UDC 94 (73)

DOI: 10.22281/2413-9912-2020-04-04-31-40

Vorobyev D. N.



The article is devoted to the analysis of the appearance and transformation of the racial segregation system in the South region of USA during the last third of the XIX — early XX centuries. Certain type of racial segregation existed in the Antebellum South, while this practice became more widespread in this region during the Reconstruction Era (1865-1877). The Federal Government represented by the Republican Party made attempts to integrate the black freedmen into the local society that were met with serious resistance from white southerners, who opposed a change in the hierarchical order based on the theory of white supremacy. Under these conditions, the Republicans decided to resort to the practice of racial segregation based on the principle of «separate but equal» doctrine. This measure was supposed to not only pacify the white South, but also provide African-Americans with access to social infrastructure. The black population was overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the introduction of segregation, hoping that these measures would bring the educational and economic progress of the race. However, with the end of the Reconstruction Era, the Democratic Party, which had returned to power in the region, began to impose restrictions on the civil rights of black people, as well as to legalize the system of racial segregation. The African-American southern community, deprived of the support of the Federal authorities, found itself in the position of second-class citizens: despite the declared principle of equal access, in fact, the quality of services provided to black people was much worse. Supporters of racial segregation sought to extend this system throughout the country, having achieved to extend it to the Federal departments during the presidency of Democrat Woodrow Wilson. However, active opposition from the progressive public and the African-American northern community didn’t allow racial segregation to spread widely outside the southern states, where this system remained unshakable until the 1950s.

Keywords: the US history, racial segregation, Reconstruction Era, African-Americans, Democratic Party, Supreme Court of the US, interracial relations, civil rights.

Institute for the U.S. and Canadian Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia)

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