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Jim Crow Laws

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Tristan Allen US History Reconstruction Essay Jim Crow Laws After the Civil War, the question of how the nation would rebuild itself was posed. After the war, Lincoln felt that in order for the United States to rebound from a disaster of that magnitude, it was imperative to devise a formal plan of reconstruction for the nation. In his second inaugural address, he stated: "With malice towards none... and charity for all. Let us strive to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds, to do all which may achieve a just and lasting peace."1 Just weeks after Lincoln stated that the reconstruction plan for the United States should include "Malice towards none and charity for all," he was assassinated. When President Johnson took office, he did not have the same views as Abraham Lincoln. Because of Johnson's lack of respect for races and ethnicities other than his own Lincoln's idea of malice towards none and charity for all became nonexistent. ...read more.


Without the military protecting blacks, things took a turn for the worst. Soon afterwards, the Supreme Court declared the Civil Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment unconstitutional. This declaration initiated the outbreak of intense racism in the United States. One example of the outbreak of racism in the South can be vividly seen through the Jim Crow Laws. Jim Crow laws were laws that imposed racial segregation. They came into being after the collapse of the Reconstruction Plan and mainly thrived in the South. The Supreme Court is said to be indirectly responsible for the Jim Crow Laws because of many of its decisions. The Supreme Court's decision to declare the Civil Rights Act unconstitutional and declare that the Fourteenth Amendment did not prohibit individuals or private organizations from discriminating based on Race triggered racism. However, it was the Plessy vs. Ferguson case (1896) which could be said to be the engine behind the Jim Crow Laws and discrimination. In 1892, Homer Plessy, a carpenter of Louisiana, was chosen to test the constitutionality of the law and sat in a train car that was reserved for whites. ...read more.


However, by 1915, the Laws of Jim Crow were slowly beginning to fade away. In 1915, the Supreme Court declared that the Oklahoma law that constricted the right to vote only to certin citizens was unconstitutional. In 1917, also ruled that residential segregation was unlawful. How ever, it was the Brown vs. Ferguson that overturned the decision of Plessy vs. Ferguson when it declared that separate school were unequal. It was through this ruling, in combination with the Civil Rights Movement, that eventually led to the end of segregation. In concluding the Jim Crow Laws imposed segregation on African-Americans. It inferred that Blacks were inferior to Whites with regard to intelligence, morality, and civilized behavior. Whites went as far to state if necessary, violence must be used to keep Blacks at the bottom of the racial hierarchy. This was a very tense period of time for the United States. It was not until the Supreme Court began to make crucial rulings against certain Jim Crow laws that segregation was diminished. The Jim Crow Era in America was a time of negativity in its history that should never be repeated. ...read more.

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