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Reunion and Reaction: The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction

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ISBN-13: 978-0195064230
ISBN-10: 0195064232
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Reunion and Reaction: The Compromise of 1877 and the End of Reconstruction + Origins of the New South, 1877--1913: A History of the South + The Burden of Southern History
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Editorial Reviews

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"Once or twice in every generation a historian has the patience and enterprise to return to some supposedly established conception of our past, carve away a long-standing mistinterpretation, and expose a part of the true surface....Woodward has done exactly that, and I believe he has provided us with one of the major historical insights of our time."--Richard Hofstadter, Columbia University


"In this eminently readable volume Woodward has made a major contribution to our understanding of Southern interests and issues. His penetrating and provocative analysis of this most far-reaching compromise of our national history indicates clearly the inadequacy and superficiality of long accepted myths. And it provides us with important insights into the realities of contemporary Southern and national politics. This is history as it should be written--and read."--R.D. Heffner, The Nation


"An important book, and a work of live scholarship."--The New Yorker


"Woodward must be given credit for bringing together the story in a superb bit of historical craftmanship....A convincing account, with a detective's skill and keen sense of the meaning of small leads and an understanding of the larger aspects of history."--E.M. Coulter, Saturday Review of Literature


"A magnificent book....This circumstantial account of the inner workings of the Compromise that ended Reconstruction reads like a detective story."--Rupert B. Vance, University of North Carolina


"A fresh, vital thing, full-bodied, incisive, revealing. At long last we know all the unsavory details."--Annals of the American Academy of Social and Political Sciences


"An illuminating and thorough study....[Woodward] writes political history with an appreciation of its drama, excitement, and larger meaning."--Library Journal


About the Author


C. Vann Woodward is Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University. He is the author of many books, including Tom Watson: Agrarian Rebel, The Battle for Leyte Gulf, Origins of the New South, The Burden of Southern History, and The Future of the Past.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 28, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195064232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195064230
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #415,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Bomojaz on September 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
The Compromise of 1877, in which Rutherford B. Hayes was elected President over Samuel Tilden, even though Tilden had more popular and (it seemed likely) more electoral votes as well, is usually explained rather simply (or simplistically): in exchange for removing Federal troops that still oversaw government rule in Louisiana and South Carolina, the South would give its electoral votes to Hayes and cease threatening a new civil war. The biggest loser, of course, would be the freed blacks, who would have no federal protection at all anymore. Woodward contends there was a lot more to the Compromise than just this, and that's what his book explores. Apparently in addition to the troops being removed, the South would get a few cabinet posts, promises of federal appropriations for internal improvements, and passage of the Texas Pacific Railroad Bill, which guaranteed a southern route for a trans-continental railroad at government expense. The deal was struck, Hayes was elected, the troops left, Reconstruction was officially ended, the Texas-Pacific was completed in 1892. Meanwhile, the South became a one-party (Democrat) section and segregation ruled the land. For the next couple of generations the fate of the South was sealed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Grattan VINE VOICE on January 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a highly detailed look at the behind-the-scenes meetings and correspondence among politicians, newspapermen, and businessmen, mostly connected with railroads, occurring in a very brief period form Nov, 1876 to Mar, 1877 for the primary purposes of installing Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House and ending the remaining vestiges of military occupation in the South. The election of 1876 appeared to have been won by Democrat Samuel J. Tilden of New York, but it was claims that chicanery and fraud had put South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana in the Democratic column that gave Republicans an opening to retain the Presidency, currently held by Grant.

It was a time of shifting political alliances, resulting in the increasing influence of conservative, Whiggish elements in both the North and the South, and the diminishment of Radical Republicans in the North and Carpetbaggers in the South. The conservatives' main focus was to move beyond the leftover antagonisms of the Civil War, especially considerations of the rights of freedmen, and to promote a laissez-faire business climate, but with considerable government subsidies for internal improvements, especially in the South, which had serious infrastructure deficiencies. The most interesting political development was the growing alignment of southern Democrats with northern Republican reformers, or conservatives. Beyond the business leanings of Republicans as a basis of alignment, southern Democrats wanted no part of the talk of northern "dough-face" Democrats to use military force to install Tilden. The North-South split in the party, while real enough, was never strictly adhered to and proved to be rather short-lived.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So much of what is the South today can be traced to the Civil War: How it began, how it ended and very importantly how Reconstruction ended with the Compromise of 1877. This is the seminal work and ought to be required reading for anyone involved or interested in how the US political system became Southernized. The book was purchased new, came well protected, in prime condition and on time.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This edition restores the sources from the original one. Very useful although some of the edited sources are overly self-serving. Still the best book on gaming a presidential election through the executive power post-election. We now need as intimate a view for the utilization of the judicial power after the 2000 election.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book, will need to do some reading to
gain more background in this good intro to 19th
century American political history - hearing about various compromises throughout 19 th century, Whigs, allusions to opposition to tenets of reconstruction by movers & shakers also support for Reconstructionpolicies by ordinary citizens black and white
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