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Another analysis of the controversial presidential election in the USA in 2000.

I became curious and decided to check out the last time in U.S. political history when the popular votes and the Electoral College vote did not coincide.
 
 It was in the 1876 election when the Republican governor of Ohio Rutherford B. Hayes ran against the Democrat governor Samuel Tilden of New York.
 
 Hayes garnered 165 electoral votes while Tilden had earned 184.  On the other hand Tilden had received 4,288,546 votes to Hayes' 4,034,311.
 
 Twenty electoral votes were "disputed" on Louisiana, South Carolina, Oregon  and Florida.
 
 Congress tried to sort out the mess, as did the two political parties. Working together, the two parties fashioned what some historians call the Great Compromise.
 
 The Republican Hayes was "given" the disputed twenty electoral votes -- which raised his total to one more vote than Tilden received and allowed to take office, and the southern Democrats in exchange got "home rule," which meant that the Federal government would follow a policy of noninterference in southern
 affairs.
 
 Most importantly, Federal troops were removed from their occupation of the South.
 
 Now let me put this Great Compromise in context.
 
 The Civil War was a decade over.  The Civil Rights Act of 1875 had outlawed racial discrimination on public places, but southern courts were -- let's say "lax" -- in enforcing the law.
 
  Ulysses S. Grant was finishing up his second term, and the South's "Reconstruction " was in trouble. Those Federal troops were there to guarantee that black Americans could vote and start to live their lives with some dignity.
 
 Throughout the 1870s the South was a voting bloc solidly in the hands of the Republicans and the recently emancipated black voters. The southern Democrats meanwhile hated Reconstruction and "those damn carpetbaggers."
 
 Racism was growing in the South.  In 1865 a group of disgruntled ex-Confederate soldiers formed a veteran's club in Tennessee that they called the Ku Klux Klan. Now they were on the move and terrorizing blacks throughout the South.
 
 Race riots were happening in New Orleans and other southern cities. While many blacks died in the riots some gains had been made by blacks.  The most incredible one was that in February, 1870, Hiram R. Revels of Mississippi became the first black elected to the US Senate. A month later the 15th Amendment was ratified, announcing it was illegal to deny US citizens to right to vote "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
 
 In 1871 U.S. Grant tried and failed to have Congress pass anti-Klan legislation.
 
 After his re-election in 1872 Grant tried to reach out and find some reconciliation with southern Democrats. However they were incredibly racist and despised being given any tax moneys for social services to improve black lives.
 
 White Republicans hated depending upon black voters. A faction of the Republican party was known as the Liberal Republicans. By our standards, their "liberal" stance seems bizarre. They supported the Klan and other groups who wanted to return of the Old South, disenfranchise the blacks and kick them off
 the plantation lands they had be given in emancipation.
 
 Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, is remembered as the man who said, "Go West, Young Man," was one of those Liberal Republicans.
 
by Frederick Zackel  

The 1876 election was a godsend for the racists. Once Federal troops were removed, the white ex-masters re-fashioned the  South of Jim Crow, the Klan, and lynch mobs. Almost a century would have to pass before Federal troops once again returned to the South to enable blacks to vote.
 
 The Great Compromise became in actuality the Great Betrayal. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 eventually was superseded by the Civil Rights Act of 1965.   That Act became reality only with Federal troops guaranteeing the vote.
 
 Rutherford B. Hayes was an amiable man from Delaware, Ohio.  He was a lawyer from Cincinnati who had defended runaway slaves.  All he wanted was to be President of the United States.
 
 Because he and the Republican party were willing to barter with the Southern Democrats to gain the Presidency, they sold out the aspirations of five generations of African-Americans.
 
 In March 5, 1877 Rutherford B. Hayes in his Inaugural Address told his fellow Americans,  "The fact that two great political parties have in this way settled a dispute in regard to which good men differ as to the facts and the law no less than as to the proper course to be pursued in solving the question in controversy is an occasion for general rejoicing. "
 
 He added, "Upon one point there is entire unanimity in public sentiment -- that conflicting claims to the Presidency must be amicably and peaceably adjusted, and that when so adjusted the general acquiescence of the nation ought surely to follow."
 
 For the four years he was in office Rutherford B. Hayes was referred to as "His Fraudulency."  His reputation never recovered.
 
 This time we all must be vigilant.  The devil is in the details.
 
 
Frederick Zackel teaches at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.