Andrew Jackson, Volume 2: The Course of American Freedom, by Robert V. Remini

By Robert V. Remini

On hand in paperback for the 1st time, those 3 volumes signify the definitive biography of Andrew Jackson. quantity One covers the position Jackson performed in America's territorial growth, bringing to existence a fancy personality who has usually been visible easily as a rough-hewn nation basic. quantity lines Jackson's senatorial profession, his presidential campaigns, and his first management as President. The 3rd quantity covers Jackson's reelection to the presidency and the weighty matters with which he used to be confronted: the nullification obstacle, the tragic elimination of the Indians past the Mississippi River, the mounting violence during the kingdom over slavery, and the tortuous efforts to win the annexation of Texas.

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22 That was the extralegal context in which Supreme Court justices had to decide cases involving race and the Constitution in the Plessy era. Had such traditional legal sources as text, original understanding, and precedent plainly resolved the issues, then the background context might have been less important to the justices’ rulings. 1 John Marshall Harlan, the sole dissenter in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), in 1907. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, George Grantham Bain Collection) itively resolve the issues.

The Republican party had become relatively indifferent toward the rights of blacks. The justices are usually not oblivious to such large-scale shifts in social attitudes. 43 This is a point about judicial inclination as well as capacity. We shall see later that even had the Plessy justices been inclined to invalidate segregation, they would probably have lacked the power to enforce such a ruling. Yet they almost certainly had no such inclination and probably deemed segregation to be wise policy.

Secretballot laws functioned as literacy tests, requiring voters to read and mark ballots themselves. Disfranchisement for crimes was gerrymandered to reflect white perceptions of black criminal propensities—“furtive offenses [rather 30 from jim crow to civil rights than] the robust crimes of the whites,” explained the Mississippi Supreme Court. Voters were disfranchised for arson, fornication, and wife beating, but not for murder. Most southern states adopted literacy tests, which would have disproportionately disqualified blacks even if applied fairly, given the higher rates of illiteracy among blacks.

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