The Compromise of 1877 signified
the resolution to the controversial 1876 presidential election between Democrat
Samuel Tilden and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. During which, Tilden won more
popular votes than Hayes, yet some electoral votes were disputed. This resulted
in The Compromise of 1877 and the election of Rutherford B. Hayes in exchange
for the discontinuation of federal troops from the South. This also meant the
South was now considered home-rule. Because of this chain of events there were
many long-term consequences.
The withdrawal of federal troops
meant the end of the Republicans attempts to protect the rights of African
Americans which marked the end of Reconstruction. As a result, states in the
South quickly passed laws to make it harder for African Americans to vote
as well as enacting racial segregation.
Another important result of the Compromise of
1877 was the South being grated home-rule. This meant that Republicans would
have to hold back from being involved in the South’s local matters and that
Democrats, who were usually white and racist, would have power. Although many
of the Southern Democrats claimed they would treat everyone equally, they
certainly didn’t stick to their word. As a result of the home-rule being
granted to the South, man black men were not allowed to vote and soon Jim Crow
segregation was inflicted across the South.
Jim Crow laws were constructed by
white southerners to implement racial segregation. During this time “whites
only” signs were found at restaurants, public parks, movie theaters, public
schools and many other establishments across the South. Those who chose to test
the Jim Crow laws were sentenced to jail time or faced violence. Soon after,
the Supreme Court proclaimed Jim Crow segregation legal and that “separate but
equal” establishments would be held for African Americans and were permitted
under the Constitution.
These series of events eventually
led to the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. This movement was the birth place of
the iconic Freedom Riders, boycotters, protestors and the infamous Martin
Luther King Jr. With these boycotts, organized sit-ins, and protest marches
where African Americans urged equality, many received physical violence from
whites in power. Through persistence and the death of Martin Luther King Jr.
African Americans were eventually able to receive support for the Civil Rights
I believe these long-term consequences
of the Compromise of 1877 paved the way for African Americans living today to have
the ability to be able to voice their opinion and stand up for what they
believe in. I do think many African Americans today are still being oppressed
in ways many choose to turn a blind eye to, yet things have come a long way
since the compromise. I think because of the series of events that happened
following the Compromise many more African Americans have been granted
opportunities they may not have been able to otherwise. America still has a
long ways to go when it comes to racial equality and the fight for this is long
from over, but with persistence and unity I believe we can come together as a
nation to combat the racial discrimination we have been battling for centuries.