Jim Crow Laws
United States history research papers about slavery often mention the importance of the Jim Crow Laws and the role they played in US history. Paper Masters custom writes research on segregation and issues like the Jim Crow Laws.
The Jim Crow laws came about during a time of serious national unrest and major cultural conflict across the United States. This period resulted in severe restrictions on African Americans, including limits on their individual rights and strict segregation laws. The impact of the laws and ordinances of this period on African Americans was harsh and inhibited their individual freedoms.
After the Civil War, the southern states entered the era known as Reconstruction, a time period marked by hostility towards African Americans, a race which had been until the Civil War enslaved. Southerners reacted to the newly freed slaves with a great deal of fear and violence escalated quickly.
Southerners suddenly found themselves riding the same streetcars and walking the same sidewalks as those they had previously thought to be inferior, and reacted poorly. The general trepidation and wariness led to more severe reactions, such as mob riots and lynchings.
Violence and Jim Crow Laws
This period of violence and uneasiness marked the beginning of the introduction of new laws and ordinances that limited African Americans' freedom. In 1890, Louisiana, following the lead of Florida, introduced the famous "separate but equal" legislation, which effectively divided the areas between blacks and whites and instituted complete segregation between races. In 1896, the majority of white Americans were in favor of these segregation laws and the Supreme Court overwhelmingly approved them as constitutional.
This was seen in every aspect of life. African Americans experienced the following discriminations:
- African Americans occupied different train cars
- African Americans used different bathrooms
- African Americans frequented separate entryways
They also lost the right to vote in several areas, completely eliminating their voice for change and fair treatment.
It was not until the Industrial age when African Americans began to leave southern agricultural farms and instead took up different work that attitudes began to change. As they moved to different cities, particularly in the north, African Americans earned more income and gained a larger share of voice in order to enact change. According to author Michael Karman, "The World War II era was a watershed moment for race relations", as blacks and whites were fighting together against a common enemy and shifted cultural mindsets.
By 1954, the opinions of white Americans changed enough that the Supreme Court unanimously ruled against certain Jim Crow laws, effectively breaking down segregation ordinances. President Lyndon Johnson finally broke down the lasting remnants with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, giving African Americans legal equal standing.
The Jim Crow laws established during 1890-1964 had severe impact upon African Americans, limiting their abilities to live their daily lives and have any control in government. The strict restrictions caused a vast racial divide throughout the United States that went unchecked. It was not until the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's that African Americans were heard and given equal standing.