This compromise avoided violence by sacrificing the

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This compromise avoided violence by sacrificing the black freedmen in the South. The Republican party abandoned its policy of racial equality. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was the last gasp of breath from the congressional radical Republicans. The act would guarantee equal accommodations at public places and prohibited discrimination in jury selection, but was not enforced. The Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional in 1883. The Birth of Jim Crow in the Post-Reconstruction South With Reconstruction ended, the South could now suppress its blacks. White Democrats resumed political power in the South and exercised it ruthlessly, discouraging blacks from asserting their rights. Blacks were forced into sharecropping, at the mercy of their former masters. The “crop-lien” system provided small farmers with food and supplies in return for a share of their harvests. Merchants manipulated the systems so that the farmers would stay forever indebted. Discrimination grew more oppressive, which were embodied in the Jim Crow laws. These laws aimed to disenfranchise the black population of the South. The Supreme Court upheld segregation in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson , where the idea of “separate but equal” was born. In reality, the lives of blacks were inferior to that of whites. They lived the lives of second class citizens. Southern whites would harshly punish blacks who tried to violate the South’s racial code. It was considered a crime for an African American to assert themselves as equal. Many were lynched. Class Conflicts and Ethnic Clashes The year 1877 didn’t just signify the end of Reconstruction, but also ushered in a new wave of class struggles. Railroad workers were hit hard by the panic of 1873, and in 1877, the presidents of the nation’s largest railroads came together and cut railroad workers’ wages by 10%. They struck back, and President Hayes’ decision to use federal troops to quell the unrest resulted in a huge amount of support for the workers. All across the nation, work stoppages ran ramped. The failure of this strike showed the weakness of the labor movement. This was mainly due to racial and ethnic differences between laborers. This was seen especially between Irish and Chinese in CA. The Chinese newcomers were mostly from southern China and originally came to the U.S. to find gold and work on railroads. Many returned to China, disappointed. Those who stayed were not welcomed and worked menial jobs. They were not easily assimilated to U.S. culture. The Irish Denis Kearney led his followers into violent abuse against the Chinese. They resented the Chinese and the competition they brought. They were regarded as a menace. In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, which prohibited any further immigration from China. This remained in effect until 1943. However, native-born Chinese Americans could not be stripped of their citizenship. This protected many other immigrant communities as well.

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