Racial Attitudes and Social Mores in the South from 1900-1950.
The South in the early 1900's was a place of civil unrest. This unrest was caused by a lack of proper amount of time for people to change and adjust. For many white members of the south that were old enough to remember Reconstruction, the laws that the North had made had little to no affect on how they felt about the treatment of Blacks, and many of them were passing down these feelings of racial superiority that had been passed down to them by their parents and grandparents to new generations of Southerners. These new generations began to have feelings of resentment for the North, although they had not themselves experienced Reconstruction, and began to secretly undermine it. These defiant natures began to show themselves when the governments of many states enacted what were termed the Jim Crow laws in the 1880's.
Jim Crow laws were an individual state's way of limiting its black population legally. These laws were very moderate in the North, but in the South they took on a very aggressive and active part in the daily lives of its inhabitants. The South had a long and established series of custom for the interaction between the races before the Civil War occurred, and many Southerners were unwilling to give these ways up. With Jim Crow laws, the segregation of public places became a widespread practice. One of the first places that this was apparent on was the railways. This leads to the Railway Separation Act in Louisiana in 1890, and to a Supreme Court decision in 1896 known as .
Plessy vs. Ferguson in 1896. The Supreme Court's decision in this case establishes a "separate but equal" policy, thus allowing states to legalize segregation. (Wormser, 99) It was this Supreme Court decision that really solidified the Jim Crow laws. A previous decision from the Supreme Court in the case U.S. vs. Reese said that it was not an individual's fault when a racial crime was committed, but the State's and that made it the state's problem to deal with.