Ulysses S. Grant had set his heart on a third term but the Republican party would not hear of it. Both Republicans and Democrats were clamouring for civil service reforms, and Grant’s sorry record of scandal would have made him a liability. The Republicans finally selected Rutherford B. Hayes, an ex-soldier of the Civil War and a holder of a degree from Harvard Law School, the first presidential nominee with a graduate degree. The Democrats turned to a well-respected foe of corruption, Samuel J. Tilden, a millionaire corporate lawyer and one of the richest men in the country. The election of 1876 was the most drawn-out in American history and was also one of the four elections in which the popular vote winner was not elected. In an incredibly close count the Electoral College votes were 185 supporting Rutherford B. Hayes and 184 supporting Samuel J. Tilden.
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