Economic History 170
Mrs. L Templer
Chapter 6 discusses The Triumph of Racism. In this chapter there is an essay entitled, The Birth Of “Seperate but Equal” . This article describes the struggles that were continually encountered in the endeavor to gain racial equality. In particular the struggles of a man named Plessy and the advances that he helped to make are discussed and described. Homer Plessy was born free in March of 1862, in New Orleans. Although there were still definite segregations laws, New Orleans had fewer social restrictions about intermingling between whites and blacks, compared to other Southern states. In the years shortly following Plessy’s birth, the 13th Amendment, 14th Amendment and 15th Amendment were ratified, all dealing with the rights of all United States born citizens in regards to liberty, property, and the right to vote regardless of race, color, or previous conditions of servitude.
In 1867, New Orleans showed signs of the Reconstruction Act which had been passed. This allowed for U.S. Armies to protect life and property with federal force. There was a procedure set up to ensure that newly freed slaves were aided in registering to vote, allowed to vote, held elections and that black schools were established. When Homer Plessy was 7, in 1869, New Orleans began to experiment with integration in their public schools. The positive effects of Reconstruction, including an integrated police department, a color-blind municipal pay scale, and the legalization of inter racial marriages, were present throughout the majority of Plessy’s childhood and into the start of his manhood. Although New Orleans was following the ideas presented in Reconstruction, The majority of the South was still racist and bitter over the costs of Reconstruction which they attributed to the economic collapse of the South.
It was however after the Presidential election of 1876, that Reconstruction came to an end. Under Hayes, the advances...
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