From the very beginning of the formation of American democracy, it was designed to give equal power and equal rights to all American peoples: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The sentiment that all men are equal quickly faded when the issue of race came into question. Alexis de Tocqueville of France visited America to observe its prison system in 1831. Part of what he observed the interaction between the races of the country. His conclusions are premonitory of the conflicts that the races would have in the future. After the Civil war, the passing of Jim Crow laws coupled with the case Plessy v. Ferguson, furthered the racial divide between whites and blacks. But before the war that freed the slaves, before the laws and case that legalized racism, Tocqueville could see the ever growing rift that was contrary to what the signers of the Declaration of Independence meant: that all men are created equal.
[...] It outlines the formation and further development of the American government and all the landmark laws and cases that took part in shaping American democracy. Plessy v. Ferguson. No Supreme Ct. of the US May 1896. This is a legal document that examines the legal case that claimed segregated facilities were acceptable as long as they were equal in quality. This is where the concept of “separate but equal” was coined. In this document, the case itself is outlined. It not only includes the ruling that separate facilities for white and colored were constitutional, but also the process by which they came to the decision. [...]
[...] he believes that, historically, masters have not been able to quickly accept their former slaves: Admittedly the traces of servitude existed in antiquity for some time after slavery itself had been abolished. A natural prejudice leads a man to scorn anybody who has been his inferior, long after he has become his equal' the real inequality, due to fortune or the law, is always followed by an imagined inequality rooted in mores (341). This was his observation of the American institution of slavery. [...]
[...] The Jim Crow laws that were passed to keep blacks in a subsidiary position also show that equality at the time did not reign supreme, as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution promises. Tocqueville argues that this is because of the deep seeded animosity and disrespect that white people have toward black people because they were dominant over them for such a long period of time. White people have an ingrained belief that they are superior to black people so the reaction to the freeing of the slaves was what was to be expected. [...]
[...] In this aspect the government was weak in protecting the equality of man. To add insult to injury, the case Plessy v. Ferguson further demonstrated a deeply divide nation. Out of this case came the famous “separate but equal” ruling. The train system in Louisiana called for separate cars for whites and blacks with fines for either race for riding in the other's car (Lowi et al 128). Homer Adolph Plessy, on June boarded a train that was traveling from New Orleans to Covington, Louisiana. [...]
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