The election of 1876 had an outcome quite unlike any other until the election of 2000 which was similar in several aspects.
In the vast majority of extraordinary situations the Supreme Court sets a standard to follow for all cases with similar characteristics to be faced in the future. However, due to the intense corruption entangling the political scene during the election of 1876 the Supreme Court filed to set a standard to be followed.
When the election results were turned in after being counted by groups of Democrats and Republicans several states turned in two counts. One count in which the Democrats won the state and similarly another count conducted by the Republicans in which their party captured the states' electoral votes.
This is similar to the disputed vote counts that have scarred the election of 2000 between George Bush and Al Gore. However, the election of 1876 was not defaulted to he Supreme Court for a final decision. Instead, a group of 15 delegates was formed to negotiate for the presidency. This group of delegates derived the Compromise of 1877. In this compromise, the presidency was given to the Republican candidate, Rutherford B. Hayes, despite the fact that it was now obvious that the Democratic candidate, Samuel J. Tilden had won the election by a respectable margin.
Despairingly, in line with the times, political corruption and bargaining played a role in the outcome of this election. The Democrats conceded the presidency to Hayes in exchange for an end to military reconstruction in the southern states. This quickly ended the precious freedoms that the black citizens had been allowed to exercise for a few short years. The right to vote was not returned to African-Americans for approximately 100 years.
How could such corruption have been enabled to consume the highest office in the United States? Clearly this would not be tolerated in the current social settings of our nation. Shortly before the turn of the century when this election occurred, mass communication was not available to the public. The entire election was decided before the public eyes and ears were allowed to pass their judgment upon it. In a technologically advanced society run by the Internet and other forms of mass communication, these actions would have been swiftly halted. This is the reason why the election of 2000 was handed to the Supreme Court. Thankfully, we are all to keep an eye on our political system via many forms of mass communication. If you think politics are corrupt now, consider the previous situation as proof that they have actually become much cleaner.