The Expantion Of The Us Essay Research

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The Expantion Of The Us Essay, Research Paper Viky Kayrova The Civil Rights Of Black Americans 03 699 As Reconstruction ended, an extremely difficult period began for Black citizens. In order to protect their civil rights, they were forced to rely on state governments. Politicians who openly opposed the civil rights of black people mostly controlled these state governments. The federal government withdrew from the issues concerning the rights of blacks, and the executive and judicial branches tended to support the Southern white position. The disfranchisement of blacks that had begun in the South with illegal harassment and violence soon after the war was almost completed by the early years of the 20th century. Many Southern states did everything possible to keep black

citizens from voting in order to stay in control of the federal government. They enforced poll taxes, literacy tests, and the so-called Grandfather Clause . As a result of constitutional changes, the registration of black voters in Alabama declined from 181,471 in 1900 to 3,000 in 1901. Similar action in Louisiana reduced registered blacks from 130, 334 in 1896 to 1,342 in 1904. Also the change in the constitution of voting rights for blacks in the south, resulted in separation of blacks from whites in various aspects of everyday life. Blacks were excluded from participation on juries and were refused service in hotels, restaurants, and amusement parks. They were forced to occupy separate sections in vehicles of public transportation and in public gathering places. Also black

children were required to attend separate schools from whites, and the educational system was different for each race. By the outbreak of World War I, so-called Jim Crow laws that legalized segregation of blacks and whites existed throughout the South. Jim Crow existed in other parts of the United States as well, either by law as in the South or by local practice. The judicial stamp of approval for Jim Crow came in 1896 with the case of Plessy vs. Ferguson , whereby the U.S. Supreme Court declared constitutional a Louisiana law requiring separation by race on railroad coaches. The court held that enforcing such separation was legal, so long as equal facilities were provided for both races. However, the facilities that were provided for the blacks were no where near in quality and

service, as the ones provided for the whites. This inequality was perhaps most devastating in the area of education. As late as the start of World War II certain Southern school districts did not provide 12 years of public education for blacks. In addition, blacks frequently suffered discrimination in the distribution of tax money for support of schools. Also there were only a few publicly supported colleges in the South, and even those were of poor quality. The powerlessness of blacks during the post-Reconstruction period is exemplified in the high rate of lynchings. Between 1882 and 1938, 3,402 lynchings occurred all over the United States. The several attempts to pass a federal antilynching bill during this period were all unsuccessful. In spite of efforts by the Southern

whites to suppress blacks politically and to deny them social equality, the activities and efforts of blacks after Reconstruction to improve their economic position and political rights finally reached some success. In 1870, 80 percent of the black population over 10 years of age was illiterate; by 1900 illiteracy among blacks was reduced by almost 50 percent. Farm ownership, although still low, increased significantly; by 1901 about 25 percent of black farmers in the South owned their own land. Seven blacks were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for a cumulative total of 13 terms between 1877 and 1901. Also an association for the advancement of colored people (NAACP) was founded in 1909. One of its founders, William E. B. Du Bois, was the leading spokesperson for full