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The Election of 1876: This Fun Bit Of History Feels REALLY Relevant Right Now



While journalists everywhere are literally losing their minds over the current state of politics, it turns out, American elections are full of interesting disputes.

One particular flashback is feeing REALLY relevant right now. So relevant that I’m sitting here thinking, “wait, that could definitely happen!”

It’s the election of 1876 between Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden.

Much like our recent election, this battle was thought of as one of the “most hostile, controversial campaigns in American history.”

Sound familiar?

But wait, there’s more.

The experts at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential museum break it down perfectly.

Here’s what happened: “Tilden won the popular vote and led in the electoral college, but 19 votes from three Republican-controlled states (Louisiana, Florida, and South Carolina) remained disputed. Oregon’s count was also challenged. Allegations of widespread voter fraud forced Congress to set up a special electoral commission to determine the winner, composed of fifteen congressmen and Supreme Court justices. The commission finally announced their decision only two days before the inauguration. The vote was 8-7 along party lines to award the disputed electoral college votes to Hayes, making him the winner.”

So, when do we get our electoral commission together? Maybe Donald Trump will repeat some history. 

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