Jim Crow laws were laws that allowed segregation to exist in the South. The southerners had been trying to reverse some of the gains African Americans made during Reconstruction. Some southerners had a difficult time adjusting to the concept of an equal society since that hadn’t existed in the South prior to the Civil War. Once Reconstruction ended and the military left the South, southerners began to develop ways to reduce the rights and freedoms African Americans had gained during Reconstruction. As a result, laws were established that separated the races. As examples, these laws created separate drinking fountains, separate seating sections on buses and trains, separate schools, as well as separate sections in theaters. These laws were ruled to be legal by the Plessy v Ferguson case in 1896. As long as the facilities were equal, the separation was legal. Thus, throughout the South Jim Crow laws were passed to create a segregated society.
Jim Crow laws were specific regulations which allowed segregation to continue in southern states during the Progressive Era.