Blaine, James G.


Blaine, James G.

▪ American politician
in full  James Gillespie Blaine  
born Jan. 31, 1830, West Brownsville, Pa., U.S.
died Jan. 27, 1893, Washington, D.C.
 a leading Republican politician and diplomat for 25 years (1868–93), who was particularly influential in launching the Pan-American Movement with Latin-American countries.

      Blaine graduated from Washington (now Washington and Jefferson) College in Washington, Pa., in 1847 and then taught school for the next six years. He moved to Augusta, Maine, in 1854 to become editor and part owner of the Kennebec Journal, a crusading Republican newspaper. In 1856 he attended the first national convention of the newly organized Republican Party. He served in the Maine state legislature from 1858 until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1862. After the Civil War, he favoured a more moderate Reconstruction policy than the radicals of his party, although he was a strong advocate of black suffrage.

      In 1868 Blaine was elected speaker of the House, where his eloquence and leadership won him a devoted body of followers. He became known as the “Plumed Knight,” an appellation given him by Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll of Illinois, who offered Blaine's name in nomination at the National Republican Convention of 1876. Blaine failed, however, to reply convincingly to charges that he had used his office for personal gain, and on the seventh ballot he lost the nomination to Rutherford B. Hayes.

      Immediately after the election Blaine was appointed to the Senate to fill a vacancy, and he soon won election to a full term. In 1880 he again lost a bid for the presidential nomination, and, on the election of James A. Garfield, he resigned his Senate seat to become secretary of state. In this office he envisaged a system of inter-American arbitration to relieve tensions and strengthen the Monroe Doctrine, and in 1881 he revived the idea—conceived earlier in the century—of calling an inter-American conference to consider an arbitration plan designed to prevent wars in the Western Hemisphere. This idea marked the beginning of the Pan-American Movement. The assassination of President Garfield (1881), however, brought Blaine's resignation, and his Pan-American Conference was shelved by his successor.

      Blaine finally won nomination for the presidency in 1884, only to lose by an extremely narrow margin to the Democratic candidate, Grover Cleveland, after an especially virulent campaign. By 1889 the Republicans were back in power, and Blaine again became secretary of state. As such, he assumed the chairmanship of the first Pan-American (Pan-American conferences) Conference, which had been authorized by Congress the previous year. The recommendation of separately negotiated reciprocity treaties was the only positive action of the conference. Blaine's proposals for a customs union and arbitration were defeated.

      Blaine resigned as secretary of state in June 1892, partly as a result of failing health, and he was dead within seven months.

Additional Reading
David Saville Muzzey, James G. Blaine: A Political Idol of Other Days (1934, reissued 1963).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Blaine,James Gillespie — Blaine, James Gillespie. Known as “the Plumed Knight.” 1830 1893. American politician. A U.S. representative (1863 1876) and senator (1876 1881) from Maine, he was U.S. secretary of state (1881 and 1889 1892) and lost the 1884 presidential… …   Universalium

  • Blaine, James G(illespie) — born Jan. 31, 1830, West Brownsville, Pa., U.S. died Jan. 27, 1893, Washington, D.C. U.S. politician and diplomat. He moved to Maine in 1854 to become editor of the Kennebec Journal, a crusading Republican newspaper. He served in the U.S. House… …   Universalium

  • Blaine, James (Gillespie) — (31 ene. 1830, West Brownsville, Pa, EE.UU.–27 ene. 1893, Washington, D.C.). Político y diplomático estadounidense. Se trasladó a Maine en 1854, para dirigir el Kennebec Journal, periódico paladín de la causa republicana. Fue miembro de la Cámara …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • James Blaine — James Gillespie Blaine James Gillespie Blaine (* 31. Januar 1830 in West Brownsville, Washington County, Pennsylvania; † 27. Januar 1893 in Washington D.C.) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James Gillespie Blaine — (* 31. Januar 1830 in West Brownsville, Washington County, Pennsylvania; † 27. Januar 1893 in Washington D.C.) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James G. Blaine — James Gillespie Blaine James Gillespie Blaine (* 31. Januar 1830 in West Brownsville, Washington County, Pennsylvania; † 27. Januar 1893 in Washington D.C.) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James G. Blaine — James Blaine James Blaine (1830 1893) James Gillespie Blaine (1830–1893) était un homme politique américain, membre du Parti républicain, député au Congrès des États Unis de 1863 à 1875, sénateur du Maine de 1876 à 1881 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • James Abram Garfield — James A. Garfield James Abram Garfield (* 19. November 1831 in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio; † 19. September 1881 in Elberon, New Jersey) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker und der 20 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James Garfield — James A. Garfield James Abram Garfield (* 19. November 1831 in Orange, Cuyahoga County, Ohio; † 19. September 1881 in Elberon, New Jersey) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker und der 20 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James — James, Henry James, Henry James, William * * * (as used in expressions) Agee, James Anderson, (James) Maxwell Audubon, John James Baldwin, James (Arthur) Balfour (de Whittingehame), Arthur James, 1 conde Ballard, J(ames) G(raham) Barrie, Sir… …   Enciclopedia Universal


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