Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Jim Crow Laws Main Problems for Black Americans in the 1920s and 1930s Essay
When the Civil War ended in 1865, Abraham capital of Nebraska proclaimed every(prenominal) men in the States gloomy or fair equal. However, throughout the rest of the nineteenth and much of the twentieth coke African-Americans were widely discriminated especi both(a)y in the siemensern bring ups of the country. They faced serious social, frugal and political problems and were regarded by most people as the inferior flight.Although America was referred to by its president Woodrow Wilson as the great melting pot in 1915 and although it was supposed to be a country where all men be created equal as introduced in the Constitution this certainly was non the case. American society was divided by strict racial hierarchy with the White Anglo-Saxon Protestants ( clean-living Anglo-Saxon Protestant) on the very top, other European immigrants in the middle and with coloreds descending mainly from slaves on the very bottom. Historians consider why this was and why the desires of some leaders to create a homologous kingdom really stayed only desires. some(prenominal) signal that the heathenish minorities faced disparity in everyday life because it had legal basis in the so cal lead Jim gas laws, which promoted the separate nevertheless equal decision of the arbitrary beg from 1896. These laws were introduced in the randomness to support the separation of the races and basically made the inequality of Blacks legal. However, others argue that the conclude for variation lay deeper in the American recital and that it rooted from the found racial hierarchy.There were m both half-secret systems that fought for the white mastery and some historiographers, much(prenominal) as David M. Chalmers argue that it was the followences of such groups that caused the secernment against blacks. Some historians similarly argue that the federal apathy was a nonher important barrier blacks had to face. This was because of the laissez-faire policy and also b ecause of personal racialist hears held by the presidents of the era, who cherished (as the rest of American people) to keep power in the hands of the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant establishment.Some other historians would argue that it was the impact of ground War sensation that deepened the racial problems and others believe that blacks had to deal with discrimination because of the fear of the whites that their social and economical status were under threat. This essay go away examine all those assertable causal agencys why black people were treated with hostility in the interwar detail and will prove that while the Jim boast laws were important in justifying this go on it was in position the ingrained racial discrimination that caused all the other computes and led to the savage discrimination of African-Americans.Some historians, such as John A. Kerr argue that the Jim line-shooting laws were the main cause of the discrimination gratuity in American states. The decision of the Supreme Court in 1896 led to proliferation of these laws throughout the South as Homer Plessy lost his case and the Court found that the laws were not breaking the US Constitution. The Court decided to support the popular appropriate save Equal policy, which meant that as long as equal facilities were provided, the separatism of the races wasn? unconstitutional. Seven of the eight arbitrators at the trial favoured this decision and stated that the fourteenth Amendment to the US constitution was not intended to abolish distinctions based upon annotate and that separation of those does not necessarily imply the inferiority of either race to the other. This decision disappointed black people as they knew that it was very marvellous that the states would provide them with equal facilities.As a result of this case states could confab legal punishments on people consorting with members of another race. The most common examples of Jim Crow laws were forbidding interm arriage and ordering demarcation owners and public institutions (schools, offices) to keep their black and white clientele separate. Basically, the discrimination of black Americans was now legal. The only justice that didn? t agree with the court? s decision, John Harlan, summarised it well stating the record decision ill not only stimulate aggressions, more or less brutal and irritating, upon the admitted rights of coloured citizens, but will encourage the public opinion that it is possible, by means of state enactments, to defeat the beneficial purposes which the people of the fall in States had in view when they adopted the recent (13th and 14th) amendments of the Constitution. In addition, even though black people possessed the right to vote, by the year 1902 thither was only 3,000 black voters in Alabama as it was one of the states that created unachievable qualification tests for black voters.In a state where African-American race was significant with around 900,000 i ndividuals this isn? t surprising and only proves the extent of discrimination and racialism present. These ridiculous tests, with questions such as How many bubbles are in a bar of soap denied blacks the opportunity to vote for their politicians and thus decrease the chances of a change of the situation. The Jim Crow laws were clearly a formula of the racial discrimination present within American polish, but they alone weren? t the reason for the hostility and discrimination towards the blacks.The factor that caused the laws to come into existence and be accredited and followed was the established racialism and the presumed dominance of the WASPs and this was the main problem African-Americans had to deal with. many another(prenominal) historians would thus argue that the main reason why ethnic minorities and blacks in particular, faced discrimination was the existence of racial hierarchy and established racism inherent within the American WASP culture. After the 13th Ame ndment in 1865 that mammoth-mindedd the former black slaves and the 14th and 15th Amendments that provided them with equal rights and suffrage, African-American hoped for a new better beginning.However, the former slave-owners and other WASPs living especially in the south were not willing to undergo such change. The problem wasn? t only with blacks, other ethnic groups different from the white acceptable Americans of blue European origin suffered from discrimination and perceived inferiority as well. Americans precious to keep their standard of WASP Americanism and were unwilling to accept other cultures as equal. There were many pseudo-scientific findings that were meant to prove this inequality.Joseph Le Conte, an American anthropologist, for example claimed that young ethnologists have thoroughly established the fact that in all requisite qualities the Negro race seems to be totally incapable of development. racial stereotypes of blacks as inferior beings were popular throu ghout American society and although the racial hierarchy was mostly unspoken, there were clear signs of it in every facet of the culture. As the blacks were always regarded as inferior, low-class people, it was not easy for the white supremacy supporters to all of a sudden support their equality.Racism had a cockeyed historical context in American society and it was this that caused the Jim Crow laws to be legalised and supremacist organisations, such as the Ku Klux Klan, to form. Therefore the deep-rooted racism moldiness be seen as the key problem Blacks had to face as it caused all the other obstacles for them and resulted in discrimination in all levels of the society. However, some historians would argue that it was the existence of the supremacist organisations that posed the biggest trouble to the black Americans.Ku Klux Klan was formed immediately after(prenominal)(prenominal) the end of the Civil War but its main wave of actions happened during the mid-twenties and 30s . The founder of the second KKK, who awoke the old tradition in 1915, was William J. Simmons. His aim was to hurtle Southern culture of corrupting influences that were according to him trying to destroy WASP America. These were apparently not only blacks, but also other ethnic and religious groups, such as Catholics, Jews and even communists. The Klan used violent methods to confine and suppress these groups.Mob violence and lynching were a daily fact of life in the south during the 1920s. However, the organisation became gradually more internal with members in the northern countries as well as in the southerly ones. It restricted its membership to native-born white Protestants and it attracted many people out-of-pocket to blacks? migration and social fears resulting from it many people across the country became committed to the ampere-second% Americanism and were afraid of losing the position on the top of the racial hierarchy. As historian Paul S.Boyer states, The organisati on consisted primarily of ordinary people, not criminals or fanatics. The Klan? s promise to restore the nation to an imagined purity ethnical, moral and religious appealed potently to ill-educated and deeply religious Americans. By 1925 KKK had 5 million members and it dominated state legislatures. Assembly men, sheriffs, judges all were members of the Klan and agreed with its policies, either secretly or publicly. The Klan used symbols, such as white robes and burning crosses to bring somewhat and emphasise fear and as historian David M.Chalmers argues they were viewed as a super-secret organisation masked and mysterious, with a tradition of violence for which a generation of falsehood had achieved a high measure of social approval. They were feared by the blacks and praised by the whites. Although the white supremacy organisations, such as the KKK played an important role in supporting racist actions and discrimination, they didn? t exist without a cause. This cause was t he deep-rooted racism within American people as well as the social and economic fear after the Great Migration and the First World War.It is also surprising that such a violent organisation was free to incline out its actions and was not stopped by neither federal, nor state politicss. This shows that the legal aspect of discrimination was to a great extent the major(ip) problem for the blacks. However, racism would have existed without the laws, but the laws would not have existed without the deep-rooted racism in American culture, which establishes it as the key reason for all the problems. In any other instance, organisations such as the KKK and racist laws such as the Jim Crow laws would not be accepted by any government.Thus, historians debate also the option that one of the biggest problems African Americans had to face during this magazine period was the federal government? s apathy. By the ruling of the Supreme Court in 1876 it has been decided that individual states could govern themselves as they truism fit. This led to proliferation of the Jim Crow laws in the South and increasing ignorance of the problem of discrimination in the coupling. What is more, it provided the federal government with an excuse to not intervene and carry out the ineffective laissez-faire policy.Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat president during and after the First World War, was even racist himself. He declared that the blacks were an unbelieving and inferior race and strongly defended segregation stating in 1916 that it is not demeaning and is a benefit to you Black gentlemen. Even though he is know for his campaign for international brotherhood and peace and he denounced the tactics of the KKK, he openly sympathised with its efforts to restore the white supremacy. Clearly, the racism in America was deep-rooted in all levels of the society.In the 1920s Republicans held the presidential office in their hands and as part of their overall approach to ruling they apply the lai ssez-faire post towards social affairs. As Calvin Coolidge stated the chief business of the American people is business. They simply did not think it was their line of work to intervene in people? s everyday lives. Moreover, the various administrations seemed to tightly fitting their eyes to racial discrimination. Anti-lynching law in 1921 was never passed as it was foiled by Southern Senators and that meant that the organisations such as the KKK could continue with their horrible actions.What is more, the Klan was allowed to form 40,000 men march on Washington DC in 1925 covering its strength and being de facto supported by the federal government. Blacks were also nurture excluded from the Republican Party and had to submit to segregation in the White signal and the federal civil service. The evidence shows that Blacks were discriminated in all levels of the society. Even the presidents themselves were racist and did nothing to tackle the inequalities, if not making them wo rse.The federal apathy clearly rooted from the racism present among the public and the government was simply responding to the will of the people. This created further complications for the African Americans to gain their civil rights as they had to face racism and discrimination not only at everyday levels but also at the proper political ones. Historians also debate the possibility that the wake of WW1 causing the Great Migration and wide spread social and economic fears was itself the reason for discrimination of black Americans.In the WW1, many African-Americans fought for the country, but even more of them were employed in munitions, other factories and agriculture to keep the country going. As a result, many blacks moved from the South to the North as they truism it as a chance for better life. Whites didn? t always pleasing these migrants as they, too, had racism deep in their minds. Black migrants were also seen as an unwanted job competition in 1917 in St. Louis 40 blac ks and 9 whites were killed in race riot over employment.Although discrimination was nowhere well(p) legal as it was in the South with the Jim Crow laws, whites in the North considered themselves superior as well and were ready to defend their position on the racial hierarchy. In Chicago, race riots began when a black boy by the way swam to white only waters and the respectable white American citizens present on the beach stoned him to death. As Willoughby and Willoughby argue, This incident clearly indicates the learning and extent of the hatred and prejudice. And it indeed does.As shown above, the KKK had huge number of supporters and members in the North as well ever since its reformation and this meant that even the northerly WASPs were ready to discriminate. This leads back to the deep-rooted racism in the American culture and indicates it as the key problem. After the war ended, the closings of munitions factories hugely affected large proportion of the population. Blacks were then used as strike-breakers and were accused of lowering the struggle as they were willing to work for less money.This, of course, created tensions and caused the native white Americans to detect their economic and social status being genuinely under threat. However, this attitude towards African-Americans was nothing new. On balance, there have been Klan members and other WASPs discriminating previous(prenominal) to the war, but the Great Migration caused by northern agents recruiting black workers in the South for munitions factories and other jobs, significantly increased the hostility towards blacks and heated the already be racial tensions.It also gave further reasons to the ordinary white workers to support or join the Klan. Overall, there was no legal basis for discrimination in the north of the country, but the deep-rooted racism causing de facto segregation of the races provided strong enough reason for the racist Americans to discriminate. The black Americans fac ed serious problems of discrimination as they were regarded as members of the inferior race during the 19th and most of the twentieth century. During the 1920s the tensions increased as the African Americans began to migrate within the US.Jim Crow laws made it legal to discriminate in the south as they seek segregation of the races and indirectly approved the white supremacy. This, alongside with federal government unwillingness to do anything close to them, made it possible for racist organisations, such as the KKK, to exist and promote the WASP superiority through violence. However, the view that the KKK itself was the cause of racism is over simplistic misconception as it would not exist and be widely supported if the people would not agree with its goals.In addition, the impact of the First World War which meant increase in black migration to the North caused further deepening of racial problems there and was a factor in the increasing tensions. The problem black Americans fac ed was discrimination. This was possible to a great extent due to its de jure legalisation in the Jim Crow laws, but in actual fact the main problem blacks faced was the established racial hierarchy within the American society and the deep-rooted racism present in majority of the people.Simply, Blacks were denied to vote, federal government refused to do anything about their inadequate treatment and the Ku Klux Klan successfully managed to question their equality by themselves. However, all these actions taken by the WASPs to secure their position were but a manifestation of a wider racist attitude that was deep-rooted in the culture. In utmost conclusion, Jim Crow laws were a problem for the black Americans in the 1920s and 30s, but it was not the main one as they had to deal with the deep-rooted racism first to get rid of their discrimination completely.