Segregation was an attempt by white Southerners to separate the races in every
sphere of life and to achieve supremacy over blacks. Segregation was often
called the Jim Crow system, after a minstrel show character from the 1830s who
was an old, crippled, black slave who embodied negative stereotypes of blacks.
Segregation became common in Southern states following the end of Reconstruction
in 1877. During Reconstruction, which followed the Civil War (1861-1865),
Republican governments in the Southern states were run by blacks, Northerners,
and some sympathetic Southerners. The Reconstruction governments had passed laws
opening up economic and political opportunities for blacks. By 1877 the
Democratic Party had gained control of government in the Southern states, and
these Southern Democrats wanted to reverse black advances made during
Reconstruction. To that end, they began to pass local and state laws that
specified certain places "For Whites Only" and others for "Colored." Blacks had
separate schools, transportation, restaurants, and parks, many of which were
poorly funded and inferior to those of whites. Over the next 75 years, Jim Crow
signs went up to separate the races in every possible place. The system of
segregation also included the denial of voting rights, known as disfranchisement.
Between 1890 and 1910 all Southern states passed laws imposing requirements for
voting that were used to prevent blacks from voting, in spite of the 15th
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which had been designed to
protect black voting rights. These requirements included: the ability to read
and write, which disqualified the many blacks who had not had access to
education; property ownership, something few blacks were able to acquire; and
paying a poll tax, which was too great a burden on most Southern blacks, who
were very poor. As a final insult, the few blacks who made it over all these
hurdles could not vote in... [continues]
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(1999, 10). Segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Segregation-Civil-Rights-Movement-509.html
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