Jim Crow laws were state and local laws enforcing racial segregation in the Southern United States. Other areas of the United States were affected by formal and informal policies of segregation as well, but many states outside the South had adopted laws, beginning in the late 19th century, banning discrimination in public accommodations and voting. Southern laws were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by white Southern Democrat–dominated state legislatures to disenfranchise and remove political and economic gains made by African Americans during the Reconstruction period. Jim Crow laws were enforced until 1965.
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