Interracial Relationships Through Legal History.

Essay by tdunk43University, Bachelor's November 2005

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Interracial Relationships:

Increasing Acceptance in the United States.

Generations ago when racial issues separated society, inner-race marriages were a taboo. Interracial relationships were once frowned upon by others and thought of as a sin. Those who were not interracially mixed believed that the couples that racially or culturally mixed were a disgrace. What was formerly bizarre and forbidden is now common. Over the years those barriers have broken down, as our country becomes more diverse with foreign cultures. Interracial relationships have become increasing acceptable.

Interracial romance has been a controversial subject in America since the time of slavery, when slave owners had relations with young, black female slaves. Some white American slave-holders used to induce white women to marry 'Negro' slaves in order to hold the women slaves for life (Crudup 1). Maryland banned interracial marriage due to question whether the offspring of a black slave and a white person would be considered a free person or property (Grapes 1).

Once Maryland banned interracial marriages in 1664, anti-miscegenation laws spread throughout the entire South, parts of the North, Midwest, and Western states as well. Pennsylvania was the last state to outlaw interracial marriages in 1726 (Trott 1).

The word "miscegenation" defined in the Webster's Dictionary reads the process or result of producing human offspring between and among members of, most commonly, different races or ethnicity's and, less frequently, of different religions(734). Historically, the term involves controversial assumptions about race and sexuality. Miscegenation was first introduced to the United States in 1864, so called "race-mixing" between black and whites was illegal in much of the South and a taboo generally, nationwide ( 1). It is believed that these laws were passed based from biblical influences. However, anti-miscegenation laws did not keep everyone from crossing the color line. Before the Thirteenth...