The Lessons Of The Election Of 1876 | WYPR

The Lessons Of The Election Of 1876

Oct 12, 2020

Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden faced off in the contested election of 1876.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Imagine an election jammed with tension … voter intimidation … threats of violence … and then after the vote, months of bitter dispute over the electoral votes of four divided states. The election of 1876 almost plunged the country back into civil war. Part of the stakes, says University of Maryland historian Michael Ross, was the course of Reconstruction, the Republican regime that posted federal troops in the old Confederacy to protect former slaves.

Learn more about this election in Ross' book, "The Justice of Shattered Dreams: Samuel Freeman Miller and the Supreme Court during the Civil War Era."

Additional reading:
The Last Time a Contested Presidential Election Nearly Tore the Country Apart
The election from our past that blares a warning for 2020