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James G. Blaine (1830–93) was an American Republican politician who served as U.S. Representative,Speaker of the House of Representatives, U.S. Senator from Maine, and twice as Secretary of State. Blaine was born in western Pennsylvania and moved to Maine where he became a newspaper editor. Nicknamed "the Magnetic Man", he was a charismatic speaker in an era that prized oratory. He began his political career as an early supporter of Abraham Lincoln and the Union in the American Civil War. InReconstruction, Blaine was a supporter of black suffrage, but opposed some of the more coercive measures of the Radical Republicans. Initially a protectionist, he later worked for a reduction in the tariffand an expansion of overseas trade. His efforts at expanding US trade and influence began the shift to a more active American foreign policy. Blaine was a pioneer of tariff reciprocity and urged greater involvement in Latin American affairs. He was nominated for President in 1884, but was narrowly defeated by Democrat Grover Cleveland. Blaine was one of the late 19th century's leading Republicans and champion of the moderate reformist faction of the party known as the "Half-Breeds".


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