Remembering Events Essays

Remembering Events Essays-68
We are told that this year’s presidential election is unprecedented in many ways.The American voters are faced with the choice between an unlikely candidate who has been repudiated by many within his own party, and a seasoned politician whom the head of the FBI characterized as “extremely careless.” The tumultuousness of the race makes many long for the good old days when elections were civil, thoughtful, and quickly resolved In other words, we are not longing for 1876. Hayes, the Republican governor of Ohio, against Samuel Tilden, the Democratic governor of New York.The Republican strategy, as Chief Justice William Rehnquist recounted in his 2004 book about the 1876 presidential election, was “to impress on the electorate that while every Democrat had not been a rebel, every rebel had been a Democrat.” Hayes was the champion of those who feared the election would undo everything the Civil War had achieved for African-Americans.

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Tilden had a much easier road to the Democratic nomination due to his reputation as a reforming governor who had gained his office by exposing the corruption and bribery practiced by Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall in New York City.

The general election campaign became a referendum on two distinct concerns.

2016 may come to represent the nadir of presidential campaigns, but 1876 still holds the title for problems in the election itself, the counting of presidential votes.

I loved visiting my grandma’s apartment, with its fringed window shades and faint smell of eucalyptus.

I can picture myself reaching way down into Grandma’s frost-filled chest freezer for the ever-present box of Eskimo Pies.

Her well-stocked pantry and doily-covered tabletops contained loads of delectable treats I was often denied at home: .

Since 1876, we have expanded the right to vote to women and to 18-year-olds, and have worked to secure the voting rights of African-Americans that were supposed to have been guaranteed by the constitutional amendments adopted after the Civil War.

But we have yet to adopt a widely accepted standard procedure in this country for how to count votes—and recount votes when there are disputes.

Tilden won all of the former Confederate states that had emerged from reconstruction; the border states of Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri a handful of Northeastern states; and the three scattered states of Indiana, Missouri, and West Virginia.

Hayes won a belt of states ranging from the West through the Plains, as well as the Midwest, Pennsylvania, and five New England states.


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