Blog Jim Crow Laws Jim Crow Laws were statutes and ordinances established between and to separate the white and black races in the American South. In theory, it was to create "separate but equal" treatment, but in practice Jim Crow Laws condemned black citizens to inferior treatment and facilities. Education was segregated as were public facilities such as hotels and restaurants under Jim Crow Laws. In fact, the United States military was segregated until integrated by Harry S.
African American voting in the South was a casualty of the conflict between Redeemers and Populists. Although some Populist leaders, such as Tom Watson in Georgia, saw that poor whites and poor blacks in the South had a community of interest in… In the Supreme Court reversed Plessy in Brown v.
Board of Education of Topeka. It declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional, and, by extension, that ruling was applied to other public facilities. In the years following, subsequent decisions struck down similar kinds of Jim Crow legislation.
See also black code ; racial segregation. Origins Prior to the Civil War the inferior status of slaves had made it unnecessary to pass laws segregating them from white people. Both races could work side by side so long as the slave recognized his subordinate place. In the cities, where most free blacks lived, rudimentary forms of segregation existed prior tobut no uniform pattern emerged.
In the North free blacks also laboured under harsh restrictions and often found an even more-rigid segregation than in the South.
One might have expected the Southern states to have created a segregation system immediately after the war, but that did not happen. In some states the legislatures imposed rigid separation, but only in certain areas; Texasfor example, required that every train have one car in which all people of colour had to sit.
The South had had no real system of public education prior to the Civil War, and as the postwar governments created public schools, those were as often as not segregated by race. Nonetheless, New Orleans had fully integrated schools untiland in North Carolina former slaves routinely sat on juries alongside whites.
In the Supreme Court ruled in Hall v. DeCuir that states could not prohibit segregation on common carriers such as railroadsstreetcars, or riverboats. From to nine states, including Louisiana, passed laws requiring separation on public conveyancessuch as streetcars and railroads.
Though they differed in detail, most of those statutes required equal accommodations for black passengers and imposed fines and even jail terms on railroad employees who did not enforce them.
Five of the states also provided criminal fines or imprisonment for passengers who tried to sit in cars from which their race excluded them. Although a slave state, Louisiana in general and New Orleans in particular had always had, because of their French origins, a more-tolerant attitude toward people of colour than did other Deep South states.
In addition to the usual demarcation between black and white, since the s New Orleans had acknowledged a third class, free people of colour in French, gens de couleur libressometimes called Creolesthe freed descendants of European fathers and African mothers who had enjoyed a great deal of autonomy.
Although Louisiana, like most Southern states, had laws against marriage between slaves, it did allow free people of colour, whites, and the gens de couleur to marry, testify in court against whites, and in some cases inherit property from their fathers.
Some became slaveowners themselves, and apparently many of them accumulated significant property. Their social standing, especially in New Orleans, had insulated them from some of the white reaction following the war.
But when whites regained power after the end of Reconstruction, they saw only two races, and the privileged position of the gens de couleur evaporated; from then on they were black as far as the law was concerned.
Gens de couleur helped form the American Citizens Equal Rights Association when the Separate Car bill was introduced, and they pledged to fight it.
Among the members of the committee was Louis A. Martineta Creole attorney and doctor who had also founded the Daily Crusader, and he and his newspaper became the leading opponents of the law. After its passage his paper called for both a legal challenge and a boycott of those railroads that had segregated cars.
Martinet received the help of Albion W. But they also needed a local lawyer, since the challenge to the law would have to go through state courts before it could be appealed to the federal system. A white lawyer, James Walkerfinally agreed to take the case in December Martinet did not consider any of the black lawyers in New Orleans competent to raise a constitutional question, since, as he explained, they practiced almost entirely in the police courts.
They could have a black passenger buy a ticket outside Louisiana and then travel into the state, thus raising a challenge to the law under the commerce clause.
How did the law, or a train conductor, determine the race of a passenger? It would not do if their test passenger was merely excluded from boarding or even thrown off the train; he would have to be arrested so that a real case existed and he could claim injury in federal court.
One railway informed him that it did not enforce the law, while another said that though it opposed the statute as too costly, it did not want to go against it publicly. He was arrested according to the plan and charged with a criminal violation of the Separate Car Act.
The lawyers assumed that their plea would be denied, Desdunes would be convicted, and then they would appeal. Then, on April 19,the presiding judge, Robert Marr, suddenly disappeared, and no one knew what had happened to him. A train conductor on the Texas and Pacific Railway had been prosecuted for seating a black passenger in a white car, and the railway argued that since the passenger was traveling between two states, either the Louisiana law did not apply to interstate travel or, if it did, then it was unconstitutional under the commerce clause.
Nearly 30 years old at the time, Plessy had already become well known in the Creole community for his work in several local community-betterment groups. And again they claimed that the matter of race, both as to fact and to law, was too complicated to permit the legislature to assign that determination to a railway conductor.
Plessy failed in court, and his subsequent appeal to the state Supreme Court in Ex parte Plessywas similarly unsuccessful.In this lesson, we will learn about 'Jim Crow' Laws. We will identify what they are, and we will highlight their significance in the aftermath of the Civil War and the 20th century.
Jim Crow or jim crow (jĭm′ krō′) n.
The systematic practice of discriminating against and segregating black people, especially as practiced in the American South from the end of Reconstruction to the mids.
adj. 1. Upholding or practicing discrimination against and segregation of black people: Jim Crow laws; a Jim Crow town. 2.
Reserved or set. Jim Crow law, in U.S. history, any of the laws that enforced racial segregation in the South between the end of Reconstruction in and the beginning of the civil rights movement in the s. Jim Crow was the name of a minstrel routine (actually Jump Jim Crow) performed beginning in by its author, Thomas Dartmouth (“Daddy”) Rice.
Jim Crow laws in various states required the segregation of races in such common areas as restaurants and theaters.
The "separate but equal" standard established by the Supreme Court in Plessy v. Ferguson () lent high judicial support to segregation.
These laws, however, focused on citizenship and suffrage and did not prevent the enactment of Jim Crow laws years later.
Segregation did not only function to keep society racially stratified but also resulted in homegrown terrorism against blacks. May 11, · Since "Jim Crow law" is a blanket term for any of this type of legislation, the date of inception for the laws varies by state.
The most important laws came in the s with the adoption of legislation segregating railroad cars in New Orleans as the first genuine Jim Crow law.