The Jim Crow System

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The post-Reconstruction era in the South, had witnessed the rise of the Jim Crow system, which marked a time when African American relations are thought to have reached a limit, with whites pursuing efforts to reaffirm domination over blacks on every aspect, from disfranchisement to school segregation. Firmly controlled throughout the South by 1915, Jim Crow had two cardinal features such as, American separation of the races, which, under slavery, was not required, because the master relationship was indirect and because the control of slaves was essentially best maintained by a large degree of close master/slave contact. Once blacks were freed, still, their social status was uncertain, and the white ambition to continue to "keep blacks surprised"…show more content…
In fact, there were enough black voters between 1877 and 1901 to enable eleven black southerners (all black Republicans) to sit in Congress. In 1890, however, Mississippi converted the first state to effectively dismember African Americans, using a subsidy test (it required an interpretation of the state constitution) and a poll tax as its methods. Other legal methods used in the South were the grandfather clause and white primary; extralegal methods included violence and terror (for example, killing's, riots) and the denial of credit and, employment to blacks. By 1915 the combined use of such methods had effectively stripped southern blacks of the…show more content…
This belief in whites as "civilizers" overlapped with the rise of European colonization, especially in Africa, and the emergence of the U.s as an imperial power itself, largely as a result of the Spanish-American War of 1898 (through which its major acquisitions were Puerto Rico and the Philippines). Two key decisions by the Supreme Court added to the difficulties that blacks faced during the post- Reconstruction period. In 1883 the Supreme Court invalidated the 1875 Civil Rights Act, contending that the Fourteenth Amendment did not apply to discriminatory acts by individuals or local governments. Even more far-reaching was its Plessey v. Ferguson ruling in 1896, which upheld a Louisiana law requiring separate railroad coaches for blacks. This ruling established the "separate but equal" doctrine that became the key legal sanction for Jim Crow

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