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members of what southern party negotiated to deal known as the compromise of 1877?

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
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    The party you refer to would be the Democrats (esp. those from the Southern states), who supposedly would only allow the Republican candidate to become President IF he agreed to carry out certain policies.

    But in fact, though I advised my son on how he should answer any "Compromise of 1877" on his AP History test, it is highly questionable that such at deal EVER took place!! It is NOWHERE documented and was only first put forward (at least in its full-blown form) as a hypothesis in 1951!

    Further, when you see what it was (about to be President) Rutherford B. Hayes supposedly offered to do to secure the Presidency, you discover that the ONLY things he did were things he had openly said he would to BEFORE the election of 1876 was held!!

    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 coined 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!

    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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  • 4 years ago


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  • 1 decade ago

    well, the republicans proposed it and the democrats agreed. based on the wording of your question, i would guess the answer you are looking for is republicans.

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  • 1 decade ago
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  • Pinkie
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
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