For more than 200 years before the civil war blacks weren’t treated equal and even after things didn’t get better only worse. The Williams vs Mississippi case was fought over black suffrage. The court case took place in Washington County, Mississippi. The jury consisted of all whites; the jury ratio was 9-0 (9 white men and 0 black men). Henry Williams was the African American defendant in the case who was charged for murder. He believed that if blacks were not allowed to be part of the grand jury then the murder charged against him should be abolished.
Williams laimed that he was being discriminated against and was unfairly sentenced. Williams also believed he qualified for being able to vote hence, the case that the qualifications adapted into the constitution of 1890 were discriminatory towards African Americans as well as poor whites. The civil war (1861-1865) was fought over racial equality. After winning equal rights and having the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendment protecting their rights, African Americans were still treated unfairly. In 1898, the Williams vs Mississippi court decided to implement new developments.
The impact of the court decision was that it limited racial equality by lowering the voter turnout, rapidly increasing segregation laws, and putting whites back into power. Due to restricted African American voting the voter turnout declined from above 70 percent to 34 percent and lower. Plessy v Ferguson ruled that segregation was legal as long as service provided were equal for blacks and whites. The new implementations gave Democrats almost complete control of the South. Williams vs Mississippi court allowed poll taxes and literacy tests to stand.
The literacy test consisted of around 30 uestions that were to be completed in 10 minutes. The exam tested one’s ability to read and write as well as understand explicit directions; they were worded so that those taking it would be easily confused. Administrators used the literacy test as a way to deny African American suffrage. To reduce the use of these exams an act was enacted to forbid authority to give those with at least a sixth-grade education the test. By 1908 most of the South adopted this Although this was a form of discrimination it was also a victory for the south.
It affected the oter turnout because of the fact that almost alI African Americans were illiterate and poor. By being unable to pay to vote and creating a test almost impossible to pass the number of people voting decreased by more than 50%. While greatly impacting the number of African Americans voting, this also eliminated African Americans from the jury pool. Not only were African Americans affected by this but poor whites as well. Most of these laws passed by the court were known as the “Jim Crow Laws”, which were laws that basically enforcing racial segregation.
Racial segregation rapidly increased In 1860 to the 960s was the Jim Crow era Under this system were the Jim Crow laws, which were created by white southerners to enforce racial segregation across the south. Since the Jim Crow laws were legal in the Plessy v Ferguson case the court justified segregation using the law “separate but equal” this way it would not violate the fourteenth amendment. This law allowed public services, Medicare, employment, education, facilities, etc. be separated by race because facilities provided would be equal. Signs like “whites only” and “colored only” were being multiplied across the south.
They were being hung above water fountains, restrooms, waiting areas, swimming pools, etc. African American and whites were being treated unequally for numerous things: barbering, baseball, buses, libraries, and so much more; whites got better treated me because they were seen as the superiors. At the hands of the Jim Crow laws African Americans had to show that they were lower in status compared to whites at all times (white supremacy). Mostly all of the rights of African Americans were limited. They were transferred to low paying jobs and kids were moved to poor public schools.
Not only was it hundreds of thousands of African Americans but tens of thousands of poor whites who were disenfranchised for decades after the Williams v Mississippi court decision. Due to the fact that they found a way to make segregation legal without violating the amendments, African Americans constantly demonstrate inferiority towards whites. All the new developments created due to the court decision depended on solid south, which meant that Democrats had gained almost complete control of the south. Gaining almost all control gave Democrats, who were almost all whites, more power.
As a result of white supremacy there was teasing of “negro supremacy” and lynchings of African Americans had increased and occurred in broad daylight. Lynchings occurred when African Americans resisted the Jim Crow laws. Whites would do this when colored people didn’t show humbleness to white person or even when a black person was doing well in the society. Mobs of white men would kill the victim and leave them there for everyone to see. This sent the message that whites had control over them and did what they wanted because they had the power to do so.
The onvict lease system had taken place as well where disciplinary labor was put into action. In the justice system unfortunately, Whites had taken advantage of their power and unfairly gave African Americans harsh punishments for any crime committed big or small. For instance, they were sentenced for things such as “vagrancy”. Often African Americans would find their shops burned down by whites who were jealous because to them blacks cannot be doing better than them or even good at all. Democrats won almost complete control of the south; taking over the south again was an attempt to disenfranchise those ho supported reconstruction.
While they won more control the Republican party was nearly eliminated. The Democratic party referred to themselves as the “party of the white man”. They followed the Jim Crow laws, which were dehumanizing. These laws were set to maintain the superiority of whites over African Americans. Blacks were deprived of their constitutional rights. Whites took control over voting using literacy tests, poll taxes, grandfather clauses (people who couldn’t read or didn’t own property could for if their grandfathers were allowed to before 867 but of course no blacks could vote so this only applied to whites. , and the understanding clause.
By taking these rights away it maintained whites’ political dominance. By this time was the reconstruction era, which involved agriculture. This led to the need for a labor force and moreover a way to make profit. The labor force was made of the African American population and poor whites. Dismally, leaders in the south gave little support in educating those who worked towards industrializing. They decided Sharecropping was a solution; however, this was nly good for leaders of the confederacy who wanted to remain in power.
They had two goals in making racially discriminatory laws: Disenfranchisement and segregation. The Democratic party was making sure they gain power by taking away any power gained by blacks. While this was the during reconstruction era, another development after the civil war had been used: Black codes. Black codes were another set of laws that helped segregation and whites be inferior. The black codes were also a way to try and abolish freedom from newly freed slaves. They restricted and controlled the lives of freed slaves.