The Compromise of 1877 was a political agreement between the Republican and Democratic parties in the United States that ended Reconstruction following the Civil War. It essentially meant that federal troops would be withdrawn from former Confederate states, allowing Southern Democrats to regain control over their governments. In exchange for this withdrawal, Republicans were promised economic aid for railroads and other development projects in these states.
The compromise effectively ended Reconstruction as it had been carried out since 1865, ending all efforts by African Americans to gain civil rights through legislation or Constitutional amendments. Instead, they faced disenfranchisement and were affected by segregation laws enacted by state governments under Democratic rule that lasted until the mid-20th century, when various civil rights acts finally began dismantling them.
Overall, the Compromise of 1877 is seen as one of the major turning points in American history after the Civil War; it marked the end of a period in which African Americans had some hope of gaining equal rights with whites. It ushered in decades of more oppression before they could again begin making strides towards equality.