Were interracial relationships/marriage around during pre-civil war in United States and Canada?
- staisilLv 76 years agoFavorite Answer
Yes, and the word for this type of relationship was Miscegenation. Interracial relationships were considered illegal though.
The history of miscegenation laws in the United States began in colonial times when Virginia passed a law in 1662 making the punishments for interracial fornication twice as harsh as intraracial fornication. In 1664, Maryland passed a law prohibiting whites and blacks from intermarrying. Generally miscegenation laws prohibited interracial fornication and marriage. These laws spread throughout the colonies, in the North and the South, before and after the American Revolution. As the United States expanded, so too did the number of states with miscegenation laws, before and after the civil war, with forty-one states having had laws prohibiting interracial marriage by 1914.
During reconstruction the status of miscegenation laws was called into question by the passage of the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875, and the Fourteenth Amendment, which the Alabama Supreme Court used to strike down a miscegenation law in 1872 before being quickly reversed. However, the consensus was that these measures were not intended to prohibit miscegenation laws because they applied to all races equally.
After Reconstruction more states introduced miscegenation laws and, especially within the South, the existing laws were toughened and more vigorously applied. Criminal penalties ranged from fines to imprisonment and banishment from the state. The marriage could be declared void. This increased the stakes for civil enforcement of the statutes because voiding marriages nullified any spousal property claims and rendered any children illegitimate, thus affecting the inheritance of property.
Miscegenation laws were primarily aimed at preventing whites from mixing with blacks, but in some states white’s marrying Asians, Native Americans, and mulattoes was also prohibited. Sometimes the laws prohibited all races from marrying members of any other race. These laws required specific determinations as to one’s race; standards differed but could be as strict using ‘‘one drop of blood’’ to determine that a person was not white.
Pennsylvania repealed its miscegenation laws in 1780 and in the nineteenth century a few states repealed their miscegenation laws, starting with Massachusetts (1843) and ending with Ohio (1887). Oregon was the next state to repeal its miscegenation laws, but not until 1951. However, in 1912 and 1913, Vermont and Massachusetts passed laws voiding interracial marriages for nonstate residents to prevent interracial couples trying to avoid miscegenation laws in their own states. California was the only state to forbid interracial marriage and fully recognize such a union from a jurisdiction where it was legal.
In 1948, the California Supreme Court used the federal constitution to strike down the state’s miscegenation law in Perez v. Sharp, 32 Cal.2d 711 (1948). The U.S. Supreme Court appeared ready to enter the fray in 1955 when it accepted Naim v. Naim, 875 E. 2nd 749 (Va. 1955); 350 U.S. 891 (1955); 350 U.S. 985 (1956)—a challenge to the Virginia miscegenation laws. The Court later used a procedural device to avoid ruling on its constitutionality. It is thought that this was to avoid exacerbating the tensions caused by the Court’s recent ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954), 349 U.S. 294 (1955).
Public opinion was turning, however, and between 1951 and 1967, fourteen states repealed their miscegenation laws, leaving sixteen states with active bans on interracial marriage. In McLaughlin v. Florida, 379 U.S. 184 (1964), the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an interracial fornication statute and in 1967 the Court used Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967), to declare that miscegenation laws prohibiting interracial marriage violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process and equal protection clauses, thus ending the enforcement of miscegenation laws in the US.
In the time after Loving, many states removed their now unenforceable miscegenation laws and state constitutional provisions. Alabama was the last state to remove the miscegenation provision from its constitution in 2000, though approximately 40 percent voted to retain the clause.
- DonnaLv 44 years ago
-cracks knuckles- Abraham Lincoln was the President for the United States (or the Union, as the case may be) from 1860 to 1865, the years that the Civil War began and ended. During the Reconstruction Period (1865-1870's) the Presidents were Andrew Johnson; Lincoln's VP and successor. Following him was Ulysses S. Grant. The President of the Confederacy during the war was Jefferson Davis. You could also say that since Lincoln was sworn in to the Oval Office a few months before the war began, he was also the president before the American Civil War began.
- Douglas LLv 76 years ago
In the west of both Canada and the USA, it was not uncommon for white men to have Indian wives..
In Canada at that time there were very few black people so black-white marriage was very uncommon.
- JohnLv 76 years ago
Relationships yes, marriages no. Thomas Jefferson was and is notorious for forcing Sally Hemmings into concubinage. Hemmings was his slave and his deceased wife's sister. Today many descendants of the Jefferson--Hemmings union are alive.
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- ammianusLv 76 years ago
It was on Thomas Jefferson's plantation,where he sexually abused at least 1 black female slave for years.
- AliceLv 76 years ago
Even without counting the slave owners who forcibly raped their black female slaves or kept them as mistresses.