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De facto (/ /, //,Latin: [deː ˈfaktoː]) is a Latin expression that means "in fact, in reality, in actual existence, force, or possession, as a matter of fact" (literally "of fact"). In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially designated or established". It is commonly used in contrast to de jure (which means "according to law"; literally "from law"), when referring to matters of law, governance, or technique (such as standards) that are found in the common experience as created or developed without or contrary to a regulation. When discussing a legal situation, de jure designates what the law says, while de facto designates what happens in practice.
Jim Crow Laws, which were enacted in the 1870s, brought legal racial segregation against black Americans residing in the American South. These laws were legally ended in 1964 by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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