The Republican party was responsible for creating “unsound money” with its infamous greenbacks, despite a constitutional provision that all money be gold or silver; civil service reform was anathema as much of their power came from political appointees and the selling of government positions in exchange for party support.
On the issue of Chinese immigration, the Republicans passed the Page Act of 1875 which banned the immigration of Chinese women – fearing they might give birth to children in the US.
In 1878, a Republican-dominated Congress proposed a ban on Chinese immigration, though vetoed by President Rutherford B. Hayes. In 1879, California adopted a new constitution which explicitly authorized the State government to determine who would be allowed to reside in the State, and banned Chinese people from employment by corporations, plus State and municipal government.
Had any Southern State adopted a constitution authorizing State government to determine who could reside within its boundaries, blue-clad troops would reappear to overthrow that State government.
Republicans Pacify the South and Expel Mongolians
“The Republican National Convention was called to order by national committee Chairman Edwin D. Morgan of New York promptly at noon on Wednesday, June 14 . The site was Exposition Hall, at Elm and Fourteenth Streets – the same building which had been the scene of the Liberal Republican revolt against Grant in 1872.
Consideration of the platform [resulted in] a tepid document that declared the United States “a nation, not a league,” congratulated Republicans for saving the Union, promised “speedy, thorough and unsparing” prosecution of corrupt public officials, opposed polygamy and sectarian interference with the public schools, and called for “respectful consideration” of demands for women’s suffrage.
One plank deprecated all appeals to sectional feeling and abominated Democratic hopes for a “solid South,” whereas another pledged anew the party’s sacred duty – eleven years after Appomattox – to achieve “permanent pacification of the Southern section of the Union,” and a third charged the Democratic party with “being the same in character and spirit as when it sympathized with treason.”
The platform contained a firm endorsement of sound money and a wonderfully evasive stand on civil service reform . . . The only plank that stirred controversy was the eleventh: “It is the immediate duty of congress [to] fully investigate the effect of immigration and importation of Mongolians on the moral and material interests of the country.”
Edward L. Pierce of Massachusetts objected bitterly: “The Republican party this year, this centennial year, is twenty years old . . . and this is the first time in all that long period that any attempt has ever been made to put in its platform a discrimination of race.”
The eleventh section was retained, nevertheless, on a roll call vote of 532 to 215, and the entire platform was “unanimously adopted” on a voice vote.”
(The Politics of Inertia: The Election of 1876 and the End of Reconstruction, Keith Ian Polakoff, LSU Press, 1973, excerpts pp. 58-61)