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South circa 1900

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The Disfranchisement Law as the name implies, remove the right of the Negro to exercise his civil liberty to vote by despite the guarantee of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. This was evident with the exclusion of the blacks from the list of those who can vote in 1870 and made it more difficult for blacks to vote (if they can) by passing the poll tax law. Ridiculous as it may sound but a literacy requirement was also enacted in 1890 that if a black person is allowed to vote, he or she must satisfy the “understanding clause” that they understood the constitution before the state registrar. Naturally, the determination of the black person’s fitness to vote became arbitrary that deprived many of them of their right to vote. Voting restrictions were also imposed to make it difficult for black people by stating deadlines of poll tax payment and voter registration unannounced. All of these were designed to make it difficult, if not impossible for a black person to vote.Many scholars, including Ayers are seeking the answer why was the law passed and many scholars contended that American society was not yet ready to accept the Negro as equals in all dimension of life that it was too radical an idea for a race that was once a slave to become an equal. Such, the separation between the two races, where the white can again impose its superiority among the blacks had to be imposed through the creation and passage of segregation and disenfranchisement law. Ayers however argued that while to some extent this could be true, there are several factors that led to the passage of these laws that shaped the socio-economic status of Afro-Americans in the 19th century. Ayers contended that the Jim Crow law was a result of various forces that include political, class, and psychological issues that was a byproduct of America’s industrialization. It could also be taken as an attempt to put the Negro in the south in his or her “right place” as they are becoming more assertive. Political was cited as a reason because this ensures that the Negro is away from seat of policy making guaranteeing the perpetuity of the Segregation Law. Class because white southerners required class deference from the Negroes and demanded formal racial deference and distance from them with the passage of the law. Psychological because the idea of white superiority is still imbedded among the consciousness of the
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preview essay on South circa 1900
  • Pages: 4 (1000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: History
  • Level: Undergraduate
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