African American

Topics: Jim Crow laws, African American, Southern United States Pages: 6 (1916 words) Published: December 15, 2013

Please show how Segregation shaped the lives of African Americans during the time frame 1870-1920. Please examine all faucet of society under slavery to support your argument.

In the year of 1870, it was the re invention of slavery. America could not be built without economic. The south was still a negative place and they failed to accept blacks. After decades of discrimination, the voting rights act of 1965 aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that denied blacks to vote under the 15th amendment. The 15th amendment in 1870 gave African Americans the right to vote. The constitutional amendment passed after the civil war that it guaranteed blacks the right to vote. It affected not only freed slaves in the south but the blacks that were living in the north who was not allowed to vote(3). The amendment was favored by the Republican Party; since the votes of the slaves helped the party dominates national politics in the years after the war. During the same year, Hiram Rhodes Revels, who was a republican from Mississippi, became the first African American to sit in the United States congress when he was elected to the United States Senate. Millions of black men served in congress during reconstruction but more than 600 served in the states legislatures and many more held local offices(3).

The Jim Crow laws were the era of struggle. The state and local laws in the United States enacted between 1876 and 1965. In 1890, there was a “separate but equal” status for African Americans. Jim Crow laws followed the Black codes which restricted the civil rights and civil liberties of African Americans with no equality. During the reconstruction period, the federal law provided civil rights protection in the United States for the African Americans who had formally been slaves(1).

In 1890, Louisiana required by law that blacks ride in separate railroad cars. The state of Louisiana passed a law that required separate accommodations for black and whites on railroads, including separate railway cars. Plessy attempted to sit in an all-white railroad car. After refusing to sit in the black railway carriage car, Plessy was arrested for violating in1890. Louisiana statute that provided for segregated “separate but equal” railroad accommodations. Those using facilities not designated for their race were criminally liable under the statute(4). Plessy was found guilty on the grounds that the law was a reasonable exercise of the state’s police powers based upon custom, usage, and tradition in the state. Plessy filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Louisiana against Ferguson, asserting that segregation stigmatized blacks and stamped them with a badge of inferiority in violation of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth amendments(4). The case of Plessy vs. Ferguson was one of a combination of rulings passed by the U.S and the state Supreme Courts after reconstruction. Many of these decisions allowed and required Jim Crow segregation laws in southern states. At the highest level, the case was decided on May 18th in 1896, in favor of Ferguson and the state of Louisiana. The Supreme Court had given southern states all the permission they needed to let any remaining equality between the races fade away and be replaced by the Jim Crow laws standing(5).

By the 1870s, many southern whites had resorted to intimidation and violence to keep blacks from voting and restore white supremacy in the region. Beginning in 1873, a series of Supreme Court decisions limited the scope of Reconstruction-era laws and federal support for the Reconstruction Amendments, particularly the 14th and 15th, which gave African Americans the status of citizenship and protection. The Compromise of 1877 occurred after the Presidential Election of 1876, when Congress formed the Electoral Commission to resolve disputed Democratic Electoral votes from the South. The republicans agreed to enact Federal legislation that...
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