The Segregation Period• Reconstruction was ended as part of a political compromise in the election of 1876 and, consequently, segregation became entrenched in the South by the close of the nineteenth century. The term Jim Crowbecame synonymous with segregation and referred to the statutes that kept African Americans in an inferior position. The Jim Crow Laws assured that blacks were segregated in housing, employment, education, and all public accommodations. Segregation often preceded laws and in practice often went beyond their provisions. • In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Fergusonthat state laws requiring “separate but equal” accommodations for Blacks were a “reasonable” use of state government power. The institutionalization of segregation gave White supremacy its ultimate authority.• It was in the political sphere that the Jim Crow Laws exacted their price the soonest. In 1898, the Supreme Court ruled in Williams v Mississippi
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