Legal History of the Color Line: The Rise and Triumph of the One-Drop Rule

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It has always been a political instrument of the administration in power. This brief history covers three major topics: Read the entire article here. Legal History of the Color Line: Black researchers often find White ancestry. White genealogists routinely uncover Black ancestry. The plain fact is that few Americans can truly say that they are genetically unmixed. How did America paint itself into such a strange corner?

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Legal History of the Color Line: The Rise And Triumph of the One-drop Rule

Biracial planters in antebellum South Carolina assimilated into White society because they were rich. Intermarried couples were acquitted despite the laws because some courts ruled that anyone one with less than one-fourth African ancestry was White, while others ruled that Italians were Colored. This page book tells their stories in the light of genetic admixture studies and in the records of every appealed court case since that decided which side of the color line someone was on. Its index lists dozens of 19th-century surnames. The color line was invented in to prevent servile insurrection.

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The one-drop rule was invented in the North during the Nat Turner panic. White genealogists routinely uncover Black ancestry. The plain fact is that few Americans can truly say that they are genetically unmixed. Yet liberals and conservatives alike agree that so-called Whites and Blacks are distinct political "races. How did America paint itself into such a strange corner?

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Americans changed their concept of "race" many times. Eston Hemings, Jefferson's son, was socially accepted as a White Virginian because he looked European. Biracial planters in antebellum South Carolina assimilated into White society because they were rich. Intermarried couples were acquitted despite the laws because some courts ruled that anyone one with less than one-fourth African ancestry was White, while others ruled that Italians were Colored. Dozens of nineteenth-century American families struggled to come to grips with notions of "racial" identity as the color line shifted and hardened into its present form.

This page book tells their stories in the light of genetic admixture studies and in the records of every appealed court case since that decided which side of the color line someone was on. Its index lists dozens of 19th-century surnames. The color line was invented in to prevent servile insurrection. The one-drop rule was invented in the North during the Nat Turner panic.


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It was resisted by LouisianaCreoles, Florida Hispanics, and the maroon triracial communities of the Southeast. It triumphed during Jim Crow as a means of keeping Whites in line by banishing to Blackness any White family who dared to establish friendly relations with a Black family.

Sweet was accepted to Ph. He earned an M.


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He is the author of eleven historical booklets and numerous published historical essays. He was a member of the editorial board of the magazine Interracial Voice, is a regular lecturer and panelist at historical and genealogical conferences, and moderates an online discussion group on the history of U.

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To ask other readers questions about Legal History of the Color Line , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Legal History of the Color Line. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Feb 09, Arleen Faustina rated it it was amazing.

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This is a comprehensive examination of the evolution of the color line in the United States. A must read for those interested in why Americans are so concerned about ethnicity among persons of color. Summer rated it liked it Dec 20, Susan rated it it was amazing Dec 30, Hubschman rated it it was amazing Apr 21, Rebecca Nisetich rated it really liked it Jan 16, Reeve rated it it was ok Jan 13, Micah Moore added it Aug 08, Terry marked it as to-read Jan 12,