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The Hayes-Tilden Election. a/k/a the Compromise of 1877 and the end of Reconstruction. In spite of the support of some. . . President Grant declined to run for a 3rd term:

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The hayes tilden election l.jpg

The Hayes-Tilden Election

a/k/a the Compromise of 1877 and the end of Reconstruction


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In spite of the support of some. .

  • President Grant declined to run for a 3rd term:

    • “Grant … had no right to exist. He should have been extinct for ages. . . That, two thousand years after Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar, a man like Grant should be called - and should actually and truly be - the highest product of the most advanced evolution, made evolution ludicrous. . . The progress of evolution from President Washington to President Grant, was alone evidence enough to upset Darwin. . . Grant . . . Should have lived in a cave and worn skins.” Henry Adams


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The Election of 1876

  • President Grant was not running for re-election - he wouldn’t have made it if he had

  • The country was looking for recovery from scandal and corruption


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The Candidates - The Republicans

  • The candidate was the former Governor of Ohio - Rutherford B. Hayes

    • Dubbed “the Great Unknown” because few had heard of him outside of Ohio

  • He was a Civil War veteran, therefore looked good to follow General Grant


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Slogan about Hayes

  • Some are born great,

  • Some achieve greatness,

  • and some are born in Ohio

  • Part of the reason for Hayes’ selection was to secure Ohio’s electoral votes


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    The Democrat

    • Samuel J. Tilden

      • Governor of New York and the man who had “bagged” Boss Tweed

    • In the election, Tilden received 184 electoral votes - he needed 185


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    Enter . . . the mess

    • The popular vote had clearly gone to Tilden: 4,284,020 to 4,036,572

    • Three states’ electoral votes were in question because of their status in Reconstruction (they did not yet have a new, non-military government and had not yet been officially been re-admitted to the Union)


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    The Vote by State

    See Text: pg. 519


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    What Happened Next

    • There were 20 electoral votes in question - Tilden needed one

    • 19 of them were from the states of Louisiana, South Carolina, and yes, Florida

      • Each of these states was still under a Reconstruction government and had not formally returned to the Union

    • The last disputed electoral vote was from Oregon - the person voting was ineligible


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    Who Counts the Votes???

    • Each of the three southern states sent two sets of electoral votes - one Democratic and one Republican

    • Which set would count depended on who counted them - the Speaker of the House was a Democrat - the President of the Senate was a Republican

    • The Congress - despite threats of armed insurrection - compromised


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    The Electoral Count Act

    • Passed in 1877, the act made the following provisions:

      • The election would be decided by an electoral commission

      • 15 men selected from the Senate, House, Supreme Court (Where is this in the Constitution???)

      • See the partisan composition on pg. 520


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    The Vote Counting

    • Florida’s votes were sent to the Electoral Commission

      • The EC voted to accept the Republican Electoral Votes by a party-line vote of 8-7

      • If this kept up, Hayes would win

    • The rest of the compromise was hammered out

    • In exchange for Hayes winning the race, Federal troops would be removed from LA and FL - Reconstruction was over!!


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