- Life after slavery for African Americans
- The origins of Jim Crow - introduction
- Origins of Jim Crow - the Black Codes and Reconstruction
- Origins of Jim Crow - the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments
- Origins of Jim Crow - Compromise of 1877 and Plessy v. Ferguson
- Plessy v. Ferguson
- The Compromise of 1877
- Jim Crow
- The New South
- The South after the Civil War
The Compromise of 1877 ended the Reconstruction era, pulling federal troops from the South and leaving African Americans unprotected. This led to the establishment of Jim Crow laws, enforcing racial segregation. The Supreme Court's "separate but equal" doctrine in Plessy v. Ferguson upheld these laws until the Civil Rights Movement.
Want to join the conversation?
- In5:35, Kim says the blacks and whites are "separate, but equal." Sure, they might be separate races, but the blacks aren't being treated equal the slightest bit. How is that possible?(7 votes)
- From the author:"Separate but equal" was definitely anything but! I think the best explanation for this odd belief was that the Supreme Court took a very narrow view of the Fourteenth Amendment, saying it only necessitated that public accommodations (like hotels or train cars) be equal, so it didn't matter if they were separate. Of course, there were two major problems with that thinking: 1) Separate almost never meant actually equal -- public accommodations and schools for black Americans were nearly always inferior to those for white Americans. 2) The whole idea of separating the races implied that one was inferior to the other -- and separation certainly wasn't done for the comfort of black Americans.
I believe the justices on the Supreme Court deliberately ignored these problems, either because they agreed with segregation or because they did not think the federal government should interfere with the practice of the states.(19 votes)
- which one has the better advantage the popular vote or the electoral vote and why?(7 votes)
- *NOTE 2020: Not super proud of this answer anymore, but I left it up because of discussion in the comments.*
Original answer (2017):
My opinion will definitely seep through in this answer, so be on guard. :-)
Electoral College, hands down!
Democracy stinks (there's that opinion :D). It's a mob-rule form of an election, and if it were used in the US, then one would only have to target the largest cities to win the election, and then one's policies would only apply to those select cities, not all the states.
But America is better than a democracy. Contrary to popular belief, the US is a Constitutional Republic (or, an Indirect Democracy) The genius of the Electoral College is that it's 51 separate elections (50 for the states, of course, and 1 for DC) that work together in harmony. The main reasons for the Electoral College are:
1) One has to have policies that fit most of the states to win the election. On a federal position like the President, if federal restrictions (laws that all the states have to follow) were created and enforced, then all the states would have to apply. In order to keep the federal government small, policies have to apply with the states, states with the policies.
2) Prevention of voter fraud. Right now, to rig an election requires to make new votes appear in one state and make votes disappear in other states. In a direct democracy, only one of the two steps is required to succeed.(6 votes)
- If Rutherford B. Hayes won the electoral vote, doesn't it mean he won the presidential election? What was the point of compromising then?(7 votes)
- The issue was that the states,3-4 of them had really close elections that were returning different results, ie one state like SC was saying 2 different candidates won. It didn't help there was fraud on both sides and mass violence. The point of the compromise was probably to avert a 2nd civil war, which could have occurred had the Republicans been seen to be "stealing" an election. The Republicans did not want there to be an appearance that they did this, so a compromise LOOKED better. Otherwise, the courts could theoretically order a run off in these 3 states again and the Republicans could lose the presidency.(5 votes)
- At1:13why did they choose hayse(3 votes)
- They chose Hayes so that it would be a win-win for both Republicans AND Democrats. The Republicans agreed to call off the federal troops(win for Democrats) so that Hayes would be president(win for Republicans).(3 votes)
- Why was the post-war South more focused on hostility to African Americans than on generalized hostility toward the North?(3 votes)
- Why did the democrats care if there were troops in the south?(2 votes)
- They cared because they wanted to be racist towards African-Americans, but the troops were stationed there to keep them from doing that.(3 votes)
- How did the south get away with passing the jim crow laws even after the fact that we abolished slavery, and they contracting the 14th amendment?(2 votes)
- 1) Be careful when you use "we". You weren't alive then, so use another term for "the people who did that."
2) The individual states in the south (not "the south") each passed their own Jim Crow Laws. Things differed from state to state, but each was wrong.
3) When the laws were challenged, the majority on the supreme court went with injustice (separate but equal). The supreme court from time to time makes unjust rulings. We saw that in 2022 as well.
4) The decision was based on the court's interpretation of what the 14th amendment allowed. It was wrong, and eventually that ruling was overturned, by a later supreme court.(3 votes)
- At0:41, Kim explains the backroom deal which resolved the deadlocked Presidential election of 1876. Why did the Supreme Court not decide the Presidential election of 1876 as the Supreme Court rule on Bush v. Gore after the 2000 Presidential election?(3 votes)
- because the southern reps would have contradicted everything the northern reps voted on. To get this special"backroom"deal off the ground was actually a time saver,that also cost Afro-Americans their freedoms once again(1 vote)
- Why was it called Jim Crow laws? did a crow have anything to do with it?(2 votes)
- From the author:The laws were named for a character in minstrel shows (which were theater performances that had a lot of racist songs and skits). "Jim Crow" was a common character in them, kind of like the "mean jock" might be a common character in a high school movie. The "crow" part refers to blackness - crows are black. The Jim Crow character was a caricature of an enslaved man, and so "Jim Crow" laws got their name because they implemented a lot of the same restrictions as slavery on African Americans.(4 votes)
- [Voiceover] So we've been talking about the system of Jim Crow segregation and in the last video we left off in 1876. And in 1876 there was a contested presidential election between a Republican candidate named Rutherford B. Hayes and a Democratic candidate named Samuel J. Tilden. And in this election there was one of the rare cases where Tilden actually won the popular vote whereas Hayes won the electoral vote. So there's a standoff in Congress for months over how this presidential election is going to end and eventually they make kind of a backroom deal known as the Compromise of 1877. And in this compromise the Democrats and the Republicans agree that Hayes, a Republican, will get to be President of the United States. In exchange the military forces that have been occupying the South, especially the last two states of Louisiana and South Carolina and have been enforcing the 14th Amendment or the equal citizenship of African Americans in the South they're going to leave, they're going to go back to their barracks and will no longer interfere in the political system of the South. So with the Compromise of 1877 the Republican Party which has been standing behind the rights of African Americans, remember the Republicans were the Party of Abraham Lincoln, pretty much gives up as a Party on trying to ensure the racial equality of African Americans. Now why did they do this? Well, I think mainly this was a question of weariness and giving up on their part. Remember that the Civil War ended in 1865, now it's 12 years later in 1877 and there are still Federal troops in the South. So imagine if you were a parent in Massachusetts and you thought that your son who was enlisted in the Union Army was going to come home in 1865 and now it's 1877 and he's still in South Carolina it seems like a long time to fight a war. So that's one part of it. The other part of it is that in 1873 there is an economic panic, this is an early Depression. You know we often think of the Great Depression as the only time the United States was stricken with an economic downturn but before the Depression there were about 20 year cycles of boom and bust. So in 1873 there was an economic bust that meant that people had less money to throw at the problem of reconstruction in the South. And I would say the last part of this is a combination of racism and the new labor movement in the North. So as whites in the North got farther and farther away from the Civil War the animating spirit of abolition started to fade among many Northerners. The late 19th century was an era of increasing racialization especially as new ethnic classes came into the United States from Southern and Eastern Europe and so there was a new interpretation of race that really came to the foreground in this time period which we call Social Darwinism and we'll talk more about that in other videos. But the interpretation of racial difference and hierarchy among the races became more broadly accepted throughout the United States not just in the South. So in 1877 the Federal troops in the South, that are remaining, pack their bags and go home meaning that African Americans in the South have no one to protect them from the Southern governments and so within months many of these governments pass the laws which we now call Jim Crow laws. And these are the laws which prevent African Americans from voting, prevent intermarriage between whites and blacks, and also enact all of these separations of public accommodations that we now associate with Jim Crow, sitting in the back of the bus, using a separate water fountain. Now if it sounds like these sorts of laws are directly in contradiction with the 14th Amendment which says that laws cannot target a specific race, that there's equal protection under the law for everyone born in the United States you're right that's exactly what these laws are. They are a contradiction of the 14th Amendment. And in 1896 a man named Homer Plessy was arrested for sitting in a white train compartment. You thought Rosa Parks was the first but in fact it's Homer Plessy who tries to desegregate trains. In fact he's trying to test the constitutionality of having segregated train compartments in 1896 and his case goes all the way to the Supreme Court which rules that it is fine to separate the races as long as separate accommodations are equal. So this is the place where separate but equal comes in. Now in theory, separate accommodations for whites and blacks were supposed to be equal, in reality they almost never were and in fact it was the very separation itself that implied the inequality and that is what the NAACP is going to argue in the Brown versus Board of Education case in 1954 which overturns this doctrine of separate but equal. But in-between this period of 1877 and 1954 Jim Crow laws were on the books in all of the Southern states. But I don't want you to come away thinking that things were terrible in the South and that the North was a racial utopia even though segregation laws and violence such as lynching to enforce segregation laws existed mainly in the South, de facto segregation and widespread racial prejudice also existed in the North particularly in housing and job discrimination. And of course, 1954, the Brown versus Board of Education decision didn't end segregation or end racial prejudice in the United States, it's enforcing the end of segregation and enforcing the end of some of these de facto forms of segregation and racial prejudice in the North that will be the real focus of the Civil Rights Movement. So I think the real tragedy of the Jim Crow era was that it didn't have to be this way, in fact, it was just in this presidential election of 1876 that the Federal government more or less gave up on protecting the rights of African Americans. It's interesting to imagine what life in the South might have been like had the Federal government not given up. Perhaps it would be very different, perhaps it would not but it's hard not to mourn the lost opportunity of reconstruction, this 12 year period where African Americans had voting rights and often served in public office. Instead, the United States doomed African American citizens in the South to another almost 100 years of second class status in our society.