Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)

High School ・Philosophy ・MLA

The case legitimized and allowed state legislation enforcing racial segregation in the South, in addition to providing space for more discriminatory laws (Ferguson). The suit further validated the North Race Division Statute that was apparent in the Boston School Segregation Law that Justice Brown noted in his place. The judicial gains of the Restoration Period have been compromised by a distinct but equal theory. The theory was also strengthened by the decision of the Supreme Court in 1875 that prohibited federal interference and interfering in state affairs. The right was given only to Congress, who could limit the state to problems such as segregation and racial profiling. The ruling unfairly granted states the legislative power to amend and make laws that advocated for racially biased institutions.

The outcome upset many advocates of civil equality and inclusion including Justice John Harlan. He was against the dissent and advocated for a just system that was free of bias and prejudice, and considered everyone equal before the law. From the period, encroachment of the 14th amendment became visible when states began instituting racially discriminative legislation. Additionally, Southern states amended the constitution that lead to the marginalization of many poor whites and black citizens. However, some critics supported the status quo that was against Harlan's dissent. They recommended for its careful analysis to enable the protection of the American society.

Effects of the ruling were instant. Significant differences became visible with regards to funding of the school system that progressed till the 20th Century. The states limited resources for the black schools in addition to providing them with cheap supplies, books, and learning facilities. States that had made progress in the integration of an inclusive environment instantly abandoned the progressive momentum in favor of the oppressive legislation. The decision progressed further in the justice system an example in Lum v. Rice (1927), where the rights of a learning institution were upheld to exclude those of a Chinese nationality. In spite of the insistence of mandatory education, the absence of public schools for other nationalities contrasted the situation. In particular, Luma’s case, the court arrived at an outcome that the student had a choice of attending a private institution.

The retrogressive period came to be popularly known as the Jim Crow era. The practice became widespread in response to the migration of African-Americans from the South to Northern cities. The situation led to the establishment of separate public amenities for various races plus the prohibition of intermarriage unions. The facilities used by the minorities were inferior pointing to the contradiction of the separate but equal doctrine. The destructive nature of the verdict continued impacting the society when state legislatures began denying the minority population voting rights. Strict rules were placed for one to qualify as a voter that in most cases were discriminative as they were harsh and complicated. Political leaders who had benefited from the fair society during the Reconstruction Era lost their achievements as they got exempted from the political system. There was the determination that most of the practices that were in place were meant to subject the minority to white rule and alleged supremacy.

In conclusion, the court decision was more destructive and unfair than predicted. Many progressive gains that got realized disappeared in a short duration. The minority population was particularly affected and suppressed during the era. Considering that, the verdict was unfair and illegal as it served to uphold white supremacy by disregarding other societal aspects.

Work Cited

Ferguson, Plessy V. "163 US 537 (1896)."Jurisdiction: United States of America, Supreme Court Date of Decision 18 (1896).

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