a white man's country, let white men rule. this is what promoters of seymore are pushing. >> they are burning homes and churches. brett: armed mobbed destroyed a republican newspaper office and shot 200 blacks in camilla. georgia hundreds of armed whites fire who a black election operated and throughout south, black campaign workers were gunned down. >> former confederates, who are saying, we don't want to participate in a society
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where african-american have full civil right. brett: and threat upped to kill grant too. -- threatened to kill grant took short of that he was certain to win the election. he was 46 years old, youngest president yet elected, he won a war, could he win the peace?
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ashley: welcome to fox news live. i'm ashley strohmier. a nuclear navy engineer and his wife are accused of trying to sell nuclear secrets for $10,000 in crypto currency. not knowing the person he was selling it to was an undercover agent. no charges will be filed against a passenger who forced the emergency landing of an american eagle flight. passengers on board reported suspicious behavior and one man alleged there was an unknown device. but after interviewing the man
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they said it was you a misunderstanding. . ♪ ♪ brett: by time president grant took office in march 1869, u.s. made progress in racial equality. 13th amendment freed slaves. and 14th made them citizens. 6 rebel states were readmitted to union with african-american in positions of power. nobody believes such advances were secure. unrepetence confederate committed to take back what they lost in civil war. grant, faced a task for peace, more difficult man the war. >> a key hurdle is southern whites former confederates opposing african-american civil rights with intimidation,. brett: a new rebellion was
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spreading in secret. to half a million members. >> -- ku klux klan arrived it turned into a violent organization. >> it evolved to a paramilitary outfit to do all they could to make sure that former slave would not be able to exercise the rights that were being granted to them through federal law. brett: they attacked at night disguised in costumes, raping, whipping and killing blacks, louisiana it over a thousand murderer in a year. >> it is confederate soldiers repackaged as a group trying to retake the south during that time. >> it was a guerrilla war. the people really hoped that
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lee would lead them to the mountains, they keep fighting. brett: three quarters of white men were kkk members in some areas that include law enforcement officers, and judges in this climate that grant who felt only way blacks could secure their rights was with a ballot, champions 15 fundament. amendme. >> no citizen can be denied right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude, congress shall provide legislation to enforce that. >> what role do you think grant played in passage of 15 amendment. >> he said this is vital, he thought of it as maybe the most important acts since the pasting of the constitution. constitution. brett: changed
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south,. klan members knew if they could frighten blacks from the polls the 15 amendment would be nothing. >> it was a widespread form of domestic terrorism. brett: few punished. such crimes could only be prosecuted by the state, congress passed law authorizing federal government to prosecute them and created the justice department to handle the job. >> department of justice, started because he believed it was necessary to have a unit that would deal only with blacks playing a role in society. brett: grant knew he needed not just lawyers to fight the klan but an army. >> in 1871, grant pushed the
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ku klux klan act, he goes to congress personally and after passed he uses troops in the south when there are calls for help. >> in absence of union army, power structure of the south will crush black freedom, only thing standing between them is the willingness of northern republicans. brett: grants finished off the klan. he pivoted to quell another insurgency in his own party. liberal republicans railing again what they call grantism, nominated horris greeley to oppose grant, a ripped president for scandals involving his aides and wanted federal
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troops out of the south. they were ambivalent about equal rights for blacks, democrats embraced greeley as well but grant beat his hapless opponent by a landslide. but there was more trouble ahead for the president and the republic. plan. >> our special continues after the break.
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brett: ulysses s. grant felt vindicatedded by his reelection. this is wrong and should be corrected, he declared. to this correction, i stan committed. it was not going to be easy. easter sunday, 1873, colfax,
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louisiana, during a political battle for control of grant perish, white democrats seemed ready to take up arms in response a black militia moved in to block the courthouse. grant said what happened next was a butchery of citizens, whites torched building, opened fire, shot 60 fleeing blacks and captured more and executed them. it warned of a second civil war. >> horrible things in the south. >> a whole series of massacres where in some cases straight out fights because you have african-americans who served in union army. and had weapons. that is the case of colfax massacre. in other cases.
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you had people killed who didn't have weapons to protect themselves with. brett: grant in sent in the military. >> people say enough is enough, we can't keep federal troops in the south enforcing things that whites don't want to enforce. brett: u.s. prosecutors obtained 72 indictment in colfax case but won 3 convictions none for murder. just conspiracy, and supreme court overturned those convictions. more and more, people did not care. the. >> the white population in the north, had some misgivings about conferring suffrage on former
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slaves, without support of northern whites you will not be able to sustain reconstruction. brett: a bubble in railroad stocks bursts, triggering a wall street crash, panic of 1873 was known at great depression. until 1929 took that title. >> panic of 1873 detracts the nation, people are concerned about their immediate economic well being that under cuts any attention that people can pay to other issues. >> 1874 democrats are sensing it's time to take back control politically in midterm there are major allegations of suppression. >> put yourself in place of someone in the black belt of
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georgia, south carolina, alabama, mississippi, louisiana. if you have a fair election, you will be drowned. because there are a lot for more african-american than white citizens. the answer if you were a white segregationist was don't let them vote. brett: democrat took control of the house of representatives for first time since the start of the civil war. >> 1874, republicans suffer a route at the hands of democratic party, the financial down tournament it led to a great deal of discontent. -- did not help. >> as economy worsened, some black voters and candidates grow dissatisfied with grant. the new mississippi senator, blanch bruce, having survived democratic wave, he
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told a fellow republican, he would not cowtown to grant, go ahead and lick your master's boots but don't count on me to do it. >> it would take 92 years before -- >> the lame duck congress passed a new civil rights act. it gave grant one last reconstruction victory. >> civil rights act of 1875, followed to various amendments to be sure that accommodations in restaurant and hotels there would be no discrimination. brett: southerners resisted that law, grant lacked enforcement resources and supreme court struck it down 8 years later. >> civil rights act of 1875 is really the last sort of federal legislation before you get to the 20th century.
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this really making an effort to secure african-american civil rights, and any meaningful way. brett: grant would be attacked by those who thought he did too little to help black americans and those who said he pushed too hart for equal rights. as his second term ended, it would be left to history to decide. >> little did out going president know he would be called to rescue the re
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brett: united states great to the world was miracle of self-government. in america's centennial year, preserving that tradition was president grant's sacred computer, he knew democrats might attempt nationaly what they accomplished in the states. to seize power by suppressing black votes with violence. in 1876 a number of states were actual battle grounds, south carolina, louisiana and florida were still controlled by republicans, democrat sought to redeem
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them. >> of the exhausting of northern republicans and the desperation of southern democrats. and gradual squeezing out of african-american. >> grant received report of 150 political murders in south carolina, 18 in east baton rouge, louisiana and many more in the south. >> culminating point the south a last southern white's last stand. brett: grant still dreamed of equal rights but hesitated to deploy troops, he did not have many for starters. and now he was weakened by more scandals involving his subordinates and more supreme court rulings that reduced his enforcement
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authority. republicans were sick of fighting the terrorist insurgents and fears doing so would cost them votes in 1876 election. >> you see american public grappling of the idea do we continue to enforce african-american civil rights in the south or do we move in a different direction. brett: g.o.p. nominated ohio governor hayes, a strong run by tilton of new york made is most nail-biter. >> tilton won popular vote. >> most -- both parties insisted they prevail. >> repression of vote and fraud accounted for democratic link to victory, there was fraud taking place on the republican side.
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brett: if hayes swept all 3 states he would capture the white house, but democrats would have none. tilton or blood. >> grant steps into this recognizing in needs to be a peaceful transfer of power. >> when u.s. convened to certify the elect rally vote. >> he advocates for at idea of an election commission to sit down and validate the voting and come to some type of compromise that everyone republicans and democrats could live with. with. >> there were several members who were put onboard. there were an equal number
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of democrats and republicans, 7 and 7, and an eighth member was a republican. justice joseph bradley of supreme court seen as most independent minds of supreme court justices. brett: they convened in congress on february 1. the counting stopped when it reached florida. members split on party lines, argued for days, it came down to bradley. he said he needed to sleep on it. then he voted to give florida to the republican. the chamber rumbled with shouts of fraud and bedlam further slowed commission, on february 16, it gave louisiana's vote to hayes too. dcpowder keg of the to explode. >> there were murmurings of washington over taken by violence, there were assassination threats against grant. it was during this period
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that grant acted in many ways behind the scene, he got military ready and made it clear to people we're not tolerating any nonsense or violent. brett: grant's worse fear was coming true. a massive lack of trust in the commission. he was haunted by idea his policies to unify the nation might have brought on this grave crisis. with a week left in his term, he gave his ascent to a grand bargain. one that would keep peace as a terrible cost to blacks. hayes promised to withdraw federal troops and withdraw support from these am battled republican -- embattles republican governments in the south. and have control over state politics, you have reconciliation between white americans at the expense of african-american civil right. brett: deal was ratified
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march 2, the commission awarded south carolina's electoral votes and white house to the republican. >> hayes losing the popular vote won the electoral vote by one vote. >> grant felt reconstruction needed to continue his chief responsible was to the union and the union survived. >> thanks largely to his leadership during the perilous final days of his presidency. >> he could have said not my problem. he said no, i want to do the best we can, he understood peaceful transfer of power is a huge part of american story. brett: grant dominated national scene for over a dozen years, some of his contemporary call 1876 election his greatest contribution on the republic. >> he said there was no greater evidence given of his command even his time on
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the battlefield, than the measure he took during that presidential crises to avoid violent and damage that would have been done. >> before grant's stepped down, confederate apologies rewriting history of civil rewriting history of civil war and aftermath. ♪darling, i, i can't get enough of your love babe♪ ♪girl, i don't know, i don't know,♪ ♪i don't know why i can't get enough of your love babe♪ ♪oh no, babe girl, if i could only make you see♪ ♪and make you understand♪ get a dozen double crunch shrimp for $1 with any steak entrée. only at applebee's.
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intuit quickbooks live bookkeeping. brett: back in 1860, ulysses s. grant of the as low as a man could be. drummed out of the army for drinking. a failed farmer. too broke to support hits family, but in 3 years, with no connections, no famous name, no hint he was destined for greatness, grant became one of the most
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important men on earth. no american ever experienced such a dramatic reversal of circumstance, his wheel of fortune continues to turn and heroic general, two term president was humbled. >> grant after his presidency does a variety of things that include putting money into a wall street firm, but that partner is a crook. and one day grant discovers all of hits money is gone. very shortly after, he discovers he has terminal cancer. >> grant now faces his final challenge. his main concern was not himself. it was leaving enough behind for his wife. >> he found a way. >> mark twain, beside a great author, a publisher, approached grant to be a dealership of grant's
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memoir. >> in pain he wrote from morning until night for 11 months finished his book less than a week before his death july 23, 1885. memoir sold over 300,000 copies, royalties earned grant's wife 450,000 dollars, equivalent to 13 million today, no previous book had sold so quickly. >> there are some literatures who describe it as greatest work of american non-fiction. >> grant has a clarity and honesty, you will never quite see the process of civil war the same. once you read it and never think of grant the same. same. brett: his representation with historians did not age well. they voiced sympathy with
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rebel south. seizing on scandal they list grant at or near bottom of ranking of president, but as modern civil right movement grew, grant's representation continued on rise. >> between 2000 and 2021, grant advanced 13 places. brett: no other president has opinion shifted so draftically, it took more than a century but ulysses s. grant is back on the ride side of history. >> as part of recent unrest, protester in san francisco toppled statue of ulysses s. grant. that saddened me, i was deep into writing this book andn 'ting how hard and long grant fought for equal rights for all. i come to feel great
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admiration for his courage. today, america must decide how to move forward. as we do let's got forget, there is still much to learn from the past. thank you for chris: i'm chris wallace. congress steps back from the financial brink, but the crisis isn't over. just postponed. >> the motion is agreed to. chris: the two parties compromise on a plan to save the u.s. from default but senate republicans blast their leader over bailing out democrats on the debt limit, accusing mitch mcconnell of cabbing. >> i don't understand why we're folding at the end. chris: we'll discuss what the gop plan is now with the number two republican in the house, congressman steve scalise, and


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