Jim Crow Laws - Summary

President Abraham Lincoln declared that slavery is wrong and issued an order (called the Emancipation Proclamation) which freed slaves. The proclamation, however, had limited practical effect.

 After Lincoln's assassination, reconstruction of the South did not end racial prejudice. Constitutional amendments, passed by Congress and ratified by the states, did not actually secure civil rights for freed slaves.

President Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s successor, came within a single vote of losing his job (through impeachment) because he disagreed with Congress on reconstruction issues. Members of the federal government seemed to have forgotten Lincoln’s second-inaugural caution - to have “malice toward none” and “charity for all.”

As the United States Supreme Court issued opinions detrimental to the interests of African-Americans, the justices also upheld “Jim Crow Laws.” In so doing, they not only permitted “separate but equal” as a concept, they authorized segregation as an American way of life.

In this story about Jim Crow Laws, examine actual statutes from various states. Learn which Northern state enacted the first discriminatory law (prohibiting black train travelers from riding with whites). See the original Emancipation Proclamation, discover contemporary cartoons regarding reconstruction, review the Supreme Court’s original judgment in Plessy v Ferguson, learn where the term “Jim Crow” originated and listen to period music.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Aug 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: Nov 09, 2016

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"Jim Crow Laws" AwesomeStories.com. Aug 01, 2005. May 26, 2020.
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