Topic 2- The Triumph of Jim Crow, 1883-1900

  • Created by: ejt31
  • Created on: 29-04-18 16:51

The triumph of 'Jim Crow', 1883-1900

Evidence that Reconstruction improved black American lives-

14th Amendment= abolition of slavery

15th Amendment= citizenship for all

16th Amendment= voting rights

Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875, banned discrimination on public transport and in entertainment venues.

Evidence that Reconstruction failed to improve black American lives-

-The introduction of the Jim Crow laws

-The reversal of previous civil rights legislation

-'Redeemed' democrat state governments

What were the Jim Crow laws?

The Jim Crow laws were a series of laws passed by the former Confederate states that introduced de jure segregation and discrimination against black people. This manifested itself through the legal system, seperate facilites, public transport and entertainment. It also removed the right to vote for many black adult men and caused immense divides between white and black. All the civil rights gains made by blacks were swiftly reversed.

What was the impact of the Jim Crow laws in the south?

The Jim Crow laws essentially discriminated against black people to the extent that they were second class citizens, not dissimilar from the age of slavery. It meant blacks and whites lived very seperate lives as they were segregated in almost all areas of society from schooling to public transport. The laws meant black people in the south led incredibly difficult lives under enormous discrimination and oppression.

The role of the Supreme Court

Although not mentioned in the creation of the US constitution in 1787, the Supreme Court was created in the Judiciary Act of 1789 to be a final court of appeal in civil and criminal law, for both national and state governments. A major increase in the Supreme Court's powers came when Chief Justice Marshall gave the court the power to decide whether things were constituional. This became crucial in civil rights as the court could decide if the rights black people had were unconstitutional.

What were the Civil Rights Cases of 1883?

These were a group of five US Supreme Court cases consolidated into one issue. In 1883 the Supreme Court was made up of 9 justices. Decisions made in the Supreme Court were done by majority voting.

In 1883 the Supreme Court ruled on a number of civil rights cases, the results of which would have far reaching consequences:

USA vs. Stanley- Racial discrimination through not letting black people stay in a white hotel.

USA vs. Ryan- Racial discrimination through a black man entering a white theatre.               

USA vs. Nichols- Racial discrimination through not letting black people stay in a white hotel.

USA vs. Singleton- Racial discrimination through a black man entering a white theatre

Robinson vs. Memphis and Charleston railroad- A husband who appeared white & a black wife sued the railroad company because they wouldn't allow Robinson's wife to sit with him.

What did the five cases assert with regard to the Civil RIghts Act?

The five cases asserted that the plaintiffs, five black Americans were being denied their civil


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