Centennial Crisis: The Disputed Election of 1876
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 mi...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Vintage
(first published 2004)
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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...more
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...more
Nov 14, 2007 Kristyn rated it 4 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who would like further insight into the branches of government.
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...more
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.
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.
William Hubbs Rehnquist was an American lawyer, jurist, and a political figure who served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States and later as the Chief Justice of the United States. Considered a conservative, Rehnquist favored a federalism under which the states meaningfully exercised governmental power. Under this view of federalism, the Supreme Court of the United Stat...moreMore about William H. Rehnquist...