Why is it said that Benjamin Harrison had a strong political background?

Benjamin Harrison’s knowledge about politics dated back to a very young age. He was born into a political family. His great grandfather was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. His grandfather was William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the U.S. His father was a U.S. congressman. No wonder, Benjamin followed the path of his ancestors.

During the Civil War, Harrison served as an officer in the Union army. After the war, he resumed the career of a lawyer. He established himself as a prominent politician in Indiana. Though he lost the governorship of Indiana in 1876, he was elected to the United States Senate in 1881. Failures precede success and this held true for Harrison. He lost one presidential election to Cleveland, but was victorious in 1888.

As president, Harrison worked to pass the Sherman Antitrust Act. This law was passed to protect people from high prices charged by big companies who did not have competition. He also organized the first Pan American Congress in Washington in 1889 and established an information centre which later came to be known as the Pan American Union. By the end of his tenure, he had submitted a plan to annex Hawaii. This however, did not bear fruit immediately.

Though he was nominated again in 1892, Harrison was defeated by Cleveland. He spent his retirement years in Indianapolis and died of pneumonia in 1901.

Harrison was a much sought-after public speaker; a series of his lectures delivered at Stanford University was published in 1901 as Views of an Ex-President.

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