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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.
The term miscegenation was coined to refer specifically to the intermarriage of blacks and whites, with the intent of galvanising opposition to the war. states, as well as laws in South Africa, also banned sexual relations between such individuals.
There was already much opposition to the war effort.
The pamphlet and variations on it were reprinted widely in both the north and south by Democrats and Confederates.
By then, the word miscegenation had entered the common language of the day as a popular buzzword in political and social discourse.
The issue of miscegenation, raised by the opponents of Abraham Lincoln, featured prominently in the election campaign of 1864.
In the United States, miscegenation has referred primarily to the intermarriage between whites and non-whites, especially blacks.
The Nuremberg Laws classified Jews as a race, and forbade extramarital sexual relations and marriage between persons classified as "Aryan" and "non-Aryan".Today, the mixes among races and ethnicities are diverse, so it is considered preferable to use the term "mixed-race" or simply "mixed" (mezcla).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 blacks existed until the late 19th century.The word was coined in an anonymous propaganda pamphlet published in New York City in December 1863, during the American Civil War.The pamphlet was entitled Miscegenation: The Theory of the Blending of the Races, Applied to the American White Man and Negro.
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The term's historical use in contexts that typically implied disapproval is also a reason why more unambiguously neutral terms such as interracial, interethnic or cross-cultural are more common in contemporary usage.