The Half-Breed reformers in the Republican Party had another win with the election of President James A. Garfield. He was ready to finish the job President Hayes started on civil service reform. But Stalwarts like Vice President Chester A. Arthur were intent on maintaining the morally questionable Spoils System. Meanwhile, the Democrats were preparing to make their case as the true party of integrity.
In 1876, the Republican Party bargained the end of Reconstruction for the presidency. Now faced with a solidly Democratic South, and fracturing within their own party, was their political dominance finally coming to an end?
It was America’s hundredth year of independence! How did the nation celebrate? With the most controversial election in American history!