Centennial Crisis: The Disputed Election of 1876

Centennial Crisis The Disputed Election of In the annals of presidential elections the hotly contested race between Rutherford B Hayes and Samuel J Tilden was in many ways as remarkable in its time as Bush versus Gore was in ours Chief J

  • Title: Centennial Crisis: The Disputed Election of 1876
  • Author: William H. Rehnquist
  • ISBN: 9780375713217
  • Page: 137
  • Format: Paperback
  • In the annals of presidential elections, the hotly contested 1876 race between Rutherford B Hayes and Samuel J Tilden was in many ways as remarkable in its time as Bush versus Gore was in ours Chief Justice William Rehnquist offers readers a colorful and peerlessly researched chronicle of the post Civil War years, when the presidency of Ulysses S Grant was marked by miIn the annals of presidential elections, the hotly contested 1876 race between Rutherford B Hayes and Samuel J Tilden was in many ways as remarkable in its time as Bush versus Gore was in ours Chief Justice William Rehnquist offers readers a colorful and peerlessly researched chronicle of the post Civil War years, when the presidency of Ulysses S Grant was marked by misjudgment and scandal, and Hayes, Republican governor of Ohio, vied with Tilden, a wealthy Democratic lawyer and successful corruption buster, to succeed Grant as America s chief executive The upshot was a very close popular vote in favor of Tilden that an irremediably deadlocked Congress was unable to resolve In the pitched battle that ensued along party lines, the ultimate decision of who would be President rested with a commission that included five Supreme Court justices, as well as five congressional members from each party With a firm understanding of the energies that motivated the era s movers and shakers, and no shortage of insight into the processes by which epochal decisions are made, Chief Justice Rehnquist draws the reader intimately into a nineteenth century event that offers valuable history lessons for us in the twenty first.

    One thought on “Centennial Crisis: The Disputed Election of 1876”

    1. As someone who, from time to time, likes to read works of legal history [1], I found this work immensely appealing on two levels. On the surface level of reading, this book is a joy to read, written by someone, namely the late Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, who has a good skill at crafting a narrative, and an ability to make a compelling tale of the sordid and corrupt mess of a particularly controversial election, namely that of 1876 where disputed ballot returns in Florida (among other pla [...]

    2. The late Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote this creditable account of the election of 1876 in which disputed ballots in three southern states couldn't be resolved under the Constitution. Congress punted the question to an "Electoral Commission" that itself was a scaffolding for one man: independent Justice David Davis. Unfortunately Davis resigned to take a Senate seat and an apparently partisan vote proceeded to elect Rutherford Hayes to the presidency. Rehnquist is taking aim at those allegations [...]

    3. Straight forward and direct retelling of the disputed election of 1876 (as stated in the title). The Presidential election between Hayes and Tilden is one of the great underrated crises in American history and Rehnquist examines it and gives an overview of the sequence of events. Unfortunately, he is dry as dust in writing style and there is a lcak of depth in the analysis at least until the epilogue. But really you can't help feeling that the whole purpose of the book is to act as a metaphor fo [...]

    4. I enjoyed this book and found it very informative about the 1876 election.Then Rehnquist loses his focus at the end, including a lengthy chapter summarizing how the U.S. Supreme Court has played an extra-judiciary role in American government throughout American history. That chapter did not seem to belong in this book. It was as though Rehnquist wrote it as an essay to justify his Court's role in the 2000 election, and he needed a place to put it. I got frustrated and bored during that chapter, [...]

    5. This book provides a great story, and shows how important party alliances have been throughout the history of our government. The president in 1876 was ultimately chosen because members of one party outnumbered their opponents on a committee. I gained a deep appreciation for how much work and research is involved on the part of supreme court justices when issuing their opinions. The author did a wonderful job, although parts of the book were over my head, I really enjoyed it and felt smarter aft [...]

    6. The Chief Justice's attempt to justify the Supreme Court's inexcusable intrusion into the 2000 election.The fact that he wrote this book shortly before his death is evidence of a jurist who knew the Bush v. Gore opinion lacked precedent and was wrong. It is only worth reading to assess his guilt. I would say this was humorous, but it is pathetic.

    7. Rehnquist's panglossian hagiographic take on the 1876 election praises the electoral commission for coming to the correct legal decision, whilst ignoring the fact that Republicans gave the election to a Republican who had LOST THE ELECTION! This reads as nothing more than as a rationalization of his own court's electoral theft in 2000.

    8. I found the book interesting but I didn't know much about the subject to begin with. I think that you could be disappointed if you have already read another book on the subject. Like Rehnquist's other books, it is straight to the point without too much fluff. This is worth reading if you are a fan of history or the Supreme Court.

    9. Very readable. Couldn't avoid thinking that the book is an apology of sorts for his role in Bush v. Gore. I was interested in the role Justice David Davis played in this drama. Rehnquist's account of this issue did not satisfy.

    10. A tough book for anyone but a lawyer to love the book has its moments, but was ponderous at times. The short length of the book meant the large cast of characters introduced were hard to keep track off, and so made parts confusing. But an interesting time period.

    11. Interesting read. Lots of background on all the actors. Good epilogue discussing the merits of appointing sitting Justices to commissions and such. I will be adding a biography of Rutherford B. Hayes to my reading list.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *