Jim Crow laws

Mar 2019
5
usa
#1
The Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act apparently prevented new racist laws from being passed. But what was done about racist laws already on the books?

The constitution counted blacks as 3/5 of a person; did any lawmakers try to use that to give blacks only 3/5 of a vote?

Or blacks could be prevented from voting because their clothes weren't nice enough, so it's not respectful--one wears one's nicest clothes to Church, so one should wear perfectly nice clothes to vote, so if their clothes aren't nice enough...

We read amusing articles about wacky local laws that were passed--but many of those appear to be urban legends. But I wonder if some wacky laws were passed to target specific individuals.

Jim Crow laws did exist before the Civil War. Were they significantly harsher after the Civil War?

And I wonder if "sour grapes" had anything to do with it. They couldn't have blacks as slaves, so they didn't want blacks around at all.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,252
SoCal
#2
The Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Act apparently prevented new racist laws from being passed. But what was done about racist laws already on the books?

The constitution counted blacks as 3/5 of a person; did any lawmakers try to use that to give blacks only 3/5 of a vote?
That part was nullified with the passage and ratification of the 13th Amendment.

Or blacks could be prevented from voting because their clothes weren't nice enough, so it's not respectful--one wears one's nicest clothes to Church, so one should wear perfectly nice clothes to vote, so if their clothes aren't nice enough...

We read amusing articles about wacky local laws that were passed--but many of those appear to be urban legends. But I wonder if some wacky laws were passed to target specific individuals.
AFAIK, the 1965 Voting Rights Act nullified all state laws which required literacy tests for voting. Same for poll taxes with the 24th Amendment (for federal elections) and with the Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections court case (in 1966, for state elections).

Jim Crow laws did exist before the Civil War. Were they significantly harsher after the Civil War?
That I honestly don't know enough to comment on. However, I will say that things for Blacks in the Southern U.S. were much better during Reconstruction and shortly afterwards than after 1890. There was much more Black voting during Reconstruction and also various Southern U.S. states either repealed or nullified their anti-miscegenation laws--only to bring them back later on.

And I wonder if "sour grapes" had anything to do with it. They couldn't have blacks as slaves, so they didn't want blacks around at all.
AFAIK, Blacks actually were economically useful to the Southern U.S.--which is why some Southern Whites disliked the fact that a lot of Blacks were moving North and West during the Great Migration (1910-1970). However, you are correct that, with Blacks no longer being viewed as slaves (valuable property), it became easier for Southern Whites to lynch them since they wouldn't have to fear that they'd be destroying valuable property by doing this. :(
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,770
#3
Slaves were counted as 3/5 before the Civil War. Free blacks counted as whole people, although they could not vote.

Originally, after the Civil War, southern states passed black codes, which kept freed slaves in almost the same situation as before the war. Congressional Reconstruction led to blacks voting and large numbers of black elected officials. In the 1870s most states returned to white Democratic rule. The worst Jim Crow laws were passed in the 1890s.

Blacks generally could not vote in the south in the early and mid 20th century. Some blacks did vote in the upper south. The state constitutions adopted between 1888 and 1904 intially kept many poor whites from voting.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,252
SoCal
#4
Slaves were counted as 3/5 before the Civil War. Free blacks counted as whole people, although they could not vote.
Could not vote in I think most of the US. I do think that there were some exceptions to this rule, though.

Originally, after the Civil War, southern states passed black codes, which kept freed slaves in almost the same situation as before the war.
Yep--hence the 14th and 15th Amendments.

Congressional Reconstruction led to blacks voting and large numbers of black elected officials. In the 1870s most states returned to white Democratic rule. The worst Jim Crow laws were passed in the 1890s.
Yep.

Blacks generally could not vote in the south in the early and mid 20th century. Some blacks did vote in the upper south. The state constitutions adopted between 1888 and 1904 intially kept many poor whites from voting.
Yep.

Also, it's quite interesting that Blacks in the Upper South could vote but nevertheless had to deal with state-enforced segregation, anti-miscegenation laws, et cetera.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,770
#5
Also, it's quite interesting that Blacks in the Upper South could vote but nevertheless had to deal with state-enforced segregation, anti-miscegenation laws, et cetera.

Some blacks voted in the upper south, but many did not. Also, a much higher percentage of white and blacks voted in 1960 than 1910.

Miscegination laws existed in most states north and south. There was some legal segregation in border states, including school segregation.
 
Likes: Futurist

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
14,252
SoCal
#6
Some blacks voted in the upper south, but many did not. Also, a much higher percentage of white and blacks voted in 1960 than 1910.

Miscegination laws existed in most states north and south. There was some legal segregation in border states, including school segregation.
AFAIK, all Northern US states other than Indiana abolished their anti-miscegenation laws by 1887.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
5,770
#9

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