Plessy V Ferguson And Brown V Board Of Education Case Study

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Ever felt like your rights were being violated? Both Plessy v Ferguson and Brown v

Board of Education deal with someone's rights being violated , however they have their own

ways of dealing with it. Homer Plessy was arrested for sitting with the whites in a first-class

railroad car. The Seperate Car Act of 1890 declared that all railroad companies in Louisiana

provide seperate but equal accommodations for white and non-white passsengers of the train

cars. This lead to the Plessy v. Ferguson case because when Plessy was prosecuted he claimed

that his 13th and 14h amendment rights were being violated. In the Brown v. Board of

Education case Linda Brown and her family went to court claiming that her 14th amendment

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The punishment for not following this statute was either a fine of $25 or 20 days in jail.

Plessy brought this case to lower courts twice and lost both times. He then took the case to the

U.S. Supreme Court. The court ruled in favor of Judge John H. Ferguson with a 7-1 decision.

The majority had ended up rejecting Plessy's argument saying that the statute violated his 13th

and 14th amendment rights. However, Justice John Marshall Harden disagreed with the majority

opinion, leaving him as the only minority vote. He argued that by allowing this, it is stating

that "colored citizens are so inferior and degraded that they cannot be allowed to sit in public

coaches occupied by white citizens.”( Landmark cases p.2). The precedent that followed this

decision states that the facilities could be seperate as long as they are equal. This was the final

court decision in the Plessy v Ferguson case.

Furthermore, the Brown v Board of Education case was about a girl named Linda brown

who believed that her 14th amendment right was being violated. Brown and her sister had to face

dangerous conditions just to walk to school when there was a perfectly fine school up the
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However the minority didn't agree,

their vote was overruled and segregation in schools has come to an end and changed history for

the better.

Lastly, these two cases are a little different but have changed education in schools

forever. Both cases deal with the 14th amendment and how it was being ignored in society. In

Plessy v Ferguson the main concern was about how Homer Plessy was being violated of his

rights stated in the 14th amendment, while in Brown v Board of education the concern was the

same but it was leaning more towards the Equal Protection Clause. The main difference between

these two cases is that in Plessy v Ferguson, Homer didn't win his case in any of the courts that

he brought it to. When brown brought her case to court she didn't win until the second time

around and the result of the case is what has changed history drastically today.

Finally, Brown v Board of Education and Plessy v Ferguson were two totally different

cases but they had a big impact on today's educational system and life in their own ways. The

Plessy v Ferguson was what brought up the issue with society ignoring people's 14th

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