1874 and 1875 United States House of Representatives elections

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1874 and 1875 United States House of Representatives elections

← 1872 / 1873 November 3, 1874[a] 1876 / 1877 →

All 293[b] seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
147 seats needed for a majority
  Majority party Minority party
  Michael C. Kerr - Brady-Handy.jpg JamesGBlaine.png
Leader Michael Kerr James G. Blaine
Party Democratic Republican
Leader's seat Indiana 3rd Maine 3rd
Last election 88 seats 195 seats
Seats won 180[1] 103[1]
Seat change Increase 92 Decrease 92
Popular vote 3,061,888 2,766,257
Percentage 49.12% 44.38%
Swing Increase 7.12% Decrease 8.47%

  Third party Fourth party
 
Party Anti-Monopoly Reform
Last election New Party New Party
Seats won 1 1
Seat change Increase 1 Increase 1
Popular vote 79,816 9,546
Percentage 1.28% 0.15%
Swing Pre-creation Pre-creation

  Fifth party
 
Party Independent
Last election 1 seats[c]
Seats won 4[d][e]
Seat change Increase 3
Popular vote 276,554
Percentage 4.44%
Swing Increase 2.19%

House044ElectionMap.png
Map of U.S. House elections results from 1874 elections for 44th Congress

Speaker before election

James G. Blaine
Republican

Elected Speaker

Michael Kerr
Democratic

Elections to the United States House of Representatives were held in 1874 and 1875 for Representatives to the 44th Congress, occurring in the middle of President Ulysses S. Grant's second term with a deep economic depression underway. It was an important turning point, as the Republicans lost heavily and the Democrats gained control of the House. It signaled the imminent end of Reconstruction, which Democrats opposed. Historians emphasize the factors of economic depression and attacks on the Grant administration for corruption as key factors in the vote.[2]

With the election following the Panic of 1873, Grant's Republican Party was crushed in the elections, losing their majority and almost half their seats to the Democratic Party. This was the first period of Democratic control since the pre-war era. The economic crisis and the inability of Grant to find a solution led to his party's defeat. This was the second-largest swing in the history of the House (only behind the 1894 elections), and is the largest House loss in the history of the Republican Party.

In the south, the Democrats and Conservatives continued their systematic destruction of the Republican coalition. In the South, Scalawags moved into the Democratic Party. The Democratic landslide signaled the imminent end of Reconstruction, which Democrats opposed and a realignment of the Republican coalition that had dominated American politics since the late 1850s.[3]

While the ongoing end of Reconstruction in the South was one of the main reasons for the shift, turn-of-the-century historian James Ford Rhodes explored the multiple causes of the results in the North:[4]

In the fall elections of 1874 the issue was clearly defined: Did the Republican President Ulysses S. Grant and Congress deserve the confidence of the country? and the answer was unmistakably No ... The Democrats had won a signal victory, obtaining control of the next House of Representatives which would stand Democrats 168, Liberals and Independents 14, Republicans 108 as against the two-thirds Republican majority secured by the election of 1872. Since 1861 the Republicans had controlled the House and now with its loss came a decrease in their majority in the Senate ...

Rhodes continues:

The political revolution from 1872 to 1874 was due to the failure of the Southern policy of the Republican party, to the Credit Mobilier and Sanborn contract scandals, to corrupt and inefficient administration in many departments and to the persistent advocacy of Grant by some close friends and hangers-on for a third presidential term. Some among the opposition were influenced by the President's backsliding in the cause of civil service reform, and others by the failure of the Republican party to grapple successfully with the financial question. The depression, following the financial Panic of 1873, and the number of men consequently out of employment weighed in the scale against the party in power. In Ohio, the result was affected by the temperance crusade in the early part of the year. Bands of women of good social standing marched to saloons before which or in which they sang hymns and, kneeling down, prayed that the great evil of drink might be removed. Sympathizing men wrought with them in causing the strict law of the State against the sale of strong liquor to be rigidly enforced. Since Republicans were in the main the instigators of the movement, it alienated from their party a large portion of the German American vote.

Special elections[edit]

Election summaries[edit]

182 8 103
Democratic [f] Republican
State Type Total
seats
Democratic Republican Independent
Seats Change Seats Change Seats Change
Alabama District
+ 2 at-large
8 6 Increase 4 2 Decrease 4 0 Steady
Arkansas District 4 4 Increase 4 0 Decrease 4 0 Steady
California[g] District 4 3 Increase 2 1 Decrease 2 0 Steady
Connecticut[g] District 4 3 Increase 2 1 Decrease 2 0 Steady
Delaware At-large 1 1 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Florida District 2 1 Increase 1 1 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Georgia[h] District 9 9[e] Increase 2 0 Decrease 2 0 Steady
Illinois District 19 11 Increase 6 6 Decrease 8 2 Increase 2
Indiana[h] District 13 8 Increase 5 5 Decrease 5 0 Steady
Iowa[h] District 9 1 Increase 1 8 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Kansas District 3 1 Increase 1 2 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Kentucky District 10 9 Decrease 1 1 Increase 1 0 Steady
Louisiana District 6 4 Increase 3 2 Decrease 2 0 Steady
Maine[h] District 5 0 Steady 5 Steady 0 Steady
Maryland District 6 6 Increase 2 0 Decrease 2 0 Steady
Massachusetts District 11 5 Increase 5 4 Decrease 7 2 Increase 2
Michigan District 9 3 Increase 3 6 Decrease 3 0 Steady
Minnesota District 3 0 Steady 3 Steady 0 Steady
Mississippi District 6 4 Increase 3 2[i] Decrease 3 0 Steady
Missouri District 13 13 Increase 4 0 Decrease 4 0 Steady
Nebraska[h] At-large 1 0 Steady 1 Steady 0 Steady
Nevada At-large 1 0 Decrease 1 1 Increase 1 0 Steady
New Hampshire[g] District 3 2 Increase 1 1 Decrease 1 0 Steady
New Jersey District 7 5 Increase 4 2 Decrease 4 0 Steady
New York District 33 17 Increase 8 16[i] Decrease 8 0 Steady
North Carolina[h] District 8 7 Increase 2 1 Decrease 2 0 Steady
Ohio[h] District 20 13 Increase 7 7 Decrease 7 0 Steady
Oregon[h] At-large 1 1 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Pennsylvania District 27 17 Increase 12 10 Decrease 12 0 Steady
Rhode Island District 2 0 Steady 2 Steady 0 Steady
South Carolina District 5 0 Steady 5 Steady 0 Steady
Tennessee District 10 9 Increase 6 1 Decrease 6 0 Steady
Texas District 6 6 Steady 0 Steady 0 Steady
Vermont[h] District 3 0 Steady 3[i] Steady 0 Steady
Virginia District 9 8 Increase 4 1 Decrease 4 0 Steady
West Virginia[h] District 3 3 Increase 1 0 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Wisconsin District 8 3 Increase 1 5 Decrease 1 0 Steady
Total 293[b] 183[e]
62.5%
Increase 94 106[d]
36.2%
Decrease 93 4
1.4%
Increase 4
House seats
Democratic
62.46%
Independent
1.37%
Republican
36.18%
House seats by party holding plurality in state
  80+% Democratic
  80+% Republican
  60+% to 80% Democratic
  60+% to 80% Republican
  Up to 60% Democratic
  Up to 60% Republican
Net gain in party representation
  6+ Democratic gain
  6+ Republican gain
  3-5 Democratic gain
  3-5 Republican gain
  1-2 Democratic gain
  1-2 Republican gain
  no net change

Election dates[edit]

In 1845, Congress passed a law providing for a uniform nationwide date for choosing Presidential electors.[5] This law did not affect election dates for Congress, which remained within the jurisdiction of State governments, but over time, the States moved their Congressional elections to this date as well. In 1874–75, there were still 10 states with earlier election dates, and 3 states with later election dates:

California[edit]

District Incumbent This race
Representative Party First elected Results Candidates
California 1 Charles Clayton Republican 1872 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.
  • Green tickY William Adam Piper (Democratic) 49.1%
  • Ira P. Rankin (Republican) 26.8%
  • John F. Swift (Independent) 24.1%
California 2 Horace F. Page Republican 1872 Incumbent re-elected.
  • Green tickY Horace F. Page (Republican) 43.4%
  • Henry Larkin (Democratic) 38.7%
  • Charles A. Tuttle (Independent) 17.8%
California 3 John K. Luttrell Democratic 1872 Incumbent re-elected.
  • Green tickY John K. Luttrell (Democratic) 46.7%
  • C. B. Denio (Republican) 36.1%
  • Charles F. Reed (Independent) 17.1%
California 4 Sherman O. Houghton Republican 1871 Lost re-election
Democratic gain
  • Green tickY Peter D. Wigginton (Democratic) 48.8%
  • Sherman O. Houghton (Republican) 34.6%
  • J. S. Thompson (Independent) 16.7%

Florida[edit]

District Incumbent This race
Representative Party First elected Results Candidates
Florida 1 William J. Purman
Redistricted from the at-large district
Republican 1872 Incumbent re-elected.
Florida 2 Josiah T. Walls
Redistricted from the at-large district
Republican 1870 Incumbent re-elected.
The election was later successfully challenged.

South Carolina[edit]

District Incumbent This race
Representative Party First elected Results Candidates
South Carolina 1 Joseph Rainey Republican 1870 (Special) Incumbent re-elected.
  • Green tickY Joseph Rainey (Republican) 51.4%
  • Samuel Lee (Independent Republican) 48.6%
South Carolina 2 Alonzo J. Ransier Republican 1872 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Independent Republican gain.
Election was later successfully challenged, declared vacant, and a special election was then held.
South Carolina 3 Robert B. Elliott Republican 1870 Incumbent resigned November 1, 1874 to serve as sheriff.
new member elected.
Republican hold
South Carolina 4 Alexander S. Wallace Republican 1868 Incumbent re-elected.
South Carolina 5 Richard H. Cain
Redistricted from the at-large seat
Republican 1872 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican hold.
  • Green tickY Robert Smalls (Republican) 79.4%
  • J. P. M. Epping (Independent Republican) 19.9%
  • Others 0.7%


Wisconsin[edit]

District Incumbent This race
Representative Party First elected Results Candidates[citation needed]
Wisconsin 1 Charles G. Williams Republican 1872 Incumbent re-elected.
Wisconsin 2 Gerry Whiting Hazelton Republican 1870 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican hold.
Wisconsin 3 J. Allen Barber Republican 1870 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Republican hold.
  • Green tickY Henry S. Magoon (Republican) 52.7%
  • Charles F. Thompson (Democratic) 47.3%
Wisconsin 4 Alexander Mitchell Democratic 1870 Incumbent retired.
new member elected.
Democratic hold.
Wisconsin 5 Charles A. Eldredge Democratic 1862 Incumbent lost renomination.
New member elected.
Democratic hold.
Wisconsin 6 Philetus Sawyer Republican 1864 Incumbent retired.
new member elected.
Republican hold.
Wisconsin 7 Jeremiah McLain Rusk Republican 1870 Incumbent re-elected.
Wisconsin 8 Alexander S. McDill Republican 1872 Incumbent lost re-election.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.

Non-voting delegates[edit]

Colorado Territory[edit]

District Incumbent This race
Delegate Party First elected Results Candidates
Colorado Territory at-large Jerome B. Chaffee Republican 1870 Incumbent retired.
New member elected.
Democratic gain.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The majority of states held their elections on this date. 13 other states held regular elections on different dates between June 1, 1874 and September 7, 1875.
  2. ^ a b Includes late elections.
  3. ^ Included 1 Independent Democrat.
  4. ^ a b Includes 3 Independent Republicans.
  5. ^ a b c Includes 1 Independent Democrat, William H. Felton, elected to Georgia's 7th congressional district.
  6. ^ There were 4 Independents, 3 Independent Republicans, and 1 Independent Democrat.
  7. ^ a b c Elections held late.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Elections held early.
  9. ^ a b c Includes 1 Independent Republican.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Martis, pp. 128–129.
  2. ^ Barreyre, Nicolas (2011). "The Politics of Economic Crises: The Panic of 1873, the End of Reconstruction, and the realignment of American Politics". Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. 10 (4): 403–423.
  3. ^ Campbell, James E. (Fall 2006). "Party Systems and Realignments in the United States, 1868-2004". Social Science History. 30 (3): 359–386.
  4. ^ Rhodes, James Ford (1920). History of the United States from the Compromise of 1850: 1872-1877. The Macmillan company. p. 67.
  5. ^ Statutes at Large, 28th Congress, 2nd Session, p. 721.
  6. ^ "Our Campaigns - CO Territorial Delegate - Final Election Race - Nov 03, 1874". www.ourcampaigns.com.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]