The Plessy Case

A Legal-Historical Interpretation
Lofgren, Charles A.
Date published: 
January 1989

In 1896 the U.S. Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson upheld `equal but separate accommodations for the white and colored races' on all passenger railways within the state of Louisiana. In this account, which has implications for present-day America, Lofgren traces the roots of this landmark case in the post-Civil War South, stressing the constitutional, legal, and intellectual premises that shaped this episode.


In the case of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896, the Supreme Court upheld a Louisiana state law enforcing racial segregation on passenger trains. This decision remained effectively the l aw of the land on segregation until the 1950s. This book traces not only the development of the case and analyses its decision, but, more importantly, puts it into the historical context of its times.