· From 1866 Republican ‘radicals’ dominated federal policy
· Passed 14th amendment
· Former Confederate Officials cannot hold office
· Reconstruction Acts in 1867 dissolved southern state governments –
introduced military rule – specifying procedures for elections to
include Black participation
· 1868: 700,000 Black voters to 625,000 white voters
· This fact likely gave the Presidency to Grant (Rep.) in 1868
· Southern mythology states the carpetbaggers (northern adventures)
with the scalawags (southern traitors) manipulated the black puppets to
exclude the natural and proper rulers of society
· This continued through the 1870’s
· Mob violence began to intimidate southern Republican governments
(as early as 1870)
· In 1877 the only reconstruction regimes were S. Carolina &
ELECTION OF 1876
· Tilden (D) vs. Hayes (Rep)
· Tilden won the popular vote
· Tilden entered negotiations W/electoral College w/ a 184 to 166
· Needing only 1 vote for election victory – presidency turned on
disputed returns from 3 states with Republican administrations
· Hayes was awarded the presidency at the cost of withdrawing
federal troops, dooming the remaining Republican administrations in the
What was the popular vote count?
Tilden (Democrat) 4,288,546
Hayes (Republican) 4,034,311
What was the final electoral vote count?
Tilden (Democrat) 184
Hayes (Republican) 185*
*185 electoral votes were necessary for victory
What was the initial electoral count?
Disputed 20 Florida (4), Louisiana (8), Oregon (1), South Carolina (7)
What was the unofficial vote result in the three southern states in
Florida Tilden 24,434 / Hayes 24,340
Louisiana Tilden 83,723 / Hayes 77,174
South Carolina Tilden 90,896 / Hayes 91,870
What was the dispute?
Electors representing both parties appeared before the state returning
boards claiming to be the winners.
What were the powers of the returning boards?
The boards had the power to decide which votes were valid and which
were not. The Republicans controlled the returning boards in the three
What was the basis for disallowing certain ballots in these states?
o "Repeaters" were used to stuff the ballot boxes.
o Fraudulent ballots were printed in order to trick illiterate
blacks into voting for Democratic candidates.
o Ballot boxes were held back in some areas so that more votes could
be added later.
o There was evidence that Blacks were intimidated away from the
polling places keeping the Republican vote count low.
Did Republicans also perpetrate frauds during and after the election?
Yes. Partisans on both sides employed legal and illegal methods in
order to gain the presidency for their party.
What did returning boards of Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina
All three boards certified the Republican electors.
Why wasn't Hayes declared the winner when the disputed electoral votes
were awarded to the Republican slate?
The electoral votes still had to be certified by the President of the
Senate. During the certification process electors from both the
Republican and Democratic parties claimed to represent Florida,
Louisiana, and South Carolina (the Oregon elector was also a
complication). The certification process stopped pending resolution of
the disputed electors.
Why didn't the President of the Senate decide which were the legitimate
The Vice-president is the President of the Senate, however Henry Wilson
died in 1875. Senator Thomas Ferry, a Republican from Michigan, took
his place as President of the Senate, however he was not the
Vice-president. Ferry chose not to make this difficult decision on his
own, citing lack of direction from the Constitution.
Which party controlled the U.S. Congress in 1876?
The Democrats had the majority in the House of Representatives. The
Republicans had the majority in the Senate.
What roles did Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden play during the
Both candidates distanced themselves from the fray, leaving it to their
representatives to do the work. They were informed of developments as
How was the electoral dispute resolved?
In December 1876 the House and Senate passed resolutions creating a
fifteen man Electoral Commission charged with resolving the electoral
crisis. The Electoral Commission was comprised of five senators, five
house members, and five Supreme Court justices.
What was the political make-up of the Electoral Commission?
Eight Republicans and seven Democrats served on
How did the Electoral Commission proceed?
Hearings started on February 1, 1877. The panel decided on each state
separately. All decisions were made on a party-line vote:
February 9, Florida to Hayes 8 to 7
February 16, Louisiana to Hayes 8 to 7
February 23, Oregon to Hayes 8 to 7
February 27, South Carolina to Hayes 8 to 7
What were the certified vote counts for the three disputed states?
Florida Tilden 22,927 Hayes 23,894
Louisiana Tilden 70,508 Hayes 75,313
South Carolina Tilden 90,896 Hayes 91,896
What was "the Compromise of 1877?"
Historian C. Vann Woodward coined the phrase in his 1951 book Reunion
and Reaction. Professor Woodward outlines the agreement below:
· Troops will be recalled from the statehouse property in the three
· 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
1883 Supreme Court strikes down Civil Rights Act of 1875 (guaranteeing
Black access to public premises)