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In Portuguese-speaking Latin America (i.e., Brazil), a milder form of caste system existed, although it also provided for legal and social discrimination among individuals belonging to different races, since slavery for black people existed until the late 19th century.
Intermarriage occurred significantly from the very first settlements, with their descendants achieving high rank in government and society.
Borrowing Boulainvilliers' discourse on the "Nordic race" as being the French aristocracy that invaded the plebeian "Gauls", he showed his contempt for the lowest social class, the Third Estate, calling it "this new people born of slaves ... Miscegenation comes from the Latin miscere, "to mix" and genus, "kind". The reference to genus was made to emphasize the supposedly distinct biological differences between whites and non-whites, though all humans belong to the same genus, Homo, and the same species, Homo sapiens.
The word was coined in an anonymous propaganda pamphlet published in New York City in December 1863, during the American Civil War.
The pamphlet and variations on it were reprinted widely in both the north and south by Democrats and Confederates.
Only in November 1864 was the pamphlet exposed as a hoax.
The pamphlet was a hoax, concocted by Democrats, to discredit the Republicans by imputing to them what were then radical views that offended against the attitudes of the vast majority of whites, including those who opposed slavery.
The term miscegenation entered the English language in the 19th century as racial segregation began to become more formalized in the United States.
) is a term given to the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, or procreation, particularly mixing that is perceived to negatively impact the purity of a particular race or culture.
Anti-miscegenation is a prominent theme of racial supremacist movements, including white supremacy.
Before the publication of Miscegenation, the word amalgamation, borrowed from metallurgy, had been in use as a general term for ethnic and racial intermixing.
A contemporary usage of this metaphor was that of Ralph Waldo Emerson's private vision in 1845 of America as an ethnic and racial smelting-pot, a variation on the concept of the melting pot. S on the desirability of such intermixing, including that between white Protestants and Irish Catholic immigrants, were divided.
To this day, there are controversies if Brazilian class system would be drawn mostly around socio-economic lines, not racial ones (in a manner similar to other former Portuguese colonies).