Plessy v. Ferguson

(1896)

Context

Although the Civil War ended just over thirty years before Plessy v. Ferguson was decided, the case was yet a result of the lingering conflict that existed after the war. During the decade following the Civil War, known as the Reconstruction era, America was a place of great change with respect to race relations. During the five years following the end of the war, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments (collectively known as the Civil War Amendments or Reconstruction Amendments) were passed. The Thirteenth Amendment outlawed slavery. The Fourteenth Amendment was passed after it became clear that the Thirteenth Amendment could not guarantee that individual states would grant the full equality that many had believed would result from the end of slavery. The Fifteenth Amendment, which stated that voting rights could not be abridged based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude, was ratified to guarantee political equality for African American...

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Plessy v. Ferguson (National Archives and Records Administration)

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