The Presidencies of Grover Cleveland lasted from March 4, 1885 to March 4, 1889, and from March 4, 1893 to March 4, 1897. The first Democrat elected after the Civil War, Grover Cleveland is the only United States President to leave office after one term and later return for a second term. His presidencies were the nation's 22nd and 24th. Cleveland defeated James G. Blaine of Maine in 1884, lost to Benjamin Harrison of Indiana in 1888, and then defeated President Harrison in 1892.

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  • The Presidencies of Grover Cleveland lasted from March 4, 1885 to March 4, 1889, and from March 4, 1893 to March 4, 1897. The first Democrat elected after the Civil War, Grover Cleveland is the only United States President to leave office after one term and later return for a second term. His presidencies were the nation's 22nd and 24th. Cleveland defeated James G. Blaine of Maine in 1884, lost to Benjamin Harrison of Indiana in 1888, and then defeated President Harrison in 1892. Cleveland was the leader of the pro-business Bourbon Democrats who opposed high tariffs, Free Silver, inflation, imperialism, and subsidies to business, farmers, or veterans. His crusade for political reform and fiscal conservatism made him an icon for American conservatives of the era. Cleveland won praise for his honesty, self-reliance, integrity, and commitment to the principles of classical liberalism. He relentlessly fought political corruption, patronage, and bossism. As a reformer Cleveland had such prestige that the like-minded wing of the Republican Party, called "Mugwumps", largely bolted the GOP presidential ticket and swung to his support in the 1884 election. As his second presidency began, disaster hit the nation when the Panic of 1893 produced a severe national depression, which Cleveland was unable to reverse. It ruined his Democratic Party, opening the way for a Republican landslide in 1894 and for the agrarian and silverite seizure of the Democratic Party in 1896. The result was a political realignment that ended the Third Party System and launched the Fourth Party System and the Progressive Era. Cleveland was a formidable policymaker, and he also drew corresponding criticism. His intervention in the Pullman Strike of 1894 to keep the railroads moving angered labor unions nationwide in addition to the party in Illinois; his support of the gold standard and opposition to Free Silver alienated the agrarian wing of the Democratic Party. Critics complained that Cleveland had little imagination and seemed overwhelmed by the nation's economic disasters—depressions and strikes—in his second term. Even so, his reputation for probity and good character survived the troubles of his second term. Biographer Allan Nevins wrote: "[I]n Grover Cleveland the greatness lies in typical rather than unusual qualities. He had no endowments that thousands of men do not have. He possessed honesty, courage, firmness, independence, and common sense. But he possessed them to a degree other men do not." Cleveland, a bachelor when he became President in 1885, married Frances Folsom in the Blue Room at the White House on June 2, 1886; he is the only President married in the White House. After leaving office, Cleveland lived in retirement in Princeton, New Jersey. He died on June 24, 1908, and is buried in Princeton Cemetery. Today, Cleveland is considered by most historians to have been a successful leader, generally ranked among the second tier of American presidents. (en)
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  • BEP engraved portrait of Cleveland as President.
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  • The Presidencies of Grover Cleveland lasted from March 4, 1885 to March 4, 1889, and from March 4, 1893 to March 4, 1897. The first Democrat elected after the Civil War, Grover Cleveland is the only United States President to leave office after one term and later return for a second term. His presidencies were the nation's 22nd and 24th. Cleveland defeated James G. Blaine of Maine in 1884, lost to Benjamin Harrison of Indiana in 1888, and then defeated President Harrison in 1892. (en)
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  • Presidencies of Grover Cleveland (en)
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