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Flashcards in Gilded Age (1877-1914) Deck (13)
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What was the 1877 compromise

- By 1877 the issue of African American
civil rights had grown too strong in the
southern states

- The violence of white opposition to civil
rights enforced by the Federal Government troops had produced disorder
and was affecting business

- In 1877 a deal was struck which allowed the States of South Carolina and
Louisiana the right to control their own affairs

- This was called the compromise of 1877

- This troops were eventually with-draw from all Southern States which would
subsequently be able to ignore the Reconstruction Legislation

- The rights of states in the south to deal with African Americans as a local
issue was restored to the position it had been in 1865


What changed after the 1877 compromise

- State governments no longer listened to the decrees of the Federal Government
- The Southern states immediately passed a series of discriminatory measures against
African Americans known as the Jim Crow laws
- Over time, segregation became legalised


Explain the importance of state governments in restricting the rights of African Americans in this period

• State of Tennessee segregated rail travel in 1881, soon spread across the south
• Laws segregating waiting rooms
• Beginning in the 1890s, Southern States governments enacted Jim Crow laws
began to be passed in the South. Loopholes in the Fifteenth Amendment were
exploited to impose literacy tests on black voters

• Many policies legitimised black violence
• Between 1885 and 1917 2734 black lynching occurred, these cases were rarely
brought to justice, law enforcement officials, politicians, editors and jurors colluded
or participated.

• In most major cities, ghettos developed. These were often associated with poor
public health and high infant mortality - forced segregation


How many lynchings were there between 1885 and 1917



Name the impacts of state governments after the compromise on African Americans

- Segregation in every aspect of society
- policies legitimising black violence
- Ghettos developed


Why was the Supreme Court the main weapon in restricting civil rights in this period

-The main weapon was the supreme court, which had the power to review legislation
and decide whether it contravened the Constitution

'separate but equal’ was enshrined in legal ruling. Yet, in practice, facilities, both public and private were anything but equal – African American schools and homes were always of a lower quality.

Cases such as:

1. United States v Harris (1883)
2. Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
3. Wilkins v Mississippi (1898)
4. Cunningham case (1899)


United States V. Harris (1883)

Supreme Court ruled the Ku Klux Klan Act and Civil Rights Act 1875 as unconstitutional


Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

Separation, it was ruled, did not imply any inferior treatment

Was significant and led to rapid segregation across the country which then remained unchanged until the 1960s


Wilkins v Mississippi (1898)

The court declared that discriminatory voter registration laws were not unconstitutional


Cunningham case (1899)

Confirmed that segregation was constitutional in education


What were the beliefs of Booker T Washington (1865-1915)

- He believed that hard work, education and seriousness of purpose, would lead to
African Americans showing their true worth, increasing their prosperity and gaining
white confidence

- He believed that black people should accept white supremacy and take
responsibility for their own progress


What were the impacts of Booker T. Washington (1865-1915)

- Booker T Washington was famous as an educator and for both gaining the
confidence of white Americans and his moral authority among African Americans

- In the time, where Jim Crowe laws were supported nation-wide and there was very
little developed support for radical political change, his methods were considered
rational and practical

- Washington was invited to the White House by President Theodore Roosevelt in
1901 and became an informal advisor to both Roosevelt and President Taft

 Washington showed that dialogue between white leaders could achieve results,
and, yield progress as it eventually did in the 1960s
 Washington promoted some opposition to Jim Crow laws behind the scenes, but
was afraid of antagonising the White South and ending long-term education and
economic opportunity
 He was the first African American to achieve fame and respect – like King – he was
criticised by those who sought more radical aims


Impact of US presidents

- Black Americans were usually disregarded by US presidents.
- Taft consulted Booker T Washington, which can be considered progress
- Yet, Theodore Roosevelt, the most liberal president on the late nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries, showed less interest.