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Three years after accepting Robert E. Lee's surrender, Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, left, was elected to the first of two terms as president.


The Civil War was the start of a long period of domination by the Republicans, who became known as the Grand Old Party, or GOP. During Reconstruction, so-called Radical Republicans in Congress imposed harsh measures on the South, creating deep resentment that helped make the South solidly Democratic. Republican Ulysses S. Grant, commander of Union forces in the Civil War, was elected to two terms that were plagued by corruption. Republicans Rutherford B. Hayes, James Garfield and Chester Arthur occupied the White House through 1885.