Avoiding the 1876 Scenario in November

The Hill

By Garrett Johnson

With five weeks to go, Americans from all walks of life and the different sides of the political spectrum should think ahead and prepare to do their part to help the country avoid an 1876 scenario.

In 1876, the presidential election reopened the nation’s still healing wounds from the Civil War. The nation was on the brink of a second civil war. President Grant prepared the Army around Washington. Democrats prepared for armed conflict to install Tilden. Congress formed a bipartisan Commission to resolve the dispute by brokering a deal.

Rutherford B. Hayes would become president. But Republicans agreed to end Reconstruction. The federal government would no longer attempt to enforce Constitutional rights in the south.

In 1876, the breakdown of Constitutional order and the electoral process cost Black Americans living in the south many of the hard-earned freedoms and civil liberties that had been won during the Civil War. As a result, White Supremacy would reign in the South into the 20th century.

In 2020, What can be done with just five weeks to go?

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