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State politics, railroads and civil rights in South Carolina, 1883-1889

Oldfield, J.R. (2004) State politics, railroads and civil rights in South Carolina, 1883-1889 American Nineteenth Century History, 5, (2), pp. 71-91. (doi:10.1080/1466465042000257864).

Record type: Article


In 1889 the General Assembly of South Carolina repealed the state's Civil Rights Act (1870), following a protracted debate that had been prompted by the United States Supreme Court's decision in the Civil Rights Cases (1883). This article examines in detail the contours of the civil rights controversy in South Carolina and, in doing so, identifies a number of competing dynamics, among them outside corporate interests (in this case, railroads), local state interests, and regional loyalties. Taken together, these different factors demonstrate conclusively that civil rights in South Carolina during the 1880s was a contested space. They also shed important new light on the development of de jure segregation in the South and, in particular, the complex relationship between Jim Crow legislation and the social and economic issues related to railroad expansion.

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Published date: July 2004


Local EPrints ID: 12247
ISSN: 1466-4658
PURE UUID: f0e729b3-eb9a-4bca-8beb-a1b16b34ffce

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Date deposited: 27 Sep 2005
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:03

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Author: J.R. Oldfield

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