Name: Schurz, Carl
Category: Politics and Government
Born/Started: Mar. 02, 1829
Died/Ended: May. 14, 1906
Description: Carl Schurz was a politician, a writer, a minister to Spain, a Union general, a U.S. senator, and secretary of the Interior under President Hayes.
Carl Schurz was the editor of the German newspaper Westliche Post. Together with Emil Preetorius, he was considered one of the most influential Germans in St. Louis in the 1800s.
Schurz came to St. Louis from Detroit and quickly established himself as a leading voice for the Radical Party. He advocated a moderate stance on how to deal with the rebels following the Civil War, but led efforts to promote political equality for African Americans. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1868. His liberal views helped widen a split in the Republican Party and eventually led to the formation of a new Liberal Party in 1870. The new party existed for less than two years, but its reform efforts impacted the national political scene for years to come.
Schurz went on to become secretary of the Interior in 1877. In that position, he focused on the treatment of native Americans and proposed Civil Service initiatives that eventually served as the basis for the country’s merit system in federal employment. (Primm, 269)
He also wrote Life of Henry Clay and was involved in maintaining strong German-American ties in the St. Louis area.
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