Recht, Verbrechen & Bestrafung

Jim Crow Gesetz | Geschichte, Fakten und Beispiele

Jim Crow Gesetz , in der US-Geschichte, eines der Gesetze, die durchgesetzt habenRassentrennung im Süden zwischen dem Ende des Wiederaufbaus im Jahr 1877 und dem Beginn der Bürgerrechtsbewegung in den 1950er Jahren.Jim Crow war der Name einer Minnesänger-Routine (eigentlich Jump Jim Crow ), die ab 1828 von ihrem Autor durchgeführt wurde.Thomas Dartmouth ("Daddy") Rice und viele Nachahmer, darunter der Schauspieler Joseph Jefferson . Der Begriff wurde zu einem abfälligen Beinamen fürAfroamerikaner und eine Bezeichnung für ihr getrenntes Leben.

Top Fragen

Was waren Jim Crow Gesetze?

Wie kamen die Gesetze von Jim Crow zu ihrem Namen?

Wie wurden die Jim Crow-Gesetze angewendet?

Wann sind die Jim Crow-Gesetze entstanden?

Wann verschwanden die Gesetze von Jim Crow?

From the late 1870s, Southern state legislatures, no longer controlled by so-called carpetbaggers and freedmen, passed laws requiring the separation of whites from “persons of colour” in public transportation and schools. Generally, anyone of ascertainable or strongly suspected Black ancestry in any degree was for that purpose a “person of colour”; the pre-Civil WarDie Unterscheidung zugunsten derjenigen, deren Abstammung als gemischt bekannt war - insbesondere der halbfranzösischen „freien Farbigen“ in Louisiana - wurde aufgegeben. Das Prinzip der Trennung wurde auf Parks, Friedhöfe, Theater und Restaurants ausgedehnt, um jeglichen Kontakt zwischen Schwarzen und Weißen auf Augenhöhe zu verhindern. Es wurde auf lokaler und staatlicher Ebene kodifiziert und am bekanntesten mit dem „getrennte aber gleiche Entscheidung derOberster Gerichtshof der USA in Plessy gegen Ferguson (1896).

1954 kehrte der Oberste Gerichtshof um Plessy inBrown gegen Board of Education von Topeka . Es erklärte die Segregation an öffentlichen Schulen für verfassungswidrig, und im weiteren Sinne wurde diese Entscheidung auf andere öffentliche Einrichtungen angewendet. In den folgenden Jahren wurden durch spätere Entscheidungen ähnliche Gesetze der Jim Crow-Gesetzgebung getroffen. Siehe auch Schwarzer Code ; Rassentrennung .


Vor dem Bürgerkrieg der minderwertige Status von slaves had made it unnecessary to pass laws segregating them from white people. Both races could work side by side so long as the slave recognized his subordinate place. In the cities, where most free African Americans lived, rudimentary forms of segregation existed prior to 1860, but no uniform pattern emerged. In the North free Blacks also laboured under harsh restrictions and often found an even more-rigid segregation than in the South.

Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. Subscribe today

One might have expected the Southern states to have created a segregation system immediately after the war, but that did not happen. In some states the legislatures imposed rigid separation, but only in certain areas; Texas, for example, required that every train have one car in which all people of colour had to sit. The South had had no real system of public education prior to the Civil War, and as the postwar Reconstruction governments created public schools, those were as often as not segregated by race. Nonetheless, New Orleans had fully integrated schools until 1877, and in North Carolina former slaves routinely sat on juries alongside whites.

In 1877 the Supreme Court ruled in Halle v. DeCuir, dass Staaten die Trennung von gemeinsamen Transportunternehmen wie Eisenbahnen , Straßenbahnen oder Flussbootennicht verbieten konnten. In den Bürgerrechtsfällen von 1883 hob das Gericht Schlüsselelemente des Bürgerrechtsgesetzes von 1875 auf und sanktionierte damit den Begriff „getrennte, aber gleiche Einrichtungen und Transportmittel für die Rennen (obwohl der Begriff nicht getrennt, aber gleich verwendet wurde ). Sieben Jahre später genehmigte das Gericht ein Mississippi- Gesetz, das die Trennung von innerstaatlichen Transportunternehmen in Louisville, New Orleans und Texas Railway gegen Mississippi (1890) vorschreibt. Wie diese Fälle zeigten, stimmte das Gericht im Wesentlichen der „Lösung“ des Südens für die Probleme der Rassenbeziehungen zu.

From 1887 to 1892 nine states, including Louisiana, passed laws requiring separation on public conveyances, such as streetcars and railroads. Though they differed in detail, most of those statutes required equal accommodations for Black passengers and imposed fines and even jail terms on railroad employees who did not enforce them. Five of the states also provided criminal fines or imprisonment for passengers who tried to sit in cars from which their race excluded them. The Louisiana Separate Car Act passed in July 1890. In order to “promote the comfort of passengers,” railroads had to provide “equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races” on lines running in the state.

Challenging the Separate Car Act

The Louisiana Separate Car Act marked a dramatic and humiliating reversal of fortune for the Black and mixed-race citizens of Louisiana. Although a slave state, Louisiana in general and New Orleans in particular had always had, because of their French origins, a more-tolerant attitude toward people of colour than did other Deep South states. In addition to the usual demarcation between Black and white, since the 1700s New Orleans had acknowledged a third class, free people of colour (in French, gens de couleur libres), sometimes called Creoles, the freed descendants of European fathers and African mothers who had enjoyed a great deal of autonomy. Although Louisiana, like most Southern states, had laws against marriage between slaves, it did allow free people of colour, whites, and the gens de couleur to marry, testify in court against whites, and in some cases inherit property from their fathers. Some became slaveowners themselves, and apparently many of them accumulated significant property. Their social standing, especially in New Orleans, had insulated them from some of the white reaction following the war. But when whites regained power after the end of Reconstruction, they saw only two races, and the privileged position of the gens de couleur evaporated; from then on they were Black as far as the law was concerned.

Gens de couleur helped form the American Citizens Equal Rights Association when the Separate Car bill was introduced, and they pledged to fight it. Among the members of the committee was Louis A. Martinet, a Creole attorney and doctor who had also founded the Daily Crusader, and he and his newspaper became the leading opponents of the law. After its passage his paper called for both a legal challenge and a boycott of those railroads that had segregated cars. Martinet received the help of Albion W. Tourgée, a white lawyer, who had fought for the North, and served as a lawyer and judge in North Carolina.

A citizens’ committee (the Citizens’ Committee to Test the Constitutionality of the Separate Car Law), drawn primarily from the Creole community, raised $3,000 to fund a lawsuit, and Tourgée agreed to be lead counsel in the case. But they also needed a local lawyer, since the challenge to the law would have to go through state courts before it could be appealed to the federal system. A white lawyer, James Walker, finally agreed to take the case in December 1891. Martinet did not consider any of the Black lawyers in New Orleans competent to raise a constitutional question, since, as he explained, they practiced almost entirely in the police courts.

Tourgée and Martinet considered several possibilities. They could have a Black passenger buy a ticket outside Louisiana and then travel into the state, thus raising a challenge to the law under the commerce clause. They might have a fair-skinned person of mixed race attempt to enter the ladies’ car, but there they ran into the problem, as Martinet noted, that she might not be refused admission. In New Orleans, he wrote to Tourgée, “people of tolerably fair complexion, even if unmistakably colored, enjoy here a large degree of immunity from the accursed prejudice.”

But Tourgée wanted someone who was an octoroon, a person who was “of not more than one eighth colored blood,” because he believed the winning strategy would be to expose the ambiguities in the definition of race. How did the law, or a train conductor, determine the race of a passenger? “It is a question,” Tourgée told his colleague, that the Supreme Court “may as well take up, if for nothing else, to let the court sharpen its wits on.” Martinet agreed, and in New Orleans he began talking to sympathetic railroad officials who wanted the law overturned for their own financial reasons. It would not do if their test passenger was merely excluded from boarding or even thrown off the train; he would have to be arrested so that a real case existed and he could claim injury in federal court. One railway informed him that it did not enforce the law, while another said that though it opposed the statute as too costly, it did not want to go against it publicly. Then the Louisville & Nashville line agreed to a test case. As it happened, for reasons neither Martinet nor Tourgée expected, their test case fizzled.

On February 24, 1892, 21-year-old Daniel Desdunes purchased a first-class ticket on the Louisville & Nashville from New Orleans to Mobile, Alabama, and took a seat in the whites-only car. He was arrested according to the plan and charged with a criminal violation of the Separate Car Act. Tourgée, Martinet, and the local attorney, James Walker, filed a “plea of jurisdiction,” arguing that since Desdunes was a passenger in interstate commerce, he had the right and privilege to travel free from any governmental regulation save that of the Congress. Tourgée also introduced his claim that the determination of race was a complex question of both science and law and so could not be delegated to a train official. The lawyers assumed that their plea would be denied, Desdunes would be convicted, and then they would appeal. Then, on April 19, 1892, the presiding judge, Robert Marr, suddenly disappeared, and no one knew what had happened to him.

While Desdunes’s attorney tried to figure out what to do next, on May 25 the Louisiana Supreme Court handed down its decision in Louisiana ex rel. Abbott v. Hicks . Ein Zugführer der Texas and Pacific Railway war angeklagt worden, weil er einen schwarzen Passagier in einem weißen Auto untergebracht hatte, und die Eisenbahn argumentierte, da der Passagier zwischen zwei Staaten unterwegs war, galt entweder das Gesetz von Louisiana nicht für zwischenstaatliche Reisen oder, falls dies der Fall war tat, dann war es verfassungswidrig nach der Handelsklausel. Zu jedermanns großer Überraschung stimmte das Oberste Gericht von Louisiana zu, dass die Bestimmungen des Separate Car Act nicht für zwischenstaatliche Passagiere gelten könnten. Angesichts dieser Entwicklung hat der neue Richter in Desdunes FallJohn Ferguson wies den Fall ab.