Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789 by Article I, Section 2 of the U. S. Constitution; the Speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives, is the House's presiding officer, de facto leader of the body's majority party, the institution's administrative head. Speakers perform various other administrative and procedural functions. Given these several roles and responsibilities, the Speaker does not preside over debates; that duty is instead delegated to members of the House from the majority party. Neither does the Speaker participate in floor debates; the Constitution does not require the Speaker to be an incumbent member of the House of Representatives, although every Speaker thus far has been. The Speaker is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President and ahead of the President pro tempore of the Senate.
The current House Speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi of California, was elected to the office on January 3, 2019. Pelosi served as speaker from January 4, 2007 to January 3, 2011, she has the distinction of being the first woman to serve as Speaker, is the first former Speaker to be returned to office since Sam Rayburn in 1955. The House elects its speaker at the beginning of a new Congress or when a speaker dies, resigns or is removed from the position intra-term. Since 1839, the House has elected speakers by roll call vote. Traditionally, each party's caucus or conference selects a candidate for the speakership from among its senior leaders prior to the roll call. Representatives are not restricted to voting for the candidate nominated by their party, but do, as the outcome of the election determines which party has the majority and will organize the House. Moreover, as the Constitution does not explicitly state that the speaker must be an incumbent member of the House, it is permissible for representatives to vote for someone, not a member of the House at the time, non-members have received a few votes in various speaker elections over the past several years.
Every person elected speaker has been a member. Representatives that choose to vote for someone other than their party's nominated candidate vote for someone else in their party or vote "present". Anyone who votes for the other party's candidate would face serious consequences, as was the case when Democrat Jim Traficant voted for Republican Dennis Hastert in 2001. In response, the Democrats stripped him of his seniority and he lost all of his committee posts. To be elected speaker a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes cast, as opposed to an absolute majority of the full membership of the House – presently 218 votes, in a House of 435. There have only been a few instances during the past century where a person received a majority of the votes cast, thus won the election, while failing to obtain a majority of the full membership, it happened most in 2015, when John Boehner was elected with 216 votes. Such a variation in the number of votes necessary to win a given election might arise due to vacancies, absentees, or members being present but not voting.
If no candidate wins a majority of the "votes cast for a person by name" the roll call is repeated until a speaker is elected. Multiple roll calls have been necessary only 14 times since 1789. Upon winning election the new Speaker is sworn in by the Dean of the United States House of Representatives, the chamber's longest-serving member; the first Speaker of the House, Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania, was elected to office on April 1, 1789, the day the House organized itself at the start of the 1st Congress. He served two non-consecutive terms in the Speaker's chair, 1789–1791 and 1793–1795; as the Constitution does not state the duties of the Speaker, the speaker’s role has been shaped by traditions and customs that evolved over time. A partisan position from early in its existence, the speakership began to gain power in legislative development under Henry Clay. In contrast to many of his predecessors, Clay participated in several debates, used his influence to procure the passage of measures he supported—for instance, the declaration of the War of 1812, various laws relating to Clay's "American System" economic plan.
Furthermore, when no candidate received an Electoral College majority in the 1824 presidential election causing the President to be elected by the House, Speaker Clay threw his support to John Quincy Adams instead of Andrew Jackson, thereby ensuring Adams' victory. Following Clay's retirement in 1825, the power of the speakership once again began to decline, despite speakership elections becoming bitter; as the Civil War approached, several sectional factions nominated their own candidates making it difficult for any candidate to attain a majority. In 1855 and again in 1859, for example, the contest for Speaker lasted for two months before the House achieved a result. During this time, Speakers tended to have short tenures. For example, from 1839 to 1863 there were eleven Speakers, only one of whom served for more than one term. To date, James K. Polk is the only Speaker of the House elected President of the United States. Towards the end of the 19th century, the office of Speaker began to develop into a po
Edwards Pierrepont was an American attorney, jurist, New York U. S. Attorney, U. S. Attorney General, U. S. Minister to England, orator. Having graduated from Yale in 1837, Pierrepont studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1840. During the American Civil War, Pierrepont was a Democrat, although he supported President Abraham Lincoln. Pierrepont supported President Andrew Johnson's conservative Reconstruction efforts having opposed the Radical Republicans. In both 1868 and 1872, Pierrepont supported Ulysses S. Grant for President. For his support, President Grant appointed Pierrepont United States Attorney in 1869. In 1871, Pierrepont gained the reputation as a solid reformer, having joined New York's Committee of Seventy that shut down Boss Tweed's corrupt Tammany Hall. In 1872, Pierrepont modified his views on Reconstruction and stated that African American freedman's rights needed to be protected. In April 1875, Pierrepont was appointed U. S. Attorney General by President Grant, having teamed up with Secretary of Treasury Benjamin Bristow, vigorously prosecuted the notorious Whiskey Ring, a national tax evasion swindle that involved whiskey distillers and government officials, including President Grant's private secretary, Orville E. Babcock.
Upon his appointment, Pierrepont cleaned up corruption in Southern U. S. districts. Pierrepont had continued former Attorney General George H. Williams moratorium on prosecuting the Ku Klux Klan; the Klan had been prosecuted by President Grant's Attorneys General Amos T. Akerman and Williams from 1871 to 1873, prosecuting civil rights violations of whites against African Americans. Pierrepont ruled that a naturalized Prussian immigrant's son born in the U. S. was not obligated to serve in the Prussian military as an adult. In his ruling of the Chorpenning Claim, Pierrepont cited the Supreme Court case Gorden v United States, having agreed that the Postmaster General, as well as the Secretary of War, served as ministers rather than binding arbitrators for a monetary claim by a private citizen. After serving as Attorney General, Pierrepont was appointed Minister to Great Britain by President Grant serving from 1876 to 1877. After many visits to France, Pierrepont became an advocate for bimetalism.
Having returned from England, Pierrepont resumed his law practice until his death in 1892. Edwards Pierrepont was born in North Haven, Connecticut on March 4, 1817, his was the son of Eunice Munson Pierepont. Giles Pierepont was a New England descendant of a cofounder of Yale University. Pierrepont's baptised name was Munson Edwards Pierepont, however, he changed his name to Edwards Pierrepont, dropping Munson and adding an extra "r" to his last name. Pierrepont was an earlier version of his family name. Pierrepont attend several schools in the North Haven area, enrolled at Yale University, graduated in 1837. After graduation, Edwards traveled and explored the West studied at New Haven Law School, he passed the bar in 1840, tutored at Yale University from 1840 to 1841. He moved to Columbus, Ohio where he practiced law with Phineas B. Wilcox from 1840 to 1845. In 1846, Pierrepont moved to New York. Pierrepont was a young man when he married the daughter of John Munson. Eunice died shortly after their marriage.
On May 27, 1846, Pierrepont married Margaretta Willoughby, from Brooklyn, the daughter of Samuel Willoughby. Their marriage produced two children, one son and one daughter, Margaretta. Edwin died in Rome in 1885 while serving as Chargé d'Affaires, having replaced Mr. William Astor, the U. S. Envoy, who had retired. Pierrepont's daughter married Leanord F. Beckwith who lived at 48 West Seventy-second Street in New York. In 1852, Pierrepont completed the construction of his estate house at 103 Fifth Avenue in New York; this would be his permanent residence for the next 40 years. In 1867, Pierrepont built a country estate house in Garrison, designed by architect Alexander Jackson Davis. Upon moving to New York, Pierrepont became active in politics, having joined the Democratic Party in 1846. Pierrepont first served in office when he was elected Superior Court Judge on the New York Supreme Court. Pierrepont was believed to have a pulse on the nation and served as Abraham Lincoln's personal advisor before and after Lincoln was elected President.
In 1862, during the Civil War Pierrepont was appointed by President Lincoln a member of the military commission to try the cases of state prisoners in the custody of the federal military authorities. During the Presidential election of 1864, Pierrepont supported Lincoln in a political speech at Cooper Union, believing President Lincoln would secure the restoration of the Union. Pierrepont stated Lincoln stood for freedom and national glory. In 1867 Pierrepont conducted the case for the government against John H. Surratt, indicted as an accomplice in the murder of President Lincoln. Surratt, a former Confederate spy, was the last person to be tried by a U. S. Military commission in the case of Lincoln's assassination. After Lincoln's assassination, Surratt fled the United States to Montreal, Liverpool and was caught in Egypt on December 2, 1866, where he was indicted and returned to the United States to face U. S. military trial. The trial opened on June 10, 1867 under Judge George P. Fisher and held immense public interest in the United States.
Pierrepont argued that Surratt was involved in the conspiracy to overthrow the U. S. involved with the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. Pierrepont argued that the military trial
In politics, centrism—the centre or the center —is a political outlook or specific position that involves acceptance or support of a balance of a degree of social equality and a degree of social hierarchy, while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society to either the left or the right. Centre-left and centre-right politics both involve a general association with centrism combined with leaning somewhat to their respective sides of the spectrum. Various political ideologies, such as Christian democracy, can be classified as centrist. There have been centrists in both sides of politics, who serve alongside the various factions within the Liberal and Labor parties. In addition, there are a number of smaller groups that have formed in response to the bipartisan system who uphold centrist ideals. South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon had launched his own centrist political party called the Nick Xenophon Team in 2014, renamed Centre Alliance in 2018; the traditional centrist party of Flanders was the People's Union which embraced social liberalism and aimed to represent Dutch-speaking Belgians who felt culturally suppressed by Francophones.
The New Flemish Alliance is the largest and since 2009 the only extant successor of that party. It is, however composed of the right wing of the former People's Union, has adopted a more liberal conservative ideology in recent years. Among French speaking Belgians the Humanist Democratic Centre is a centre-right or centre party as it is less conservative than its Flemish counterpart, Christian Democratic & Flemish. Another party in the centre of the political spectrum is the liberal Reformist Movement. Brazilian politics have lots of centrist political parties and one of the greatest examples is the Brazilian Democratic Movement, the largest political party in Brazil; the Brazilian Social Democracy Party is another example of centrist party in Brazilian politics, though it was supported by right-wing political parties from 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 elections. Throughout modern history Canadian governments at the federal level have governed from a moderate, centrist political position. Canada has been dominated by the Liberal Party of Canada who have traditionally positioned themselves as being more moderate and centrist than the center-right Conservative Party of Canada and the more left-wing New Democratic Party, putting them somewhere between the center and center-left.
In the late 1970s, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau claimed that his Liberal Party of Canada adhered to the "radical center". Far-right and far-left politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. Croatian People's Party - Liberal Democrats and People's Party - Reformists may be considered as centrist parties. Agrarian Croatian Peasant Party during last years became moderate and centrist, having been centre-right in the past; the Czech Republic has a number of prominent centrist parties, including the syncretic populist movement ANO 2011, the civil libertarian Czech Pirate Party, the long-standing Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party and the localist party Mayors and Independents. France has a tradition of parties that call themselves "centriste", though the actual parties vary over time: when a new political issue emerges and a new political party breaks into the mainstream, the old centre-left party may be de facto pushed rightwards, but unable to consider itself a party of the right, it will embrace being the new centre: this process occurred with the Orléanism, Moderate Républicanism, Radical Republicanism and Radical-Socialism.
The most notable centrist party is La République en marche!, founded by Emmanuel Macron. Another party is the Democratic Movement of François Bayrou, founded in 2007. However, the centrist parties oppose the left-wing parties such as Socialists and Left Front, it support the centre-right Gaullist parties and have joined several coalitions governed by Presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy. Zentrismus is a term only known to experts, as it is confused with Zentralismus, so the usual term in German for the political centre/centrism is politische Mitte; the German party with the most purely centrist nature among German parties to have had current or historical parliamentary representations was most the social-liberal German Democratic Party of the Weimar Republic. There existed during the Weimar Republic a Zentrum, a party of German Catholics founded in 1870, it was called Centre Party not for being a proper centrist party, but because it united left-wing and right-wing Catholics, because it was the first German party to be a Volkspartei and because his elected representatives sat between the liberals and the conservatives.
However, it was distinctly right-wing conservative in that it was not neutral on religious issues, being markedly against more liberal and modernist positions. The main successor of Zentrum after the return of democracy to West Germany in 1945, the Christian Democratic Union, has throughout its history alternated between describing itself as right-wing or centrist and sitting on the right-wing; the representatives of the Social Democ
Abolitionism was the movement to end slavery. This term can be used both formally and informally. In Western Europe and the Americas, abolitionism was a historic movement that sought to end the Atlantic slave trade and set slaves free. King Charles I of Spain known as Emperor Charles V, was following the example of Louis X of France who had abolished slavery within the Kingdom of France in 1315, he passed a law which would have abolished colonial slavery in 1542, although this law was not passed in the largest colonial states, it was not enforced as a result. In the late 17th century, the Roman Catholic Church condemned the slave trade in response to a plea by Lourenço da Silva de Mendouça, it was vehemently condemned by Pope Gregory XVI in 1839; the abolitionist movement only started in the late 18th century, when English and American Quakers began to question the morality of slavery. James Oglethorpe was among the first to articulate the Enlightenment case against slavery, banning it in the Province of Georgia on humanitarian grounds, arguing against it in Parliament, encouraging his friends Granville Sharp and Hannah More to vigorously pursue the cause.
Soon after his death in 1785, Sharp and More united with William Wilberforce and others in forming the Clapham Sect. The Somersett Case in 1772, in which a fugitive slave was freed with the judgement that slavery did not exist under English common law, helped launch the British movement to abolish slavery. Though anti-slavery sentiments were widespread by the late 18th century, the colonies and emerging nations that used slave labour continued to do so: Dutch, British and Portuguese territories in the West Indies, South America, the Southern United States. After the American Revolution established the United States, northern states, beginning with Pennsylvania in 1780, passed legislation during the next two decades abolishing slavery, sometimes by gradual emancipation. Massachusetts ratified a constitution. Vermont, which existed as an unrecognized state from 1777 to 1791, abolished adult slavery in 1777. In other states, such as Virginia, similar declarations of rights were interpreted by the courts as not applicable to Africans and African Americans.
During the following decades, the abolitionist movement grew in northern states, Congress regulated the expansion of slavery in new states admitted to the union. In 1787 the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was formed in London. Revolutionary France abolished slavery throughout its empire in 1794, although it was restored in 1802 by Napoleon as part of a program to ensure sovereignty over its colonies. Haiti formally declared independence from France in 1804 and brought an end to slavery in its territory; the northern states in the U. S. all abolished slavery by 1804. The United Kingdom and the United States outlawed the international slave trade in 1807, after which Britain led efforts to block slave ships. Britain abolished slavery throughout its empire by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833, the French colonies re-abolished it in 1848 and the U. S. abolished slavery in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. In Eastern Europe, groups organized to abolish the enslavement of the Roma in Wallachia and Moldavia, to emancipate the serfs in Russia.
Slavery was declared illegal in 1948 under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Mauritania was the last country to abolish slavery, with a presidential decree in 1981. Today and adult slavery and forced labour are illegal in all countries, as well as being against international law, but a high rate of human trafficking for labour and for sexual bondage continues to affect tens of millions of adults and children. In 1315, Louis X, king of France, published a decree proclaiming that "France signifies freedom" and that any slave setting foot on the French ground should be freed; this prompted subsequent governments to circumscribe slavery in the overseas colonies. Some cases of African slaves freed by setting foot on the French soil were recorded such as this example of a Norman slave merchant who tried to sell slaves in Bordeaux in 1571, he was arrested and his slaves were freed according to a declaration of the Parlement of Guyenne which stated that slavery was intolerable in France. Born into slavery in Saint Domingue, Thomas-Alexandre Dumas became free when his father brought him to France in 1776.
As in other New World colonies, the French relied on the Atlantic slave trade for labour for their sugar cane plantations in their Caribbean colonies. In addition, French colonists in Louisiane in North America held slaves in the South around New Orleans, where they established sugarcane plantations. Louis XIV's Code Noir regulated the slave institution in the colonies, it gave unparalleled rights to slaves. It included the right to gather publicly, or take Sundays off. Although the Code Noir authorized and codified cruel corporal punishment against slaves under certain conditions, it forbade slave owners to torture them or to separate families, it demanded enslaved Africans receive instruction in the Catholic faith, implying that Africans were human beings endowed with a soul, a fact French law did not admit until then. It resulted in a far higher percentage of blacks being free in 1830, they were on average exceptionally literate, with a significant number of them owning businesses and slaves.
Other free people of colour, such as Julien Raimond, spo
George B. McClellan
George Brinton McClellan was an American soldier, civil engineer, railroad executive, politician. A graduate of West Point, McClellan served with distinction during the Mexican War, left the Army to work in railroads until the outbreak of the Civil War. Early in the war, McClellan was appointed to the rank of major general and played an important role in raising a well-trained and organized army, which would become the Army of the Potomac in the Eastern Theater. Although McClellan was meticulous in his planning and preparations, these characteristics hampered his ability to challenge aggressive opponents in a fast-moving battlefield environment, he chronically overestimated the strength of enemy units and was reluctant to apply principles of mass leaving large portions of his army unengaged at decisive points. McClellan organized and led the Union army in the Peninsula Campaign in southeastern Virginia from March through July 1862, it was the first large-scale offensive in the Eastern Theater.
Making an amphibious clockwise turning movement around the Confederate Army in northern Virginia, McClellan's forces turned west to move up the Virginia Peninsula, between the James and York Rivers, landing from the Chesapeake Bay, with the Confederate capital, Richmond, as their objective. McClellan was somewhat successful against the cautious General Joseph E. Johnston, but the emergence of General Robert E. Lee to command the Army of Northern Virginia turned the subsequent Seven Days Battles into a partial Union defeat. General McClellan failed to maintain the trust of President Abraham Lincoln, he did not trust his commander-in-chief and was derisive of him. He was removed from command in November after failing to decisively pursue Lee's Army following the tactically inconclusive but strategic Union victory at the Battle of Antietam outside Sharpsburg and never received another field command. McClellan went on to become the unsuccessful Democratic Party nominee in the 1864 presidential election against Lincoln's reelection.
The effectiveness of his campaign was damaged when he repudiated his party's platform, which promised an end to the war and negotiations with the southern Confederacy. He served as the 24th Governor of New Jersey from 1878 to 1881, became a writer, vigorously defended his Civil War conduct. Most modern authorities have assessed McClellan as a poor battlefield general; some historians view him as a capable commander whose reputation suffered unfairly at the hands of pro-Lincoln partisans who made him a scapegoat for the Union's military setbacks. After the war, subsequent commanding general and 18th President Ulysses S. Grant was asked for his opinion of McClellan as a general. George Brinton McClellan was born in Philadelphia, the son of a prominent surgeon, Dr. George McClellan, the founder of Jefferson Medical College, his father's family was of Scottish heritage. His mother was Elizabeth Sophia Steinmetz Brinton McClellan, daughter of a leading Pennsylvania family, a woman noted for her "considerable grace and refinement".
The couple had five children: Frederica. McClellan was the great-grandson of Revolutionary War general Samuel McClellan of Woodstock, Connecticut. McClellan attended the University of Pennsylvania in 1840 at age twelve, resigning himself to the study of law. After two years, he changed his goal to military service. With the assistance of his father's letter to President John Tyler, young George was accepted at the United States Military Academy in 1842, the academy having waived its normal minimum age of sixteen. At West Point, he was an energetic and ambitious cadet interested in the teachings of Dennis Hart Mahan and the theoretical strategic principles of Antoine-Henri Jomini, his closest friends were aristocratic Southerners such as James Stuart, Dabney Maury, Cadmus Wilcox, A. P. Hill; these associations gave McClellan what he considered to be an appreciation of the Southern mind and an understanding of the political and military implications of the sectional differences in the United States that led to the Civil War.
He graduated at age nineteen in 1846, second in his class of 59 cadets, losing the top position to Charles Seaforth Stewart only because of poor drawing skills. He was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. McClellan's first assignment was with a company of engineers formed at West Point, but he received orders to sail for the Mexican War, he arrived near the mouth of the Rio Grande in October 1846, well prepared for action with a double-barreled shotgun, two pistols, a saber, a dress sword, a Bowie knife. He complained that he had arrived too late to take any part in the American victory at Monterrey in September. During a temporary armistice in which the forces of Gen. Zachary Taylor awaited action, McClellan was stricken with dysentery and malaria, which kept him in the hospital for nearly a month; the malaria would recur in years—he called it his "Mexican disease". He served as an engineering officer during the war, was subject to enemy fire, was appointed a brevet first lieutenant for his services at Contreras and Churubusco and to captain for his service at Chapultepec.
He performed reconnaissance missions for Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott, a close friend of McClellan's father. McClellan's experiences in the war would shape his political life, he learned that flanking movements are bette
The Reconstruction era was the period from 1863 to 1877 in American history. It was a significant chapter in the history of American civil rights; the term has two applications: the first applies to the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the American Civil War. Reconstruction ended the remnants of Confederate secession and ended slavery, making the newly-free slaves citizens with civil rights ostensibly guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments. Three visions of Civil War memory appeared during Reconstruction: the reconciliationist vision, rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought. Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson both took moderate positions designed to bring the South back into the Union as as possible, while Radical Republicans in Congress sought stronger measures to upgrade the rights of African Americans, including the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, while curtailing the rights of former Confederates, such as through the provisions of the Wade–Davis Bill.
Johnson, a former Tennessee Senator, former slave owner, the most prominent Southerner to oppose the Confederacy, followed a lenient policy toward ex-Confederates. Lincoln's last speeches show that he was leaning toward supporting the enfranchisement of all freedmen, whereas Johnson was opposed to this. Johnson's interpretations of Lincoln's policies prevailed until the Congressional elections of 1866; those elections followed outbreaks of violence against blacks in the former rebel states, including the Memphis riots of 1866 and the New Orleans riot that same year. The subsequent 1866 election gave Republicans a majority in Congress, enabling them to pass the 14th Amendment, take control of Reconstruction policy, remove former Confederates from power, enfranchise the freedmen. A Republican coalition came to power in nearly all the southern states and set out to transform the society by setting up a free labor economy, using the U. S. Army and the Freedmen's Bureau; the Bureau protected the legal rights of freedmen, negotiated labor contracts, set up schools and churches for them.
Thousands of Northerners came south as missionaries, teachers and politicians. Hostile whites began referring to these politicians as "carpetbaggers". In early 1866, Congress passed the Freedmen's Bureau and Civil Rights Bills and sent them to Johnson for his signature; the first bill extended the life of the bureau established as a temporary organization charged with assisting refugees and freed slaves, while the second defined all persons born in the United States as national citizens with equality before the law. After Johnson vetoed the bills, Congress overrode his vetos, making the Civil Rights Act the first major bill in the history of the United States to become law through an override of a presidential veto; the Radicals in the House of Representatives, frustrated by Johnson's opposition to Congressional Reconstruction, filed impeachment charges. The action failed by one vote in the Senate; the new national Reconstruction laws – in particular laws requiring suffrage for freedmen – incensed white supremacists in the South, giving rise to the Ku Klux Klan.
During 1867-69 the Klan murdered Republicans and outspoken freedmen in the South, including Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds. Elected in 1868, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant supported Congressional Reconstruction and enforced the protection of African Americans in the South through the use of the Enforcement Acts passed by Congress. Grant used the Enforcement Acts to combat the Ku Klux Klan, wiped out, although a new incarnation of the Klan would again come to national prominence in the 1920s. President Grant was unable to resolve the escalating tensions inside the Republican Party between the Northerners on the one hand, those Republicans hailing from the South on the other. Meanwhile, "redeemers", self-styled conservatives in close cooperation with a faction of the Democratic Party opposed Reconstruction, they alleged widespread corruption by the "carpetbaggers", excessive state spending, ruinous taxes. Meanwhile, public support for Reconstruction policies, requiring continued supervision of the South, faded in the North after the Democrats, who opposed Reconstruction, regained control of the House of Representatives in 1874.
In 1877, as part of a Congressional bargain to elect Republican Rutherford B. Hayes as president following the disputed 1876 presidential election, U. S. Army troops were withdrawn from the three states; this marked the end of Reconstruction. Historian Eric Foner argues: What remains certain is that Reconstruction failed, that for blacks its failure was a disaster whose magnitude cannot be obscured by the genuine accomplishments that did endure. In different states Reconstruction ended at different times. In recent decades most historians follow Foner in dating the Reconstruction of the South as starting in 1863 rather than 1865; the usual ending for Reconstruction has always been 1877. Reconstruction policies were debated in the North when the
1868 United States presidential election
The United States presidential election of 1868 was the 21st quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 3, 1868. In the first election of the Reconstruction Era, Republican nominee Ulysses S. Grant defeated Democrat Horatio Seymour, it was the first presidential election to take place after the conclusion of the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Incumbent President Andrew Johnson had succeeded to the presidency in 1865 following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. Johnson, a War Democrat from Tennessee, had served as Lincoln's running mate in 1864 on the National Union ticket, designed to attract Republicans and War Democrats. Upon accession to office, Johnson clashed with the Republican Congress over Reconstruction policies and was nearly removed from office. Johnson received some support for another term at the 1868 Democratic National Convention, after several ballots, the Democratic convention nominated Governor Seymour of New York; the 1868 Republican National Convention unanimously nominated General Grant, the highest-ranking Union general at the end of the Civil War.
The Democrats criticized the Republican Reconstruction policies, "campaigned explicitly on an anti-black, pro-white platform," while Republicans campaigned on Grant's popularity and the Union victory in the Civil War. Grant decisively won the electoral vote. In addition to his appeal in the North, Grant benefited from votes among the newly enfranchised freedmen in the South, while the temporary political disfranchisement of many Southern whites helped Republican margins; as three of the former Confederate states were not yet restored to the Union, their electors could not vote in the election. It was the first election in which African Americans could vote in the Reconstructed Southern states, in accordance with the First Reconstruction Act. Reconstruction and civil rights of former slaves was a hotly debated issue in the Union. Grant supported the Reconstruction plans of the Radical Republicans in Congress, which favored the 14th Amendment, with full citizenship and civil rights for freedpeople, including suffrage for adult freedmen.
The Democratic platform condemned "Negro supremacy," and demanded a restoration of states' rights, including the right of southern states to determine for themselves whether to allow suffrage for adult freedmen. By 1868, the Republicans felt strong enough to drop the Union Party label, but wanted to nominate a popular hero for their presidential candidate; the Democratic Party controlled many large Northern states that had a great percentage of the electoral votes. General Ulysses S. Grant announced he was a Republican and was unanimously nominated on the first ballot as the party's standard bearer at the Republican convention in Chicago, held on May 20–21, 1868. House Speaker Schuyler Colfax, a Radical Republican from Indiana, was nominated for vice-president on the sixth ballot, beating out the early favorite, Senator Benjamin Wade of Ohio; the Republican platform supported black suffrage in the South as part of the passage to full citizenship for former slaves. It agreed to let northern states decide individually.
It opposed using greenbacks to redeem U. S. bonds, encouraged immigration, endorsed full rights for naturalized citizens, favored Radical Reconstruction as distinct from the more lenient policy of President Andrew Johnson. The Democratic National Convention was held in New York City between July 4, July 9, 1868; the front-runner in the early balloting was George H. Pendleton, who led on the first fifteen ballots, followed in varying order by incumbent president Andrew Johnson, Winfield Scott Hancock, Sanford Church, Asa Packer, Joel Parker, James E. English, James Rood Doolittle, Thomas A. Hendricks; the unpopular Johnson, having narrowly survived impeachment, won sixty-five votes on the first ballot, less than one-third of the total necessary for nomination, thus lost his bid for election as president in his own right. Meanwhile, the convention chairman Horatio Seymour, former governor of New York, received nine votes on the fourth ballot from the state of North Carolina; this unexpected move caused "loud and enthusiastic cheering," but Seymour refused, saying, I must not be nominated by this Convention, as I could not accept the nomination if tendered.
My own inclination prompted me to decline at the outset. It is impossible with my position, to allow my name to be mentioned in this Convention against my protest; the clerk will proceed with the call. By the seventh ballot Pendleton and Hendricks had emerged as the two front-runners, with Hancock the only other candidate with much support by this point. After numerous indecisive ballots, the names of John T. Hoffman, Francis P. Blair, Stephen Johnson Field were placed in nomination. None of these candidates, gained substantial support. For twenty-one ballots, the opposing candidates battled it out: the East battling the West for control, the conservatives battling the radicals. Pendleton's support collapsed after the 15th ballot, but went to Hancock rather than Hendricks, leaving the convention still deadlocked; the two leading candidates were determined. Seymour still hoped it would be Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase, but on the twenty-second ballot, the chairman of the Ohio delegation announced, "at the unanimous request and demand of the delegation I place Horatio Seymour in nomination with twenty-one votes-against his inclination, but no longer against his honor."
Seymour had to wait for the rousing cheers to die