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Carl Schurz
Carl-Schurz.jpg
13th United States Secretary of the Interior
In office
March 12, 1877 – March 7, 1881
President Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Preceded by Zachariah Chandler
Succeeded by Samuel J. Kirkwood
United States Senator
from Missouri
In office
March 4, 1869 – March 3, 1875
Preceded by John B. Henderson
Succeeded by Francis Cockrell
United States Minister to Spain
In office
July 13, 1861 – December 18, 1861
President Abraham Lincoln
Preceded by William Preston
Succeeded by Gustav Körner
Personal details
Born
Carl Christian Schurz

(1829-03-02)March 2, 1829
Liblar, Province of Westphalia, Kingdom of Prussia, German Confederation (now Erftstadt)
Died May 14, 1906(1906-05-14) (aged 77)
New York City, U.S.
Political party Republican
Liberal Republican (1870-1872)
Spouse(s) Margarethe Meyer
Education University of Bonn (BA)
Signature
Military service
Allegiance Flag of Germany.svg German revolutionaries
 United States
Branch/service United States Volunteers
(Union Army)
Years of service 1848
1862–1865
Rank Union Army major general rank insignia.svg Major General
Battles/wars German revolutions of 1848–49
American Civil War (1861-1865)

Carl Christian Schurz ( March 2, 1829 – May 14, 1906) was a German revolutionary and an American statesman, journalist, and reformer. He immigrated to the United States after the German revolutions of 1848–49 and became a prominent member of the new Republican Party. After serving as a Union general in the American Civil War, he helped found the short-lived Liberal Republican Party and became a prominent advocate of civil service reform. Schurz represented Missouri in the United States Senate and was the 13th United States Secretary of the Interior.

Born in the Kingdom of Prussia's Rhine Province, Schurz fought for democratic reforms in the German revolutions of 1848–49 as a member of the academic fraternity association Deutsche Burschenschaft. After Prussia suppressed the revolution Schurz fled to France. When police forced him to leave France he migrated to London. Like many other "Forty-Eighters," he then immigrated to the United States, settling in Watertown, Wisconsin, in 1852. After being admitted to the Wisconsin bar, he established a legal practice in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He also became a strong advocate for the anti-slavery movement and joined the newly organized Republican Party, unsuccessfully running for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin. After briefly representing the United States as Minister (ambassador) to Spain, Schurz served as a general in the American Civil War, fighting in the Battle of Gettysburg and other major battles.

After the war, Schurz established a newspaper in St. Louis, Missouri, and won election to the U.S. Senate, becoming the first German-born American elected to that body. Breaking with Republican President Ulysses S. Grant, Schurz helped establish the Liberal Republican Party. The party advocated civil service reform and opposed Grant's efforts to protect African-American civil rights in the Southern United States during Reconstruction. Schurz chaired the 1872 Liberal Republican convention, which nominated a ticket that unsuccessfully challenged President Grant in the 1872 presidential election. Schurz lost his own 1874 re-election bid and resumed his career as a newspaper editor.

After Republican Rutherford B. Hayes won the 1876 presidential election, he appointed Schurz as his Secretary of the Interior. Schurz sought to make civil service based on merit rather than political and party connections and helped prevent the transfer of the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the War Department. Schurz moved to New York City after Hayes left office in 1881 and briefly served as the editor of the New York Evening Post and The Nation and later became the editorial writer for Harper's Weekly. He remained active in politics and led the "Mugwump" movement, which opposed nominating James G. Blaine in the 1884 presidential election. Schurz opposed William Jennings Bryan's bimetallism in the 1896 presidential election but supported Bryan's anti-imperialist campaign in the 1900 presidential election. Schurz died in New York City in 1906.

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