How Did the Year 1877 Mark a Turning Point in American History?

The year 1877 marked a significant turning point in American history. It was a year of great changes and significant events that shaped the future of the country. Let’s take a look at some of the major events that occurred in 1877.

The End of Reconstruction

The most significant event that occurred in 1877 was the end of Reconstruction. The Reconstruction era began after the Civil War and was aimed at rebuilding the South and bringing it back into the Union. However, by 1877, many Americans had grown tired of the Reconstruction efforts, and there was a widespread desire to move on from it.

President Rutherford B. Hayes had promised to bring an end to Reconstruction during his campaign, and he made good on his promise when he became president. Hayes withdrew federal troops from the South, effectively ending Reconstruction and leaving Southern states to govern themselves once again.

The Great Railroad Strike

Another significant event that occurred in 1877 was the Great Railroad Strike. The strike began in July of that year when railroad workers across the country went on strike to protest wage cuts. The strike spread quickly, with thousands of workers joining in across multiple states.

The strike turned violent in some areas, with rioting and property damage occurring in several cities. The federal government eventually intervened, sending troops to break up the strikes and restore order.

The Invention of the Phonograph

While not as politically significant as the other two events mentioned above, 1877 also saw a groundbreaking innovation: the invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison. The phonograph was one of Edison’s most famous inventions and marked a major milestone in audio recording technology.

The invention allowed for sound recordings to be played back later, making it possible for people to listen to music or speeches even if they weren’t present when they were originally performed.


In conclusion, 1877 was a year of significant changes in American history. The end of Reconstruction marked a turning point in the country’s efforts to rebuild after the Civil War, while the Great Railroad Strike highlighted the ongoing struggle between workers and employers.

The invention of the phonograph may have seemed like a minor event at the time, but it would go on to have a major impact on music and audio recording technology for years to come. All in all, 1877 was a year that set the stage for many of the events that would shape America in the coming decades.