United States presidential election, 1876

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The election was the first since the civil war which was highly contested. The Republicans chose popular Ohio Governor, Rutherford B. Hayes, as their candidate. The Democrats chose popular New York Governor, Samuel J. Tilden, for theirs. The campaign was hard fought and filled with slanders, although both candidates did not approve of the name-calling that took place throughout the campaign.[1] The election results showed:

candidates popular vote electoral vote
Rutherford B. Hayes 4, 036, 572 185
Samuel J. Tilden 4, 284, 020 184
Peter Cooper 81, 737 0

The states whose votes gave Hayes an electoral majority (Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and one vote in Oregon) were disputed. Since a failure to achieve a majority would send the contest to the House of Representatives, that body formed an commission to resolve the disputes. Hayes promised to remove the military occupation in the South, in exchange for the support of Representatives in accepting the contested electoral votes in his favor. This was the first instance in which the electoral majority went to a candidate who did not receive the most popular votes. (A similar crisis was settled in 1824 by a direct vote in the House.) The Democrats labeled his term "His Fraudulency".

References

  1. Encyclopedia of Presidents, Rutherford B. Hayes, by Zachary Kent, Children's Press, 1989.
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