Because of widespread cheating on both sides, the vote-count and outcome of the 1876 presidential election between Hayes the Republican and Tilden the Democrat is bitterly disputed — particularly the count in the state of Florida. In the end, all disputed counts are resolved by a special committee appointed by Congress. Republicans outnumber Democrats on the committee by 8 to 7. All disputes are decided in favor of the Republicans by a vote of 8 to 7. Hayes is declared the winner even though most impartial observers believe that Tilden won the popular vote.
It is widely understood that there's a backroom deal with the Democrats who represent the overwhelming majority of white voters in the South. In return for the Democrats accepting Hayes' victory, the Republicans promise that Hayes will remove the troops and officials who have been providing at least some limited protection to Blacks in the South. And that the new Hayes administration will cease enforcing the 15th Amendment and other civil rights laws. This deal becomes known as the "Compromise of 1877." The "compromise" being that the Republicans retain power in Washington while white-racists throughout the country are given free reign to oppress and persecute non-whites.
Hayes takes office, the troops and officials are removed. Civil rights enforcement ends:
Reign of terror. The Ku Klux Klan and other racist terrorist organizations increase their attacks against African-Americans. Blacks are expelled from office. African-American males who try to vote are fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, beaten, and in many cases brutally lynched. Black property owners are burned out, Black businesses destroyed, and entire African-American towns are wiped out.
Legal disenfranchisement. New state laws are passed to sabotage and render ineffective the 15th Amendment. Among these are the so-called "Literacy Tests" that make it impossible for non-whites to register, and "Grandfather-clauses" that restrict voting rights to those men whose grandfathers had been eligible to vote — a requirement that descendants of slaves cannot possibly meet.
Poll taxes. Many states impose taxes on voting. Anyone — Black or white — who cannot afford to pay the tax cannot vote. Since the taxes are high and have to be paid in cash, voting is thus limited to affluent white males. In effect, this restores a property requirement for voting.
Segregation laws. Laws mandating separation of the races in education, government services, public facilities & accommodations, restrooms, transportation, drinking fountains and so on are passed throughout the South and Midwest. Known as the "Jim Crow" system, their goal is to force African-Americans into feudal semi-slavery. The many Blacks who resist are beaten, jailed, and murdered. Similar systems are imposed in Western states against Latinos, Native-Americans, and Asians.
Within a few years most Blacks are removed from the voter registration rolls and denied the right to vote. All African-Americans who hold elected office are driven out. In Louisiana, for example, by 1900 fewer than 5,000 African-Americans are registered to vote, down from a high of 130,000.