In the 25 years following the American Civil War (1861-1865) attempts were made to make America a fairer society/rebuild Southern states.
Two further constitutional amendments were passed in an attempt to give African Americans rights
Fourteenth Amendment 1868: gave citzenship to all people born in the USA, was an attempt to guarentee the rights of people who were formerly been slaves
Fifteenth Amendment 1870: gave all citizens voting rights regardless of race
never fully enforced
Jim Crow Laws
- 1890-1910 southern states introduced legal segregation.
- Passed local laws which denied black Americans access to facilities used by white Amiercans
- Education, healthcare, transport, restaurants, cinemas, toilets, bus stations, drinking fountains (public facalities)
The segregated heart
Segregated attitude of mind (how people sat, ate etc)
Despite the Fifteenth Amendment, southern states found ways to desenfranchise the local black population.
- Grandfather Clause - you could only vote if your grandather had
- Litracy tests
Plessey v. Ferguson 1896
One method of challenging segregation was to go to court and show that 'Jim Crow' laws violated the American Consistution.
- Plessey claimed that segregation was unlawful (fourteenth amendment)
- Claimed that Louisiana has acted illegally when they had arrested him for sitting in a white-only area of a train
- Court decided segregation was okay as long as facilities were equal in quality