Tuesday feb 2

Tuesday feb 2 - Tuesday February 2 2010 The Origins of...

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Tuesday February 2, 2010 The Origins of Racism There was a discussion of what the definition of a white person and black person are. Definitions are arbitral and it varies across society. It is a social construct; however, there are real physical differences, particular diseases that certain populations are more prone to. Genetic variation varies with distance. How do you define a race? A chart shows that there is a correlation between geographic distance and genetic distance. For example, the further you get from Asia, the more genetic variation there is. Where did this idea that people could be divided into races come from? Before 1500, the early writing of Europeans shows that they are prejudiced against outsiders, in terms of looks and behavior. An example of this is Aristotle who said that those who live in a cold climate in Europe are full of spirit but wanting in intelligence and skill. In the 16 th century, an account said that Algerians thought blacker/ darker skin was more beautiful. Basically, different cultures had different views of what defined beauty. In the 16 th century, Atlantic slavery begins. Before 1660, there was no systematic legal code that regulated slaves in Virginia. Masters often permitted their slaves to acquire and manage their own properties, so they could purchase their own freedom. So, the freed Africans had the same rights as regular citizens. In the 17 th century, records show that black men would marry white women. Black women also took white husbands. So with the shift to slavery, planters no longer feared the rising of the indentured servants. Slaves can take over with their mass numbers, so to keep slaves intimidated, the planters needed colonial help. The poor whites, common white farmers are going to help keep the slaves in check. They become essential to the defense. To keep or remain united with the poor whites, the planters needed to foster a preference for the whites so they bond together. They create legal laws that separate the races, to create racism. How do they do this? After 1660, there is a dramatic rise in number of slaves imported.
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To regulate the boundaries between blacks and whites, they had to control their behavior and stop interracial marriages. They regulate sexual behavior. See the course packet, Slave Laws in Virginia. They determine that status of a child comes from the mother. You can’t deny who your mother is. Masters can mate with their female slaves, and the children would be slaves. They used the term Negro women as an equivalent to slave. They are conflating these terms. The law also implies that you can’t be Negro and Christian. So there is a lot of confusion with
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This note was uploaded on 10/05/2011 for the course HIST 2111 taught by Professor Winship during the Fall '08 term at UGA.

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Tuesday feb 2 - Tuesday February 2 2010 The Origins of...

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