What was the Plessy v.s Ferguson? Explain the impact of Plessy v.s Ferguson in the south?
I must write a 2 pager paper on this, HELPP
- Anonymous3 years agoFavorite Answer
Plessy v. Ferguson was a landmark United States Supreme Court decision in the jurisprudence of the United States, approving de jure racial segregation in public facilities, and ruling that states could prohibit of the use of public facilities by African Americans.
In 1890, the State of Louisiana passed a law that required separate accommodations for blacks and whites on railroads, including separate railway cars. Concerned, several black and white citizens in New Orleans formed an association dedicated to the repeal of that law. They eventually persuaded Homer Plessy, an octoroon (someone of seven-eighths Caucasian descent and one-eighth African descent), to test it. On June 7, 1892, Plessy purchased a first-class ticket on the East Louisiana Railway from New Orleans to Covington. The railroad company had been informed already as to Plessy's racial lineage, and after Plessy had taken a seat in the whites-only railway car, he was asked to vacate it and sit instead in the blacks-only car. Plessy refused and was arrested immediately.
Plessy was remanded for trial in Orleans Parish, despite his objections that the Louisiana law was in violation of the Constitution of the United States. He was convicted and sentenced to pay a $25 fine.
Eventually the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Plessy was represented by Albion Tourgée, a prominent lawyer of the day, and Samuel F. Phillips, while the defendant, Judge John Ferguson of the Louisiana court, was represented by Alexander Porter Morse.
Announced on May 18, 1896, the 7-1 decision, with one abstention, upheld the Louisiana statute. Justice Henry B. Brown delivered the opinion of the court, while Justice David J. Brewer abstained, and Justice John Marshall Harlan delivered his famous dissent.
The court rejected Tourgée's arguments based on the Thirteenth Amendment, seeing no way in which the Louisiana statute violated it. In addition, the majority of the Court rejected the view that the Louisiana law fostered any inferiority of African-Americans, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment, but held rather that the law merely separated the races as a matter of social policy. Justice Brown declared, "We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority. If this be so, it is not by reason of anything found in the act, but solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction upon it." In other words, the Court held that state governments could bar blacks from public facilities based on traditional notions of racial inferiority.
Plessy legitimized the move towards segregation practices in the South begun earlier. Along with Booker T. Washington's Atlanta Compromise address, delivered the same year, which accepted black social isolation from white society, Plessy provided an impetus for further segregation laws. In the ensuing decades, segregation statutes proliferated, reaching even to the federal government in Washington, D.C., which resegregated during Woodrow Wilson's administration in the 1910s.
- larry1Lv 63 years ago
It was the (1896) US Supreme Court case that decided that 'segregation' (separating people of color (that is basically blacks)) from white people by law was legal and Constitutional for the US. This ruling remained in effect until it was finally reversed (1954) by Brown v Board of Education.
In the case Plessey, a citizen of color in Louisiana said such state laws violated the US Constitution in the 14th Amendment that promises equal treatment to all citizens under the law in terms of their rights, privileges, life, liberty, property. He said that state laws making blacks (people of color) be separate from whites in public and restricted to 'colored only' things violated the 14th amendment by thereby not treating blacks equal to whites under law as required. The Supreme Court (1896) and the lower courts disagreed and ruled against him saying that he (and blacks/ people of color) were being treated equally, just... separately.... from whites, and there was nothing in the 14th or elsewhere that said people of color couldn't be forced to be separate from whites as long as they were otherwise treated equal under the law.
This made the false doctrine.... 'separate but equal'...(false because the facilities/opportunities for people of color never lived up to being equal to those of whites like they were supposed to). It made racial segregation in the US legal especially in the South where it became the whole way of life, and the social order (1896-about 1950). Desegregation therefore didn't come to the South till (1960-1982), while it happened in the North, where segregation was never so big in the 1st place (1935-1960).