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United States presidential election, 1880
United States
1876 ←
November 2, 1880
→ 1884

  JGBlaine Tilden
Nominee James G. Blaine Samuel J. Tilden
Party Republican Democratic
Home state Maine New York

President before election

Samuel J. Tilden
Democratic

Elected President

James G. Blaine
Republican

The United States presidential election of 1880 was largely a referendum on the country's foreign policy, especially the Democratic Party's long period of appeasement of the Confederate States in the two decades since the War of Secession. It saw the return of the Republican Party to power, but that political capital was quickly squandered during the disasterous Second Mexican War. This was the last time that a Republican was elected president.

The CandidatesEdit

Incumbent President Samuel J. Tilden been elected in 1876 as the latest in a series of Democrats.

Republican challenger James G. Blaine had ridden a wave of growing discontent in the population to national prominence.

The CampaignEdit

Although every president since 1864 had shown a great deal of deference to the Confederate States, Tilden went too far when he removed the 12 stars representing the former southern states from the U.S. flag.

Blaine's campaign tapped into the discontent of the people of the U.S., campaigning heavily on an anti-Confederate platform.

The ElectionEdit

Given the frustration of the electorate, Blaine didn't have to campaign very hard. Blaine's election heartened the U.S., but panicked the C.S., who'd grown used to compliant U.S. presidents. When the C.S. went ahead with its plan to purchase the states of Sonora and Chihuahua from the Empire of Mexico, Blaine sought and received a declaration of war. The Second Mexican War saw the defeat of the U.S. once again at the hands of the C.S., and doomed the Republican Party to irrelevance.

OTL ElectionEdit

1880 saw the Republican Party continue its electoral dominance with the election James Garfield of Ohio and Chester Alan Arthur of New York. In an attempt to defeat the GOPS's tactic of "waving the bloody shirt", the Democrats had nominated Winfield Scott Hancock, a hero of the Battle of Gettysburg.

The nomination of Hancock backfired. While it did allow the party to outflank the bloody-shirt wavers, Hancock was the most inexperienced and unqualified presidential candidate to be nominated at that point in the country's history up until 2016. He had never held elected office, nor had he held any appointed political offices on either the federal or the state level. In 2016, the Republicans broke Hancock's record for lack of qualifications by nominating the even more undeserving Donald Trump, who is also quite incompetent.

Neither Samuel J. Tilden nor James G. Blaine were involved in the 1880 election. Blaine ran and lost in 1884, while Tilden ran and lost in 1876. Tilden also ran, and won, in the 1876 election in Southern Victory.

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