The Controversial Election of 1876 and its Lasting Impact on American Politics

TLDR The election of 1876 was a highly corrupt and controversial presidential election in American history, with fraud and disputed electoral votes leading to the victory of Rutherford Hayes over Samuel Tilden. This election had significant consequences, including the establishment of Jim Crow laws and the abandonment of freed blacks who supported the Republican Party.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 The election of 1876 was the most controversial and corrupt election in U.S. history, with lasting effects on American politics.
02:01 The election of 1876 was the shadiest and most controversial presidential election in American history, with the aftermath of the Civil War, military occupation, and economic depression all playing a role in the outcome.
03:47 The Republican candidate, Rutherford Hayes, won the nomination as a compromise candidate at the Republican Convention, while the Democratic candidate, Samuel Tilden, won the popular vote but fell one electoral vote short of winning the presidency.
05:40 Widespread fraud occurred in southern states, including the printing of Republican ballots with the Democratic symbol, leading to the invalidation of enough ballots to give the election to Hayes, and in Oregon, the governor's appointment of a Democrat as an elector swung the election to Tilden.
07:23 The Electoral Commission Act was passed, creating a commission consisting of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four Supreme Court Justices to resolve the disputed electoral votes, with the Republicans having an 8-7 majority due to the recusal of independent justice David Davis.
09:09 The Electoral Commission voted in favor of Hayes, giving him the win in the electoral college by one vote, and the Democrats agreed to end the filibuster and allow Hayes to assume the presidency in exchange for several conditions, although some of those conditions were never fulfilled.
10:55 The election of 1876 led to the foundation of Jim Crow laws in the South, which lasted until the 1960s, and resulted in the abandonment of freed blacks who were staunch supporters of the Republican Party.
Categories: History Education

Browse more History