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1876 and 1877 United States Senate elections

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States Senate elections, 1876 and 1877

← 1874/75 Dates vary by state
(And other dates for special elections)
1878/79 →

26 of the 76 seats in the United States Senate (with special elections)
39 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
 
Party Republican Democratic
Seats before 45 30
Seats won 11 14
Seats after 39 35
Seat change Decrease 6 Increase 5
Seats up 17 9

  Third party Fourth party
 
Party Anti-Monopoly Independent
Seats before 1 0
Seats won 0 1
Seats after 1 1
Seat change Steady Increase 1
Seats up 0 0

Majority Party before election

Republican

Elected Majority Party

Republican

The United States Senate elections of 1876 and 1877 had the Democratic Party gain five seats in the United States Senate, and coincided with Rutherford B. Hayes's narrow election as President. Republicans remained in the majority, however.

As these elections were prior to ratification of the seventeenth amendment, Senators were chosen by State legislatures.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Reconstruction and 1876: Crash Course US History #22
  • ✪ 25. The "End" of Reconstruction: Disputed Election of 1876, and the "Compromise of 1877"
  • ✪ 26. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory
  • ✪ The Election of 1860 & the Road to Disunion: Crash Course US History #18
  • ✪ Reconstruction: Part II (US History EOC Review - USHC 3.4)

Transcription

Episode 21: Reconstruction Hi, I’m John Green, this is Crash Course U.S. History and huzzah! The Civil War is over! The slaves are free! Huzzah! That one hit me in the head? It’s very dangerous, Crash Course. So when you say, “Don’t aim at a person,” that includes myself? The roller coaster only goes up from here, my friends. Huzzah! Mr. Green, Mr. Green, what about the epic failure of Reconstruction? Oh, right. Stupid Reconstruction always ruining everything intro So after the Civil War ended, the United States had to reintegrate both a formerly slave population and a formerly rebellious population back into the country, which is a challenge that we might’ve met, except Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and we were left with Andrew “I am the Third Worst President Ever” Johnson. I’m sorry, Abe, but you don’t get to be in the show anymore. So, Lincoln’s whole post-war idea was to facilitate reunion and reconciliation, and Andrew Johnson’s guiding Reconstruction principle was that the South never had a right to secede in the first place. Also, because he was himself a Southerner, he resented all the elites in the South who had snubbed him, AND he was also a racist who didn’t think that blacks should have any role in Reconstruction. TRIFECTA! So between 1865 and 1867, the so-called period of Presidential Reconstruction, Johnson appointed provisional governors and ordered them to call state conventions to establish new all-white governments. And in their 100% whiteness and oppression of former slaves, those new governments looked suspiciously like the old confederate governments they had replaced. And what was changing for the former slaves? Well, in some ways, a lot. Like, Fiske and Howard universities were established, as well as many primary and secondary schools, thanks in part to The Freedman’s Bureau, which only lasted until 1870, but had the power to divide up confiscated and abandoned confederate land for former slaves. And this was very important because to most slaves, land ownership was the key to freedom, and many felt like they’d been promised land by the Union Army. Like, General Sherman’s Field Order 15, promised to distribute land in 40 acre plots to former slaves. But that didn’t happen, either through the Freedman’s Bureau or anywhere else. Instead, President Johnson ordered all land returned to its former owners. So the South remained largely agricultural with the same people owning the same land, and in the end, we ended up with sharecropping. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. The system of sharecropping replaced slavery in many places throughout the South. Landowners would provide housing to the sharecroppers--no, Thought Bubble, not quite that nice. There ya go--also tools and seed, and then the sharecroppers received, get this, a share of their crop--usually between a third and a half, with the price for that harvest often set by the landowner. Freed blacks got to control their work, and plantation owners got a steady workforce that couldn’t easily leave, because they had little opportunity to save money and make the big capital investments in, like, land or tools. By the late 1860s, poor white farmers were sharecropping as well--in fact, by the Great Depression, most sharecroppers were white. And while sharecropping certainly wasn’t slavery, it did result in a quasi-serfdom that tied workers to land they didn’t own--more or less the opposite of Jefferson’s ideal of the small, independent farmer. So, the Republicans in Congress weren’t happy that this reconstructed south looked so much like the pre-Civil War south, so they took the lead in reconstruction after 1867. Radical Republicans felt the war had been fought for equal rights and wanted to see the powers of the national government expanded. Few were as radical as Thaddeus “Tommy Lee Jones” Stephens who wanted to take away land from the Southern planters and give it to the former slaves, but rank-and-file Republicans were radical enough to pass the Civil Rights Bill, which defined persons born in the United States as citizens and established nationwide equality before the law regardless of race. Andrew Johnson immediately vetoed the law, claiming that trying to protect the rights of African Americans amounted to discrimination against white people, which so infuriated Republicans that Congress did something it had never done before in all of American history. They overrode the Presidential veto with a 2/3rds majority and the Civil Rights Act became law. So then Congress really had its dander up and decided to amend the Constitution with the 14th amendment, which defines citizenship, guarantees equal protection, and extends the rights in the Bill of Rights to all the states (sort of). The amendment had almost no Democratic support, but it also didn’t need any, because there were almost no Democrats in Congress on account of how Congress had refused to seat the representatives from the “new” all-white governments that Johnson supported. And that’s how we got the 14th amendment, arguably the most important in the whole Constitution. Thanks, Thought Bubble. Oh, straight to the mystery document today? Alright. The rules here are simple. I guess the author of the Mystery Document and try not to get shocked. Alright let’s see what we’ve got today. Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the police jury of the parish of St. Landry, That no negro shall be allowed to pass within the limits of said parish without special permit in writing from his employer. Sec. 4. . . . Every negro is required to be in the regular service of some white person, or former owner, who shall be held responsible for the conduct of said negro.. Sec. 6. . . . No negro shall be permitted to preach, exhort, or otherwise declaim to congregations of colored people, without a special permission in writing from the president of the police jury. . . . Gee, Stan, I wonder if the President of the Police Jury was white. I actually know this one. It is a Black Code, which was basically legal codes where they just replaced the word “slave” with the word “negro.” And this code shows just how unwilling white governments were to ensure the rights of new, free citizens. I would celebrate not getting shocked, but now I am depressed. So, okay, in 1867, again over Johnson’s veto, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act, which divided the south into 5 military districts and required each state to create a new government, one that included participation of black men. Those new governments had to ratify the 14th amendment if they wanted to get back into the union. Radical Reconstruction had begun. So, in 1868, Andrew Johnson was about as electable in the U.S. as Jefferson Davis, and sure enough he didn’t win. Instead, the 1868 election was won by Republican and former Union general Ulysses S. Grant. But Grant’s margin of victory was small enough that Republicans were like, “Man, we would sure win more elections if black people could vote.” Which is something you hear Republicans say all the time these days. So Congressional Republicans pushed the 15th Amendment, which prohibited states from denying men the right to vote based on race, but not based on gender or literacy or whether your grandfather could vote. So states ended up with a lot of leeway when it came to denying the franchise to African Americans, which of course they did. So here we have the federal government dictating who can vote, and who is and isn’t a citizen of a state, and establishing equality under the law--even local laws. And this is a really big deal in American history, because the national government became, rather than a threat to individual liberty, “the custodian of freedom,” as Radical Republican Charles Sumner put it. So but with this legal protection, former slaves began to exercise their rights. They participated in the political process by direct action, such as staging sit-ins to integrate street-cars, by voting in elections, and by holding office. Most African Americans were Republicans at the time, and because they could vote and were a large part of the population, the Republican party came to dominate politics in the South, just like today, except totally different. Now, Southern mythology about the age of radical Reconstruction is exemplified by Gone with the Wind, which of course tells the story of northern Republican dominance and corruption by southern Republicans. Fortune seeking northern carpetbaggers, seen here, as well as southern turncoat scalawags dominated politics and all of the African American elected leaders were either corrupt or puppets or both. Yeah, well, like the rest of Gone with the Wind, that’s a bit of an oversimplification. There were about 2,000 African Americans who held office during Reconstruction, and the vast majority of them were not corrupt. Consider for example the not-corrupt and amazingly-named Pinckney B.S. Pinchback, who from 1872 to 1873 served very briefly in Louisiana as America’s first black governor. And went on to be a senator and a member of the House of Representatives. By the way, America’s second African American governor, Douglas Wilder of Virginia was elected in 1989. Having African American officeholders was a huge step forward in term of ensuring the rights of African Americans because it meant that there would be black juries and less discrimination in state and local governments when it came to providing basic services. But in the end, Republican governments failed in the South. There were important achievements, especially a school system that, while segregated, did attempt to educate both black and white children. And even more importantly, they created a functioning government where both white and African American citizens could participate. According to one white South Carolina lawyer, “We have gone through one of the most remarkable changes in our relations to each other that has been known, perhaps, in the history of the world.” That’s a little hyperbolic, but we are America after all. (libertage) It’s true that corruption was widespread, but it was in the North, too. I mean, we’re talking about governments. And that’s not why Reconstruction really ended: It ended because 1. things like schools and road repair cost money, which meant taxes, which made Republican governments very unpopular because Americans hate taxes, and 2. White southerners could not accept African Americans exercising basic civil rights, holding office or voting. And for many, the best way to return things to the way they were before reconstruction was through violence. Especially after 1867, much of the violence directed toward African Americans in the South was politically motivated. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in 1866 and it quickly became a terrorist organization, targeting Republicans, both black and white, beating and murdering men and women in order to intimidate them and keep them from voting. The worst act of violence was probably the massacre at Colfax, Louisiana where hundreds of former slaves were murdered. And between intimidation and emerging discriminatory voting laws, fewer black men voted, which allowed white Democrats to take control of state governments in the south, and returned white Democratic congressional delegations to Washington. These white southern politicians called themselves “Redeemers” because they claimed to have redeemed the south from northern republican corruption and black rule. Now, it’s likely that the South would have fallen back into Democratic hands eventually, but the process was aided by Northern Republicans losing interest in Reconstruction. In 1873, the U.S. fell into yet another not-quite-Great economic depression and northerners lost the stomach to fight for the rights of black people in the south, which in addition to being hard was expensive. So by 1876 the supporters of reconstruction were in full retreat and the Democrats were resurgent, especially in the south. And this set up one of the most contentious elections in American history. The Democrats nominated New York Governor (and NYU Law School graduate) Samuel Tilden. The Republicans chose Ohio governor (and Kenyon College alumnus) Rutherford B. Hayes. One man who’d gone to Crash Course writer Raoul Meyer’s law school. And another who’d gone to my college, Kenyon. Now, if the election had been based on facial hair, as elections should be, there would’ve been no controversy, but sadly we have an electoral college here in the United States, and in 1876 there were disputed electoral votes in South Carolina, Louisiana, and, of course, Florida. Now you might remember that in these situations, there is a constitutional provision that says Congress should decide the winner, but Congress, shockingly, proved unable to accomplish something. So they appointed a 15 man Electoral Commission--a Super-Committee, if you will. And there were 8 Republicans on that committee and 7 Democrats, so you will never guess who won. Kenyon College’s own Rutherford B. Hayes. Go Lords and Ladies! And yes, that is our mascot. Shut up. Anyway in order to get the Presidency and win the support of the supercommittee, Hayes’ people agreed to cede control of the South to the Democrats and to stop meddling in Southern affairs and also to build a transcontinental railroad through Texas. This is called the Bargain of 1877 because historians are so good at naming things and it basically killed Reconstruction. Without any more federal troops in Southern states and with control of Southern legislatures firmly in the hands of white democrats the states were free to go back to restricting the freedom of black people, which they did. Legislatures passed Jim Crow laws that limited African American’s access to public accommodations and legal protections. States passed laws that took away black people’s right to vote and social and economic mobility among African Americans in the south declined precipitously. However, for a brief moment, the United States was more democratic than it had ever been before. And an entire segment of the population that had no impact on politics before was now allowed to participate. And for the freedmen who lived through it, that was a monumental change, and it would echo down to the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, sometimes called the second reconstruction. But we’re gonna end this episode on a downer, as we are wont to do here at Crash Course US History because I want to point out a lesser-known legacy of Reconstruction. The Reconstruction amendments and laws that were passed granted former slaves political freedom and rights, especially the vote, and that was critical. But to give them what they really wanted and needed, plots of land that would make them economically independent, would have required confiscation, and that violation of property rights was too much for all but the most radical Republicans. And that question of what it really means to be “free” in a system of free market capitalism has proven very complicated indeed. I’ll see you next week. Crash Course is produced and directed by Stan Muller. Our script supervisor is Meredith Danko. The associate producer is Danica Johnson. The show is written by my high school history teacher, Raoul Meyer, and myself. And our graphics team is Thought Café. Every week there’s a new caption for the libertage. You can suggest those in comments where you can also ask questions about today’s video that will be answered by our team of historians. Thank you for watching Crash Course. Don’t forget to subscribe. And as we say in my hometown, don’t forget to be awesome. reconstruction -

Contents

Results summary

Senate Party Division, 45th Congress (1877–1879)

  • Majority Party: Republican (39)
  • Minority Party: Democratic (35)
  • Other Parties: Anti-Monopoly (1), Independent (1)
  • Total Seats: 76

Change in Senate composition

Before the elections

After the November 15, 1876 elections in the new state of Colorado.

D8 D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17 D18
D28
Retired
D27
Retired
D26
Ran
D25
Ran
D24
Ran
D23
Ran
D22
Ran
D21 D20 D19
D29
Retired
D30
Retired
AM1 R45
Retired
R44
Retired
R43
Retired
R42
Retired
R41
Unknown
R40
Unknown
R39
Unknown
Majority →
R29
Ran
R30
Ran
R31
Ran
R32
Ran
R33
Ran
R34
Ran
R35
Ran
R36
Ran
R37
Ran
R38
Ran
R28 R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19
R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18
R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1

After the elections

D8 D7 D6 D5 D4 D3 D2 D1
D9 D10 D11 D12 D13 D14 D15 D16 D17 D18
D28
Hold
D27
Hold
D26
Hold
D25
Re-elected
D24
Re-elected
D23
Re-elected
D22
Re-elected
D21 D20 D19
D29
Hold
D30
Hold
D31
Gain
D32
Gain
D33
Gain
D34
Gain
D35
Gain
I1
Gain
AM1 R39
Hold
Majority →
R29
Re-elected
R30
Re-elected
R31
Re-elected
R32
Re-elected
R33
Re-elected
R34
Hold
R35
Hold
R36
Hold
R37
Hold
R38
Hold
R28 R27 R26 R25 R24 R23 R22 R21 R20 R19
R9 R10 R11 R12 R13 R14 R15 R16 R17 R18
R8 R7 R6 R5 R4 R3 R2 R1
Key:
AM# Anti-Monopoly Party
D# Democratic
I# Independent
R# Republican

Race summaries

Special elections during the 44th Congress

In these elections, the winners were seated during 1876 or in 1877 before March 4; ordered by election date.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Louisiana
(Class 3)
Vacant Senate had declined to seat rival claimants William L. McMillen and P. B. S. Pinchback.[1] Senator elected January 12, 1876.
Democratic gain.
Connecticut
(Class 3)
James E. English Democratic 1875 (Appointed) Interim appointee retired when successor elected.
New senator elected May 17, 1876.
Democratic hold.
Colorado
(Class 2)
New state Colorado admitted to the Union August 1, 1876.
First senator elected November 15, 1876.
Republican gain.
New senator was also elected to the next term, see below.
Colorado
(Class 3)
New state Colorado admitted to the Union August 1, 1876.
First senator elected November 15, 1876.
Republican gain.
Tennessee
(Class 1)
David M. Key Democratic 1875 (Appointed) Interim appointee lost special election.
New senator elected January 19, 1877 on the 74th ballot.
Democratic hold.
Maine
(Class 2)
James G. Blaine Republican 1876 (Appointed) Interim appointee elected January 17, 1877.
New senator also elected to the next term, see below.
West Virginia
(Class 1)
Samuel Price Democratic 1876 (Appointed) Interim appointee lost special election.
New senator elected January 26, 1877 on the 5th ballot.
Democratic hold.

Races leading to the 45th Congress

In these general elections, the winners were elected for the term beginning March 4, 1877; ordered by state.

All of the elections involved the Class 2 seats.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral
history
Alabama George Goldthwaite Democratic 1870 Incumbent retired.
New senator elected in 1876.
Democratic hold.
Arkansas Powell Clayton Republican 1870 Unknown if incumbent retired or ran for re-election.
New senator elected January 16, 1877.
Democratic gain.
  • Green tickY Augustus Garland (Democratic) 113 votes
  • "Eighteen Republicans voted for Garland, of whom five were colored."[2]
  • T. D. W. Youlee 8 votes
Colorado Henry M. Teller Republican 1876 (New state) Incumbent re-elected in 1876 or 1877.
Delaware Eli M. Saulsbury Democratic 1870 Incumbent re-elected in 1876.
Georgia Thomas M. Norwood Democratic 1871 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected January 26, 1877 on the fourth ballot.
Democratic hold.
Illinois John A. Logan Republican 1870 or 1871 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected January 25, 1877 on the fortieth ballot.
Independent gain.
Iowa George G. Wright Republican 1870 Incumbent retired.
New senator elected January 19, 1876.
Republican hold.
Kansas James M. Harvey Republican 1874 (Special) Incumbent lost re-election.
New elected January 31, 1877 on the seventeenth ballot.
Republican hold.
Kentucky John W. Stevenson Democratic 1871 Incumbent retired.
New senator elected in 1876.
Democratic hold.
Louisiana Joseph R. West Republican 1870 or 1871 Incumbent retired.
New senator elected January 10, 1877.[2]
Republican hold.
Maine James G. Blaine Republican 1876 (Appointed) Interim appointee elected January 16, 1877.[2]
New senator also elected to finish the term, see above.
Massachusetts George S. Boutwell Republican 1873 (Special) Incumbent lost renomination.
New senator elected in 1877.
Republican hold.
Michigan Thomas W. Ferry Republican 1871 Incumbent re-elected in 1877.
Minnesota William Windom Republican 1870 (Appointed)
1871
Incumbent re-elected in 1877.
Mississippi James L. Alcorn Republican 1870 Unknown if incumbent retired or ran for re-election.
New senator elected in 1876.
Democratic gain.
Nebraska Phineas Hitchcock Republican 1870 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected in 1877.
Republican hold.
New Hampshire Aaron H. Cragin Republican 1864
1870
Unknown if incumbent retired or ran for re-election.
New senator elected in 1876.
Republican hold.
New Jersey Frederick T. Frelinghuysen Republican 1870 or 1871 Incumbent lost re-election.
New senator elected January 24, 1877.
Democratic gain.
North Carolina Matt W. Ransom Democratic 1872 (Special) Incumbent re-elected in 1876.
Oregon James K. Kelly Democratic 1870 Incumbent retired.
New senator's election year unknown.
Democratic hold.
Rhode Island Henry B. Anthony Republican 1858
1864
1870
Incumbent re-elected in 1876.
South Carolina Thomas J. Robertson Republican 1868 (Special)
1870
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected in 1876.
Democratic gain.
Tennessee Henry Cooper Democratic 1870 or 1871 Incumbent retired.
New senator elected January 10, 1877.[2]
Democratic hold.
Texas Morgan C. Hamilton Republican 1870 (Special)
1871
Incumbent retired.
New senator elected in 1876.
Democratic gain.
Virginia John W. Johnston Democratic 1870 (Special)
1871
Incumbent re-elected in 1877.
West Virginia Henry G. Davis Democratic 1871 Incumbent re-elected January 26, 1877 on the fourth ballot.

Elections during the 45th Congress

In these elections, the winners were elected in 1877 after March 4.

State Incumbent Results Candidates
Senator Party Electoral history
Pennsylvania
(Class 3)
Simon Cameron Republican 1857
1861 (Resigned)
1867
1873
Incumbent resigned March 12, 1877.
Successor elected March 20, 1877.
Republican hold.
Ohio
(Class 3)
John Sherman Republican 1861 (Special)
1866
1872
Incumbent resigned March 8, 1877 to become U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
New senator elected March 21, 1877.
Republican hold.

Complete list of elections

Pennsylvania (special)

The special election in Pennsylvania was held March 20, 1877.

Republican Senator Simon Cameron had been elected to the United States Senate by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, in 1867 and was re-elected in 1873. Sen. Cameron resigned on March 12, 1877.[5]

Following the resignation of Simon Cameron, the Pennsylvania General Assembly convened on March 20, 1877, to elect a new Senator to fill the vacancy. Former United States Secretary of War J. Donald Cameron, Simon Cameron's son, was elected to complete his father's term, set to expire on March 4, 1879.[6] The results of the vote of both houses combined are as follows:

Pennsylvania Results[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican J. Donald Cameron 147 58.57
Democratic Andrew H. Dill 92 36.65
Democratic Hiester Clymer 1 0.40
Democratic Andrew G. Curtin 1 0.40
Democratic John Jackson 1 0.40
N/A Not voting 9 3.59
Totals 251 100.00%

See also

References

  1. ^ Taft, George S. (1885). Compilation of Senate Election Cases from 1789 to 1885 - Pages 483 - 512. U.S. Government Publishing Office.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m J. F. Cleveland, etc. (ed.). The Tribune almanac and political register. 1874-78. The Tribune Association. pp. 31–33.
  3. ^ Journal of the House of Representatives of the Sixteenth General Assembly of the State of Iowa. 1876. p. 36–37 – via Google books.
  4. ^ Taylor & Taylor, p. 76, vol. II.
  5. ^ "CAMERON, Simon, (1799 - 1889)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  6. ^ "CAMERON, James Donald, (1833 - 1918)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  7. ^ "U.S. Senate Election - 20 March 1877" (PDF). Wilkes University. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
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