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The “New” South, 1870-1910. Recap from last time. North ground zero for industrial revolution, Western expansion romantic in nature but reality is Indian removal and harsh settlement conditions. New immigrant classes supply labor. Wealth concentrated in the hands of few; almost no regulation.

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recap from last time
Recap from last time
  • North ground zero for industrial revolution, Western expansion romantic in nature but reality is Indian removal and harsh settlement conditions.
  • New immigrant classes supply labor.
  • Wealth concentrated in the hands of few; almost no regulation.
  • Labor unrest and the rise of unions.
key themes and terms
Key themes and terms
  • Theme: Life for African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South.
      • How was a system of racial segregation established in the South?
      • Why was it difficult to challenge this system?
  • Key terms: Civil Rights Act of 1875, Populism, disfranchisement, Ida B. Wells, Plessy v. Ferguson, Jim Crow.
meanwhile in the south
Meanwhile in the South
  • Devastated since Civil War. Loss of slavery stunts economic progress.
  • Remember the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.
  • Politics in free-for-all.
  • Sharecropping in the South locks African Americans and poor whites into perpetual poverty.
  • How is this freedom?
during reconstruction
During Reconstruction…
  • All eyes on the South. Will Southerners behave?
  • New Amendments and Freedman’s Bureaus protect, in theory, the rights of African Americans.
  • Voting rights mean African Americans enter politics.
  • African Americans start to own their own land and businesses. Establish churches, schools, health initiatives.
  • Many blacks migrate out of the region to the North and West. “We had rather suffer and be free.”
the civil rights act of 1875
The Civil Rights Act of 1875
  • Drafted by Charles Sumner (a Republican) and John Mercer Langston (a legal scholar from Howard University).
  • Sometimes called Enforcement Act or Force Act, was a United States federal law enacted during the Reconstruction Era that guaranteed African Americans equal treatment in public accommodations, public transportation, and prohibited exclusion from jury service.
  • A new “people’s party” emerges in politics during the 1890s. Started by farmers, spreads to “all producing classes.”
  • Aimed to capture a base in the West and South.
  • Defined freedom as ownership of productive property and respect for dignity of labor.
  • Very grassroots.
who would be a populist in 1890
Who would be a Populist in 1890?
  • Farmers in the West and South who wanted black and white farmers to work together to end “wage slavery.”
  • People worried about power of Democrats (the party of the Klan at the time).
  • Women! Populists endorse suffrage, and although women couldn’t vote, they participated in political events.
  • Election of 1892: states elect 3 Populist governors, 15 Members of Congress.
why populism fails
Why Populism fails
  • In the North, industrial workers think Populism is too much of a farmer versus government party. Not relative to their lives.
  • In the South, a lot of African Americans prefer to support the Republican party. Ex. Republicans are the ones who try to stop the Klan.
  • Many white farmers can’t see an alliance between white and black farmers. Democrats paint Populists as the party of “Negro Supremacy.”
the generation after reconstruction
The generation after Reconstruction
  • Massive disenfranchisement:  the revocation of the right of suffrage (the right to vote) of a person or group of people, or rendering a person's vote less effective, or ineffective. Disfranchisement may occur explicitly through law, or implicitly by intimidation or by placing unreasonable requirements.
  • Between 1890-1905, EVERY SOUTHERN STATE enacted laws or provisions meant to eliminate the black vote.
  • In 1883, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 is declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
  • States begin denying African Americans access to theaters, hotels, restaurants, railroads, etc.
ida b wells
Ida B. Wells
  • Born into slavery, becomes a school teacher after emancipation.
  • Each day, she travels from Memphis to Mississippi to teach.
  • On one journey in 1884, a conductor physically removes her from a first-class carriage to a smoking car.
  • She sues the railroad and eventually wins. Four years later, the railroad appeals the decision and Wells is forced to return her settlement.
  • Becomes a lifelong crusader for justice, although racial violence forces her to leave Tennessee.
ida b wells1
Ida B. Wells

“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them”

plessy v ferguson 1896
Plessy V. Ferguson (1896)
  • Louisiana passes Segregated Car Act in 1892.
  • Lots of opposition in creole culture. Who is black? How do we define a “colored person?”
  • Homer Plessy (7/8 Caucasian) deliberate sits in a white’s-only car, but identifies himself as black. Ejected from car. He sues. The case isn’t heard until 1896.
  • Plessy loses. Establishes “separate but equal” doctrine. Majority opinion: “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.”
wilmington massacre
Wilmington Massacre
  • Happens in 1898, an election year. Wilmington, NC gets a biracial city council. Most of Wilmington's pop. is black.
  • Two days after election, white supremacists attempt to overthrow the government by force.
  • 1500 white men (and women) participate, burning down the city newspaper, black businesses, and kill African Americans.
  • Blacks flee, turning the city into a white’s only city.
jim crow
Jim Crow
  • Jim Crow is the system of race-based laws and customs that existed in the South from roughly 1876-1965.
  • Jim Crow was both formal, and informal.
  • All encompassing, affected business, education, schools, hospitals, politics, etc etc.
why not challenge the system
Why not challenge the system?
  • African Americans had few legal rights and political power.
  • Violence a feature of everyday life in the South.
  • Every year between 1880-1905, at least 50 African Americans lynched in the South.
  • Authorities do nothing to protect African Americans.
manhood womanhood and lynching
Manhood, womanhood, and lynching
  • Lynching is a uniquely American phenomenon.
  • Component of white supremacy is racial purity. White men believed it was their duty to protect the “purity” of white women.
  • White men and women invent charges of rape and seek justice.
  • Politics of lynching also degrades women.
other forces at work
Other forces at work
  • What’s freedom? Definitions vary in the black community., re: class divides.
  • Example: The Atlanta Compromise , 1895. An informal agreement between African American and white leaders in the South. Booker T. Washington urged African Americans to accept segregation and focus on self-improvement, in the process getting support for black schools and basic rights from Southern whites.
  • Poor blacks have different definitions of freedom. Want to be protected from physical and sexual violence.
the lost cause
The Lost Cause
  • Refashions the memory of the Civil War. Not a war about slavery, more like a family quarrel.
  • Reconstruction viewed as a period of “Negro rule” punishment.
  • In building museums, monuments, telling history, ceremonies, perspective is always Confederate.
  • Collective forgetting about the horrors of slavery.
  • The limited freedoms given to African Americans during Reconstruction vanish. Replaced by a system of oppression known as Jim Crow. Efforts to establish new political parties fail.
  • Disfranchisement and segregation are key features of Jim Crow.
  • White supremacy is maintained through legal mechanism, but also campaigns of violence like lynching.
  • African Americans question what version of freedom is most important?