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Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

The Election of 1876:...Multiple Choice!!!?

The Election of 1876:

a - was a landslide for Hayes.

b - did little to change the program of the Radical Republicans.

c - led to an agreement where the Democrats could control the Senate if they supported Hays for president.

d -led to a compromise ending Reconstructionin exchange for Hayes becoming president.

PLEASE Help me OUT. 10 Points for Best Answer. Thank you!

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The answer usually given would be (D). It's also what I've instructed my high school junior to answer if the question came up on his AP history exam last spring... but it's doubtful this notorious "corrupt bargain" EVER happened! In any case, even if there is some truth to it, the answer is VERY misleading about how Reconstruction actually came to an end (and personally I believe its an unjustified smear of Hayes).

    In fact, Hayes had already promised, BEFORE the election, that he would withdraw the rest of the North's troops from the South. Because Hayes did as he said he would Reconstruction did end in 1877, but NOT because of a special compromise that he (or his supporters) made with Democrats to "steal" electoral votes after the election was over.

    Note that the so-called Compromise of 1877 is nowhere documented and was only first put forward (at least in its full-blown form) as a hypothesis in 1951!

    Here's the background:

    When two slates of electors showed up for four disputed states (Florida, South Carolina, Lousiana and Oregon) the Commission appointed by Congress to settle which slates to accept actually ended up voting (along party lines) for the Hayes electors in every case. It was only at this point, when the Senate had to vote on whether to accept the Commission's decision that any idea of a "deal" came up -- NOT a deal to 'throw' the election, but to avoid a possible Democratic filibuster (Republicans had a majority in the Senate).

    The idea that there was an informal compromise made to smooth the way has never been proved. The phrase "Compromise of 1877" was cointed by historian C. Vann Woodward in his 1951 book Reunion and Reaction. He claimed that the compromise consisted of:

    * Troops will be recalled from the statehouse property in the three states.

    * Funds will be provided to build the Texas and Pacific Railroad.

    * A southerner will be appointed as Postmaster General.

    * Funds will be appropriated to rebuild the economy in the South.

    * The solution to the race problem will be left to the state governments.

    But there is something very odd about this list. Of the five items in the list, THREE never happened, and the two that DID (troop removal and the appointment of a Southerner to the cabinet) were things Hayes had already promised to do during the campaign!! So there was no NEED for him to "Compromise" on these points! (The wikipedia article notes some of this in passing, but does not give these facts their due.)

    For that matter, the idea that this man whom all agree served honorably and scandal-free both as Ohio governor and as President supposedly pulled a sudden secret 'double-cross' (for which we have NO record, mind you)... it's a VERY questionable hypothesis.

    There's one other major piece that people get confused about. The suggestion is made that Hayes, in order to gain the Presidency suddenly changed the national policy and brought Reconstruction to an end is very misleading. In fact, the Reconstruction effort had been losing political support in the North for several years. As a result Grant had already removed MOST of the federal troops before the election of 1876. And everyone was expecting it all to end shortly. (This was a sad outcome, but Hayes was NOT the cause.)

    In other words, there is really NO reason for the contention that Hayes chose to betray the freedmen in order to settle this dispute and gain the Presidency. There is serious doubt that any such Compromise ever happened. The most that could credibly be suggested is that Hayes's supporters simply assured the Democratic Senators that Hayes would indeed do as his campaign had promised. (This is possible --since people sometimes doubt promises made during a political campaign! -- but is would hardly be a dirty deal or merit the name and notoriety of "the Compromise of 1877.)

    By the way, more recent authors on this subject have tended NOT to agree with Vann Woodward's view. But as is often the case with these things, the reference works and text books will take YEARS to catch up!

    One other note -- it seems that corrupt bargains (trading for votes, influencing legislators of judges) have been alleged against one of the parties (ususally the winner) in ALL of the very unusual elections-- from Jefferson's (where Burr was accused of trying to gatin the Presidency), to John Quincy Adams, to Hayes, to Bush-Gore in 2000. But in fact, the accusations are extremely doubtful in every case. . . Why do the stories persist? Because 'scandal sells'!!

    Source(s): Roy Morris Jr., Fraud of the Century : Rutherford B. Hayes, Samuel Tilden, and the Stolen Election of 1876 (2003) --despite the title, Morris points out how Tilden's majority in the contested states was the result of ballot-stuffing, threats and attacks that drove away black Republican voters, etc , and he is not convinced that Hayes' agreed to the "corrupt bargain"
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  • 1 decade ago

    D. Many historians believe that an informal deal was struck to resolve the dispute. In return for Southern acquiescence in Hayes' election, the Republicans agreed to withdraw federal troops from the South, effectively ending Reconstruction. This deal became known as the Compromise of 1877. The Compromise effectively pushed African-Americans out of power in the government; soon after the compromise, African-Americans were barred from voting by poll taxes and grandfather clauses.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I do believe it would be "d". I do remember that Reconstruction ended in 1877 and I do believe Hayes was instrumental in bringing the end to Reconstruction.

    Good Luck!

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