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Published on Nov 21, 2008
The Civil War and Reconstruction Era, 1845-1877 (HIST 119)
Having dealt with the role of violence and the Supreme Court in bringing about the end of Reconstruction in his last lecture, Professor Blight now turns to the role of national electoral politics, focusing in particular on the off-year Congressional election of 1874 and the Presidential election of 1876. 1874 saw the return of the Democrats to majority status in the Senate and the House of Representatives, as voters sick of corruption and hurt by the Panic of 1873 fled the Republicans in droves. According to many historians, the contested election of 1876, and the "Compromise of 1877," which followed it, marked the official end of Reconstruction. After an election tainted by fraud and violence, Republicans and Democrats brokered a deal by which Republican Rutherford B. Hayes took the White House in exchange for restoration of "home rule" for the South.
00:00 - Chapter 1. Introduction: Exhibitions and Elections of 1876 11:21 - Chapter 2. The Off-Year Congressional Election of 1874: Shifts in Party Representation 22:26 - Chapter 3. Confusion in Rhetoric and Votes: The Presidential Election of 1876 37:16 - Chapter 4. The Ensuing Election Dispute and "Compromise of 1877" 49:48 - Chapter 5. The Return of "Home Rule" in the South and the End of Reconstruction