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The President That Ended Reconstruction

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    A President that lost the vote, but was still handed the Presidency. If you're thinking about George Bush right now, think again. Rutherford B Hayes was awarded the Presidency in the contentious election of 1886 after months of political wrangling and a last minute back room deal that nearly brought on a Constitutional crisis that this country had not seen since the Civil War. Unfortunately, this back room deal ended Reconstruction and enabled the South to enslave African Americans yet again, but now they called it by a different name. It is unfortunate because President Hayes went against his personal beliefs so he could become President. Many Presidents have had this issue before, where they have to do something that is against their morals to get ahead, but this decision by Mr. Hayes set back the rights of the African American's in the South for decades to come.

    We will never know what could have happened, but I do like to think of what might have been sometimes. What might we have accomplished as a country if we could had put the issue of race and inequality aside after the Civil War and Reconstruction and actually learn to work together as a nation? America saw another 80 years of state sanctioned racism after Mr. Hayes was sworn in. What if he decided to continue Reconstruction and rebuild the South, ensuring that ALL people would be free? What might have happened then?