The End of Reconstruction
Reconstruction ended in 1877 because of a variety of reasons.
Regardless of the reasons, the end of Reconstruction also signaled an
end to whatever forward progress blacks were going to make. The
success of Reconstruction had been ineffective at best, now, with the
Conservative Southern governments back in control of the South a
downward spiral would begin.
I. The End of Reconstruction
A. Reconstruction began in 1865, how do you think
Northerners felt about it by 1877?
1. Northerners were tired of reconstruction after
twelve long years. In the beginning it had been a great social
adventure. Many had been convinced that they were doing a very good,
important thing. By 1877 many felt that they would never accomplish
the social good that they sought to accomplish. The general feeling
was that the the south might never really change.
2. Northerners were also increasingly upset at the fact that the
northern military had to occupy the south. We wanted our soldiers
B. How do you think the Depression of 1873 affected Northern
effort at Reconstruction?
1. The north could no longer afford the costs of
C. How did the scandals of the Grant administration affect the
1. Ulysses S. Grant, the military hero of the Civil
War had been swept into office after the Johnson Administration.
Unfortunately his administration, as well as his personal life, were
ripped with scandal. Grant, an alcoholic, was unable to police his
own cabinet and scandals began to emerge.
In what became known as the Credit Mobilier scandal key
Republican congressman and members of the administration had arranged
for the Credit Mobilier holding company to received government land
and money to build a railroad out west. In return these men received
bribes. The railroad was never built and the scandal showed America
how little control Grant actually had.
2. After eight years of the scandalous Grant administration and
his rather uninspiring leadership the Republican party began to lose
influence. The once hated Democrats again gained national recognition
and one party rule ended.
D. How did the election of 1876 affect reconstruction?
1. In the election of 1876 Democrats realized they had
an opportunity to regain political power and prestige, in fact many
thought they had a good chance of winning the presidency with the
right candidate. The Republicans ran Rutherford B. Hayes and the
Democrats ran a New Yorker, Sam Tilden.
2. Tilden carried the popular vote by 250,000 votes. He also had a
lead in the electoral vote 184 to 165. He needed 185 to win and 20
votes were in dispute. Tilden only needed one of the twenty votes to
win. If Hayes received all twenty he would win
3. The fate of those 20 votes and the election were placed in the
hands of a committee of 8 Republicans and 7 Democrats who ended up
cutting a deal that gave Hayes the votes and the Presidency. Had the
election been honest Tilden would have won.
a. The deal was that military forces had to leave
those states thus ending reconstruction.
b. The federal government had to build a railroad from Texas to
California , building money, waterway improvements and a conservative
in the Cabinet were also part of the deal.