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Chapter 12 . Section 4: Reconstruction collapses. The Grant Administration. Democrats had been regaining political control Many (most?) Southerners viewed Republican leaders as Union control of the South Grant had won the presidential election in 1868 to become the 18 th president

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chapter 12

Chapter 12

Section 4: Reconstruction collapses

the grant administration
The Grant Administration

Democrats had been regaining political control

Many (most?) Southerners viewed Republican leaders as Union control of the South

Grant had won the presidential election in 1868 to become the 18th president

Was the famous war hero

NOT a politician

Thinks the president is to carry

out policy, not to make it.

the republican party is divided
The Republican Party is divided…
  • Republicans still control Congress
  • Expanded many programs began as emergency measures during the Civil War
    • Tariffs
    • “sin taxes”
    • Became political targets for Democrats, who claimed that such policies were making the rich (Northerners) even more wealthy at the expense of the poor (South)
the republican part is divided
The Republican Part is divided…
  • Liberal Republicans side with the Democrats on these issues
  • Think President Grant is too influenced by the wealthy
  • Wanted to keep Grant from being nominated for re-election
  • Nominated Horace Greeley as their candidate in 1872.
scandals in grant s second term
Scandals in Grant’s Second Term
  • Grant’s secretary of war, William Belknap, had been taking bribes.
  • Would have been impeached, but resigned first
  • Then the “Whiskey Ring” scandal broke
    • Involved government officials and distillers who had filed false tax returns
    • Grant’s private secretary was implicated, although he was never officially charged
panic of 1873
Panic of 1873

Caused by the bankruptcy of Jay Cooke & Company

Bad investments in railroads

Small banks closed

Stock market fell

Tens of thousands out of work

Economic recession

Political impact: hurts the Republicans in the 1874 midterm elections; Democrats win back control of the House of Representatives

Began investigating the scandals, which further hurts Grant’s administration and his party.

reconstruction ends
Reconstruction Ends
  • Political gains by Democrats make it very difficult for the Republicans to enforce Reconstruction policies
  • The North had moved on and no longer had the desire to punish the South; more worried about economic issues of their own
  • The South is “redeemed” by Democrats from Republican rule
    • Intimidation of Republican voters & African Americans
    • Voter fraud such as stuffing ballot boxes
redeeming the south
“Redeeming” the South

Present political issues in racial terms

Urge whites to end Republican (read: African American) control in the South

Regain the support of poor white farmers

By 1876, the Democrats had regained the majority in state legislatures in most of the Southern states

The ones that still had Republican majorities still had Union troops in place to protect African Americans’ voting rights (SC, LA, FL)

hayes v tilden
Hayes v. Tilden

1876 is an election year

Republicans view Grant as too damaged to nominate him for a third term

Nominate Rutherford B. Hayes, former governor of Ohio

Democrats nominate Samuel Tilden, former governor of New York

election of 1876
Election of 1876
  • Tilden won 184 electoral votes
  • Hayes won 165
  • 20 were at stake because there was so much voter fraud in some states, it was impossible to say who really won ( Louisiana, South Carolina & Florida)
  • Congress set up a special committee to decide what to do about these 20 disputed electoral votes
    • Had 15 members
    • House, Senate & Supreme Court
    • Both Republicans (8) and Democrats (7)
    • Voted along party lines to give the election to Hayes
    • Committee’s recommendation was not binding if not approved by both the House & Senate
    • Some Southern Democrats sided with the Republicans to give the election to Hayes. Why would they do this?
    • Must be a “corrupt bargain”
compromise of 1877
Compromise of 1877

Did Republicans cut a deal with Democrats in the House to let Hayes become president?

What would they want in return?

End of federal troops in the South

Basically means the end of Reconstruction

Historians can’t really prove or disprove a “corrupt bargain”

Hayes did become president, troops were removed

Remaining Republican-controlled state legislatures soon collapsed

the new south
The “New South”

Phrase coined by Henry Grady, editor of the Atlanta Constitution newspaper

Recognition that the South can’t return to an agriculturally based economy

Will need to develop industry and improve transportation

By 1890, 40,000 miles of railroad tracks

Iron and steel industry (Birmingham)

Cotton mills and tobacco processing


Farming not completely replaced

New systems developed: tenant farming & sharecropping

Tenant farming—many former slaves rent the land from their former masters

Many start out as tenant farmers but become sharecroppers as they get into debt by borrowing from furnishing merchants.

Crop liens, very high interest rates (40%)

Debt peonage—can’t file bankruptcy and can’t quit or will go to jail (and hard labor)

This economic system significantly weakened many of the political and social gains made by African Americans.