viii, 242 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
Between 1865 and 1870, the 13th Amendment abolished slavery in the U.S., the 14th conferred citizenship and equal protection under the law to all Americans, white or black, and the 15th gave black American males the right to vote. In 1875 the far reaching Civil Rights Act granted all Americans regardless of color "the full and equal enjoyment" of public conveyances and places of amusement. Yet eight years later, in 1883, the Supreme Court, by an 8-1 vote, overturned the Civil Rights Act as unconstitutional, arguing Congress had overstepped its authority. As the author pointedly acknowledges, in the next 20 years despite "by the dawn of the 20th century the U.S. had become the nation of Jim Crow laws, quasi slavery, and precisely the same two tiered system of justice that had existed in the slave era." How and why this happened, and the ramifications and reverberations unto today, is the subject of this work. As he has done before, the author challenges the conventional view of history through a rigorous examination of the historical record. He makes clear the Supreme Court, in cases as celebrated as Plessy v. Ferguson and the equally important Williams v. Mississippi, was deeply guilty by association, turning a blind eye to the obvious reality of Jim Crow, preferring to focus instead on constitutional minutiae, and demonstrating the fallacy and hypocrisy of a strict interpretation of the Constitution. He reveals clear evidence that the great black migrations north were less about seeking opportunity than about escaping tyranny.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references (pages -230) and index.
Formatted Contents Note
Construction and reconstruction : two great experiments Beyond party or politics : the capitalists ascend Another reconstruction : the Lincoln Court Siege : Congress counterattacks Bad science and big money Corporate presidency : Ulysses Grant and the Court Equality frays : Cruikshank and Reese 1876 : Justice Bradley disposes A jury of one's peers : Strauder and Rives Deconstruction : the civil rights cases Floodgates : the rebirth of white rule Blurring the boundaries : the expansion of due process Confluence : Plessy v. Ferguson One man, no vote : Williams v. Mississippi Mr. Justice Holmes concurs Movement.