As president, Johnson’s desire to scale back Lincoln’s Reconstruction legislation following the Civil War angered the Radical Republican majority that sought to punish the former rebels of the Confederacy. There was corruption in the government after the Civil War. Many ex Confederate soldiers and members of the old planter class joined the Ku Klux Klan which targeted blacks who owned land, prospered, and any educators of the black people. Their goal was to keep them powerless and this supported the Democratic Party’s desires. The Democratic platform in 1868 had called reconstruction policies "unconstitutional, revolutionary, and void." It demanded that Freedmen's Bureau be shut down. The white robed, gun-toting, horse riding Klansmen attacked Republicans. In every county where the Klan was active, Republican voters stayed away from the polls. The support for Radical Reconstruction was mainly due to the northern states need for racial equality. In 1876 the Democratic Party chose Samuel J. Tilden, governor of New York, to run for President. The Republicans nominated Rutherford B. Hayes, governor of Ohio. Under the Compromise of 1877, Hayes was elected President. In return, Hayes agreed to remove the last troops from the South. As soon as he became President, Hayes did just that. The last few Reconstruction governments collapsed. With them went black southerners' best hope for equality. Reconstruction ended in 1877 and was effective in reaching its goal which was to improve the South
socially, politically, and economically.