What the tumultuous 1876 presidential race might portend for 2020

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The interior of the Merchants Exchange Building of St. Louis, Missouri, during the announcement of Samuel J. Tilden as the Democratic presidential nominee in the 1876 election. After a highly controversial race, the victory ultimately went to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes. Photo courtesy of Cornell University Library

The 1876 presidential election was filled with shady backroom deals, reports of bribery, voter intimidation, and Republican governors fearing for their lives.It happened in a divided country, poisoned by partisanship, still trying to salve the wounds of war, and reeling from the worst economic catastrophe the country had ever seen. That’s all according to Mike Schlitt, writer, performer, and amateur historian.

“Trump has already said that he’s not sure he’s going to accept the results of this election. And in 1876, in spite of how screwed up the country was and how divided it was, there was definitely a will for a political solution,” says Schlitt.

Credits

Guest:
Mike Schlitt - Historian and Producer, 'The Document' - @schlitthappenz

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin, Caleigh Wells