The Compromise of 1877, consisted of a deal between the Republicans and the Democrats to resolve the disagreement of the results of the presidential election of 1876. The election was between democrat Samuel J. Tiden and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. Tiden lead the election with 203 – 165 votes in electoral votes over Hayes. During the election, fraud and violence throughout some states left 20 votes undecided. At this point, an Electoral Commission was formed. The Electoral Commission included fifteen government officials whose assignment was to come up with a compromise in the chance that a presidential election ever was disputed. The commission consisted of five Senators, five House Representatives, and five Court Justices:
Thomas F. Bayard (Senate, Democrat) was an American lawyer and politician. He served three terms as a Senator from Delaware. Allen G. Thurman (Senate, Democrat) was a lawyer, politician, judge, and secretary. He was the United States Senator from Ohio.
George F. Edmunds (Senate, Republican) was a politician and a lawyer, as well as the United States Senator from Vermont from 1866-1891.
Frederick T. Frelinghuysen (Senate, Republican) was a lawyer and politician as well as the 29th United States Secretary of State.
Oliver Hazard Perry Morton (Senate, Republican) was a politician, lawyer, and a judge as well as the United States Senator from Indiana.
Josiah Gardner Abbott (Representative, Democrat) was an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts. Eppa Hunton (Representative, Democrat) was a brigadier general in the Virginia Militia.
Henry B. Payne (Representative, Democrat) was a politician, as well as a Untied States House Representative for one term.
James Garfield (Representative, Republican) was a Major General in the U.S. Army, as well as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. George Frisbie Hoar (Representative, Republican) was a lawyer and a Senior Senator of Massachusetts.
Nathan Clifford (Justice, Democrat) was a lawyer, politician, teacher, and a judge. He was also an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States as well as the 20th U.S. Attorney General.
Stephen Johnson Field (Justice, Democrat) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
Joseph Philo Bradley (Justice, Republican) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Samuel Freeman Miller (Justice, Republican) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
William Strong (Justice, Republican) was an American jurist and politician. He was a justice on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. (www.compromiseof1877.com)
Originally, the commission was supposed to consist of seven republicans, seven democrats, and one independent. When the independent canidate, David Davis, refused the nomination, Republican Joseph Bradley replaced him(www.buzzle.com). Its said that Davis refused the nomination because the Illinois legislature selected him as the state’s newest U.S. Senator(www.fandm.edu). The Commission then decided that the undecided 20 votes would go towards Hayes as the next president. That caused the Democrats to file a filibuster in the House of Representatives to eject the decision. The Senate overruled the ejection and left the Democrats angered (http://compromiseof1877.com). There was no legal mechanisms that could sufficiently come to a conclusion of the crisis. Multiple meetings among a variety of “interested” interest groups took place. Powerful railroad owners, leaders of both parties, and even members of Congress attended these meetings. These “backroom” negotiations provided a solution to the 1876 presidential election. They also at the same time reassured the various interest groups that the development they wanted would be recognized(www.fandm.edu). The Compromise of 1877 had conditions. The only way the Hayes could be president was if both parties agreed to the following conditions:
Federal troops be removed from the States in South (the erstwhile Confederate States)
At least one Democrat be included in Hayes’ cabinet.
A second Transcontinental railroad be constructed in South using the Texas and Pacific Railway.
A legislation aimed at helping to industrialize the Southern States be passed (www.buzzle.com).
The Compromise of 1877 holds some significance because it took place right after the American Civil War. It was also responsible for defusing another violence streak. Instead of sorting out political impasse through debate in the US Congress, the two parties in dispute came to certain mutual agreement that they thought was suitable for their respective parties. This Compromise also marked the end of the Reconstruction Era, as well as opened the doors for reestablishing biased procedures against Blacks. The north states have been trying to get rid of these policies, but were unsuccessful in the past. The Compromise of 1877 was considered as the ‘Big Betrayal’ to about 4 million freed slaves in the South. Efforts were being made to join a divided nation, but the slaves felt that there was not enough being done to bring equality. It was known as the Reconstruction Era that finally ended with the Compromise of 1877. The Reconstruction was mainly going on in the Southern states. During this period, the Union sent federal troops to the Confederate states. Soon the troops won over the Southern territories, and reconstructed governments were set up in these states by President Abraham Lincoln. Republicans worked towards rebuilding these states that had seceded during the Civil War. The delima of the Blacks had improved somewhat in South. The Union covered territories brought hope of emancipation of slaves in those states. However, the Compromise of 1877 drowned all hopes of the these slaves. By 1876, the fervor of reconstructing the South had dwindled within the Republican party. The radical Republicans had been replaced by more business minded party members. Hence, personal interests overtook the spirit of rebuilding the South. With such changes in the scenario, the Republicans traded the Reconstruction efforts for the Presidential seat of the country. In bargain, the Democrats got a strong hold over the entire South. With the terms in the Compromise of 1877 been agreed to, the incumbent President Ulysses Grant removed federal troops from Florida. Hayes removed those remaining in South Carolina and Louisiana. (These three were the only states of South where federal troops were stationed). After the Republican troops left, the Southern states were free to impose Jim Crow. The influence of the Democrats was established leading to the formation of a Democratic Solid South. This laid the foundation of discrimination against Blacks in the Southern States. The Compromise of 1877 was a landmark event in the annals of American history that saved a nation whose wounds from the Civil War were still fresh. However, the compromise pushed back efforts for equality and dignity for Blacks to the 1950s (www.buzzle.com).
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