Thursday, December 27, 2007
COMPROMISE OF 1877
COMPROMISE OF 1877 The disputed national presidential election of 1876 was settled by the so-called "Compromise of 1877." Southern Democrats agreed to accept a Republican president (Rutherford B. Hayes) in exchange for Republican assurances that federal troops and federal interference in the affairs of southern states would be removed. This intersectional "bargain," of course, formally "ended" the period of Reconstruction and restored "home-rule" to white southerners. More significant is the fact that the Compromise of 1877 represented the abandonment of southern freedmen by northern politicians. Without fear of direct federal interference, white southerners were now able to effectively restore white-rule and institutionalize Jim Crowism throughout the former Confederacy. The hapless black freedmen and their descendants, according to historian John A. Garraty, "were condemned in the interests of sectional harmony to lives of poverty, indignity, and little hope." See also: BLACK REPUBLICAN RECONSTRUCTION and JIM CROWISM.