Segregation means the separation of the races by informal means such as custom and tradition, frequently upheld by threats of violence, or formal means through laws that forbid the mixing of the races in public facilities such as trains, buses, hotels, restrooms, restaurants, schools, and hospitals. When slavery was practiced in the United States, free blacks in both the North and the South found restaurants and hotels closed to them, and they were often excluded from first-class accommodations on trains and steamboats. Although these forms of segregation continued after the Civil War, during Reconstruction the complete segregation of the races was not mandated by law. The withdrawal of federal troops from the South following the election of 1876 allowed Southern states to restrict and ...

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