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Rutherford Birchard Hayes
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Mr. Hayes
Political Party: Whig (Before 1854)

Republican (1854–1893)

Education: Kenyon College

Harvard Law School

Religion Methodism
Born October 4, 1822
Died January 17, 1893 (aged 70)

Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th President of the United States and he opposed Slavery. He fought for the Union in the Civil War, (got shot five times) he was elected to Congress but didn’t take up the position till the war ended. When Hayes ran for President there was trouble over the votes and Hayes won by just one vote,[1] Hollywood couldn’t make a better cliffhanger. Hayes appointed men to posts based on merit and included some who were not Republican Party hacks. He even approved a law allowing women better chances to practise law which was ahead of his time.

Hayes tried to get southern Negroes full rights but withdrew troops from The South to help heal divisions. During and after his presidency Hayes was concerned with helping the poor and weak, after his presidency Hayes worked to improve education opportunities for poor people and for Immigrants, Hayes also worked at prison reform.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Civil War hero
  • Made strides for Civil Rights and firmly believed in equal rights
  • Fought against political corruption
  • Rallied for mental health reform
  • Vetoed the Chinese immigration ban
  • Reinstated the gold standard
  • Made a one-term pledge and stuck to it

Cons

  • Technically lost the election (lost the popular vote), but became President anyway
  • Mishandling of the Great Railroad Strike riots

Footnote

  1. Well, maybe. Hayes opponent actually won a majority of the popular vote (the only person to have won an actual majority of the popular vote and lost the Presidency), and Congressional Republicans refused to certify the electors of several States that Hayes apparently may have lost. In what has become known as the Compromise of 1877, Democrats agreed to allow Congress to certify Republican Electors in the disputed States in return for the End of Reconstruction. So, no, Hayes didn't just abandon Southern blacks to their fate, he actually traded protection of their rights for his Presidency or for Congressional cooperation, depending on which version you believe.

References

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