Segregation developed in the American South in the 1880s and 90s. The first segregation laws restricted seating on railroad cars. The railroads expanded across the South in the 1880s, knitting together dozens of previously local lines into interstate systems. As they merged and became bigger, the railroads also set the pace for technological, social, and even political change in the region. Railroads were places of social mixing and close quarters, and as black passengers paid for first-class (or "Ladies" cars as they were called) travel they came in close contact with refined whites who objected to racial mixing in these public spaces. Public spaces, such as city streets and sidewalks, were places where according to white southerners blacks should defer to them, and from the days of Reconstruction and the immediate aftermath of the Civil War black southerners refused to give ground. At times these social disputes exploded into violence, as in Danville, Virginia, in 1883 when a street dispute led to a race riot. On railroads conductors policed similar confrontations and often ejected black passengers from first-class accommodations they had purchased. Segregation was the white conservative leaders response to these social, political, and economic assertions of black equality and visibility. White politicians often linked segregation with other public safety measures, and in the process wrapped segregation in modern, progressive legislation meant to clean up or bring efficiency to southern society. Tennessee passed the first segregation act but other states quickly followed in the 1890s. The timing of segregation laws across the South coincided with the rise of the Populists and might have been in part a response to their challenge to Southern politics. In Virginia, however, segregation came later around the turn of the century. The attempts of the conservative Democrats to defeat the biracial coalition of the Readjuster Republicans took center stage in the early 1890s with voter registration and election laws that favored Democrats and culminated in the 1902 Constitution that disenfranchised black and white voters through understanding clauses and the poll tax. Segregation laws in Virginia coincided with Progressive reforms in education, safety, and public health. White politicians, many of them reformer Democrats, presented segregation as reasonable, modern, efficient, and best for both races. Virginia passed its segregation act in 1904 for railroads and then in the 1900s passed numerous acts to segregate depots, waiting rooms, bathrooms and other public facilities. Virginia toughened its segregation in 1926 when it passed a comprehensive act segregating public accommodations, known as the Massenburg or Public Assemblages Act. By the 1930s busing, railroads, steamships, hotels, theaters, and restaurants, as well as schools, were officially segregated in Virginia and across the South.