The country was bitterly divided and experienced a controversial election where the winner won by one electoral vote even though they lost the popular vote. An electoral commission decided along party lines of Democrat and Republican to disavow enough of electoral votes of the popular winner to confirm the Republican candidate.
Allegations of rampant voter fraud and intimidation flew and the country was ready to tear itself apart. The opposing party was portrayed in all media outlets as traitorous and tyrannical and one scandal after another rocked congress and the presidency.
Does this sound familiar? If it does, it's not Bush V. Gore, it's Hayes V. Tilden in the election of 1876.
This election occurred at a time when the North was taking a much more aggressive stance towards the former confederate democrats that ran the South and the nation was united on paper, but divided in reality.
Samuel Tilden, the favored Democrat in the presidential election of 1876 had 250,000 more votes than Hayes but lost the electoral vote.
To put that figure in perspective, think of how controversial the Bush Gore race was when Gore had 500,000 more popular votes than Bush but the population of the country was 10 times as high as it was in 1876. That would be the equivalent of Gore losing the electoral vote but winning the popular vote by a margin of 2.5 million votes.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.