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httpcampusnorthparkeduhistoryWebChronUSAPlessyFergusonhtmlAbraham Lincolns success in the Civil War and the end of slavery sparked a new era for the Black race in America The Black Codes passed following the Civil War gave Blacks equal rights in the United States But even though they were guaranteed their freedom from slavery the law segregated them from Whites This segregation of Blacks and Whites sparked many questions of the rights guaranteed in the Fourteenth Amendment These question would later become a significant factor in a lawsuit 28 years after the amendment was adopted in the case of Plessy V FergusonIn 1890 Louisiana passed a statue providing that all railway companies carrying passengers in their coaches in this state shall provide equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races by providing two or more passenger coaches for each passenger train or by dividing the passenger coaches by a partition so as to secure separate accommodations The penalty for sitting in the wrong compartment was either a fine of 25 or 20 days in jail Homer Plessy a 30-year old shoemaker was jailed for sitting in the Whites car of the East Louisiana Railroad Plessy was a mix of seven-eighths white and one-eighths black The Louisiana law still considered him black and therefore required him to sit in the colored carPlessy went to court and argued that the Separate Car Act violated the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution The judge a Massachusetts lawyer was John Howard Ferguson He had previously declared the Separate Car Act unconstitutional on trains that traveled through several states However in regards to the Plessy trial he stated that Louisiana could regulate railroad companies that only operated within its state Ferguson found Plessy guilty of refusing to leave the white carPlessy decided to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Louisiana but that court upheld Fergusons opinion Plessy then decided to take his case to the United States Supreme
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