Hayes: Contradictions

There was a lot that was ironic about Rutherford B. Hayes.

Hayes had a very liberal view of blacks for his time, wishing for them to have nearly equal rights as whites, the right to vote and believed that through education, they could be integrated into society. It seems strange then that he presided over the end of reconstruction in the South.

He probably would not have personally chosen this path but allowed it as a bargain with the south to win the disputed electoral votes needed to decide his controversial election. Hayes had to fully know that when the South ceased to be a country occupied by federal troops, it would return to its policy of pseudo slavery against blacks through share cropping and black codes.

Rutherford B. Hayes is remembered as a man that sent federal troops in to suppress a huge railroad strike, but privately wrote in his journal and talked to friends about how he wished the desperate people striking could gain the education they needed to enhance their station in life and not resort to rioting.

Hayes was against the inequality that the industrial revolution was creating but was firm against any government policy concerning increasing the money supply that could potentially help the masses of poor farmers in the Midwest and western states.

He was known as the corrupt bargainer who bargained his way into office, but he honored his pledge to serve only one term.

Best of all about Hayes, he helped found The Ohio State University when he served as governor of the state, you'd think that he'd be more popular in Ohio than he is for that alone!

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